McCarthyism is when people make false accusations about others. Joseph McCarthy was a United States senator who alleged communists had infiltrated the government in an effort to make the United States follow communism. In an effort to expose the spies, McCarthy searched for Americans who had relations with communism in the past, such as if they attended a rally about communism. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they supported communism or wanted the United States to follow communism. These people were ultimately taken to court and were forced to answer McCarthy’s questions, a violation of the 5th amendment of the United States Constitution. Not only were they then placed in jail, but they were forced to name others who also had followed communism, even if they knew of nobody. In other words, the people were blacklisted. Blacklisting is when people who cannot be trusted are compiled into a list. Some famous people who were blacklisted were Lester Cole and Herbert Biberman. They were both part of the Hollywood Ten, a group of screenwriters who were accused of being communists and refused to testify regarding their involvement. This violated everyone’s rights and censored the people as they could not freely express their opinions on communism. In Fahrenheit 451, the government burns books and limits the amount of knowledge the people gain. The people are restricted in formulating their own opinions and are forced to listen to the government and their views. Bradbury criticizes and shows the consequences McCarthyism has in Fahrenheit 451.
Collecting items is fun, but it can be difficult to come up with an idea of what to collect. Some collections can be expensive, others might be rare, while a few might lack importance to you. I enjoy collecting a variety of different types of objects, and whenever I open one of my collections’ boxes, I’m always very excited to look through my souvenirs. If you are searching for something to collect, look no further than this post as I’ll take you through some of my favorite collections!
Whenever I go to new cities, museums, or historical sites, I always look for one thing in particular: Pressed Pennies! Pressed pennies are great souvenirs to collect because they are inexpensive (They usually cost 51¢ to $1) and supply you with something to remind you of your visit. These small coins have special designs (Small pictures or names) which represent the place you got them from. If you’re looking for a way to collect something to remind you of the places you’ve traveled to, pressed pennies are a great option!
Ripping open packs consisting of the players in your favorite sport can be very exciting! The best part about collecting sports cards is the fact that they are widely available. You don’t need to travel to different locations to collect them, which makes them very convenient for sports lovers! NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB cards are all available at Target and Amazon. If you are interested in sports, this might be the collection for you!
Key chains are meant to go on keys, but that’s not the only thing they are good for. Even if you don’t want to hang these key rings on your keys, you can still use them for a collection! Similarly to pressed pennies, I also look for key chains whenever I travel. Looking back at these collectibles can be reminders of the places you went and adventures you had in your life! If you enjoy traveling and want souvenirs to represent your visits, key chains would be great for you!
Many of us are fans of actors, sports stars, singers, or other celebrities. Some of us even idolize them and look to model our lives after these people. Bobbleheads, Funko Pops, or figurines might be exciting for you to collect if you look up to celebrities. I, personally, am a huge fan of Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors All-Star point guard, and I have a Stephen Curry Funko Pop and bobblehead because I enjoy collecting Stephen Curry objects.
Lastly, if you haven’t been intrigued by any of the earlier collections that I have named, don’t worry, you can still start a collection. To come up with an idea of what to collect, think of your hobbies and what you enjoy doing or watching. If you like to solve the Rubik’s Cube, you might enjoy collecting different types of Rubik’s cubes, such as the Megaminx or Pyramix. If you are interested in Marvel, Star Wars, or the Lord of the Rings, you might find an interest in collecting posters of your favorite movie. If chess is your passion, there are a lot of different chess sets you can collect.
Just remember, collections can be anything and don’t need to seem rare or extra special to be a collection. Even a group of pens, shirts, rocks, or books can be considered a collection, as long as they mean something to you. The best part is: You can always add to and grow these collections, too! Have fun collecting!
The collection of books I have read because I needed to for English has definitely been different in some ways and similar in other ways. They are seen having connections to each other and reflecting upon the same ideology yet are seen to have their own individual themes and connections. First, I will be describing why or why not this book was interesting to me. Then, I will describe the symbolic sentiment behind the book and will elaborate on whether it is useful for me. Then, I will describe whether someone should read the book in total based on these categories and elaborate why I believed reading this book is worth it or a waste of time.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion: I am going to be starting with this book first because it is the only nonfiction book I was required to read this year. Based on interest level, it was extremely boring in my opinion. The first chapter was very interesting because it spoke about how a wife was on trial for killing her husband and how it was a huge thing in the news but after that chapter, it became very hard to read without the looming threat of sleep within my proximity. However, the content in the book does make up for how boring it was. The book is a series of essays divided into three sections: Life Styles in the Golden Land, Personals, and Seven Places on the Mind. Each of these sections were informative in their own way. The first section described multiple things occurring in California, including events occurring in her own life. The second section talked more about how humans affect others and why we do what we do. The third section talks more about her and other people’s lives and how they struggle. So, as a book required to read for school, I believe that reading it is worth it as it is very enlightening and definitely allows us to reflect on our actions. If you were to read this book for the purpose of entertainment, you should have stopped right after the first chapter and move onto another book.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: My teacher went more in depth in this book when we were discussing it in class, which could be why I have the opinion I do. But altogether, I love this book so much. The beginning was very boring to me but as soon as I reached more the time where the family begins their journey to California, I couldn’t wait to read what would happen next. This book basically describes a family in the era of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl and how they must venture to California from their dear home in Oklahoma because they cannot make any money where they are. Not only did this book capture my attention but it also opened my eyes to the lives of people who I don’t relate to and who struggle so much to survive in our world. This book describes the greed of those who benefit from the desperation of these struggling families, otherwise known as large corporations. It shows how people could become families with anyone if they help each other through their heartbreaks and painful endeavors. And most importantly, it shows that people together in their anger could make a difference, like bundle of grapes filled with wrath. I would recommend anyone to read this if they can and think this book should be discussed more among people.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: This is probably the book that most people know about and have read in high school. I have known about this book since I was 8 but never really knew what it was about until this year. Basically, it is about a man named Gatsby who is neighbors with a guy named Nick Carraway and wants to be loved by Nick’s cousin named Daisy Buchanan (yes, she is married). The plot of this book interested me but the characters ruined it for me. They basically had no personality whatsoever besides being rich and wanting to be loved but finding it in the wrong ways. Tom Buchanan is one of the few characters I believe is unredeemable when it comes to fixing and saying that is definitely extreme but it is true. This book has so many undertones of misogyny from the epigraph of the book: “Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry ‘Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!'” Of course, we shouldn’t judge a book based on this since it came from another time and era but I believe teachers should definitely and directly tell their students about the more obscured sexism in the book so the students don’t adopt it as a normalcy in our society. There are many symbols and one could definitely make connections on the longing of being better and richer than someone else and competing with time before what you want is gone forever. But personally, I believe that this book doesn’t deserve all of the hype that it gets. It was a waste of time in my opinion and it could be part of the high school curriculum since it does talk a lot about class differences and how the rich use people who are poorer than they are. But I wouldn’t recommend reading until it is required for school.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: This book differs from the ones I have talked about before because it is more outdated and more seen as a classic. Despite this, I really liked the book. This book is about a woman named Hester forced to wear an “A” on her chest because she has committed adultery with someone she doesn’t wish to confess and gave birth to a child as a result. It is set in a Puritan town where couples are to stay together until they die and even then, they must remain a widow and not try to be in a romantic relationship with anyone else as that would be a betrayal to their dead, former spouse. The author, Hawthorne, wishes to exploit the wrongdoings in Puritan society at the time and how they are seen as hypocrites, essentially, when it comes to someone who sins. This book definitely has some more older terms of symbolism shown through transcendentalist and romantic ideology but I found the plot of this book very interesting. The sentences don’t match the standard of grammar that we have today and the author does enforce his ideologies on the readers but I still enjoyed this book very much. I would recommend this book to people who like the forbidden love trope and like nature as a main symbol in a book.
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams: The people that have already read this book probably think I am going to say negative things about it and I am, definitely about Stanley Kowalski, but I would first like to highlight the entire book. This book is about a woman named Blanche DuBois who is forced to live with her sister, Stella DuBois, and her abusive husband, Stanley Kowalski, after she loses her childhood home, Bella Reive. This book starts off interesting and I liked the plot. I started to hate the characters and their doings but that means the person writing the book (or play, in this case) is so good at writing that they are evoking an emotion out of me. The characters are definitely bad and good in some ways, which I liked because it added complexity to the story and definitely connected symbols together. For example, Blanche DuBois avoids the light which stands for the truth and we all know her as a notorious liar throughout the story so it connects more. I continue and Stanley is a piece of trash and becomes the one of the other people that I find unredeemable and people who if existed in the real world, I would punch in the face. Then, the ending turns out to be very terrible. Again, one must not judge things in the past but still…I did not like the outcome of this book. I believe the ending should have taken another turn but for the book, it seems reasonable why it would be that way and still, I hate that. Despite my sayings of the book being interesting, I still wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone at all and would never read it a second time. I liked some things about it but the bad things about it outweigh the good things so I wish someone only reads this if they are forced to. However, the ending of the movie is way better and that should have been the ending of the play but alas, it wasn’t.
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.
I would like to end this article with how these opinions on these books are just that, opinions. You have every right to disagree with whatever I say, especially when it comes to A Streetcar Named Desire and The Great Gatsby. Let me know what you think about a certain book in the comments! Thanks for reading!
Purpose: This should be the first part to consider when you create your protagonist. The purpose is how the character creates the plot of the book. What is the character trying to accomplish? What obstacles is your protagonist facing and why are they doing it? These are things to consider before fleshing out your main character. The plot will help you decide what traits to give your character.
Personality: This is arguably the most important part of creating your character because this is what will make the reader either put down the book or continue reading. When giving your character personality traits, make sure to give them traits that are relevant to the story and further the plot. The protagonist’s personality should be relatable and realistic. Everybody wants to read about positive traits and unique skills, but they also want to see flaws. We all have flaws, and sometimes the flaws in protagonists help to advance the plot of the story. How about a knight who is extremely timid? Mixing stereotypes with unique flaws and traits is the ideal way to create your protagonist.
Physical Traits: While personality is most important, the physical traits of your main character can also help draw in readers. For example, this could be race, gender, or physique. Especially nowadays, there is a lot of diversity within books regarding gender and race. This broadens the audience and allows certain readers to connect deeper with your character. Gender plays an important role in modern books because typically, girls read more than boys (not to say boys don’t read or there aren’t amazing male protagonists.) Finally, the physique of your character is important for two reasons: it helps draw in certain groups of readers, and it should reflect your plot. A character who has to carry a broadsword and armor, should have muscle. A character who spends a lot of time inside with little sleep, should appear ghastly. These are all simple ideas that could help you with creating your protagonist.
Love has been a hot topic in poetry for a long time, being a common topic in poems and even used by names as big as William Shakespeare himself. T.S. Eliot, a British poet from the early 1900s, is no exception to this. In his poem, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, the use of certain language and details throughout the stanzas of the poem helps indicate that the “You and I” mentioned at the beginning refers to Prufrock and a woman.
To start, Eliot uses the phrase “In the room the women come and go / Talking of Michelangelo” (Eliot lines 13-14 and lines 35-36) twice. The repetition of this phrase shows that women are on Prufrock’s mind, and it is something that he feels concerned over and pays attention to. Prufrock also notes that these women are talking about Michelangelo, which implies that they are talking about somebody who is very popular and prestigious: something that Prufrock is unlikely to be able to live up to. After the first time, this phrase is said in lines 13-14, Prufrock begins to talk about a yellow fog and smoke. The fact that the fog and smoke are yellow can be taken as an archetype for friendship, which may suggest that after hearing about Michelangelo, or somebody who Prufrock could never be better than, Prufrock feels that he may be seen as a friend rather than a lover, showing his loss in confidence. This same sense of lack of confidence can be seen after the second time this phrase is said in lines 35-36, where Prufrock begins to question himself about whether he should propose to this woman he is talking to, saying “‘Do I dare?’ and, ‘Do I dare?’” (Line 38). This questioning of himself represents how he feels that he may not be good enough for any woman, especially compared to the Michelangelo that these women seem to talk about. This observation followed by the loss of confidence in Prufrock implies that Prufrock refers to a woman in the phrase “you and I” through the fact that women talking about Michelangelo seems to have a genuine emotional impact on Prufrock.
Next, Prufrock acknowledges “lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows” (Eliot line 72). Lonely men in shirt-sleeves has a very unromantic implication to it, and this unromantic way of life seems unappealing to Prufrock. This unappeal is supported by the two lines following it, stating how Prufrock feels that he “should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of the silent seas” (Eliot lines 73-74). These lines represent how Prufrock has hit a low point in life, as the floors of the sea are some of the lowest points on Earth. Such highlights how Prufrock feels very lonely and longs for some form of a romantic relationship, as the sight of the lonely men makes him feel as if he has hit rock bottom. This continues the idea that the phrase “you and I” talks about Prufrock and a woman, as a woman is the only thing that could fill this romantic void that Prufrock is experiencing.
In addition, the image of the mermaids singing in line 126 can show how Prufrock’s dream of a romantic relationship and a change in life is killed. For most, the image of a mermaid singing has a feminine aspect to it, as mermaids are typically female figures. In the line following when mermaids are first introduced, Prufrock notes “I do not think that they will sing to me” (Eliot line 127). Such implies that women do not seem to notice the presence of Prufrock and that he is of no interest to them. This observation, similar to the women talking of Michelangelo, seems to have a negative emotional effect on Prufrock, as in the last line of the poem, Prufrock says “Till human voices wake us, and we drown” (Eliot line 133), which essentially says that Prufrock’s dream has been killed. A cause-and-effect relationship is established here, where the mermaids not singing to Prufrock leads to his dream being killed. Because of this, it can be inferred that the absence of interaction with women in his life leads to Prufrock feeling meaningless and having his dream killed, implying how the “you” mentioned at the beginning refers to a woman.
Prufrock is most likely to be referring to a woman with the use of the word “you” at the beginning of the poem due to the many hints of negative emotions caused by issues regarding women that are seen in the poem. These negative emotions could all be resolved by a drastic change in Prufrock’s life, which could include engaging in a romantic relationship or marriage with a woman.
If one were to commit a murder, the last thing you would expect them to do is to tell everybody about it before it actually happens, in most cases at least. Gabrielle Marquez’s novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold shows the unlikely case where an entire town knows about a murder except for the victim. Through the plot, characters, and point of view, the significance of the title “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” becomes apparent.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold’s plot effectively helps show the significance of the title through what the Viccario do to Santiago. Despite not having clear evidence, the Viccario twins decide to hunt down and murder Santiago for taking the virginity of their younger sister, Angela. However, the twins decide that instead of keeping it a secret to avoid getting caught, they will tell everybody in a boasting manner. This detail of the plot shows how the death was foretold, yet nobody decided to warn Santiago about it, assuming he had already heard about it or that the murder was justifiable. Everybody knew about the murder prior to when it actually happened, showing how the lack of action from others in the town directly costed somebody’s life, a very preventable mistake.
In addition to the plot, the characters of the story also greatly relate to the title of the book. Throughout the book, there are many instances of the Viccario twins straight up telling people about what they are going to do to Santiago. However, the characters’ decisions to dismiss these claims as bogus directly shows the predictability of the crime. Through these characters who decide not to warn Santiago or take any further action, such as Colonel Aponte, the word “foretold” is appropriate to use, as everybody in the town was aware of the crime to take place, yet they decide not to tell Santiago.
The perspective of the story is told by an anonymous narrator, which shows the significance of the title. The narrator decides to tell the story in non-chronological order, jumping between different people and time periods frequently. Such shows the irony of the title due to how it is not actually a chronicle. Because of this, the reader is required to piece information together throughout the book, which can help them understand the events that took place more clearly.
The significance of the title was effectively shown through these aspects of the novel. Because of this, the reader can connect the dots easily and have a better understanding of what goes on in the book, along with any potential purposes or messages posed by the author.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.
An entertaining and humorous read, the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare incorporates a variety of figurative language to demonstrate a number of concepts, ideas, and opinions.
To begin with, Shakespeare skillfully develops the timeless aspect of love. In the very first scene, readers are introduced to Theseus and Hippolyta planning their wedding, as Hippolyta expresses that “Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; / Four nights will quickly dream away the time” (1.1.7-8). The story of Theseus of Hippolyta is quite unique: at first, Theseus kidnapped and beat Hippolyta in battle. By introducing these enemies-turned-lovers at the beginning of the play, Shakespeare foreshadows love issues and complexes, but also suggests a happy ending. Moments later, readers learn about Hermia and Lysander’s love, despite Hermia’s father Egeus’s desire that Hermia marry Demetrius. Hermia’s friend, Helena, is already in love with Demetrius, but as Helena explains, “The more I love, the more [Demetrius] hateth me” (1.1.204). The play is mostly centralized around the loves of Demetrius, Hermia, Helena, and Lysander. Love is universal and timeless–someone from ancient Egypt would feel the same butterflies as someone in 2050. The same applies to sadness, betrayal, and jealousy, all of which are prevalent in the play. In Demetrius, Hermia, Helena, and Lysander, readers understand the timeless complicated and uncontrollable nature of love. Cleverly, Shakespeare further expands on uncontrollability when the fairy king, Oberon, sends Puck to retrieve a flower, whose juice “[w]ill make or man or woman madly dote / Upon the next live creature that it sees” (2.1.177). For the audience, the flower challenges the uncontrollability of love. Demetrius and Lysander are both affected by a simple thing as flower juice, causing them to completely change their views, dispositions, and opinions. Upon analysis, Shakespeare’s incorporation of such a magic flower, which terribly exacerbates the love complex between the characters, represents the irrational, yet consuming aspect of love.
In addition, magic is a significant element of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and it is not too different from love. Once again, the magical flower is a crucial symbol. Magic is often understood as the ability to do and control virtually arbitrary actions and events. As already discussed, love is a prime example of uncontrollability. With the magic flower, the fairy king and Puck are given greater power over the rest of the characters. They have a greater influence on the events that will ensue in the play. Magic’s influence is further exemplified by Puck, who turns Bottom’s head into a donkey’s head during rehearsal. Unluckily, Titania (who has been spelled with the magic flower) wakes up and instantly falls in love with Puck (3.1.131-164). This situation is especially significant in the theme of magic since it is a magical being herself (Titania, the Fairy Queen) who has fallen under a spell. First of all, the overtaking influence of magic is apparent; moreover, the influence of love is also portrayed. It can be argued that Shakespeare incorporates magic into the play to accentuate its likeness to love. Both magic and love cause troubles, yet they can both completely dominate a person’s actions and way of life.
Finally, the significance of the title “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” must be recognized. Dreams are random, irrational, and absolutely overtake one’s mind, very similarly to love. Moreover, dreams are repeatedly mentioned throughout the play. For example, Hippolyta expresses that “Four nights will quickly dream away the time” (1.1.8). Referring to the day of her wedding, Hippolyta uses “dreams” to describe her wait. The word “dreams” has a very positive connotation. In this manner, “dreams” recur to represent fantastic events, situations, and emotions.
Clearly, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” well incorporates figurative language to develop a multitude of themes, lessons, and ideas.
Genre: The most important part when you begin writing a novel is picking a genre. Think of all your favorite books or movies and take inspiration from all of them. Is your novel going to be set in a medieval world? Space? A dystopian civilization? Apocalyptic world? Once you decide it will be a lot easier to write out a plot and the details of your world.
Setting: The second most important part of writing a fantasy novel is choosing the setting. Typically, most fantasy novels take influence from medieval Europe, but it doesn’t always have to be that. What does the environment look like? Is it set in a cold environment, hot environment, desert, space, mountains, coastline? All of these are factors to consider when creating your world.
Plot: Typically fantasy novels follow a plot where the main character has to go on an adventure or quest to complete a task. However, this plot can have a lot of variation and provide a unique story. Some ideas to consider when working out a plot are the tools you will use to advance your plot. This could be magic, a character with a very specific skill, or any other unique additions to your book. This could also be influenced by the setting, perhaps the world is set in a dystopian setting where there are tensions between the rulers and their citizens. Maybe the main character has to go on a quest to find something. The possibilities are endless.
Characters: People like to read about relatable characters. When creating a main character it’s important to make them believable. Many times, new writers create a character that only reflects positive traits, when in reality, everyone has negative traits they’re not proud of. Insecurities and mistakes in a character give the reader an emotional attachment to said character. When writing side characters, make sure they exist to further the plot. Also try to give them their own personality to engage the reader.
Belonging to the genre of dramatic irony, the short story “The Gift of the Magi” by O’Henry narrates the tale of Della and Jim, who have become richer in affection after their gift exchange. The protagonists choose to give up their most valuable belongings with the intentions to give the perfect gifts to each other, which have been rendered useless. However, Della and Jim gain something more valuable in their relationship than either of their possessions.
When she wants to make more money to buy a nice gift for her husband, Della asks, “‘Will you buy my hair?’” (3). Because Della is willing to give up her most precious possession, the immense love she feels for her husband is depicted. Furthermore, Della’s feelings are mutual as Jim ends up selling his cherished watch to buy combs for Della.
At first glance, the exchange seems to be inconsequential since the gifts are now unusable, but a shift in the conflict is noted when “Of all who give gifts, these two were the most wise. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the most wise” (4). By sacrificing their most precious belongings, Jim and Della prove to each other that they have deep affection for one another, which is why they are referred to as the magi. There is no materialistic gift that would have such great meaning as the gifts of Della and Jim; therefore, they are much richer than they were before the gift exchange.
Recently I went to a very different kind of concert. My sister is in college and took an Early Music class that required her to play different types of recorders. While at this concert, it got me thinking about expanding my music taste and trying new things when I am listening to music. Often, I find myself listening to the same couple of songs over and over again. I find that even though I get bored of the music I’m listening to, I can never actually take the time to find new songs. Going to this concert made me realize that there are so many different types of music that, though I might not listen to all the time, could be interesting every once in a while.
A lot of music streaming services offer radios that are designed based on the music we already listen to. Often, they have pre created playlists that feature one type of song. Using these, I have seen myself learning about songs that I would never have any other way. These premade playlists are also great for the holiday season when they have all our favorites in one place. With these, we can learn about artists that are just starting out, as well as ones that might not always be deemed “popular.”
As we head into the holiday season and the stress of school and gift giving, take the time to find some new music. I have always found that music is a great way to destress. Listening to my music always helps me relax and focus on the tasks at hand. So however you listen to your music, try out some new things with your listening habits.