Curation, Projects

Progress

As the end of the year is approaching I have noticed tremendous project being made on my project. I have finished the outline of the pamphlet and I am just figuring out the layout of it currently and what information I want where. While making the pamphlet I wanted to make sure that all of the information flows in a logical way in appeals to the potential users. The next focus of my project is the TED talk which I will present sometime within the following weeks. I want to make sure as I’m outlining the TED talk that I provide enough emotion so that it impacts the audience and leaves them with a lasting impression. I want to make sure that my TED talk is not one that they will forget especially because of the serious subject.

As I have been completing this project I have grown because I have learned more about myself. This project helped me to find my own ways to cope with school induced stress and anxiety. Although talking about this topic is difficult it has been eye opening because I have grown and felt better about myself because I am able to help others similar to me.

Projects

Elevator Pitch Review

As most of you probably know I am working on a purpose project that addresses anxiety. With this project I had to do an elevator pitch in front of my class. An elevator pitch is a one minute presentation that basically provides people with basic information on the project and why you are interested in what you are doing. I felt that my elevator pitch went very well because I was very well rehearsed and I knew exactly what I was going to say and how to present it. I also felt that I made a fairly good impact on my audience because of my statistics and passion that I presented about my project. I feel that I have made tremendous progress with my project because I have narrowed down what I want to focus on with anxiety and exactly how I am going to present my findings. Moving forward I need to clarify exactly how far I want to take this project and who I want my work to appeal to. My goal is to make sure all of PV has access to this and not just English class.

Curation, Projects

Purpose Project Introduction

Image result for anxietyWelcome back. Although you are probably sad that I will not be writing about another piece of literature I do have something interesting to present to you. In English class we were assigned the task to complete a purpose project. You’re probably asking yourself, “what is a purpose project?”, and it’s a good thing I have an answer for you. Basically, we

Image result for anxietyhad to pick anything that is purposeful to us and something that we are passionate about. Also, our project in some way has to affect other people in the class, school, community, or any other group.

For my project I decided to focus on mental health, specifically anxiety. Anxiety is a serious problem that affects students all over the world and I too have experienced what it’s like to have anxiety. It is nothing to ever take for granted and it needs to be addressed more openly. I feel like anxiety is a tough subject to talk openly about and I wanted to use this project to not only help myself but also help others who suffer with anxiety acknowledge and cope with the symptoms. As you probably know anxiety comes in many forms and for many different reasons.

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With this project I specifically want to address school induced and just regular pressures put on teenagers.

My goal with this project is to create a pamphlet which will help people acknowledge and cope with their symptoms, provide my own insight, provide other people’s insight, and help those who don’t suffer with anxiety understand it and help others who they think my have it. I want to give these to people who request it and if I am able I would love to somehow give it to the counseling center to reach a larger audience.

 

Class Texts

Growing Into Ourselves, and into Understanding

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Finishing Thoughts on To Kill A Mockingbird

I thought that To Kill A Mockingbird was overall a great piece of literature not only for its content, but for the message it provides. This book is one of the most well known and most frequently taught for a reason. It provides great insight to the lives of people living in Jim Crow communities during the 1930’s and shows the extreme ignorance and prejudice people had toward others. TKAM leaves you with so much sympathy because of the unfair treatment placed on people during that time. To Kill A Mockingbird exposes the good and evil of society and the secret lives every person has. I learned that even the best people has something they hide no matter how big or small. I can easily say that no other realistic fiction book has had such an impact on me as TKAM did.

Analysis of Scout

If you are unaware or you have never read To Kill A Mockingbird Scout is the main character and the book is written in her perspective. Over the course of the book Scout matured greatly and really began to grow into herself. She began the novel as a very innocent girl who was oblivious toward some of the world’s evils. As she begins to experience new things such as the case she is exposed to the prejudice in her community and the inequality in America at the time. She struggles to hold onto that youth are fall and be damaged by the racial prejudice in her community. Scout was raised with veryImage result for scout tkam optimistic and equal values that made her treat all people equal no matter what the color of their skin is. She found it very difficult to adjust to the harsh reality that people don’t share the same opinions as her. Through the teachings of Atticus, Scout realizes that although there is evil in society there is also good and that she should not fall to those evils. This optimism toward her life experiences provides her with an adult-like level of maturity although she is only in elementary school. One of the best quotes by Scout that explains her newfound understanding is,”I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” This quote shows how Scout does not discriminate when it comes to people in her community. Another important quote is,”I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year”. This is a clear representation of how growing up stripped her of youth and exposed her to negative real-life experiences

Lit Circle Recap

Each class my fellow peers and I discuss interesting aspects from TKAM that we just read. The final lit circle was, in my opinion, by far the best because it wrapped up all of our questions and connected it to other class texts. The entire year one of the main themes of our English class is are stories “morally good lies”. This can be used to analyze entire texts and even individual characters. In the case of To Kill A Mockingbird this related directly to a specific character, Atticus. He was viewed as a wonderful father figure who always provided the best advice. Throughout the story Lee hinted that he had some secrets although we did not know who big or small they were. In class we concluded that the information he held from his children were “morally good lies”, which for our class was the biggest biggest “mic drop” (as referred to by my teacher). Another intriguing aspect of the novel we discussed was the fact that Boo Radley was some type of  “guardian angel”. In the novel it showed him leaving small gifts for the children, saving their lives, and Scout referred to themselves as his children. All of these ideas helped to conclude the novel in an amazing way and tie all of the questions and pieces of evidence together.

Connections to Other Pieces

Two texts we read in class connect directly to the underlying theme and the main plot of the story. Brent Staples wrote a piece where he reflected on his own experiences of when people held prejudice toward him in public. William James wrote a piece about how people have blindness to specific people in different circumstances. The whole purpose of To Kill A Mockingbird was to enlighten people on society’s prejudice. Not only the blatant prejudice, but the subconscious prejudice that people don’t even realize they hold. Both Staples and James show how people have prejudice towards others that are not so in the person’s face, but still have the same effect on them. Staples shows how people act afraid toward him while in public, and Williams acknowledges his and society’s blindness towards others’ circumstances. People still read this novel because it still resonates in society today. Although this form of discrimination is not present in today’s society the basic foundation and prejudice still establishes itself in some people today. This book continues to educate people of how to overcome prejudice and how to look for the best in people no matter of your initial opinion of them.

 

Class Texts

Family, Friends, and Small Town America: Real and Secret Identities

Image result for to kill a mockingbirdWhen I first picked up my copy of To Kill a Mockingbird I was skeptical because I thought it was another school required book that has bored every student to ever walk the Earth. Before you come to high school you hear older siblings, friends in high school, and even parents who talk about these infamous books. I really wanted to push myself to give this book a chance because other novels we read during the year I had the same doubts but I ended up pleasantly surprised. When I started reading the book I was intrigued from the very beginning because of the mysterious character of Boo Radley. Lee never provided any factual information about him but instead used the characters to create rumors about his background. Some of them said that he killed his father, his possible death, and reasons for why he never leaves the house. Overall my first impressions of the book are positive and I definitely don’t recommend overlooking this book.

As I stated in the previous paragraph, Boo Radley is the most mysterious character in the book that people are constantly trying to wrap their minds around. It is impossible to create a full understanding of his character because there is nothing known about him. One of the central themes of To Kill a Mockingbird is our inability to understand the lives of others. In the book Scout, Jem, and Dill create rumors about Boo that are completely false most likely because they are adamant about filling in false information about his character. A quote from the book that sums this theme up is, ” You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Scout especially struggles with this concept because she is quick to jump to conclusion without understanding exactly what people of different backgrounds are going through.

The character I have chosen to discuss is Scout. Scout is the daughter of Atticus and the sister of Jem. To Kill a Mockingbird is actually written in her perspective as some sort of a memoir. She is very young and is going into her first year of elementary school. There is not much stated about her physical appearance because the book is written in her perspective so there is no need in her eyes to explain her physical traits. There is a huge conflict between Scout and society because she is extremely mature for her age. Her first grade teacher scolds her because she already knows how to read and write while her peers are just beginning. She also finds it hard to relate to everyone at school because the only people she has really talked to before school was Jem and Dill. In the beginning of TKAM Scout said, “When I was almost six and Jem was nearly ten, our summertime boundaries were Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose’s house two doors to the north of us, and the Radley Place three doors to the South”. Now Jem refuses to acknowledge her at school and Dill has moved away. In TKAM Scout said, ” It was then, I suppose, that Jem and I began to part company. Sometimes I did not understand him, but my periods of bewilderment were short-lived. This was beyond me”. She also struggles with judging people before she begins to know them. Over the course of the first nine chapters Scout began to accept people and not judging them based off of her first impression. After lessons from Calpurnia and Atticus she has taken a different perspective on the way she views people.

During the class discussion I was intrigued that so many people had the same questionsImage result for boo radley house about Boo Radley. We all tried to piece together reasons for why he was locked in his house and why people made up so many rumors and lies about him. I learned a lot about the depth of the relationships in the book as well because our group was very confused to why Lee described her book as a “love story”. We came to the conclusion that it was most likely a strong family bond that unites people together. From the discussion I also gained some insight of the importance and complexity of Atticus’s character. At first I thought he was just a normal father figure, but he actually sees past the prejudice in the town and is a great influence to his family.

The only question I have for the next discussion is why people try so hard to keep Boo Radley hidden from the public?

 

Independent Reading

The Elfstones of Shannara : Book Review

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  • Book Name: The Elfstones of Shannara (#2 in the Shannara Chronicles Trilogy)
  • Author: Terry Brooks
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Pages: 576 paperback
  • Rating: 9/10

 

Brief Description:

The story is the second in the Shannara Chronicles trilogy and follows the lives of Wil Ohmsford and Amberle Elessedil. The book originally has two plot lines and follows both of the characters separately. Amberle is the princess of the Elven Kingdom and has recently become one of the Chosen who is tasked with protecting the Ellcrys. Wil is a simple farm boy who runs away from home after his mother’s death in order to become a healer.  When Amberle receives strange messages from the Ellcrys she runs away in fear and, shocker, runs into Wil. From there, they are informed that they both most proceed on a dangerous quest to save the Ellcrys and the Four Lands from a massive demon invasion. Along the way they face conflicts between demons, rovers, witches, and much more.

Initial Thoughts:

Previous to reading this book I had never heard of the trilogy or any books in it. I first heard of it when the book was transformed into a television series, and immediately I knew I had to pick up a copy and get to reading. The plot line I saw on television was very intriguing, so I knew that the book was most likely going to exceed the show in every way as it normally does. Other than reading the book, I would recommend watching the television series, but definitely read the book first. Also, due to the fact that it there was a series being created based off of the book I trusted there had to be something interesting about the book, so I decided to give it a try.

* there are going to be spoilers ahead, so if you hate spoilers please don’t read the rest of my blog post. thank you :)*

Characters:

  1. Amberle Elessedil: Amberle was the granddaughter of King Eventine and the daughter of the late Prince Aine. She followed a very tragic plot line that followed a very complicated hero’s journey and tragic romance. The story began with her being the first female Chosen who is tasked with protecting the Ellcrys from danger. For reference, the Ellcrys is a magical tree that is pretty much the barrier that keeps all of the demons from invading the Four Lands. She then received strange and horrific vision from the Ellcrys that pictured the death and destruction of the Elven Kingdom, so out of fear she fled so she would not have to face the Ellcrys again. After the murders of all of the remaining Chosen, Amberle was tasked to go on a perilous journey to save the Ellcrys. This journey showed brought out bravery and leadership capabilities, and outstanding survival skills from within Amberle. Before she would run away from her fears, but now she had to face them head on in order to save everyone from impending evil. She even made the largest and most brave sacrifice of the book by giving up her own life in order to save everyone else in the Four Lands.
  2. Wil Ohmsford: Wil was one of my favorite characters in the book not only because of his heart melting love for Amberle, but also for his loyalty and bravery he showed to everyone he encountered. Wil was faced with a tough home life because he had to cope with the death of both of his parents. In order to do something about the deaths he decided to become a healer so he could save other people. This was most likely because he was not able to save either of his parents and he wants more than anything to prevent any more losses of that severity. Before her death, Wil’s mother gives him elfstones that apparently holds powerful magic that his father once used. Throughout the book the stones helped to form his character and become more brave in his fight against the demons. Also, Wil had an identity crisis when he was told he was the last son of Shannara. Shannaras by the way are legends because of their excellence in wars and as kings.
  3. Allanon:  Allanon was a surprise to everyone because he is the last Druid alive, but everyone thought that race was extinct. PLOT TWIST, it turns out he was just in some magical trance that preserved his body until he was needed in the next war. He was a very powerful and influential character because he held an insane amount of knowledge about the Four Lands history and how to defeat the demons. Allanon was actually the person who tasked Wil with the job of protecting Amberle on their quest. He was a major character in the book because he was a huge help in the Four Lands defeating the demons and having Amberle and Wil completing their quest.
  4. Eretria: To be completely honest with you Eretria was probably my least favorite character in this entire story. All she did was get herself in the middle of every problem and relationship and in my opinion was a dead weight for the quest. Although she was a key part in the quest she did nothing but cause trouble and stab people in the back whenever she got the chance. Eventually she lightened up toward the end of the story when she actually realized how important this quest was, but overall she was just SO annoying in the beginning.

Conflict:

  1. Amberle vs. Herself : She was faced with the difficult decision of saving her life so she could be with Wil, or sacrificing herself so she could save the Four Lands
  2. Four Lands vs. Demons: This is a pretty obvious one because everyone in the Four Lands is in danger if all of the demons escape and start war with them
  3. Amberle, Wil, and Eretria vs. Time : All of them are on a race against time because if they do not save the Ellcrys in time then the demons will be released upon the people of the Four Lands

Strengths:

This book had many different intricate plot lines that consistently kept the book interesting. Between the different perspectives of the people at home planning on how to face the demons and the people on the quest the book was constantly leaving me on edge. Also, there were plenty of plot points that either made people heartbroken or left them excited for what is to come next. Brooks was able to balance a tragic love story and a hero’s journey perfectly in one book and I really appreciated how well he pulled it off. The ending was extremely interesting and violent as well which helped produce a very interesting climax and resolution to the book. As the title states the elfstones were a major part of the book as well. I really enjoyed the conflict that came with the stones including Wil’s struggle to consistently use them as well as the lengths people went to try to steal them. They added a very unique aspect to the plot which really helped to tie the entire book together. For the most part I have nothing really negative to say about the book because I felt that it was a very well written novel.

Weaknesses:

The only weakness I noticed in this book was the build up to the core of the plot. Like many other books in literature it takes large amounts of background information in order to set up an interesting plot line. I’m not necessarily complaining about the length of the exposition of the plot, but like any other person I wish Brooks would have jumped immediately into the best part of the plot.

Recommendations:

I strongly recommend this book to any and all readers because there are many types of plot lines infused into this book. For example, there is a love story, hero’s journey, and a typical fantasy set up. If you are into romance, action, or fantasy novels this book will be perfect for you. Also, the plot will constantly leave you on edge and continue to have you wonder about what will happen next. There are themes of bravery, unity, and sacrifice all incorporated into this book.

Overall Thoughts:

This book will continue to be one of my all time favorite books and I definitely see myself rereading it in the future. I loved the plot line Brooks provided, the characters, and the endless plot twists. He truly gave you the best of both worlds because he was able to create a tragic heartbreak while also resolving all of the conflicts in the end. The book left me feeling satisfied with the conclusion, but also wanting more with Wil and Amberle’s relationship because of how short it was cut off. Overall, I will continue to go back to this book and I will continue to recommend it to anyone interested in trying a new and unique novel.

Projects, Writing

Joshua Medcalf – Living That Life On Purpose Reflection

Image result for school clipartJoshua Medcalf believes that our current school system is teaching too much to the  tests. When he says, “teaching too much to the tests”, he means that teachers are only providing students information that will be useful in order to pass a single assessment. Teachers constantly remind students of the importance of their future and how important school is to complete their life goals, yet the only information they provide the students are the ones that will be forgotten within a week. Medcalf also explains how school provides students with an unrealistic safe zone. He believes that once a student finishes their schooling they will be hit with the harsh sense of reality. For the most part, I agree with Medcalf in his views on our current school system. I also agree that teachers should focus on teaching students specific material that will apply to their interests and their future. Also, I believe that school should help to provide students with experience in what they will face in their future. Although I believe that schools should prepare students to a certain extent, I feel as if it is almost too unrealistic. There is no true way to prepare any person for the real world, but they can provide courses that will build up necessary qualities in order to succeed.

If the school provided me the opportunity to learn on my own for part of the day I would take full advantage of it. I strongly disagree with Don who said that students would immediately go to their phones. Although it is a possibility that some may go to their phones, I personally would rather go in depth about subjects that truly interest me. I feel that Don’s statement was almost stereotypical of our current generation and the fact that we all are “obsessed with technology”. Although technology is a major aspect of our life, it does not mean that we spend every hour of the day using it. If given this opportunity I would most likely take the time to explore biological sciences and prepare myself for college and my future career.Image result for school clipart

Independence is a major factor that comes in a student’s learning. Some strive when they are able to figure out things for themselves, but others need guidance in order to succeed. When contemplating over which type of learning would benefit me the most, I found that I do need some guidance in order to succeed. Whenever I am learning a new concept I need some type of basic understanding in order to complete whatever I am doing to the fullest of my capability. Although guidance is important, I also cherish failure in my endeavors because it helps to push me to become better and points out areas of improvement in my work.

Some of what Medcalf presents does frighten me because of how closely it relates to me as a student. He explains how students can fall into the habit of “hitting publish before their work is ready”. This means that students have the tendency to publish work that is not ready for everyone else to see. The idea of publishing something that is unfinished is frightening because I personally am I perfection, so the thought of anything that is far from perfect really bothers me. The fact that some of my own imperfect pieces are available to the public bother me the most more than anything. Medcalf’s idea of this mistake made by students frightened me the most more than anything else he presented was because it made me realize how open our work is to the public. For example, any of my blogs that I upload is available to any person all over the world and any of my mistakes are open for them to see. Sadly Medcalf was correct when he said, “the disease of perfection is plaguing young people today”.

Although some of what Medcalf presented frightened me, I am excited about some aspects of what he said. The idea of having more independence and say in your learning does excite me because I can focus on exactly what I need in order to prepare for my future. I will be able to gain qualities that will help me with my success, and take classes that will provide me with valuable information. Also the fact that I will not have to stress about cramming information for one test and instead absorb interesting material truly excites me. Also, the fact that this idea could inspire the school system to make a change excites me more than anything Related imagebecause this simple idea may have the chance of one day becoming a reality.

Overall, the ideas presented in the podcast were extremely interesting because they made me think about school in an entirely different light. Also, I believe that these ideas could become revolutionary because they could potentially inspire the national school system to change for the better. Hopefully people one day realize how revolutionary these ideas are and change school so that every student can benefit and prepare for their future in the proper way.

 

Just in case you are interested:

LINK TO PODCAST

Projects

We Are the Ocean, the Ocean is Us

Creating this project was extremely difficult for my group because of the little creative possibilities to present the allegory lense. Most of us weren’t artistic so we couldn’t do anything with art, so we had very limited options. We eventually had to creatively figure out which objects we could use to represent an allegory and things at a deeper meaning. When defining an allegory we came up with the idea that it was a way to represent someone or something at a deeper level. In order to represent that deeper level we decided to use shadows. Shadows were perfect to use because they are not exact representations of the object, but they share similar qualities, just like an allegory.

Our end result was a shadow puppet show that used the real world connections in order to form the shadow of the allegories that represented them. My job in the group was the narrator, so I had to write the entire script. The other people in my group were tasked with creating the puppets for the show. Creating this presentation opened my eyes to the multiple possibilities and allegories Haroun and the Sea of Stories provided for the reader. As we began to brainstorm our ideas we discovered the vast amount of allegories that we could possibly use. Although there were many allegory options it was very difficult for my group to create and rehearse our presentation. Sadly, I was absent most of the days that were needed to help perfect the presentation, so the end result was a bit rough around the edges. Compared to other groups I think we hung in there with our ideas, but we could have improved with the perfecting part of our presentation. Overall, I think our presentation fit all of the aspects of the design rubric because we helped to educate everyone about what an allegory is. In the project we included what an allegory is, where Rushdie used allegories in Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and why  he included them.

The project on allegories helped to explain the question about the point in telling stories that are not even true. Allegories provide deeper meaning and understanding for people’s lives even if they are not necessarily factual. They can be used to guide people in the right direction and give them purpose in their lives. Without allegories, people would find now meaning and enjoyment out of their reading.

Here is a link to our presentation

 

Uncategorized

Flooded in a Sea of Stories

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This week we have finished Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and once again my thoughts have deepened. There were many more themes and ideas that I noticed this time around that truly inspired and enlightened my thoughts about the book. What intrigued me the most about the ending was the meaning behind it. The story ended with the Sad City receiving “happy rain” which made everyone in the city jubilant. Although it didn’t solve all of the misery of the entire city, it did create a false sense of happiness for everybody. From this, I was able to see that Rushdie wanted the reader to see that there is no such thing as a true happy ending in real life. Overall, the entire book was very exciting and intriguing, but I’ll get more into that at the end.

My favorite quote from the last few chapter of the book is, “The Guppee commanders, all looking slightly silly in their red noses, sat down to a light pre-battle dinner in their tent” (p. 180). I marked this quote in particular because of the meaning behind the uniforms the Guppees wear. The red noses symbolizes a clown nose which is supposed to reveal that people who involve themselves in war only make themselves look foolish. There is nothing admirable about the conflict because it only looks immature and out-of-line. Image result for magical sea

Sadly, I have nothing to provide about my final Haroun and the Sea of Stories discussion because I was absent that day. Although, if I were in class I would have liked to ask questions about the depth Rushdie provided allegories, and all of the connection made to our real life.

What is most interesting about Haroun and the Sea of Stories is not only the amount of allegories provided, but how deep they go into the story. Many of the allegories Rushdie provided were connection between his life and the book, but there were also allegories that were connections between Alifbay and Kahani. For example, many of the characters on Kahani directly represented characters in Haroun’s real life. Butt the bus drive was similar to Butt the Hoopoe and Khattam-Shud was similar to Mr.Sengupta. Allegories was one of the most interesting parts of this book, but what was most interesting was how Rushdie used allegories in order to show what the text means. The meaning of this text is to show how important stories are with people. Stories provide people with hope and helps them escape from any problems they may face in their life. In the book, Rushdie conveyed this by having Kahani fall apart when the Sea of Stories was poisoned. Overall, without stories people are left without purpose and control.

In my previous blog I wrote about why fictional stories are morally good lies. My thoughts are still very similar to last time, but I will update you on my thoughts about the topic. Haroun and the Sea of Stories speaks to this statement through plot points and main characters. In the story Rashid gives pure joy to the people of Alifbay whenever he opens his mouth and lets stories flow out of him. Whenever Rashid was unable to produce the stories the people experienced sadness and grieved their loss. This statement was also shown on Kahani when the Sea of Stories was poisoned by Khattam-Shud. The entire moon went into a state of chaos and the Gups declared war on the Chups. Before the war everyone was heard cheering “for the sea” which shows how essential the sea is to the Gups. All of this connects to the real world because without the stories people have nothing to relate to and find purpose in.

Overall, I thought Haroun and the Sea of Stories was a very insightful book that opened my eyes to problems I have never noticed about our world. Before, I did not appreciate the importance of stories and what they can do to people, but now I realize they are essential to life. Although the book started out a little slow it picked up in great speed and in the end turned out to be a great book. I personally believe Rushdie did a great job with this book because he was able to appeal to a variety of audiences and convey meaningful truths about our real world.

Uncategorized

Story Moons and the P2C2E

Image result for haroun and the sea of storiesSo far Haroun and the Sea of Stories is slowly starting to become more enjoyable the more I read. As I said in my previous post, I was very skeptical of how this novel was going to unfold, but I am now pleasantly surprised with how interesting it has become. The one aspect I enjoy most about Haroun and the Sea of Stories is how connected the real world and Kahani are. For example, Butt the bus driver correlates directly with Butt the Hoopoe because they share very similar character traits and personalities. Also, as I have read my thoughts on all of the themes have deepened. Some of the themes such as the conflict between silence and speech, the importance of storytelling, and the beauty in darkness have become much more prevalent in the book. Haroun and the Sea of Stories is especially intriguing to me now after reading because Rushdie has found so many ways in which to incorporate hidden meanings and references to other texts very seamlessly.

 

Allegories are extremely apparent in Haroun and the Sea of Stories because Rushdie uses specific characters and plot points to uncover themes within the text. In chapters 5-8 of the novel I uncovered several themes including the conflict between light and darkness and inequality we face in our world today. One quote from the novel that really stood out to me was, “You think it’s easy for a girl to get a job like this?”. This quote was from Blabbermouth, a female Page, who has struggled to hide her identity from everyone in the palace. When Haroun accidentally knocked off the Page’s hat she becomes extremely flustered and tries to explain to him how difficult it is for her to have the job she has because of her gender. Blabbermouth says that she would not be in the position she is in now if people knew about her real identity, and that every woman struggles in their society to prove themselves and become successful. This aspect of the story is directly related to the conflicts with inequality women all over the world face today. No matter if it is unequal pay, lack of opportunity, or oppression women all over the world struggle with proving themselves capable to society. Related image

What is the point of telling stories that are not even true? That is a question my English teacher, Mr. Heidt, made my entire class inquire. Personally, I feel there is no true answer to this very open-ended question, but I have come up with an answer that could provide some closure on the topic. Stories provide people with a sense of false reality which helps them escape from any conflicts they may face in their everyday lives. This is evident in Haroun and the Sea of Stories because Rashid’s stories could uplift any person’s day, even if they lived in the Sad City, with his stories. Also, as Haroun and Rashid learned throughout the book there is more than what meets the eyes in regard to stories. Not only were stories important to Rashid and the people in Alifbay, the stories were also imperative to the function and well-being of the people on Kahani. On Kahani, when they were left with the poisoned Sea of Stories the entire island experienced total chaos and war with the Chupwalas.

 

Image result for haroun and the sea of storiesThis week’s discussion brought up even more interesting view points, questions, and possible themes of Haroun and the Sea of Stories. One of the most interesting topics brought up in the discussion was the question about who set the boundaries on Kahani and which group was truly the “bad guys”. The students in my group wondered if the Gups set the boundaries and forced all of the Chups into the darkness and into the control of Khattam-Shud. If this was true, we also wondered if the chups were pure at heart and were only viewed poorly because they were under the influence of a ruthless dictator. Also, we wondered if given the chance would the chups take the opportunity to live in the light and use their voice again? All of these questions were very insightful and interesting, and I hope they are answered in this week’s reading of Haroun and the Sea of Stories.