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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

August 17th, 2009 No comments

In the novel the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, a thirteen-year-old boy named Huck Finn struggles with the reality of slavery and living in the south. Huck lacks education and civilization, but has good instincts and judgment. Although his guardian, Ms. Watson, tries to “civilize” him, he refuses her offer deciding that civilization with all its hypocrisy is not the proper path for him. Huck’s best friend is a boy named Tom, who comes from a wealthy family, but Tom also rejects the rules of civilization. During the novel, Huck travels down river with a runaway slave named Jim, and instead of turning him in, decides to free him. Throughout the trip, Huck believes that he will go to hell for breaking the laws in the South by helping a runaway slave to escape. The southern acceptance of slavery is instilled in his thoughts. Even though Huck believes that aiding Jim is “wrong”, he can clearly see that Jim is a good man after spending time with him, and his wrong in setting him free is actually a “right”. Huck realizes that Jim deserves to be reunited with his family and free. When Huck completes his adventures, he arrives at Tom’s Aunt Sally’s house to live and settle down. Although Huck is happy to join a family where he is cared for, he continues to resist the idea of civilization. Read more…

Bartleby, The Scriverner

August 12th, 2009 No comments

In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” the narrator, an anonymous lawyer, describes himself as one who lives a simple and mundane life. According to the narrator, his philosophy on life is that “the easiest way in life is the best way”. He is a man who takes few risks in life and tries to conform to the norm of society. However, after hiring a new scrivener, Bartleby, the narrator finds himself pulled into an existence of confusion and conflict.

The protagonist informs us that for thirty some odd years he has maintained a descent business preparing documents for the wealthy. He also makes it known that he stays away from the court room because he is not ambitious and he is known to be extremely safe. By the narrator’s own admission he knows very little about his employees; he knows only what he sees at the office. Turkey, one of the narrator’s law copyists, is productive in the morning and drunk in the afternoon. Read more…

Essay on Politics and the English Language

August 10th, 2009 No comments

The language of politics is one that is universal to all languages. In 1948, George Orwell published an essay entitled Politics and the English Language, which discussed just that. In paragraph 21 of this essay, he claims, “political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind.” This is absolutely right, it was in Orwell’s time, and it still holds true today, in a time of mass media, corporate influence, and colossal magnitudes of sensationalism. I plan to explain what Orwell meant by “political language” and show how those who misuse it to their advantage can get away with blatantly lying, yet still amassing support of the misled.

Right at the beginning of his essay, Orwell claims civilization to be decadent and therein infers that civilization’s language must be decadent as well. This is an interesting point that I did not agree with until I finished the reading. Orwell then goes on to explain, “The decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes,” which is definitely true. Keep in mind that his essay was written in 1946, shortly after World War II had ended, so he is speaking from a time where nearly everyone in the world knew of society’s evils. In addition, throughout the essay, Orwell uses exceptionally strong expressions to describe the current state of the English language by using the analogy of a downtrodden individual succumbing to alcoholism, and then referring to the “slovenliness” of Modern English, explicitly written English… However, Orwell also claims that this same slovenliness of the English language can be reversed…
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English Regents Answer

August 7th, 2009 No comments

Frank Conroy and William Maxwell show exceptional examples of what childhood friendships may have consisted of many years ago. Within Passage I, Frank Conroy displays how a relationship can be formed between two people who have just meet and yet still have the deep relationship that is usually only acquired by people who have had a relationship for many years. William Maxwell explains how a simple playmate can be even more significant than ever thought to be. No matter how silent the playmate is or how ironic the circumstances of their meeting, relationships will grow. Both Passages are prime examples of true friendship.

Childhood relationships seem to be very insignificant to adults. However, to children, their youngest friendships may be their most important friendships that they will always remember. Passage I, in first person point of view, shows how tranquil young child’s friendship may be through symbolism. This peacefulness is shown when Frank Conroy writes, “Above, the fat white clouds drifted in the blue. Great sedate clouds, rich and peaceful. We lay on our backs watching them, getting dizzy as they slipped along behind the branches, as if our tree was falling.” This quote symbolizes how the two boys friendship is so perfect and so peaceful that it’s just like the lightly rolling silent clouds that passed above them. The boy’s friendship was so beautiful because they required no spoken words to know how good of friends they were. They boys would spend a lot of time together, just in silence. A simile found within Passage I further displays how they could just lay there and be perfectly content with it, “hour after hour our bodies fell like bundles into the softened sand.” Along with Frank Conroy in Passage I, William Maxwell also displays the same qualities in Passage II. Read more…

A Modern Defense of Poetry

December 23rd, 2008 No comments

My mother and I were in pursuit of a charming antique lamp suitable for my living quarters, when we came across the notorious Victoria N. Artifactus. She not only enlightened us on her passion for collecting antiques, but afforded us a piece of her mind’s love by showing us the possessions that she held to be most precious. It was true; her possessions were those of a queen. She spoke freely and told my mother and me of the importance of antiques and how they told us the life stories of our great ancestors. The intent was not to tell a historical or biographical life, but rather to paint a story of their active life. She argued that her passion created a portrait of our great past. Had I not been that of a passionate man myself, I fear I would have considered her to be a little over the top. However, as the words of Artifactus are of weak argument, they are of a strong passion. So, if these words do not satisfy you as a credible argument, allow me to present my own. By some mischance, my passion of poesy has fallen into my lap and I feel it is impossible to withhold my story from you, as my pen will not cease to stop writing. Be patient with me as my passion is of no choice and can at times seems overwhelming. My words are simply flowing onto the paper and I know not what I write. Therefore, similar to Artifactus’s need to defend antiques, I must defend the timeless art of poesy. These rather uneducated persons of today’s time slander the name of poesy and question its credibility as quality entertainment. Today’s looming entertainment trends are depriving our current and future generations from learning the sheer necessity of poesy and its benefits.

Poetry, being of the utmost form of communication, ranks far more superior than other studies that attempt to capture our mind’s methods of communicating. I feel it necessary to defend my life’s passion by placing it before one of my greatest competitors. By doing so, if I can show that we, the poets, have a positive effect on society’s forms of open communication we may be able to defend ourselves against the pending accusations of today’s accusers who claim poesy to be false or exaggerated emotions.  Read more…