Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reflective Essay

Now looking back at the beginning of the school year, I remember being excited to begin the new year with an A and end it with an A. Truthfully I thought what more can I learn about English, every year is like another year, you analyze it and then you move on to the next book. But then that was me being naive because this year was my last year and every class and every book I read should have a meaning to. I wouldn’t think teachers or who ever pick the books for no reason, unless it could impact us in some sort of way. After reading all these books and being able to reflect on it, I now gain a motive and understanding of the meaning of life. And I think this class did that for me. I guess I started the year as a very motivated student. But this year only made me better and progress as a student, mentally. I know most seniors want to get this year over and done with, but this is our last year to gather all information we can get for free, and prepare us for our next chapter in life.

I’ve realized that all the things we read from poems to books was written by an author who, himself/herself was striving for some sort meaning in life either through the character or the authors background, which usually intertwine the similarities or events that actually happen within the authors’ life and with the character in the book. I remember when we began to read “The Stranger”, I thought it was boring but the storyline got even more interesting especially the climax. I remember the night before it was due I was rushing to write that paper, it was intense. From then I’ve learned not to procrastinate and when writing a paper, because one you don’t get enough sleep and two it’s stressful. That’s why I started working on my time management skills.

I’ve learn that I should not have the mentality that everything I read should interest me rather than bore me to death but expand my mind by reading other books. It’s like a grown man watching cartoon all day, and doesn’t expand his mind by watching the news and understanding the state of the county. If I stick to reading the things I like I would not progress and become a well rounded student. And I do think that “The Stranger” by Albert Camus affected me, because of Meursault’s personality as a character. Meursault basically describes living through life without any hopes or ambition, but the idea that Camus use of absurdity where in the end Meursault is in jail and realizes the truth about his life. This is someone that I don’t want to be. This character taught me that we are human and that all human have needs and wants to spur that ambition. As for Meursault he never new what he was living for until it is too late. He was always living in his comfort zone. When you’re a child many parents let their children have second chances, but the truth is not everyone or everything get that second chance, just like death, when you’re dead your dead there is no second chance to that.

When we read “A Portrait as an artist as a Young Man”, it blew my mind away. This book was filled with so many symbolisms, religion, and everything you can think of. This was where I began to brainstorm and try to analyze like everyone else did. It was such an interesting book. The fact that you could analyze in a psychoanalytical way and a feminist way was interesting. That’s what this class taught me, to be a critical thinker and analyze things in anyways as I can. And then that’s when the explications became almost fun to write, except for the whole procrastination. I think the hardest part about this class is constant workload but this is a good practice for college. Also when we read this book and had class the next day, every one had a lot of good points and theories. And it forces us to state our opinion and give the fact which is reason that’s something that everyone should have. A skill that will help us through life. This year has far exceeded my expectations, I’ve learned and gain so much. And I’m most definitely glad that we have to do this reflection paper because through out this whole process I’ve realize that I’ve learned so many things. Thanks Mr. G!

Myth and the Modern World Test

In Passage one, relates to the modernist thinking because it describes the improvement of life in finding the truth. The first passage basically talks about two roads one of which we achieve our goal which when leaving it would leave us in "endless despair". The second road is one where it's unpredictable, like how do we know if this road will lead us to where we want to get to. Sometimes "perhaps never and we drift in doubt" which describes The Stranger by Albert Camus, where Meursault basically describes live through life without any hopes or ambition, but the idea that Camus use of absurdity where in the end Meursault is in jail and realizes the truth about his life. That is the "inconceivably beautiful diversity". Which is the steps and experiences that it takes to get to the meaning or goals. Modernist thinkers are progressive thinkers, their purpose was to improve, control, reshape the meaning of life. the re-examine every aspect of life. So the steps that Meursault takes is the progression of his life.
In the passage where it says the "inconceivably beautiful diversity" also describes Aristotles definition of tragedy, it means to arouse pity to the audience with a purged or cleanse. And in Borge case he says "Blindness has not been a total misfortune; it should not be a pathetic way of living, it should be a way of living". Which basically means that, although blindness is the experience that he's faced along the way but that obstacle leads him to create his own literary world of mythology. "The accomplishment of hopes remains an always unexpected miracle" means that getting to that goal is always unpredictable, but leading into the ending of the passage that "in compensation, the miracle remains forever possible". In other words, yes the miracle is unexpected and you won't know when you'll ever reach it but in contrast to that the miracle will always be there. For example in " The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus says that Sisyphus punishment is to ceaselessly roll rocks over hills but for some strange reason the gods thinks that its a futile punishment. But the moments that Sisyphus roll the rocks over the hill he has the hope that one day his punishment will end which is that unexpected miracle but that miracle will be possible in his mind.
In conclusion modernism is all about the improvement, control and reshaping life. Its all about re-examining every aspect. The steps obstacles that every character of the text face is the improvement steps of achieving or finding the meaning of life, like modernism.