Two works I have enjoyed working with this year…

Pride and Prejudice and “I´m Nobody! Who are you”

Sometimes it might feel like what makes you different and stand out from everyone else is a burden, or that those differences cannot unite people or make you get along with them. The two texts that I am going to talk about in this blog post are about just that, differences and unity. We are now entering the last few weeks of school, and the last few weeks of English litterateur, and it is time to look back at some of the works that I have enjoyed working with this year. The two texts that I have narrowed down to as my two favourites, and that I have really enjoyed working with in English class, are the 1813 novel, Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austin, and the poem written by Emily Dickinson «I´m Nobody! Who are you?»

The poem, named “Poem: 288,” or otherwise known as “I´m Nobody! Who are you” is a simply written poem about how it is nice to be different, or a “nobody”, rather than a “somebody.” It celebrates being an outcast and being different, and discourage people to thrive to be a part of the majority, or who Dickinson reference to in the text as a “somebody.” What makes this poem unique is the way she wrote it, and how she creates a unity with the readers, making us feel a part of a community. A community of “nobodies.” The ways she does that is that Dickinson refers to us during the poem, and almost talks to us as readers asking us questions like “Who are you?” and saying things like “Are you – Nobody – Too?” It makes us feel a sense of unity. Also, the way she keeps writing “us,” and makes us feel proud of being a “nobody.” The opening line, “I´m Nobody! Who are you” is so profound and really draws you in. It gives the sense that Dickinson wants to celebrate being herself, but throughout the short poem take us as readers with her and encourages us to be ourselves as well.

The novel, Pride and Prejudice, is a classic for a reason. What I really liked about this book is the story itself and the characters that we meet. I am left remembering and thinking about the book. This book is a classic love story about two people of very different social classes falling in love despite their differences and despite being such a contrast to each other. The book it similar to the poem in the sense that we meet a character, Elizabeth, who can be seen as a “nobody” because of her status in society and Mr. Darcy who is a “somebody,” a wealthy man from the upper-class with a lot of influence and is well- known among the people. An “influencer” of their time, maybe. Also, because the book reflects on gender rules of the time, not only social classes, Elizabeth can be seen as a “Nobody” not really in a position to make decisions about her own life. Fortunately she gets to make those decisions herself. While Dickinson´s poem encourage us, the outcast, to unite and not let us get influenced by the “somebodies,” this book encourages us to unite with people who are not like us despite our differences and not judge a person based on first impression. There are many examples from the book on how this message comes through, the most important and obvious one is when Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy first met and how Elizabeth saw him as an arrogant and prideful person, but he turned out to be different than what she expected.

The story is timeless, and what I like about both of the texts is that they are both relevant today. The poem has such a wonderful message. That is why it`s probably one of my favourite texts that we have worked with this year. The message that being a “nobody,” or being different and stand out is better than being a “somebody,” the ones who fit in or are successful, it`s timeless and still relevant today in a world of social media and influencers. The book as well is relevant. I enjoyed a good love story of course but, Elizabeth is such a strong female character who we can learn a lot from. She shows that even though she is a woman living in a time where woman had little to say over their own lives, she can make her own decisions despite what society expects from her and takes control over her life following her heart. The book shows that differences can unite, and do not judge a book by its cover. Status and class are not important. Both texts are unique and beautiful in their own way, and are works that I will remember.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump vs. Biden

Statistics and polls done by major polling organizations shows that John Biden is in the lead over Donal Trump in who is most likely to be voted as the next President of the United States if the elections were today.

Infographic: Trump vs. Biden | Statista

The polls done by all the organization shows that Biden is favorable over Trump, and on average fifty precent of the people would vote for him over Trump´s 44 precent. These polls were conducted between the 30th of April and the 14th of May. Here are some of the candidates views on three different areas.

Social and Racial Justice

Biden, if elected, would like to direct his Justice department to prioritize the prosecution of hate crimes. He also said, concerning the rise of white supremacists in the US, that “silence is complicity.” He said that the “only way you deal with is you attack it, you expose it […] You call them out.” Trump, on the other hand,  and his administration rescinded guidance that addressed disparities in how student are suspended according to race. It was not binding, but it notified schools if they were violating federal civil rights law if students of color recived higher rates of discipline than white students. The administration also is considered a rollback against discrimination in education and housing.

Healthcare

Regarding the area of healthcare, Biden´s plan would like to expand even more access to healthcare, This includes providing a public option, lowering the cost of prescription and also premium tac credits for working families. He thinks that “every American has a right” to have access to affordable quality health care. Trump had a plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs, but it has been stalled. The plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is a limbo even because of the fact that the Trump Administration wants to strike down the law in federal court.

School Safety and Gun Violence Prevention

Lastly, when it comes to school safety and gun violence prevention the former vice president thinks that the federal government should lode gun show loopholes and ban the sale of assault weapons. He believes this will reduce gun violence. He also want to “defeat the NRA,” and wants to do something with the entire gun violence situation. Trump on the other hand floated a proposal to pay teachers extra bonuses for carrying weapons, to reduce gun violence in schools. His administrations as also not taken any actions regarding background checks or assault weapons.

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/chart/21377/trump-versus-biden/

https://educationvotes.nea.org/presidential-2020/compare-candidates/

 

Suffragette

Amazon.com: Suffragette: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter ...

The 2015 movie “Suffragette” is about women´s suffrage during the early twentieth centrury and the movement the Suffragettes.  Based on true events, we follow a regular, working class woman, Maud, as she goes from just being a working mother struggling to make ends met with her husband, but living a normal happy life, to joining the controversial Suffragettes. It a movie that had provoking moments where we truly get a feeling of how hopeless the situation seemed to be for those women. We also see the women as individuals in this movement, going through their personal struggles, conflicts within the movement. We see that it truly was not easy for those women, and how many sacrifices they made, but how they kept up hope. I really liked the movie because it brought out so many emotions in me.

Emily Davison – Wikipedia

Emily Davison

Emily Davison was born in southeast London, in Blackheath on the 11 of October 1871, and was one of the promenant figures of the Suffragettes movement fighting for women´s right to vote in Britain in the early twentieth century. She spent her time working for social and political change. Davison studied at the Oxford University and the Royal Holloway College, although women at the time were not allowed to take degrees. She joined the WSPU, the Women´s Social and Political Union, in 1906. Three years after she quit her job as a teacher she went on to work an devote herself full time to the Suffragettes movement. In a period of four years she was arrested seven years. In 1909 she was put in jail twice, both times she went on hunger strike. She was known for being unafraid of the consequences.

Davison died of injuries caused by being hit by the horse of king George V when walking on to the racing track during a race at the Epsom Derby. Even though the purpose was unclear, it is suspected that she most likely did it to protest against women´s suffrage. She died four days after the injuries were caused, and became a martyr.

Similar movement in the USA

The Women Suffrage Movement began in 1848 after a women´s rights convention that was held in Seneca Falls in New York by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, who met in England in 1840 at a anti slavery convention. The next fifty years the supporters of the movement worked to educate the public about women´s suffrage. The movement was under leadership of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other suffragettes fighting for women´s right to vote and run for office.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony was one of the most visible of the leaders of the movement in the United States. She traveled around the US along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton , and delivered speeches spreading the word of equal rights. She was born in Massachusetts on the 15th of February in 1820. Her mother and sister, but not her herself, went to the Seneca Falls convention. In 1851 she met Stanton and the two became good friends and worked over fifty years together for women´s rights. Davison and Stanton co-founded the American Equal Rights Association. She spent her life fighting for women´s right.

Sources:

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/susan-b-anthony

https://www.womenshistory.org/resources/general/woman-suffrage-movement

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Davison

 

 

 

Of Mice and Men

By John Steinbeck

I have now read the first chapter of the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. In the first chapter we are introduced to the city of Soledad, and the two main characters George and Lennie.

The chapter starts out with a lot of detailed nature descriptions. Doing this Steinbeck gives us the readers a clear picture of the environment the story is set in. It is almost described as this idyllic place, and gives the story a calm start. I particularly likes the transition between the calm and idyllic beginning and when we are introduced to the characters. “[…] then two men emerged from the path […]” It feels like a natural way of starting the story, painting a picture of where it is set, giving us the readers a description of almost paradise. Maybe thinks will not be as great later on in the story?

My first impression of the main character is that they almost have a brotherly relationship, where George is the bigger brother taking care of Lennie. I really fell in love with their relationship, and how George shows he cares for Lennie even though at some points he points out that he is a burden. He says for instance “I want you to stay with me Lennie. Jesus Christ, somebody´d shoot you for a coyote if you was by yourself.” It shows that he cares about him. Despite that he stays with him and takes care of him, and promises him nice things. Lennie come of as a sweet man, who does not know his own strength, helpless and seems to need a lot of guidance from George who takes care of him. It seems like he also admires him a lot ,”Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly.” He kind of depends on him. I also liked how Lennie his described as this “huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes […]” but is such a sweet heart, only wanting to pet a mouse and not be a burden to George, who is described as the complete opposite. Lennie takes Georges lead.

Themes I pick up so far is friendship, and dreams. We see the bond of George and Lennie, and how George will not leave him despite him ruining both their chances of getting a job. We also see George dreaming about what he wants in life, for both him and Lennie. “We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.” I love that George includes Lennie in his dream, which says a lot about their relationship.

The mood of this chapter is calm and nice. A got a warm feeling “observing” the two friends communicating and just being themselves in the forest talking about their dreams, sitting around the fire. It almost makes me nervous to read further because I have a sense that that might change.

Of Mice and Men - Wikipedia

 

“Eveline” and “The Sea Change”

I have read the two novels Eveline by James Joyce, and The Sea Change by Earnest Hemingway, both modernist novels written in during the first half of the 1900s. I am now going to compare the two novels, their themes, writing style, modernist traits and which one I liked the best.

Content/theme

Both stories is about change and we are introduced to main characters who are leaving their current life situations, and changing their minds about something. In Eveline a woman who at the last minutes do not want to leave to go to Buenos Aires with her fiancee, and in The Sea Change a woman who wants to break up with her boyfriend. They both have different reasons why they want to leave their current life-situation behind.

Writing style

The two novels have two different writing styles. The Sea Change is written in mostly dialogue between two people, a couple. This gives the story speed, but not a lot of context. We do not know anything else then what we are told in the conversation between the two in the moment. In Eveline on the other hand we get retold about the main characters past, we are in her mind, she tells us information in a more telling way, using symbols and gives us a lot of information and tells us specific memories, not through conversations like in The Sea Change. This makes this story slower, but we get a lot more contexts and deeper information about the character and her situation.

Mood

The novel Eveline has a dark mood throughout, because of the revelation of abuse and the lead characters unhappy childhood and descriptions. Because of the structure in The Sea Change is filled with dialogue there is a lot more speed to this novel. It is not as dark of a mood as Eveline, more lighter, and it kept the suspense to the very end because I was following a conversation between the two people, and wondering why they wanted to break up.

What makes the stories modernist

Both stories focuses on the individuals, and individual problems and what the characters feels in deals with. They are about the main character and their decisions, and why they end up making those decisions.

The iceberg style

Favourite

This Is Just to Say

Bilderesultater for this is just to say

Our group, mainly, discussed the poem “This is Just to Say,” by William Carlos Williams. The poem is simple and quite straight forward. Its honest, and its also strangely relatable because of its everyday topic. There is also a sense of humour in the poem. Its almost like Williams is making fun of traditional and “proper” poems. This is him just taking something random and strange to make poem about. The entire poem could have been summed up in one sentence, but Williams breaks it up and make it look like a traditional poem, having three stanzas with four verces.

This is probably my favourite poem of the modernisitic poems we red, because of the content. It very strange, but because of the content, and how “serious” the author though it was to make its own poem about.

I think the entire point with this poem is that it is not about a traditional poetic topic. Its simple, straight forward, about something that happened in the author everyday life, that he made into a poem, made look like a poem. Even though it maybe is not a traditional topic for a poem. There is an Ironic element to it which I like.

 

«Flophouse America»

I think the biggest challenges of being homeless, is being able to get out of it. When you homeless, i imagine that its hard finding a way out of it, when you also have to get basic needs like food and nutrition. I also imagine, healthcare is another big challenge, especially in the US, because they do not have regular income. Also, on a deeper level i think they face a lot of judgement and discrimination, and they have to worry about where to sleep, if they are safe and if the little that they have will be stolen.

Bilderesultater for «Flophouse America»

(https://journalisten.no/dokumentarfoto-foto-henie-onstad/i-2005-sa-monica-stromdahl-etter-et-billig-sted-a-bo-det-startet-et-14-ar-langt-fotoprosjekt/374102)

Emily Dickinson

Poem: 288

«I´m Nobody! Who are you? »

Bilderesultater for emily dickinson 288

Nobody usually means an outcast or someone that no one pays attention to. When using “Nobody” in this setting I think Emily might be taking the «negativity» of the word and turning it to something positive or special. «Are you – nobody too? Then there´s a pair of us! » I think she is trying to express that you don´t need to be “Somebody” but be proud of who you are, and you are not alone.

I think “Somebody” in this poet might be everyone else, the the ones who are a part of the crowd. The ones who “fit in,” or have “succeeded” in some way. “Somebodies” in our society might be Influencers or celebrities. People of “importance.”

What is Dickinson is saying is that to be, quote on quote, a “nobody” is greater the being “somebody.” We should not thrive to be a part of the crowd just to fit in. We should be ourselves.

Bilderesultater for emily dickinson 288

I do agree with Dickinson´s descriptions, I am a “Nobody – Too!

The Hate U Give

We have just finished reading the book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, in class. The book have definitely made an impact. I liked the book because of its topic, and the way it was written. It was very realistic, and written in a way that makes everything more personal and it feel closer. The book gives a different perspective to the entire situation of police brutality in America. The book also made me more aware over the issue black americans face on an everyday basis, like social rasicm including police brutality.

I also like the way the book was written. Angie Thomas has found a way of keeping up the suspense, despite the big climax of the book happening already in the second chapter. Foreshadowing, like at the end of chapter 21, “Good days don’t last forever though,”

In the book, because we are in the mind of Starr, we feel her and everybody around hers frustration and anger around this situation, but we also get an insight into the world of an American teenager, her situation with her friend, her boyfriend and ext. She lives a normal life, like us, except in, what it seems like, a whole different world. We do not have to think about half the things she have to think about.

The book also had parts of the book that disturbed me. The parts that disturbed me the most were, naturally, the scene were Khalil was killed by One-fifteen. The entire build up were Starr reflected on the talk she had with her dad in the past, about things to do and not do when being pulled over by a police officer, left an impact on me. How she had all that integrated into her. Another part of the book that also left an imprint was the scene were Maverick, Starr´s father was assaulted by the police.

I do not think that the extent of the problem with racism in America is something we want to admit, that is why this book hits hard, and left an impact on me.

I can see how the book have been accused of representing black people as victims, but on the other hand they are. This book is inspired by real experiences among African Americans, even though it is Starr´s story. Starr exists. There are many Starrs out there.

9780062872340

13th

We have watched the documentary “13th,” directed by Ava DeVarney, in class that is about the unjust in the prison system in the US. The documentary talks about how the black community in America still sufferes great injustice, and are still being targeted and treated like criminals. It also talks about the problem of police brutality, and how the 13th admedment are being taken advatage of by the justice system towards African Americans and minorities.

What I learned from watching the documentary was the great extend of the problem of racial discrimination in America, and how severe the problem actually is. I did not realise that the system is almost designed to suppress minorities, and that we can link the US penal system to slavery. This was a big revelation for me.

The documentary impacted me in so many ways. It made me really thing about the problem of racial tension, and police brutality in a whole different way. We got to see interview of people who had experienced this first hand, some during the civil rights movement under Jim Crow, and some today.

The documentary gave us insights into the U.S prison industry, and how there are corporations that gain on the prison industry. We see also racial discrimination.

Questions that I still have is how can this continue? How can we change this system designed against minorities, when the prejudice and xenophobia seems to be so intergrated into the minds of Americans? Can it ever change?

Bilderesultater for 13th