English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Dear Nicholas Abercrombie

Hello! I am the 10th grade student doing research on a living British author. I found out
about you by chance. I got to know you more, because you are the second in alphabetic order on the
Penguin Publishing site.

I respect you for several reasons. You worked at the university of Lancaster, where I would
like to go there, for many years and are currently professor of Sociology. Your academic interests
are similar as me, including the mass media, and the sociology of money. You have also published
extensively in introductory sociology, most recently in Contemporary British Society(2000), which I
read interestingly, and Reading in contemporary British Society(2000).

One of the major books published by you and other eminent professors is "The Penguin
Dictionary of Sociology fifth Edition" which has been updated to reflect the shifts of
sociological thought in the last five years, making it the most comprehensive, authoritative and up
to date dictionary available. I read this book for variey of uses, and it helped a lot. It is
essential reading for the students including me and also the general readers.

The third edition of the highly-acclaimed "Contemporary British Society" is the
only text book to provide comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the social structure of modern
Britain. As it said, there are plenty of information to research. This book gave me general idea of
the social structure of modern Britain, which helped me to learn more easily in the British
Literature. This new edition employs the very latest statistical information and empirical studies.
I read the phrase "..Globalization It is often claimed that contemporary British society is
being profoundly influenced by the forces of globalization..." which impressed me a lot. This
book has separate chapters exploring the major areas of modern life in Britain-economic
organization, employment, patterns of inequality.

I am not good at sociology, but I have interests. Therefore, I need your books and your help.
Could you come to my school and have a discussion about your book and your thought? I would
appreciate if you accept it. Take care! Bye!

Sincerely Jong Yoon Han

  William Blake was a famous author who wrote poems such as “The Lamb” and “The Tyger.” He lived in
England in the 1790s, the time when Act of Union created United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland. He also wrote letters. One letter, written in 1799, teaches us that William Blake had low
self-confidence, and many worries, not just in writing.

William Blake was a painter and poet. Blake’s father, a prosperous hosier, encouraged young Blake’s
artistic taste and sent him to drawing school. In 1782 he married Catherine Boucher, whom he taught
to read, write, and draw. William Blake was a close friend of George Cumberland, who also was a
writer, art commentator, and painter. It appears from this letter that Cumberland had introduced
Blake to Dr. Trusley, who then commissioned Blake a drawing. However, Dr. Trusley did not like
Blake’s work, and rather preferred Rowlandson’s satirical style.

This letter is a correspondence between two intimate friends. Its main purpose is to express his
thoughts to a close friend. Dr. Trusler reactions to Blake’s work must have distressed Blake
significantly; in this letter Blake shares his anguish with his trusted friend. Blake achieves this
purpose by revealing a lot of his emotions and thoughts. “But however for his own sake I am sorry
that a Man should be so enamourd of Rowlandsons caricatures as to call them copies from life &
manners or fit Things for a Clergyman to write upon.” Here, Blake expresses his sorrow that a person
would be so enamored of almost vulgar forms of art, while not being able to appreciate “higher”
beauty related to God. We can also see a glimpse of tender feelings Blake has toward his friend:
“Pray let me entreat you to persevere in your Designing…It is the Tree Your Pleasures are the
Fruit…Go on if not for your own sake yet for ours who love & admire your works.” Even in the
face of opposition from other men who do not appreciate their work, Blake encourages his friend
Cumberland to “persevere” in his pursuits.

A surprising insight is given in this letter about William Blake. Although William Blake is now
known as a great author and artist, he appears to have had low self-confidence in his own work. At
Dr. Trusler’s criticisms of his work, Blake says “I despair of Ever pleasing one Class of
Men--Unfortunately our authors of books are among this Class how soon we Shall have a change for the
better I cannot Prophecy.” He implies that he is not satisfied with his work. He thinks that people
do not want his work, and he feels that his clients like another artist more than him. It is also
startling to see what a hard life Blake had to lead at the time, even to the point of comforting
himself that “I know that He who Works & has his health cannot starve.”

William Blake’s writing has distinct characteristics, and it is evident both in his works and the
letter. Like a true poet, William Blake uses poetic language even in his private letters. For
example, in mentioning his poor financial situation, Blake calls “Fortune” a “Governor of Worldly
Riches”: “Tho I laugh at Fortune I am perswaded that She Alone is the Governor of Worldly Riches.
& when it is Fit She will call on me till then I wait with Patience in hopes that She is busied
among my Friends.” Also, in both his works and this letter William Blake often dealt with themes of
humble wonder and gratitude. In “The Lamb,” Blake invites the lamb to think about the source of all
his blessings, that is Jesus Christ, often called the Lamb of God. This grateful attitude of Blake
also seen as he tells Cumberland, “I ought long ago to have written to you to thank you for your
kind recommendation to Dr Trusler which tho it has faild of success is not the less to be rememberd
by me with Gratitude.” Although the matters did not work out favorably, Blake does not forget to
remember his friend Cumberland in gratitude.








Gang Violence is one of the major crimes in nowadays. In 2007, 4 members of the Aryan Brotherhood
are convicted on charges of murder in California. It is a good example of a crime that is motivated
by the lust for power, because these gang members committed a crime for extension of power in the

The four members of Aryan Brotherhood murdered the two African-Americans to extend their control
over drug trafficking, gambling and other prisoners. The gang's leader "Barry Mills"
and Tyler Bingham got death penalty, and the other two received life sentences.

The Aryan Brotherhood is a gang whose members are white supremacists. Therefore, this crime is also
related to racism. The
defense argued "Our clients had only banded together to protect themselves in the racially
divided prison system." The verdict that was reached was the death penalty, but according to
the defense, it is too heavy for them. It is hard to believe that the lust for power led to the
deaths of two African-Americans.

The poem "Wake up" by Mellina Stoney is the story about herself not wanting to become one
of the gang members. It is said "The things I see in this scene of poverty are money and greed
affecting today's teens" which means the lust for power. She does not want to sell harmful
drugs to her friends, and she speaks against the gang that people will follow her as an example.

This tragedy was motivated by a lust for power. It takes major portion of crimes in these days. It
can be stopped by every individual recognizing the gang's fatal impact on society.