English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2007-2008

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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  Often do words get forged and re-forged over the many years of English’s history, but “fire” has
been relatively spelt the same way. The word “fire” has been spelt many different ways throughout
the many years of its existence, but it has always retained its general meaning: flames, flares, and
warmth. Our common perceptions for “fire” are often to think of a hot flame, often burning down a
house. The first written, recorded use of the word “fire” was around 825 CE, in a book (with no
known author), where the definition never even implied that fire was hot. Fire has evolved over
hundreds of years, and its changes illustrate a long and definitive change in the English language.
In a recent survey conducted about associations made with a given word, the results were fairly
shocking. When five people were surveyed to say the first things that came to mind when the word
“fire” was said, eighty percent of them made some kind of connection to heat or warmth. Eighty
percent of the surveyed audience made some kind of connection between “fire” and a house on fire.
Yet, only twenty percent of the audience made a reference to the verb “fire”, and thought of it
aside from being a noun. In fact, when the audience was asked the word association question, only
twenty percent said a word in the original usage of the word.


Over time, the word “fire” has been spelt in many different ways, such as: fyr, fur, fuyr, fuir,
feure, fe, feer, fier, feir, fyyr, fyar, fires, fieare, fir, and now our modern version: “fire”.
This demonstrates how much a word and a language can change over time, and how much different the
word can be at the end. In the original form, “fyr”, the word is quite familiar to us. In fact,
most of us would recognize it as an improper spelling of “fire”. However, during the Middle Ages,
the spelling of “fire” has been altered. The original definition of “fire”, in c.825 CE, according
to the Oxford English Dictionary is “the natural agency or principle operative in combustion;
popularly conceived as a substance visible in the form of flame or of ruddy glow or incandescence.”
For a word so simple, its spellings have been changed countless times.


Foreign speakers spell the word “fire” differently, but the general spelling is the same. Spanish
speaking people sell it “fuego”. French speaking people spell it “feu”, and Italian it is “fuoco”.
The German people spell it “feuer”. The root doesn’t likely emerge from Latin, because it is
“incendium”, a spelling far from the others. Although their pronunciation may greatly differ, the
word is similarly spelt by most foreign language speakers.


The first known author who used the word “fire” was Ormin, in the 13th century. Ormin was a
Christian monk living in the 1200s, who spelt the word “fire” as “firess” in the following sentence:
“He swallt urrh fires wunde.” That sentence is from Genesis or possibly Exodus, which would be
common for a monk to be copying at the time. “Fire” has been applied to many religious events, such
as the Burning Bush, describing Hell, or in any place to represent God. What Ormin meant when he
wrote “firess”, could be those events mentioned above, or something else entirely in the Bible.
“Fire” has been used extensively throughout history in copious different manners.


The original people had many different things they could be describing when they said “fire”. Fire
was believed to be one of the four elements by some, and it could also mean Hell. Fire was common
to describe lava or magma (as seen in the OED definition of c.1582), or even a lighthouse. Now, we
have other words for that, but we have come up with some of our own uses for “fire” in recent years
such as the jocular phrase “Where’s the fire?” Another notable use of the word “fire” was by
Donald Trump, when he disposed of his workers by stating “You’re fired”. Daniel Dorfman, of the USA
Today, used fire in a context where it meant pressure. Drew Karpyshyw (author of the 2006 book
Darth Bane, path of Destruction) used the word fire in the following context: “It is a trial by fire
in which he must surrender fully to the dark side…” Shakespeare, the world renowned playwright,
used fire in his 1590 dramatization “Merry Wives of Windsor” in the following sentence: “And run
through fire I will for thy sweet sake.” These are diverse phrases of “fire”, in ways that might
not make sense to the people who lived in England centuries ago. However, twenty percent of the
people surveyed in the word association test elated “fire” to one of the modern phrases involving
“fire”. The associations people make with “fire” has changed over time as well as the spelling.


The English language’s changes over the centuries help illustrate the level of change, and the
journey of the English language. Based off the alterations in “fire”, we can conclude that many
other words have changed like this did, and have undergone changes, and more changes to their
spellings. The following of one word can help contribute to a deeper level of understanding. With
this, we can gauge how much, or little, the English language has developed throughout time. It also
shows how much the experimentations of a word’s meaning have stuck, and which ones stopped being
used. The progression of the English language helped forge “fire” into what it now is today.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear William Shakespeare,

We, the association of Prentice Hall Literature, Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The British
Tradition
, regretfully have chosen to decline accepting your dramatization: Macbeth. The
decision was not easy; there were many other great works submitted to Prentice Hall Literature.
However, due to recent, and unexpected, budget cuts, we had to omit one of our works. Your play was
creative and skillful, but it really is not necessary to the image that Prentice Hall wants to
project about the Middle Ages in Britain. Furthermore, the images you portray in Macbeth are false
and deceptive. Macbeth is a violent, savage, and bloody play, too violent for even 10th graders.
The students who are administered these textbooks have already read several of your works, and will
read more in the future. In fact, this story roughly copies Julius Caesar, which most 9th
grade students have read, and Oedipus Rex, another tragedy from ancient times. Please show
some originality in your work and not copy ideas from other authors. Our budget has limited us to
only use so much material in our textbooks, so Macbeth has not been selected for The British
Tradition. We apologize for this possible inconvenience.

We feel that the image you project of Middle Ages Scotland is both inaccurate and misleading. The
image you display of Scotland is one of conspiracy, deceit, and cover-ups. “If the assassination
could trammel up the consequence...” (Act I, Scene VII, 2-3.) This is totally erroneous for the
time period. There were no real witches at all in Middle Ages Britain, or at any other part in
history. Those scenes were unnecessary. Scotland was a powerful nation at the time, but here it is
made to seem like a weak country. Prentice Hall already has a clear picture of England and Scotland
from Geoffrey Chaucer’s work: The Canterbury Tales. There is not much of a purpose or need for
this, and it distorts the apparent vision of Britain that Chaucer provided. The image you provide
in Macbeth, is not the most precise picture of Britain at the time.

Macbeth is so violent, if a 10th grader or an adult thinks about the gore in this play, it will
make a chill go up his/her spine. The play begins after a violent battle had concluded with Macbeth
the hero. Later, after Duncan is brutally murdered in his sleep, Lady Macbeth takes the daggers to
smear the blood on the guards’ clothes. “Go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood.”
(Act II, Scene II, 64-65.) Lady Macbeth talks about smashing her own baby’s brains on a rock. “I
would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked the nipple from his boneless gums and dashed
the brains out, had I sworn as you have done this.” (Act I, Scene VII, 62-65.) One of the witches’
apparitions is a hovering, bloody baby, symbolizing Macduff being ripped form his mother’s womb.
“Thunder. Second apparition, a bloody child.” (Act IV, Scene I, 87.) “Be bloody, bold, and
resolute...” (Act IV, Scene I, 89.) That is far too bloody and gory to put in any work administered
to high-school students. There are numerous other murders throughout the play: Banquo is killed by
murderers, Macduff’s son and Lady Macduff are slain by a team of murderers, and Lady Macbeth commits
suicide, albeit offstage. At the climax of the play, we see Macduff enter with Macbeth’s severed
head, after Macduff beheaded Macbeth. Then, everybody cheers that Macbeth was beheaded savagely.
“Enter Macduff, with Macbeth’s slain head. Hail King! For so thou art. Behold where stands the
usurper’s cursed head. The time is free.” (Act V, Scene VII, 63-65.) You should not write about
people praising the murder of others, no matter who they are. According to Xuan Hang Trieu, “Blood
is everywhere in Macbeth.” Prentice Hall finds this play totally inappropriate for 10th graders.

Furthermore, the students who read this textbook have already read some of your works. They have
read and understood your writing style, and it would not benefit them to read the same author’s
works over and over again. Furthermore, you claim to follow iambic pentameter style writing, but
you do not actually follow it. For example, the following line does not follow your rule: “Upon the
heath. There to meet with Macbeth.” (Act I, Scene I, 6-7.) You say that the witches follow iambic
tetrameter, but there are ten syllables in that line Shakespeare. Check again. Another example of a
line that does not have eight syllables is this: “When shall we three meet again...” (Act I, Scene
I, 1.) That line has seven syllables. There are many other writers they could read, such as
Charles Dickens, or George Orwell. Most of the scholars have already read your other play: Julius
Caesar, last year. They will not even be hearing a new story; the story is almost the exact same.
There is a conspiracy to kill the ruler, and it is carried out. Then, as planned, the new
person/people begin ruling, but get found out and attacked. They die, and peace resumes in the
land. You copy another Greek tragedy’s story, Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles. Herbert R Cousen states:
“...the myth vibrating from Macbeth is one of the original myths...” . Shakespeare, people have
heard these stories before, and they are tired of them. Although these works are used for learning,
there needs to be some variation.

You do not follow the very rules you claim to set forth and follow. “So foul and fair a day I have
not seen,” is eleven syllables, not ten. It would not be difficult to change “I have”, to “I’ve”,
which would actually make you follow your own rules. I realize you never performed any edits on
this piece, which is also a problem. We at Prentice Hall want edited and revised works of quality,
not a collection of thrown works thrown together half-heartedly. Also, Macbeth is a very lengthy
play. Macbeth is a very long performance, and deleting it would save us the trouble of searching
for other selections to omit. If we omitted Macbeth, it would save us from omitting many other,
shorter works. We have chosen to include some of your sonnets though, because the students need
some poetry in their textbooks. We hope you understand our position and our reasoning for deleting
your piece.

Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience and disappointment we may have caused. We are
including your sonnets, and many other of your works are of good quality. A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, King Lear, Othello
, and Twelfth Night are all exceptionable works. Leonard F Dean
says: “Why not Henry IV one year instead of Macbeth?” However, we, the association of
Prentice Hall, do not find Macbeth suitable or acceptable for The British Tradition. So, we
apologize for any dissatisfaction you may have had with Prentice Hall. We hope that this does not
discourage you from submitting other of your works.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Lott, editor of Prentice Hall

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sport of cricket is, arguably, one of the most popular sports in the world. According to the
Oxford English Dictionary, the first records of the game date back to the 14th century, when King
Edward I was mentioned to play a game very similar to cricket. According to the World Book
Encyclopedia, however, it was in 1744 when the concrete rules of cricket were established. The OED
reports that the word “cricket” comes from the Saxon word “cryce”, meaning “crooked stick”. In the
17th and 18th centuries, people bet heavily on cricket games, which helped cricket maintain its
popularity to this day. According to the World Book, it was at 1963 that there was a
differentiation between professional and amateur leagues. Furthermore, the World Book states that
the sport of cricket is played throughout all Britain, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India,
Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, and more. The development of cricket in the past seven hundred years reflects
a lot about the literature of England, and more about Britain and its old empire.

The origins of cricket are unclear. While the main reference to cricket’s origin, according to
the Oxford English Dictionary, is in the court of King Edward I, there are disputes to its
derivation, as many people claim that it was first played in 1550, or even 1611. From the beginning
of civilization, games of ball-and-stick have been played, both amateur and professional. This
ancient pastime has been altered into many cultures, such as baseball, field hockey, or lacrosse.
The game’s rules developed throughout time, and its, modern, finalized laws were instituted in 1744,
according to the World Book Encyclopedia. In most all professional leagues, the rules do not change
for the country cricket is played in. Still, according to the World Book, a few decades later, in
1787, the Marylebone Cricked Club (MCC) was created. Currently the International Cricket Club (ICC)
is the main organization for cricket, founded less than a century ago, in 1909. Over one hundred
countries are a part of the ICC, making it one of the most popular sports in the world.

Cricket has been used very greatly in the news. In the London Times, tens of articles involving
cricket are published each day. The London Mirror’s website features an entire section in the sport
section on cricket. The London Telegraph has over twenty articles about cricket each day. On the
BBC (British Broadcasting Company), cricket is mentioned every day, similar to how baseball and
football are treated in America. Professional cricket players earn much less than US baseball
players. According to the British Broadcasting Company, Lalit Modi, chairman of the Indian Premiere
League states, “I don't think we can compete, certainly not financially. A county player might
be offered £60,000 to £70,000 a year to play for his county.” Cricket is more popular and
widespread than baseball, though the players earn much less than American baseball players. All
these references to cricket in the news and media illustrate that sport, particularly cricket, has a
great impact on daily life in the British Isles, as well as its territories.

There are many professional cricket leagues, especially in the UK, India, and Australia. Andrew
Flintoff, England’s arguably most renowned cricket player, stated in a recent interview: “I'd
like to say I'm the best, but as you'd expect with sportsmen we're all really
competitive...” This shows that England is a very competitive nation, and that cricket is a very
serious---and popular---sport to them. He followed, saying, “I concentrated on my own performance.
The Aussies were very strong mentally, so I didn't want to spend too much energy trying to
ruffle them.” Every year, England faces Australia in what is known as Test Cricket. Test Cricket
is England’s tour of Australia every year, also known as the Ashes. Flintoff’s previous quote
reinforces that England is a very competitive nation, and cares more about their own performance
than that of others.

Chris Whelan, the bowler (the American equivalent to a pitcher in baseball), plays in the Sefton
Park Cricket Club. According to Cricket World, a British news website for cricket, Whelan says, in
an interview on October 16th, 2007, “I see this move as a great opportunity to establish my career
in first class cricket with a team that is clearly ambitious.” This quote shows that English people
are motivated, and that the amateur league for cricket is fairly intense. He continued, commenting,
“I will be spending much of the winter in Sydney and cannot wait until March when I should be fit
and raring to go.” This shows that English people are prepared and, arguably, arrogant. This
reflects that British literature is competitive and serious. Proof of this is the unsaid, implied
competition of Romantic British poets, competing to write the most lines of working iambic
pentameter before they die. British people, and the language, is spirited.

The sport of cricket has a weak place in literature. According to the Oxford English Dictionary,
the first written appearance of the word cricket was around 1809, from Lord Byron: “I was always
cricketing-rebelling-fighting-rowing...” Cricket has scarcely been used in ancient Romantic poetry.
However, cricket is involved in many novels, such as The Green and Golden Age, and Wisden
Australia, similar to the way baseball, football and basketball are used in American novels. There
is a fair amount of poetry about cricket, such as the poetry book A Song for Cricket, and Little
Cricket. There have been a fair number of cricket movies, like Wondrous Oblivion, A Good Year,
Stumped, and Lagaan. Cricket is widespread on England and its territories (both current and
previous), showing that cricket is conveyed in a variety of methods.

Cricket has a very bright future. The tradition and favoritism of ball-and-stick games has only
grown, and will only continue to do so in the near future. England’s Empire has deteriorated over
the past few centuries, but the popularity of Cricket has not. The popularity has only grown since
its construction, and its being recognized more and more as an admired sport. Due to the media,
cricket has been spread more and more around the globe, and might soon meet the US. However, the US
only has roughly 3,500 cricket players and fans. Cricket epitomizes the history of Britain and is
literature, showing that English people like gambling, sports and excitement.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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All British literature, as well as all stories, revolve and is reliant upon five principle literary
devices which contribute fully to the development of it. Some authors use different settings, types
of characters, or themes. Thirteen authors (Jane Austen 1775-1817, George Orwell 1903-1950,
Virginia Woolf 1882-1941, A.E. Housman 1859-1936, Doris Lessing 1919-, William Shakespeare
1564-1616, Geoffrey Chaucer 1343-1400, the Scribe---author of Beowulf--- ?-?, William
Wordsworth 1770-1850, J.K. Rowling 1965-, Mary Shelley 1797-1851, Andrew Marvell 1621-1678, and
Master Anonymous ?-?) utilize different tools to express different stories or feelings. The authors
and authoresses range from the beginning of British Literature up to contemporary writers. The
authors’ views differ over prose, poetry and drama. All five literary devices (setting, theme,
resolution, gender and form) are vital to any literary work (British or otherwise), but each author
manifests the tools in a variety of manners.

Why do British writers commonly place stories in a historically turbulent time period? Setting a
tale or poem in a past chaotic time allows the author to explore a different world or society,
creating variation in their works. However, writers commonly use the modern time period for
themselves to make writing the story much easier, such as J.K. Rowling, or the poet A.E. Housman.
George Orwell, however, writes about a hectic, warring time period over thirty years in the future
in his novel 1984. Erich Fromm, in the afterword of 1984, states “...it is not only a
picture of an enemy but of the whole human race at the end of the twentieth century.” Doris
Lessing, in her 1985 novel The Good Terrorist, writes about communist times. Shakespeare
writes in 44 BCE in his dramatization Julius Caesar. Shakespeare writes, “Beware the ides of
March,” which help establish the time period: during the late life of Julius Caesar, and the
beginning of the civil war. (1.2.21) Doris Lessing’s novel The Grass is Singing, takes
place in the mid 1900s, a time period where Lessing herself was living. Mary Shelley wrote her
entire story as taking place in the past, but narrated by one of the main characters. Andrew
Marvell often wrote satire about the everyday politics and common problems. William Wordsworth’s
Lyrical Ballads is a collection of poems modern for the time. Wordsworth’s The Prelude
is also a modern poem, though The Prelude is an autobiographical poem. According to
Kinsella et al.: “...he [Wordsworth] embraced the ideals of the newly born French Revolution...”
(662) This is a strong indicator that Wordsworth wrote during and about turbulent time periods, as
the French Revolution is known to be one of the most chaotic and bloody times in history. Copious
British authors set their novels or poems in their contemporary time periods, and few stray from
their comfortable time periods.

Epic poems are common in British literature. William Wordsworth in his acclaimed Lyrical
Ballads
, tried to write a poem, though it would read as easily as prose, stating in his preface,
“I have taken as much pains to avoid it [poetic diction] as others ordinarily take to produce it.”
His attempt was an utter failure. The epic poem, or ballad, has been used to tell stories
throughout time. Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in poetic format, though not always
describing a legendary tale or story. Scribe and Master Anonymous used epic poems to tell stories.
According to Kate Kinsella et al.: “Beowulf is the self-portrait of a culture. In this
adventure-packed poem-” ---in other words, an epic poem--- “the Anglo-Saxons of eighth-century
Britain embodied the traditions that shaped their world into one towering figure.” (36) A.E.
Housman and Wordsworth also wrote, in poetic format, about everyday events, like the rising of a
sun, or returning to a beautiful abbey. Wordsworth writes, “Do I behold these steep and lofty
cliffs.” (5) Housman writes, in his poem The Immortal Part, “When I meet the morning
beam...” (1) Andrew Marvell adhered strictly to poetic format in his renowned poems, such as To
His Coy Mistress
and To My Lord Fairfax. In To His Coy Mistress, Marvell writes,

“But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.” (21-24)

The number of poets since the Renaissance was been dwindling, and the quantity of prose authors have
been increasing. Epic poems have scarcely grown or improved in the later years partly due to the
fact that there are more and more novelists and less and less poets.

A death rightly caused by justice is a common theme in many British authors’ works. A.E.
Housman, exposed to a world of death in his youth, writes pessimistically about death in many of his
works. Housman’s poems are often narrated by dead people, and many of his poems are partially
suicidal. Housman writes, in his poem The Lads in their Hundreds, “The lads that will die in
their glory and never be old.” (16) The boys’ deaths, though in glory, are unjustified. According
to George W. Meyer, “Wordsworth suggests why mortal life, which leads but to the ‘darkness of the
grave’ is good, and why the philosophy of nature is not rendered joyless by the fact of universal
death.” Meyer argues that Wordsworth sees no justice, only inevitability, in the death of others,
and that it is a natural course for all human events. Virginia Woolf, in her story, The Lady in
the Looking Glass
, writes, “Isabella was perfectly empty. She had no thoughts. She had no
friends. She cared for nobody.” (11) Isabella will die friendless, empty and sad. However, her
death is not really caused by justice either; she’s never told to be a nasty person or a criminal.
The scribe writes about Beowulf’s death, where he chooses money and glory over his life, saying it
was a fair trade. “The old man’s mouth was silent, spoke no more.” (839-840). Beowulf, a hero of
the land, did not deserve to be killed by a dragon. Justice was not exhibited in his death. Mary
Shelley often wrote about the many people the creation murders, and how the monster tries to justify
its killings. There is no justice in the monster’s murders whatsoever. Geoffrey Chaucer, in the
Pardoner’s Tale, kills the three main characters, justifying their deaths because they were
greedy people. Chaucer writes, “These two murderers received their due. So did the treacherous
poisoner too” (256). Here the three backstabbers are punished with death for trying to cheat one
another. In the Wife of Bath ’s Tale, the king gives power over the accused man to his wife.
She does not choose to kill him, instead helping to teach him what women want to earn his life
back. “So they lived on ever after to the end” (292). Here, there was no justice exhibited in the
man’s death because he did not die when he deserved to. William Shakespeare often kills the main
character in his plays, like Cassius, Macbeth, Brutus, and Lady Macbeth. In Julius Caesar,
he writes, “Caesar now be still; I killed not thee with half so good a will” (5.5.56-57). In
Macbeth, “Of this dead butcher and his fiendlike queen” (5.7.80). Because Shakespeare writes
about anti-heroes often, he tries to justify their deaths in this. Many British authors deal with
the recurring theme of justice and justified deaths in their works.

Why do women in British literature gain rights higher than those of men? Female authors, like
Jane Austen, or Virginia Woolf write about female people, giving them a central position in their
works. Austen’s novel, Elinor and Marianne has two women as main characters. Woolf writes,
in The Lady in the Looking Glass, “the mistress of the house, Isabella Tyson...” (3).
Isabella is the main character in the short story and is richer than most men in the area. Other
authors, like William Shakespeare, neglect women, sometimes lacking to even name them. In
Shakespeare’s famous dramatization, Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife is named “Lady Macbeth”.
Macduff’s wife is named “Lady Macduff”, and none of the women in the play are given real names. As
Lady Macbeth seizes charge with the lines, “Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers!”, we are shown
that Lady Macbeth is more of a man than her husband, Macbeth (2.2.69-70). In one of Shakespeare’s
other works, Julius Caesar, the woman characters are named, but, like Calpurnia and Portia,
they do not really serve as central roles. This neglected view of women reflects the social
construct of Middle-Age England, where all women were allowed few rights. Geoffrey Chaucer’s
unfinished work, The Canterbury Tales, in the Wife of Bath’s Tale, he writes, “...he
gave the queen the case, and granted her his life, and she could choose...” (282) Andrew Marvell’s
poem Clorinda and Damon, illustrates equality between the rights of man and woman. Lines
such as: “Damon, come drive thy flocks this way” (1). This line even shows that Clorinda has some
power over the man, Damon. Mary Shelley, as some critics would argue, chose to portray herself in
the character Safie. According to critic Sumeeta Patnaik, “Frankenstein is an important feminist
novel because it explores of female consciousness in a male dominated society”. The topic of
woman’s rights, and its role in British Literature is a prominent topic in any piece of literature.

Surprise endings, where the protagonist escapes with his/her life flood British literature. J.K.
Rowling often sticks to the classic, happy-ending story that Shakespeare and Master Anonymous
follow, like in the Harry Potter series, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Shakespeare writes, “Hail, king of Scotland !” (5.7.69). Master Anonymous, at the conclusion of
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, writes, “Bring us his bliss evermore! Amen!” (p.115, line
2529). J.K. Rowling, at the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, writes, “I’m going to
have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer...” (223). The majority of their stories end with the good
guys winning, and the antagonists losing, though this classic ending is not surprising. Critic and
poet Lord Byron says, regarding Shakespeare’s style and plot of writing, “He took all his plots from
old novels, and threw their stories into dramatic shape...” (74) Byron argues that Shakespeare’s
ideas were not new or original to the time period, merely cheap knock-offs of existing tales. This
classic plot outline spread to all other types of literature, becoming the basis for good Vs. evil
tales. Mary Shelley, in her famous novel Frankenstein, surprises the reader with a
repetitive series of deaths. By the end of the novel though, you are not that surprised to see
that, too, Victor Frankenstein has died. Jane Austen’s renowned novel, Sense and
Sensibility
, ends without any surprise whatsoever. Marianne weds the Colonel and all is well.
Austen writes, “Between Barton and Delaford, there was that constant communication which strong
family affection would naturally dictate.” (588) Virginia Woolf’s work, To the Lighthouse,
ends shocking the reader: Lily learns her lesson: finishing her painting is what really matters, not
how famous she becomes. Woolf writes, “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue,
I have had my vision” (204). George Orwell’s novel 1984, has a surprise to some, ending when
Winston accepts Big Brother as a great ruler. It is as if the book ended the same way it began,
with Winston loving Big Brother. Orwell writes, “He loved Big Brother” (297). The conclusions of
books in both ancient and contemporary literature vary and exhibit the variety in all literature.

Through the entire analysis of the five principle literary devices, three questions are raised:
so what, who cares, and what influence has this had on the world? British literature has been
commonly used as the fundamental example for all other literature. American literature was based
off it, and all literature in any given former British imperial colony---such as India , Sri Lanka ,
Pakistan , and so on---was based off this example. Furthermore, British literature set the stage
for a number of new writing styles (Shakespearean sonnet, Petrarchan sonnet, epigram, etc.), and was
held as a central basis for cinema. Movies, plays and musicals which were not British were based
off British themes, settings, or forms. Everyone everyday everywhere has had their life influenced
in some way by British literature and the profound effects it has had on society.


Works Cited

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. New York Penguin Books. 1977: 256-292.

Henderson, Bill & Bernard, Andre. Rotten Reviews and Rejections. New York: Pushcart
Press, 1998.

Housman, A.E. The Immortal Part. 5/13/08

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