English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2007-2008

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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  Most people don’t know the history behind what they’re really saying when they talk about
“Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” or “American Idol” at the water bubbler each morning. They talk of
“reality television” without actually knowing the origin of the term. While they know at least a
rough history of the television, most people don’t know the origin of the word “reality.” Many
people use the word frequently to discuss reality TV or say that someone got a “reality check,” even
though these things didn’t come into our language until 1962 and 1956, respectively. As the word
“reality” has gained so many new definitions and associations, it has also kept its most ancient
definitions, and therefore is a primary example of English, and the way it evolves.

Different people all think of different things when they hear a certain word, and that is
certainly the case with “reality.” While some think of pop-culture references to the word, others
think very literally of the definition, and some interpret the world in less direct terms. Some
people do, however, take the word in one of its oldest and most literal meanings. 40% of those
interviewed thought of the popular science-fiction film, “The Matrix.” This is due to the basis of
the film, and how it is all about the world we think we know not actually existing. The people who
think of this blockbuster when they think of reality do so because of the ties of the word to
philosophy and psychology, as its first ever definition was, “The quality of being real or having
actual existence.” Still another mentioned Carlos Castaneda, an author who wrote of experiences in
other religions, and of their philosophical beliefs. The same person, though, thought outside the
box, saying, “The Apollo moon landing,” immediately thinking of how the event of was debated over,
skeptics claiming it to be Hollywood-produced. Others were exactly in the middle, having thought of
the exact definition of the word. Chris Bastarache, for example, instantly said, “Something true.”
Junior Ryan Miele was a bit less literal, but still fairly direct with his answer of, “the world.”
The way that people actually use the word, though, seems to be fairly unanimous. 40% began a
sentence with the phrase, “The reality is…,” and the rest used the word to describe their view of
the world, using “alternate reality,” “virtual reality,” and “sense of reality.”

Most of the definitions of “reality” found in the Oxford English Dictionary are those that
we normally think of. They primarily describe, “being real,” or, “what is real.” However, some
definitions have lost a bit of popularity and are often ignored or forgotten. One such definition
is that which came about in 1652, that says, “Sincere devotion or loyalty to a person.” One would
use it saying that you express your reality to someone. Another similar example is, “a sincere
expression of devotion or feeling,” which originated in 1679. One would give their realities, or
accept realities from another. Few people also know that reality was used to mean “law,” in 1628,
and is occasionally still used that way today. Now, though, it is most frequently used to discuss
reality-based books or movies, a reality check, or reminder of what is going on in the world, or a
reality show. It was not always this way, though, and a great example is the Oxford English
Dictionary’s
entry that defines “reality” as “of feelings, etc.” from Oliver Cromwell, in his
1649 letter to Thomas Carlyle.

Oliver Cromwell is one author who used the word in a unique way. He used it to defend his push to
kill Irish Catholics, claiming that it was “the reality of [his] intentions to save blood.” While
this is a very negative use of the word, it has been used in positive connotations by some literary
authors, and used only to entertain readers. Renowned author Mary Shelley, famous for her penning
of Frankenstein, used the word in 1813 to say how an object was created into reality. Not
too surprisingly, George Orwell also used the word in his dystopia novel, Nineteen-Eighty
Four
. He discusses “reality control,” and discusses the future of reality. This, however, was
written comparatively recently, in just 1949. While the word has been used for 457 years now, it is
still extremely popular among modern authors.

Very few recent writers have revolutionized the word’s use, though. There have not been any new
uses of “reality” since reality TV came about in 1980. The most common use currently is “reality
TV,” which also happens to be the newest form. This is often used in newspapers and magazines when
writers publish television reviews. For example, in a DVD review of Animal Planet’s “Meerkat
Manor,” Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe writes that it does not have the “reality-TV tribalism
of Survivor.” Also frequently used by contemporary writers in the phrase, reality check. Earlier
this year, WBUR published an internet news story about how Boston was getting a “reality check” from
Daisuke Matsuzaka. While few writers today seem to be using the word in innovative ways, they are
most certainly using it.

It is not an exclusively English word, either. Taken from the Latin “realitas,” it remains a
cognate in the major Romance languages. When I asked French-born citizen Sophie Gras to use the
word in a sentence, she had absolutely no trouble. After saying, “Our world is our reality,” she
admitted that the word was n easy give-away, as it was so close to the French, “réalité.” The same
was true with her husband, Philippe, who speaks German, as well. The word is, however, completely
different in German, as it isn’t of Germanic origin. In Spanish, though, it is again similar, with
only a different ending. “Realidad” is an extremely close cognate, and it would not be difficult
for a Spanish speaker to figure the meaning of the English word if asked. I also asked Charlotte
Harrison, a friend, to give me some definitions of the word, as she was born in England and brought
up in a British home, with a family who speaks British English. My aim was to find out just how
Americanized the word has become, but Charlotte actually gave me many of the same definitions that
we use in America, including “reality TV,” and “reality check.” She also did not give any uses that
are not common in the United States, proving that there are none that we have dropped or that have
been created in England since the American Revolution in the late 1700’s.

While the word “reality” does seem to be in a low point of change, it is clearly evident that, as
new inventions come along, there are new expressions for them, such as “reality TV.” As all
inventions are in fact, reality, there will always be the word “reality,” as long as there are real
things. As these things change, so will the meanings and interpretations of the word.
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Shakespeare,


We here at Prentice Hall Literature have been working extremely hard on the next edition of our
text book, “Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes; The British Tradition.” Unfortunately, due to budget
cuts this year, we are forced to remove one section of the book and we are very sorry to inform you
that your collection of sonnets has been selected for the cut. While the poems are very creative
and stylistic in their writing, we have found that your sonnets are not the most valuable thing for
our students to be learning. The unclear definition of love in Sonnet 106 leads us to doubt the
meaning of the entire poem. Often times, your sonnets seem to grow very repetitive in their
imagery, wording, and styles. Also, the very format that you created for sonnets, using fourteen
lines of iambic pentameter, is often not followed in your writings.


The theme of love in your sonnets is present in just about every poem. Sonnet 116, in particular,
focuses on the idea of love, and how “Love is not love,” (2) and personifies it, saying, “Love is
not Time’s fool,” (9) and, “Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks.” (11) This theme of
defining love and the changes it undergoes seems a bit too confusing and over-reaching. It is said
that “love alters not” twice, and the idea is reinforced again and again in sonnet 116. However, it
is never made too clear what love does do. As you define love by what it is not, such as in line
nine of Sonnet 116 which says, “Love is not time’s fool,” (9) the poem really loses its purpose. It
seems that it was written with the intent to define what love is, but failed to accomplish this
goal. You write in many of your sonnets about love and how it affects you, but you never really
convey the true feeling of love to the reader. The lack of true feeling leaves the poems feeling
rather empty.


Your sonnets all relate to the theme of love, but they often tend to fall into patterns of
unnecessary repetition, which can be very distracting. For example, line six of Sonnet 29 says,
“Featured like him, like him with friends possessed.” (6) The repetition here is completely
unnecessary, and obviously only put in for rhythmic purposes. Line six of sonnet 106 is also very
repetitive, saying, “Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow.” (6) While the repetition is
clearly for emphasis, it seems very unnecessary. “The Paradox of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 66” says
about much of Shakespeare’s repetition, “repetition rushes the reader through the poem.” (1) There
are innumerable examples of repetition through the 154 sonnets you have written, including lines
three and five in Sonnet 106, in which the word “beauty” is used three times, line two of Sonnet
130, and “red” is used to describe two objects in a row. The repetition is just one of the literary
errors in your Sonnets.


Also, the form that you set up for sonnets has not been followed strictly in your own writings. It
does not take long to find lines that you have written that do not contain 10 syllables, but 11.
For example, Sonnet 106, a sonnet of yours that we have published for years, has eleven syllables in
line 8. Sonnet 116 has eleven syllables in line 6, but only nine syllables in line 5. It reads:
“O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken;” (5-6) Sonnet 29 has
eleven syllables in line 3, as well. Many of these sonnets are messy, even to the point of not
being considered real sonnets by some. Prosser Hall Frye, in his work, “Literary Reviews and
Criticisms,” wrote that “… in the case of these sonnets it is evident on the face of it that
[Shakespeare is] dealing with a form and a versification which, for some reason or other, [he has]
acquired only very imperfectly and which in spite of [his] efforts still remains strange and
foreign-seeming.” (1) He continues to call the sonnets, “exceedingly crude and ungainly.” (1)
Amanda Mabillard wrote in “Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 145,” “Sonnet 145 is unusual in that it
is written in tetrameters.” (1) It is not even written in the form of iambic pentameter. With the
words being pronounced differently and lines not following the rules of sonnets, students do not
learn the proper forms of sonnets from your writings, and we are forced to eliminate them from our
text book.


We would like to strongly reinforce our respect and appreciation for your writings, and that we do
not hold anything personal against you, and would like to thank you graciously for allowing us to
distribute your work to thousands of students for so many years. We also would like to remind you
that we will continue to publish your tragedy, “Macbeth,” as it is still a beautiful piece of
writing that students can fully appreciate both for its action, tragedy, and comedy, and its
impressive writing style. It is a very fitting piece of literature, and we are grateful to be able
to include it in our text book, “Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes; The British Tradition.”

Sincerely,
Chris Masterson
And Prentice
Hall Publishing

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The word “croquet” is believed to have come from the French verb “croquer,” which means, “to
strike,” or the French noun, “crocket,” meaning, “shepherd’s crook,” according to the Oxford English
Dictionary. The O.E.D. continues to say that it was first used in English in “Notes on Croquet” by
Dr. Prior in 1872. Originating in the early 1400’s in France, the sport migrated to England shortly
there after, and quickly gained popularity, says the World Book Encyclopedia. The development of
the game on the British Isles can tell us much about the British people’s sense of elegance, and
their love for relaxing recreational games.

England’s first experience with the game of croquet was in 1851, when the sport made the short trip
over from Ireland, says the World Book. Two men claimed to have brought the idea across; a Mr.
Spratt, and a John Jacques. Each had written sets of rules that were very similar, and it is still
unclear which was truly responsible for bringing the game to England. However, what is known is
that the game surged in popularity. According to the Houston Croquet Association, it became
especially loved by women, and was played at 1800’s garden parties, which were eventually renamed
“croquet parties.” In 1866 a man named Walter Jones Whitmore, now considered to be the father of
modern croquet, wrote three articles about the sport that included diagrams, official rules, and
different strategies and types of swings. This allowed for official play in England, and set the
groundwork for what is croquet today. What started out as a longer game with nine wickets, or
hoops, became a shorter game in England, with the number of wickets being reduced to six. Britain
also went ahead to become the only country that does not regularly play with short-handled,
rubber-headed mallets. These types of mallets were outlawed in English leagues, despite their
popularity in America and other countries.

Since the beginnings of croquet’s history in Britain, there have been several different
professional and semi-professional leagues. England itself has one of the most popular leagues in
the world, The Croquet Association. Says the league's website, it was founded in 1897 and
hosts dozens of tournaments each year, including the British Open Croquet Championships. England
and Wales are divided into ten clubs and nine federations based on geographical boundaries. One
major player from England is Reg Bamford, a world champion of South African descent according to the
Croquet World Online Magazine. “I’ve been living in London for ten years,” he told Bob Alman of
“Croquet World” in 2002. “Well, the rules of the game changed several years ago. The golf croquet
that I knew is gone, and they introduced all these technical changes.” He discussed the evolution
of the game briefly before moving on to a talk about an upcoming match. Also very popular is the
Scottish Croquet Association. This club hosts roughly forty events per year, spanning the months
between February and November. While the Scottish Croquet Association has fewer clubs, with only
eight, it is still nearly s popular. This is primarily due to its acceptance policy.

The Scottish association will let any players join, whether a world-renowned champion or a
first-time novice. The only requirement is the relatively low membership fee of just £20, says the
Scottish Croquet Association's website. It is one of the most popular amateur leagues in the
world, and certainly in the British Isles. Another smaller amateur organization is the Sherwood
Country Club in Thousand Oaks. It is a simple local club, but it is producing players that some say
will soon be very popular. One such player is Chris Clarke, a 25 year old British player who
recently played on a British amateur team that competed against some amateur Americans. Clarke told
Alman of the Croquet World Online Magazine that he is very busy with his primary job. “I would say
I work about a 55-hour week.” He, like Bamford, discussed the rules of the game with Alman. “When
you play international rules, the penalty for breaking down is less severe.” England, Scotland, and
Wales all have successful leagues for croquet players, both experienced and beginners, and there are
now roughly 4,000 players in the British Isles.

While Croquet is a popular sport in England, it is more of a cult following. It has one specific
group of fans who thoroughly enjoy watching and playing it, but no one else puts much thought toward
it. Similar to chess and billiards in America, croquet is loved by many and ignored by the rest.
It gets little to no television time, and is rarely ever mentioned in the news. The last
significant article to be written about croquet in any of the major London newspapers was in July of
2006. The London Times published a medium length story about two things; the results of the 2006
Mitsubishi Motors British Open Croquet Championship, and how unpopular the game is. While it did
say that the game is getting more credit as of late, it also said croquet is still commonly
perceived as “a game played badly by semi-inebriated toffs on their country-house lawns.” If you
were to look for any other serious news on the sport, you would have to dig back into the Times’
records from 2003. There are some smaller publications, primarily found online and not in physical
print, that are specifically croquet-related news sources. Each of the major leagues in Britain has
its own news section on its website, where it posts tournament results, as well as other news, such
as possible rule changes. There is also a website called the Croquet World Online Magazine, a
publication updated a couple of times a month, which has been available to the public since 1996.
It boasts about croquet with such headlines as, “Will Golf’s Loss Be Croquet’s Gain?”

Quite a few pieces of British literature give mention to croquet, and a few even go into detail.
While the most popular writings on croquet are generally how-to books or scripts for instructional
videos, fictitious pieces on the sport are not impossible to come by. The term “croquet” has been
used in several British book titles, but is rarely actually a major part in the story. For example,
Scottish author Kate Atkinson wrote the novel, Human Croquet, a story of a sixteen year old
girl growing up in a London suburb. (This book was actually recommended by the London Metro’s book
of the month club.) However, croquet isn’t actually a major part of the story. Renowned English
novelist H.G. Wells wrote The Croquet Player; A Dark Fantasy, which was not published until
2004. This story actually does center round a man who plays croquet, who is troubled by horrific
visions. One well-known book that contains croquet is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,
written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. One of the most popular
scenes from the book occurs in chapter eight at the Queen’s garden party. “’That’s right!’ shouted
the Queen. ‘Can you play croquet?’” Alice accepts the challenge, and they play a very strange match
in which mallets and balls have been replaced with live flamingos and hedgehogs. Aside from these
mentions of the sport, British literature, much like the rest of the culture, has not bothered with
croquet too much.

While croquet continues to grow slowly in popularity, it is never going to be as big as cricket,
rugby, or football in Britain. Additionally, it will probably not end up being a major part of
British culture or literature any time in the near future. It is most likely that the sport will
continue to be played as a “garden sport,” on the backyards of British common people. It will
remain a leisure activity for many, and a serious sport for a select few.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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How can five basic literary devices help average British men and women become some of the most
renowned and influential authors in the world? Thanks to the unique uses of these five devices, by
thirteen authors in particular, British literature has been changed permanently. These thirteen
authors range from Lewis Carroll to J.K. Rowling, with most of them having lived in the late
nineteenth century. While many of these authors wrote both prose and poetry, they are most known
for their novels and short stories, rather than their verse. Through their writings we can very
clearly see how the literature of Britain relies heavily on creative settings, themes, resolutions,
gender issues, and form.


One particularly common device used by British authors is the idea of a dark, very negative world
that is very different from our own. George Orwell, by penning one of his most famous works,
Nineteen Eighty-Four, created one of the darkest scenarios in the history of the written
word, a world in which a totalitarian government rules over the people using advanced surveillance
techniques. Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: the British Tradition describes this as “a
dark vision of the future.” (1016) This is a very similar scene to that found in Aldous Huxley’s
Brave New World, published in 1932, which describes a world where all people are exactly
alike, clones of similar people, created to achieve global equality. “… a bokanovskified egg will
bud, will proliferate, will divide… Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before…”
(6) writes Huxley. Further dark, strange worlds are the types of places that we find in novels like
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. This story takes place on a deserted island, which is
extremely different than those places found in 1984 and Brave New World, but still a
very dark, mysterious place. Golding writes of a wild, unpopulated island on which a group of boys
is stranded: “’This is an island… Perhaps there aren’t any gownups anywhere.’” (7) In 1894 Rudyard
Kipling had published a work titled, The Jungle Book, which follows a lone boy living in the
jungle with only animals as his friends. This pattern of wild, empty areas does not end there,
though. Daniel Defoe, author of the first English novel, Robinson Crusoe, wrote of a wild
island on which a single man is stuck: “I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked during
a dreadful storm, came on shore of this dismal unfortunate island, which I called ‘The Isle of
Despair,’ all the rest of the ship’s company being drowned and myself almost dead.” (i) He also
wrote A Journal of the Plague Year, a story taking place in England during the time of the
Black Death. As Anthony Burgess wrote in his introduction, “One of the most remarkable things about
the Journal is the way in which London is made to appear as a breathing, suffering entity.” (xxi)
Another horrifying world that a British author has created is the wizarding world under the rule of
Lord Voldemort, found in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Another
author who used the frightening, dark, far from home setting was Lewis Carroll. He creates a
nightmare of a world for the title character in Alice in Wonderland. Complete with a queen
that frequently bellows “Off with her head,” (213) the world that Alice travels to is terrifying.
The varying locations for stories are present, but the idea behind all of them is the same. From
wild, uninhabited wilderness to futuristic totalitarian states, all the way to dream worlds, the
settings of many British pieces are all very dark places that most people would not like to travel
to.


One strong theme that runs through much of British literature is the idea of rebellion,
particularly against a corrupt government or an unjust ruler. We see the idea of fighting tyrants
in Ian Fleming’s famous James Bond series. In each novel Agent 007 is fighting one enemy or
another, and all of them seem to have one common goal; to conquer the world. Bond fights back
against the takeover and fights for freedom for the people. This is very similar to the rebellion
seen in Huxley’s Brave New World, where a future government has taken over and is ruling with
great oppression, using scare tactics and brainwashing to control the people. They train people to
all believe the same things, taking away any possibility of independent thought. In Brave New
World Huxley
writes, “’We condition the masses to hate the country,’ continued the director.”
(23) and shows just how the government is training its people. The characters quickly begin
doubting the ideas of sleep-teaching and brainwashing, and questioning the process of
mass-production of humans. In 1984 we see Winston, Julia, and O’Brien all joining up with
“The Brotherhood,” an organization with the intent of dismantling the oppressive government, which
is coincidentally run by a dictator, “Big Brother.” Another author who used the rebellion against a
brainwashing government as a main plot is Rowling. In Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix
it becomes obvious how the government, the Ministry of Magic, is becoming corrupt by its
leader, Cornelius Fudge. He has begun using his influence in the government and over the Daily
Prophet, the primary newspaper of the wizarding world, to discredit Harry Potter and Albus
Dumbledore, whom he sees as political rivals. Also prominent in the story is a parallel to
Fleming’s plots, where the lead characters are working against an enemy who wants to take over the
government. In the Potter series this enemy is Voldemort.


Also very prominent throughout British literature, both new and old, is the isolation of the male
figure in each story. In Golding's Lord of the Flies, we see that there are actually no
main characters that are females. All of the significant characters in the novel are young boys,
stranded on an island. Jane Austen is directly opposite to this, as the main characters in nearly
all of her books are females, with stories centering on them and only including one male character
as her love interest. He quickly becomes the one male in a story of all female characters, an
obviously isolated situation. A perfect example of this is Edward, the love interest of Elinor
Dashwood. Modern writer Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity and Fever Pitch, among
others, uses a very similar but opposite pattern with his characters. While he doesn’t tend to
focus on the female character, and instead closely follows the male, his true emphasis is on the
romantic relationships between the two, and, like Austen, isolates the male lead. The New Yorker
Magazine said of High Fidelity that Hornby’s books “reveal a fascination with the sheer
voodoo of what so often passes for masculinity... Many men… will find in these pages shadows of
themselves.” George Orwell, in 1984, also puts a large emphasis on Winston drawing closer to
his female counterpart, Julia. Winston eventually isolates himself throughout the book, spending as
much time as possible with Julia. She continues to feed this self-isolation, as she tries to dress
herself up in make-up to impress Winston and become more feminine. Julia isolates herself, too, as
she moves away from other women to stay closer to Winston. She talks down about women, saying,
“‘Always in the stink of women! How I hate women!’” (112) Once again 1984 closely parallels
Huxley’s Brave New World, in which we see one character trying to fight the idea of talking
about how many women the men have each “had,” (38) and wants a single relationship, and for this he
is mocked. Virginia Woolf wrote novels that were very strongly feminist, especially for her time.
In Mrs. Dalloway, we see the isolation of a male character because of his possible
homosexuality. Septimus Smith, though married, does not appear to love his wife, and is very close
friends with Evans, going into a state of near-depression when Evans dies. In The Golden
Notebook
, Doris Lessing writes of women’s struggles constantly, particularly with romance. The
lead character, Anna Wulf, only has one love interest, whom she ends her relationship with. The
emphasis on female characters as leads and the use of males as isolated, lonely characters shows the
changing pattern in British literature toward a stronger feminist tradition.
Equally important in the history of British literature is the outcome of the stories, typically one
of mixed emotions, with the protagonist succeeding, but only after many others die along the way.
It is very typical in British literature to have a character sustain heavy losses before ultimately
succeeding. This is obvious in books like Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
While Harry does eventually defeat Voldemort, it is not before many of his friends, such as Albus
Dumbledore, Severus Snape, and Remus Lupin, have been killed. In Golding’s Lord of the
Flies
, Ralph and Jack manage to escape the island successfully with many of the other boys, but
not until after Piggy, Simon, and others have already died: “Then the sea breathed again… and when
it went, sucking back again, the body of Piggy was gone.” (165) In Ian Fleming’s James Bond books,
we see Agent 007 vanquish his enemies every time, but it is usually after the death of his
girlfriend or other friends. In Daniel Defoe’s novel, Robinson Crusoe, Crusoe escapes his
island after much suffering and the death of many others. Defoe continued this pattern in A
Journal of the Plague Year
, where society continues after the story, but without many of its
members, who have tragically fallen to the bubonic plague. Of this Anthony Burgess wrote, “The
conclusion reminds us of the moral of Thorton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth: man comes
through his ordeals and tests, but only just.” (xxiii) In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in
Wonderland
, there is very little loss. Alice awakes from her very strange dream and nothing is
very different in her real life. The loss, perhaps, is the time that she has wasted instead of
enjoying the time she has. The tradition of ending stories with a succeeding main character but
many tragic losses throughout is very common in British literature, and continues even today.
Form is one of the most unique parts of British literature, as many of the authors from those isles
blend poetry and prose. Lewis Carroll, for example, uses poetry is writings like
Jabberwocky, but uses a narrative structure for most of Alice in Wonderland and
Through the Looking Glass. In Sylvie and Bruno, Lewis wrote a full story in prose
form, but included brief segments of poetry, such as the lines she described as “shrill discordant
tones”:


He thought he saw a Baker’s Clerk
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was
A hippopotamus. (98)


Rudyard Kipling, in his most famous work, The Jungle Book, used poetry in short bursts as
lyrics to songs sung by the characters, but mostly wrote in the form of fables. Prose is the most
frequent form used in British literature among popular authors. Nick Hornby, for example, uses a
first person narrative style in most of his novels, including his first, High Fidelity.
However, in this novel he wrote many poetic style lists of top five favorite things in the opinions
of several characters.


My desert-island, all-time, top five most memorable split-ups, in chronological order:
1. Alison Ashworth
2. Penny Hardwick
3. Jackie Allen
4. Charlie Nicholson
5. Sarah Kendrew (1)


In Orwell’s 1984 there are many song lyrics sung by various characters, particularly the old
women hanging laundry, including the Hate Song. J.K. Rowling wrote several short poems into her
Harry Potter books, such as the Sorting Hat’s songs and the Hogwarts song. A. E. Housman, most
noted for his poetry, wrote several poems including A Shropshire Lad in the styles of William
Shakespeare. However, he also published several of his lectures, along with a collection of
letters. Jane Austen is one of the few British authors who did not write any published work in a
poetic style, instead choosing to write only novels. Doris Lessing also wrote only in prose form, as
she is a strongly modernist author. Virginia Woolf wrote most of her works in prose form, penning
eight novels, three short stories, and thirteen non-fiction books, but also wrote Freshwater: A
Comedy
, a play. Traditionally most British authors publish both prose and poetry over the
course of their lifetime, whether as separate works or one within another.
The five basic styles utilized by British authors for hundreds of years continue to serve well and
create new artistic pieces of entertaining literature. From isolating male characters to using
poetry within a novel, British writers have developed some of the best ways in the world to keep
readers interested.


Works Cited
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Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. New York, NY: Tom Doherty Associates Publishing, 1996.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1999.
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Woods, James. “Hornby Writes with Experience.” The New Yorker Aug. 1996.