English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2007-2008

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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  Ever wonder how long it took people to discover the word discover? Well, in this day and age, any
new thing can be discovered. Plants, animals, and all different places are being named and
thoroughly researched. The word itself goes back through the past, when someone first laid eyes on
something new and gave it a classification or genre. To “discover” helps people in every era find a
means to reveal things, and expose them to the rest of mankind for all to learn. Discovering is
what helps make new findings literally “find” themselves into the world. The word has helped
develop the English language in many ways, even helping the language being put together. The first
known account of the English language written down on paper is the story Beowulf. The story shows
the first writings of the language, being discovered to share to the world, literally. But it would
be impossible not to discover the things on earth, because they are all there for the taking. It
helps people find a meaning to what they are trying to describe and show to the world. The word
“discover” helps human beings understand and confront pieces of everything.

I thought most people would define the word discover right on the point, but I was wrong. My
results from a poll I conducted are as follows. I chose to interview a reasonable amount of people,
and only 20% of the recipients responded with the correct definition of “discover”. But that means
the majority, or 80%, of the people in the poll weren’t quite correct with their responses, having
missed the target they were aiming for. For example, Warren Reeb (recipient #5) said he thought of
“Christopher Columbus and the Discovery Channel” when he heard the word itself. A few people did
say Christopher Columbus, but they also mentioned that it meant revealing or exploring. But there
were a few who did get it right, including Dean Canan (recipient #2) who said that it meant
“something new or unknown). Which I thought was a pretty good definition for on the spot
questioning. When asked to use the word in a sentence, again as follows “Columbus discovered the
new world.” A lot of the recipients used Christopher Columbus as a reference in their quickly
arranged sentences.

I also decided to interview someone who spoke English as a second language. I chose my friend
Yianni, whose main language is Greek. But he can still speak English fluently. When asked to use
“discover” in a sentence, he said “the historians discovered a fossil.” After being asked to define
the word, he said “to find or to find about.” My analysis assumes that Yianni did get one of the
better answers to the questions asked. Yianni’s answers were a little vague, but to an average
person the definition would be assumed correct. I think that for someone who primarily speaks Greek
for a main language and English as second, he responded well enough.

The Oxford English Dictionary helps to show references of the word being used by authors with a
specific account of when the word was first actually used in the English language. The meaning of
“discover” has changed throughout history, appearing with new and interesting definitions. For
example, the first author to use the word, discover, was Wyclif, in 1382. But this was before the
definition was truly polished into the generally final definition. At the time, the meaning was “to
remove the covering (clothing, roof, lid, etc.) from (anything); to bare, uncover, esp. to uncover
(head), to unroof.” (Oxford English Dictionary) Acknowledging this word, Wyclif used it in a
sentence that was “His heed he shal discouer, his clothis he shal not kitt.” The quotes show when
the word was first used and how it was used. The author used the word to describe how the character
was removing his clothing. The spelling is also not up to par, Wyclif spelt it as “discouer.” But
an example of an author using the word with the definition of this time, is Bob Berman in his
article called Confused About Your Direction? The author wrote this article in the September of
2006, saying “…while affirming there is still much to be discovered about where the planet is
ultimately headed.” (www.ebsco.com) Berman meant in the sentence that the earth still is going
somewhere, but not found or decided yet. Over the course of the years the word “discover” being
used, the usage of the word has rounded into a solid definition that is used today.

Discover has been used many times in books and sentences through out time, but one thing that
changes along with the definition, is the spelling. Every time the word is used by a different
person, they might not have known how to spell it like the person before them, ending up in the
spelling being different for a few accounts. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word
“discover” was spelled a few popular different ways. They included: “discouer,” to “discure,” and
then to “discovered.” For example, in 1535, the author Coverdale wrote “He wil discouer the bloude
that she hath heuoured.” The author meant that the character will show the thing that is hidden.
But after the spelling that is used today was made, the spelling went back to discourse and
discouer, still continuously changing. The word was spelled with a “u” in it, pronounced
“dis-co-u-er.” But the first author to keep the pronunciation of the correct spelling was Blount,
in 1600. The author’s sentence with the word used was “The more he mounted, the more he discovered
his incapacitie.” Blount might have sparked the usage for the word “discover” to be spelt the way
it is today frequently and the spelling stuck. Over the course of history, the definition varied
more often, but the pronunciation was generally the same. The spelling evolved into the correct
usage as we use it in our English language today.

The word “discover” has provided a means for people to show the rest of the world with what they
have come across. It helps the ending process of analysis, which is giving a name to something new.
The word allows people to express their new found information with everything and everybody.
“Discover” is an extremely important word for many reasons, one being that the word had to be
“discovered” itself. It is the foundation for everything new and exciting to be shared with the
world. There are many new things in the world that have to be shown with the rest of humanity, and
the word helps the process. The word includes amazing details that relate back to the start of man
kind, for example, the first food being discovered and named. “Discover” has shown its significance
to the world by itself. The word “discover” is important in more ways possible to name.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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Dear Master Anonymous,
In an over all sense of rejection, this truly was one of the hardest decisions our publishing
company had to make in the process of excluding one of our applicants from the future book. We all
think that your novel Sir Gawain and The Green Knight is an extraordinary piece of work that should
keep being used in all other forms of literature, but in this case, it isn’t possible to have every
piece we wanted to fit. There are a few things that we would like to point out to you, Master
Anonymous, about your novel that would be considered some of the reasons your book was not chosen.
The first reason was that we thought that the play of Christianity was too involved in the novel,
almost making the book centered on a specific audience. We also thought that the love duo between
the Gawain and the wife could have been more interesting, explaining more details, even playing a
bigger role in the story. Finally, we felt nature played too big of a role in the description of
characters in animals in the novel. All in all, the book is a masterpiece, but not quite amazing
enough as the other pieces of work chosen.

The first reason your novel was not chosen was because of the use of Christian references
throughout the story. The symbol of a Pentangle is also mentioned throughout the novel as well.
The narrator tries to use the pentangle as a way of describing how Sir Gawain was supposed to follow
the “knightly ways.” J. Nathan Matias says that “perception of his faults remind the reader that
no one can reach the ideal, and rather than getting bitter, we should learn from our mistakes.” The
pentangle is mentioned when Sir Gawain wants to find the Green Knight, the people around him say
“showed forth the shield, that shone all red, with the pentangle portrayed in purest gold.” (28.
619-20) Another influence of Christianity is how Sir Gawain is wearing a green belt, relating to the
Bible as showing his sins and weaknesses. Rolando Parkins supports the reference by saying “the
significance of the green belt is that it represents a sign of his sins and the weakness of the
flesh.” Gawain is offered the belt for protection, being told that it has extraordinary magical
powers that will work for his benefit. The belt is to have been said “to endure a deadly dint, and
all defense denied.” (63. 2040-2) The pentangle surrounds around the idea of the five patterns a
knight or a cunning person should act, giving directions to whatever Gawain encounters. The green
girdle offers protection to Gawain, being said to have magical powers that will keep him say from
danger.

The second flaw in your novel we found was the love duo between Sir Gawain and the wife of another
knight. We felt that the idea of creating suspicious love dealings and going beyond knightly hood
was a great idea, but it could have played a bigger role in the story. Kim Neininger says, “he is
successful at avoiding her continuing advances.” If the knight was not successful in avoiding the
woman, then there could have had another twist born that could have caused dangerous drama between
Gawain and the husband of the woman. The novel says, “his courtesy concerned him, lest crass he
appear, but more his soul’s mischief, should he commit sin, and belie his loyal oath to the lord of
that house.” (238) Ian Johnston says, “the difficulty stems from Gawain's commitment to Courtly
Love, from the expectations that he, as a knight of the Round Table, has a duty to courtesy.” Thus,
leaving Gawain into holding back to his urges to have more involvement with the lady. Ian Johnston
also says, “which erotic urges are translated into a vocabulary of flirtation with only occasional
physical actions (like kissing).” Also leaving Gawain to doing the bare minimum of only kissing the
lady, when in depth he wants to have a relationship with her. Sir Gawain responds to being caught
with, “to accord with covetousness and corrupt my nature and the liberality and loyalty belonging to
chivalry.” (136) Sir Gawain is tempted by the lady in many ways, but he always tries to remember his
vow to chivalry, which held back the story to develop into something intriguing.

Finally, the last flaw we found in your work was the constant appearance of nature with describing
certain things. We felt that you used the relation between the story and nature too much, and it
should have been cut down more. The first use we found was when Sir Gawain is described; he is
mentioned as tall and strong, like a tree for example. He is also referred to as the Green Knight,
which in medieval times means the season spring, fertility of nature, the color of everlasting life,
and also hunters were known for the color green as well. Sir Gawain is surrounded by the influence
of nature with everything he does, and most of the descriptions of him relates to nature as well.
In the novel it says, “his bridle was with stones sett, with gold and pearle overfrett, and stones
of great value.” (270-275) Also, Sir Gawain’s horse is always decorated in the color green and
gold. The gold on the horse symbolizes perfection and purity, along with nature. The horse is also
described with thick hair, along with Gawain that symbolizes strength and courage. An author named
William Goldhurst says, “the major theme of Gawain and the Green Knight is the idea that the
primitive and sometimes brutal forces of nature make known their demands to all men.” The color
green is mentioned too often in the story, which gets to be repetitive. In your novel it says, “That
was a jolly sight to seene, when horsse and armour was all greene.” (80) Both Sir Gawain and his
horse are covered with green, and described with colors that relate to nature, making your
descriptions repetitive.

We are all sincerely sorry for rejecting your novel this time, and hope that all is well and the
writing continues. We all love your work, Master Anonymous, but we feel like we could have had
something more and better from you. The novel will always be considered a masterpiece, but after
further review we thought we would have to keep it out of our compilation this time. Sir Gawain and
the Green Knight is an amazing piece of work that will not be forgotten, we will remain one of our
favorite novels for a long period of time. This was an amazing book, and it will not leave our
bookshelves for as long as it keeps its reputation.

-Ian Reeb

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The development of “archery” has both helped fight wars, and has been known as a special hobby.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “archery” as “the practice or art of shooting with a bow and
arrow.” The OED also says that the first time the word was used was in the 1400s quoting “Myht
nevyr man fynde My pere of for archery.” The bow and arrow was invented in 5000 B.C. by the Ancient
Egyptians in order to revolutionize new hunting methods. The new invention helped hunters hunt game
from far distances, it kept them away from danger and saved their energy. According to the World
Book Encyclopedia, there was a “non official” venue set up in England 1781 to help promote the sport
of archery, called the Royal Toxophilite Society. The goal of the society was to help “archery”
arise more people into playing. “Archery” has not been that popular in Great Britain since 2007.
On August 7, 2007, the first international archery competition was held at “Lords” (the venue for
the 2012 London Olympic Games). Patrick Kidd writes in an article that the pro athlete, Larry
Godfrey, won the MCC Cup and had thousands of fans cheering for him. The sport has provided the
people with a source of entertainment, the winnings of the MCC Cup has brought back the rivalry
between India after they beat them in a cricket tournament. The development of “archery” has
helped Great Britain advance in many ways, from hunting for food, and for entertainment. “Archery”
has brought many new ideas and cultures to Great Britain in many ways.

During the 14th century, the long bow was the most important weapon to England. The bow could fire
at enemies from far distances and still have a great impact on them. It provided safety from the
soldiers but it was also affective. Also during the 14th century, the royal decree of 1363 was
created. Michael Van Biesbrouck writes that the decree stated that all Englishmen must practice the
sport of “archery” on all Sundays and holidays. The decree guaranteed that all the men would be
skilled in the field of “archery” if they were needed for a war. As the 16th century came,
“archery” was still widely popular and played, even after the invention of firearms.

The rules of “archery” are pretty simple, the archer shoots at a target, and the closer to
the middle, the more points. The different categories are: bow hunting, target archery, field
archery, indoor archery, and flight archery. According to the World Book Encyclopedia, in a
competition, a man must shoot from the farthest distance first, which is 300 feet. The women’s
farthest point is 230 feet. The most popular competition for “archery” is target archery. Target
archery is when the archer stands from a certain distance, and shoots at a laid target, like a
bull’s-eye.

Larry Godfrey is the most popular archer in Great Britain, for many reasons. Larry has set
new records and high standards for Great Britain and the followers. In the 43rd championships in
Madrid, Spain, he set a new British record of a score of 692 shortest distances round. His score
helped Britain win the championship and he gained a new world record title. According to the
organization of the Cleve Archers, Larry Godfrey holds 4th in the world ranking as of 2006 and also
holds 6th in the European and Mediterranean ranking. He will be shooting for Great Britain at the
Olympic Test Event that is being held in China in August.

The Phoenix Bowmen Club in Halifax, Yorkshire, is a target archery club for amateurs and
beginners. At the club, practice is held mostly on the weekend, but specifically every Sunday to
honor the 1361 decree of England. Grahame Cotterill and Tim Mason are the leader coaches there that
offer lessons to beginners and to pro athletes. They both received their license for teaching and
are qualified to compete in competitions world widely. One of their upcoming competitions is on
April 26th and 27th, at a complex called “Thrisk Bowmen.” The amateur based archers like to use the
“Olympic style recurve” which helps them fit more comfortably.

The sport of “archery” has been quite popular in literature over the years it has been
around. “Archery” is most popular in stories, or in poems relating to military battles. William
Wordsworth is noted as one of the most interesting authors that have included “archery” in
literature. In Wordsworth’s poem “The Italian Itinerant and the Swiss Goatherd Part II” he writes,
“For Tell’s dread archery renowned, Before the target stood—to claim, The guerdon of the steadiest
aim.” Wordsworth uses “archery” to better enhance the short story he is telling in his poem. He
includes gripping words such as “steadiest aim” to help the piece of work become extraordinary.

Archery will continue to grow in sports for as long as there is a place for it. Archery
has been around for hundreds of years, and has survived the new weapon developments and other
technologies. People have still continued to use “archery” as a sport and as a fighting mechanism.
The sport has brought new interests to people, and has been used in great pieces of literature that
help tell stories. It will continue to be used because of the vast majority of people involved in
it today. “Archery” will be around for more years to come, either in literature, or just the sport
itself.

   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloomy nights and mysterious characters, thunder clashing against the armor or thousands, and the
clever descriptions of a simple man comprise the true meaning of a British story. The British
authors primarily focus on specific themes, settings, forms, genders and resolutions all help bring
each story alive. The five devices included in British Literature create plots and morals that are
taught in schools worldwide. The British authors have not only set the stage for writing, but they
have created devices that other authors cherish in their writings as well. British Literature has
created some of the most important tactics writers have grown to use through out history.

The setting of night has helped British Literature authors create gloomy and scary pictures of
darkness in reader’s minds. The device of setting has been used to help describe scenarios that a
character might find themselves in. The night has been a popular choice for many British Literature
authors because of its great prominence in the times written. A world known author William
Wordsworth has written vivid stories, which include the setting of night. Wordsworth starts many
of his poems off with an extravagant description of where the characters are. In Wordsworth’s poem
The Idiot Boy, he includes
“Tis 8 o’clock,
A clear March night.
The moon is up, the sky is blue.
The Owlet, in the moonlight air” (78).
The description of the night adds to the category for the setting in British Literature. The lines
produce an image in the reader’s mind that they might not even see for themselves in life. Another
author of the era includes a poet and storywriter named Robert Browning. Browning has been known to
focus on “old antiques”, such as homes, concerts, and “art exhibitions.” The author can take his
knowledge of the old age, and apply it to creating vivid scenes he has seen in his childhood. In
Brownings poem, Porphyria’s Lover, he writes for a setting using these words, “The rain set early
tonight. The sullen wind was soon awake” (109). The British author applied his knowledge of the
nighttime, before the industrial revolution, and adds that to his stories, which turn out to be
phenomenal. Another well-known author includes John Milton. Milton has been included to write
about “past experiences” and strongly focuses on the idea of “mind upon nature.” Thus, Milton can
put the sights he has seen into context with his writings. He has used the concept of imagination
to also, further the imagery created in the works he has written. A literal critic William
Winstanley writes that Milton is horrid and should not be remembered: “his fame is gone out like a
candle…” (40). Winstanley goes against any writing that Milton might come up with, disagreeing with
his work entirely.

British authors also seem to focus on major themes throughout their stories; one of the most
interesting ones is nature. The poetic device of theme has helped create a general understanding or
base for the writers to have. Nature is one of the most interesting themes to read about in British
literature for many reasons. One reason being that it reminds us of how great the earth it, and how
much we can learn from simply admiring everything outside around us. A popular author named John
Milton has used the theme of nature throughout his work to help better his writings. Milton focuses
on nature with the memories of “past experiences” (72) and the idea of “mind upon nature” (73).
John writes, “as civilization advances, poetry almost necessarily declines” (74). Milton is
explaining how poetry actually derives from nature and imagination, and that putting nature as the
theme for the writings can make the story become divine. A literally critic named William
Winstanley disagrees with Milton’s writings and what he believes in: “his fame is gone out like a
candle in a snuff and his memory will always stink” (33). Winstanley thinks that Milton’s writings
are boring and pointless, and they will always be remembered as terrible. Another author from
Britain would include William Shakespeare. Shakespeare has been known to use imagery that is
changing and maturing in every way possible. He feels the need to use “constant imagery” (109) to
help feel a certain way towards someone, helping it tell the story itself. Shakespeare writes in
his story Venus and Adonis: “More white and red than doves or roses” (231). Concluding the two
authors is another named Geoffrey Chaucer, and his use of warmth, color, and humor to help stories
become more in tune with nature. Chaucer writes tales about travelers going through large forests
and roads, and the beauty behind all of them. Chaucer writes in his popular story The Canterbury
Tales: “He hadde of gold wroght a ful curious pyn” (196).

British authors write literature that has a certain form that can organize the story, or more so
create it. The way of using a specific form has been known to many British authors throughout
history. The form of dramatic monologue is a form that brings imagination and arguing to another
level of interest. The writer Robert Browning is labeled the inventor of dramatic monologue from
his suspenseful stories. Browning focuses on the use of detailed places and art to help exploit his
story into the reader’s minds. Browning writes in Porphyria’s Lover: “The rain set early in
tonight, The sullen wind was soon awake” (157). The author describes the wind and rain as if
describing his own feelings. The dramatic monologue in the story presents Browning’s motives and
actions through descriptions of other things around him. Another author includes John Donne, who
incorporates his religious struggles into his work. Donne has been known to use his wit and
sophistication to create vivid stories that succeed the requirements. Donne writes in The
Canonization: “For God’s sake hold your tongue, and let me love. Observes his Honor, or His Grace”
(366). Donne uses his religious beliefs to bring his emotions and morals into the reader’s minds.
Donne creates stories involving God and language to possess the meaning of life through his eyes and
ears. A critic named Ben Jonson writes about Donne as someone who is an inventor of the ways in
which people use today. Jonson writes, “…esteemed him the first poet in the world in some things.”
Jonson concludes Donne as a magnificent person whose writings go above and beyond what he has seen
before. Concluding the authors is another writer named Doris Lessing. Lessing is known for writing
with accounts of communistic ideas, and involving politics. Lessing felt that she had a “social
responsibility” towards incorporating communism into her work.

British Literature is known worldwide as something special that helps bring stories alive in ways
no authors could ever think of doing. The British authors have created styles of writing that
people still use today in their works. The works of the authors have given other writers a basis
for writing new material, even helping create some of the masterpieces alive today. Without British
Literature, great works that inspire phenomenal writing would have never been there to help. The
authors from Shakespeare to Wordsworth have created impenetrable pieces of work that no one else
could think of. They have invented new styles and techniques of writing that are still important
today. British Literature is the reason for so many fantastic ideas sprouting in literature today.



Work Cited

Bate, Walter J., Bertrand H. Bronson, and Reuben A. Brower.
---Major British Writers New York: Harcourt, Brace and
---World, Inc., 1954.

Bernard, Andre, Bill Henderson, and Anthony Brandt. Rotten
--- Reviews and Rejections. New York: Pushcart Press
---Co., 1998.

Merriman, C.D. Jane Austen. 2006 Jalic Inc.
---<http://www.online-literature.com/.>

Presoot, Clarke Frederick. The Poetic Mind. New York: Great
---Seal Books Macmillan Company. 1992.

Temple, Ruth Z., and Martin Tucker. A Library of Literary
--- Criticism. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.,
---1966.