English 10: Writing Portfolio
|Essay the first: Origins|
|Essay the second: Literature|
|Before this one peticular sleep in
Saturday I had never really figued my mother out. She allways whould ask
things of you at the most unusual or sometimes inconvenient of times. Of
course she is my mother and even though her moods change like Boston weather
I've got to accept it. In one moment my mother could be ripping and the next
she could be perfectly satisfied. Here in this story I'll give you a little
insight to my life in my parents house. It was one of those laid back, sleep
in Saturdays that we all need every once and a while.
Well not this Saturday, that day was the day of spring cleaning and with my mother it was her day. Busting into my room at a very peak 7:00 AM wake up up call we all knew we were on her time today. Looking like a starving hyena on the prowl she whould start barking down orders on who was to do what that day. Rather than staying in bed for another four hours we were all given a list that whould have put Santa Clause to shame. Starting out I was given the most dangerous job in the house, cleaning the bathroom. I swear when I was scrubbing underneath the sink I think something bit me. Throughout the day tasks like battling mold that was growing mold were not uncommon.
To my surprise the day went as quick as a turtle on marathon monday. Finally we all reported to the boss for permission to sign off for the day. Some were fortunate and were able to escape, others were sadly leaft behind to continue what ever it was they did poorly. At this moment of uncertanty my mother was still cleaning my bedroom window in a sort of stressed out manner. That next second whould change my mothers life forever. My mother had dropped a fourty pound air conditinoer with cooling ducts out of my third floor window. Now, when you think about it I really have lead you up to nothing but a badly damaged air conditioner, if it was'nt for the minor deatail of my story. Three minutes before my mother dropped the beast with four speed cooling capabilities, our twenty seven year old veitnamese neighbor Vu had just finished waxing his new 2004 BMW luxury edition with full sound system sedan.
Now before any of us even had a reaction my mother was reciving various veitnamese tounges and speeches witch if translated whoulnt have pleased my english teacher. Smashing not onley through the front windsheild of the car but the fourty pound death machine with cooling ducts had also shattered the dash board and cd console. I propably counted for about fourty seconds after the crash of akward silience until my mother broke out in hysterical laughter. After it all set in we decided to jion in laughing so my mom did'nt appear insane. A day later everyone in the greater bosto area knew about the little inncident and all of my fathers buddies enjoyed a laugh by calling our house saying things like "Hey Eileen I hear you install air conditioners now" or "I hear your being taught traditional veitnamese sayings by the neighbors". Of course my mother will never live down that morning nor will we let her forget that laid back sleep in saturday.
This little true life experence gave me insight to my family. Always trying to please my mom we werent sure how to react when she screwed up. I really wished we were able to laugh every time we did something foolish b ut I guess thats the way things are. Im glad she did what she did not onley cause we can laugh about it but it showed me that my mom dosent take life deadly serious and dose enjoy it. As a side note my house is not that dirty so dont call D.S.S or somthing like that and Im not that much of a jerk I do love my mom.
Dear P. G Wodehouse,
I regret to inform you that this letter is coming to you as a notice of rejection to your request. Myself and other members of the editing staff have denied your sample works for our new edition of the Pretience Hall Literature textbook. We believe a good textbook should contain a quality establishment of written works that give insight to the development of literature through history. It also should give inspiration to those reading it. This was a loss not using your works in the book but it was a decision that had to be made based upon the audience and our vision of the book.
We believe that your style of humor is not appealing to a modern high school audience. Today our social constructs have changed and humor has taken on new forms. During the times of your most famous works, comedy had a different style. Now comedy has become a thin line between childish humor and mature comedy. Your works seem as if they are for a younger audience by the standards of the 1940s and 1950s rather than a sophomore group in the modern constructs. You do contain a certain level of individuality but individuality that would be taken as childish in this modern era.
Another reason for our notice of rejection is that the works we have selected seem unparrell or of a higher standard poetically than your comic stories. Authors like Tennyson, Heaney, Dickens and Orwell are all favored in this book as literary greats. Even you cannot argue their presence within the book. What we were looking for were authors that brought inspiration and critical thinking into their readers heads, not authors who provide laughs seen in the Sunday paper. How can lines like “eyes like regulation sized golf balls” compare to Charles Dickens images of realism or the working class in his prose writing. Your works do not really tell a history of the time in which you wrote.
Most of your works are smart and funny but the writers in our edition have a deep and poetic style, a style we feel you do not possess .Themes used in the edition are hope, love, betrayal, and death. One critic, Robert A Hall even questions your character “Comparatively few people actually heard the talks yet the mere knowledge that they had been given on the German radio was enough to whip the British press into hate and vituperation. -placing him on par with the arch traitor known as Lord Haw- Haw .” Through your hazy past during WW2 and possible involvement with a Nazi Germany we must also examine your morals. Clearly you cannot set a positive example for our book. Your works do not fit our criteria but would like to thank you never the less for your submissions. On behalf of the editing staff we apologize but see potential in your works
Like in many cultures the supernatural world fascinates writers of British Literature. Great works such as Macbeth by William Shakespear and Frankenstein by Mary Shelly deal with supernatural themes. Another writer who takes on these themes is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his tale of The Hound of The Baskervilles. Taking two classic characters, both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Conan Doyle incorporates the supernatural realm into this mystery. In the book such themes as spirituality, religion, curses, ghosts and the Devil are all apart of the storyline and plot.
The Hound of The Baskervilles shows the reader an image of phantom beast released from the gates of hell. This ferocious creature is apart of a curse placed upon the Baskerville family. The supernatural elements of the hound within the story are best described by Conan Doyle himself “A hound it was , an enormous coal black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen. Fire burst from its open mouth, its eyes glowed with a smoldering glare, its muzzle and hackles and dewlap were outlined in a flickering flame ”. Clearly by this citation elements of the story are not of normality rather spirituality. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also shows us supernatural themes that have come to be more familiar. Both the Devil and Curses are some other supernatural aspects to the plot line. When the Devil is spoken about the author does not give us a familiar version but rather uses the Devil to portray evils in other characters. Show in this quote is the Devil within the body of a murderous man “All my unspoken instincts, my vague suspicions, suddenly took shape and centered the naturalist. I seemed to see something terrible a creature of infinite patients and craft, with a smiling face and murderous heart.” From this text we are shown both the evil aspects of the Devil but also a new idea of supernaturalism through the reincarnations of Satan.
Obviously The Hound of The Baskervilles is a story of a Gothic nature. Even though it is a more recently written novel it contains ideas of a fictional nature. Written in the 1980s this story may not directly reflect modern British society but still it may show us that fiction stories are today accepted. This story does however reveal the times in which the book is based. Based upon the 1800s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shows us the potential knowledge of people at that time. Tales of the supernatural would have been taken as literal during earlier times even prior to when the Hound of the Baskervilles takes place. Through Conan Doyle’s characters he shows how during the 1800s the merge of scientific explanation started to replace urban legend. From the characters finding out the true mystery and criminal to looking for deeper meaning the characters portray the mentality of people at that time.
In today’s modern constructions it is hard to believe in the unexplained and supernatural. The Hound of The Baskervilles really does try and persuade you into believing in some of the stories myths. By connecting some human issues with the supernatural the story makes the events that take place seem possible. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle really does an excellent job in describing both the phantom hound and the curse realistically, giving the hound believable features. “Over the rocks, in the crevice of which the candle burned, there was a thrust out an evil yellow face a terrible animal face, and scored with vile passions”, is on quote that almost makes the situation real. The intentions of this story is not to make you believe in myths but it does have very persuasive writing.
It is arguable that the stories themes can be placed to support a mystery the components of the story reveal how it is a supernatural emphasized story. The Hound of The Baskervilles shows spiritual worlds that many other books of Doyle’s do not. Anne Perry a critic for the book agrees with its genre “Sherlock Holmes and his faithful friend, Dr Watson are faced with their most terrifying case in this wonderful classic of masterful detection and supernatural suspense”, proving its darker themes. This composition should not be overlooked but rather embraced as a literary classic.
English Language over the centuries has become a way to not only communicate but it separates humans from all other creatures. It is our ability to write and speak ideas that set us apart from the beasts. Of course with turning time few languages have survived very long, but now English although a young language, is fast becoming the most widely spoken language in the world. Taking simple words like prime means nothing in a sentence or phrase, but if examined it is a word of amazing history. “Prime” is an example of how language has evolved, blending cultures and various tongues. This simple word prime, much like every word spoken in English is much more than just an arrangement of letters.
History and the origins of words in English are difficult to discover. English is composed of Germanic, Slavic, French, Spanish and Latin root words. Prime is one example of a Latin root word “prima hora,” and the Old English mix of “ptim,” the Latin origins mean first hours as the Old English has been defined as referring to authority or importance. Prime is a word that has various meanings. The American Heritage Dictionary New College Edition defines prime as “First excellence in quality or value.” Another definition comes from the Merrium Webster’s edition and takes a different meaning “The earliest or first hour of the beginning of the day, usually 6am.” Another dictionary, The Alpha College Dictionary defines prime for being “young and in peak physical condition.” English clearly through just one word has been influenced by so many people making it the creative and powerful language that it has become today.
One of the most prestigious organizations involving English is the Oxford English dictionary. For the word primes there were thirty-three out of forty definitions of the word that are still used today. In the initial definition prime is “the appointed first hour of the day.” Clearly this primary definition has taken on Latin roots. Similar to this definition it was defined again as “The first hour of the day beginning at either six o’clock or various times of sunrise.” These definitions show the noun form of prime, but used as an adjective it takes on newer meaning. In accordance with Old English prime also means “ First order of time or occurrence, early, young, youthful, primitive.” The word also is used to express quality or any particular authoritative order. “Of persons: first in rank, dignity, influence, or first in excellence and value. These examples use both the noun meaning first hour but also as an adjective meaning important. Prime shows how one root can stem off to various meanings in speech. All of these different root meanings from the word prime prove that English has evolved mixing many of the worlds languages and ideas to express them in new ways.
Language clearly is nothing to what the people who speak that language add or take away from their everyday uses of the word. It is evident that we are knowledgeable of the word prime and use it day to day. To gain insight on how prime is used today it is necessary to go to the root, to identify how people now use the word and what definitions have survived their long history. Asking a well knowledgeable man Brother Jeffery Oxx, he replied “prime means being very important having excellence and has a main value.” The definition that Brother Oxx gives is the most common answer I had received. Ten out of thirteen people had an understanding of the word as some kind of importance or value. Only one person stated a very different understanding of the word prime. Steve Pollizzi declared “prime, from the game Primal Rage.” This interpretation was completely irrelevant to any original meanings of the word. In addition to that one odd definition two people thought of the word being referred to as something to do with either mathematics or time (first hour). Almost all of the quoted people had an idea close to the Old English root word “ptim” showing its survival over the years.
An ability that people have had for thousands of years is not only to speak their thoughts but also write them down. Literature is credited to preserving and keeping the English language in tact. The earliest usage of prime was in its noun tense in c961 by an author Aethelwold in the rule of St. Bennidict xvi “on daezred, on prim, on undern.” Again in c1386 Chaucer used prime in the Pardoners tale “Longe erst er prime rong of any belle.” These texts used prime as an expression of any order of time but as an adjective and adverb it was used by William Shakespeare. In 1610 Shakespeare used prime in Temp. ii “prospero , the prime Duke.” He used it to show that this Duke had some authority. The contexts that these words have been used are still relevant, revealing that English words inspire writers to continue to use words like prime. Chaucer and Shakespeare also used prime in a context that does not exist anymore, showing that words in English are selected by English speakers who take only the most powerful definitions of the word. In 1604 Shakespeare used prime as sexually exited or ruttish. “Were they as prime as Goates” and in 1374 Chaucer used the word to mean at first sight “And ek so lyk a soth at pryme face.” Every definition played roles in English literature and some lasted and developed into modern day speech. Prime is (a prime example) an example of one word going through changes and adapting overtime much like the English language itself.
To validate that English is an inspired language it is important to find the word prime being used more recently and in new ways. One of the more interesting usages of the word prime has developed through sports and entertainment. In Sporting News issue 19 on May, 13 of this year an article was published titled “Prime time not always the right time.” This version of the word was used to describe the most action packed innings of a baseball game. Steven King reuses prime in his own way in a March twenty ninth issue of Entertainment Weekly. The article entitled “Prime Downloads” was a usage of the word prime meant to describe the most inspiring stories that had retained off of the internet to use as resources for his own work. The most unusual usage was taken for sarcasm in the Advocate Magazine. Michael Glitz the author of the article published on March twenty sixth coined the phrase “The prime of Craig Lucas” as his articles’ title. This title is a pun that pokes fun at the power of Craig Lucas an associate of Michael Glitz. Of course as native English speakers we can easily understand these words in almost any context. To gain insight on how an outsider views words in the English language, I asked two neighbors who learned English as their second language. Each person did use the word not only correctly but also within context. The first person I had asked was of Polish decent had no problem with the word prime saying “Prime is something that is important or relevant.” Having a Vietnamese background the second person I had asked stated “It is something young or anything important.” Each person had a correct understanding of this word and knew exactly how to apply it within context. Modern sources such as these portray English as informative recycling and redefining common words to express ideas.
Evidence like this clearly shows that not only the word prime but also every word in English has a deep past and possibly a deeper future. With prime an entire history of authors and the common people of the English language are unearthed. The amazing potential of English is discovered through simple research. It is a language that is still in progression not yet becoming spoken worldwide but it has dramatically influenced world culture. Even though English is being spoken everywhere in the United States and has helped to unite people both here and abroad, English should not take the role as the official language of America. It is America’s bilingualism and freedom of speech in any language that makes it great. Presently English does not dominate but due to its impact on so many levels it could possibly be in the near future.