English 10: Writing Portfolio    
Essay the First

Essay the Second

Essay the third

Essay the fourth


















It was about 1991, and my father missed his 8 year old daughter and his 3 year old son exceedingly. He was living 750 miles away from us. We lived in Nova Scotia, and he lived in Boston because of work. He saw us rarely, and the only way of communication was by phone or by writing us a letter. The piece of writing I chose was in fact a letter. This letter was to my sister mostly, because of the fact that I couldn’t read. “I miss you so much Meagan,” my father wrote in the letter. He talked about coming down and visiting us.  
 “This is definitely dad,” said my sister when I asked. My mother said the same thing. She could tell because of his hand writing. “I wrote it I guess,” said my father. He didn’t remember writing it, but he could tell by his writing. The only word in there that isn’t heard of today was “hunny bunny”. I don’t even know if it was said often back then. Maybe it was just a word my dad used. Why it was saved? I don’t know. I guess my mom saved it so she could look back on how we used to live, and be thankful its not like that anymore.        





















 Atticus Finch, in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, was standing in front of a court jury down south, claiming Tom Robinson, a Negro, his innocence. The words in his speech had a great effect on the jury in the book, and the reader in a way that no other book has. His words were just so powerful. They are so powerful mainly because back then, racism played a key role in society. This speech caused many emotions, and was written with some tricks, and this speech is certainly “ahead of its time”.
      As you read this speech, there are many emotions that you, as the audience, can be feeling as you read. “She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson- a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her,” was said in the speech that causes anger mostly, because Tom Robinson, who was clearly innocent, was brought to trial for kissing a white girl, and he was accused of raping her. It just wasn’t fair, and therefore the audience may have pity for Tom as they are reading this. “She tempted a black man” is a piece from the speech that could cause you to feel sorry for Tom Robinson. It may also give you a motivation to act, which it did too many people. It motivated people to stop racism; it showed how unfair and corrupt society was. “She did something that in our society is unspeakable. She kissed a black man” was what Finch said to the jury to try and prove a point. The author of the book, Harper Lee, wanted the reader to feel pity for Tom Robinson, because this book’s morals are focused on the way black people were treated back then.  
       Harper Lee used some clever tricks throughout this speech. Repetition with “guilt” was being used. “It was an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say guilt, gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her”. He is emphasizing guilt because he’s explaining to the jury the young girl’s motive for accusing Robinson of raping her. Their is also repetition in the word “Negro”. Tom kissed a white girl, and he was brought to court because of it. He was black, which a black man kissing a white woman was not acceptable. She also accused him of raping her, which the evidence shows he didn’t do so. “She tempted a Negro, She was white, and she tempted a Negro…. She kissed a black man,” was a line that was repeating Negro.
     This speech is ahead of its time because society was so corrupt back then, and people like Atticus Finch, who fought against racism, were the ones who changed our social system today. Today we know that everyone is equal, white or black. If it weren’t for people like Finch, we would be living a lot differently today.  

































William Shakespeare was a very influential, intelligent and original poet and playwright. He has a huge impact on our society today because we still perform his plays, read his work, and study his life. None of our modern literature has ever emulated or matched up to anything he wrote. He became the most popular playwright in England and the part-owner of the Globe Theatre. Unfortunately, he has never lived to see his fame. Shakespeare is known for his one hundred and fifty four sonnets, poems such as “Venus and Adonis” and “It Was A Love and His Lass”, and of course his plays. He wrote 37 plays which included “Macbeth”, “Hamlet”, “A Midsummer nights dream”, and “Romeo and Juliet”. Irony tragedy and the theme love were what he wrote best. “Romeo and Juliet” had both clever irony and the theme love and it was a tragedy and was and still is very unique because of Shakespeare’s style of writing and creative ideas.       
     Juliet and Romeo fell in love with one another but a feud between their families forced them to keep their love secret, their fore Juliet and Romeo couldn’t get married. This was very devastating to both of them. Juliet drinks a potion to put her to sleep to appear dead in front of her and Romeo’s parents to avoid marrying Paris (the man who her parents are forcing her to marry) to be with her true love Romeo. Her family is convinced of her “death” and puts her in a Tomb. Romeo was supposed to get a message from Friar Lawrence, who agrees to marry the young lovers in secret since he sees in their love the possibility of ending the age-old feud between Capulet and Montague, stating that Juliet isn’t really dead. Unfortunately, Romeo’s best friend sees her get put in her tomb and goes to the next town Verona, where Romeo was exiled to because of a murder, and tells him that she is dead (really thinking she’s dead). Romeo rushes over to her tomb where he sees her lying there “dead”. He drinks a cup of poison, and drops down dead. Seconds later, Juliet awakens after the potion worn away, and sees her love Romeo dead on the ground with the goblet of poison next to him. She takes the dagger he was holding, and fatally stabs herself with it. “I'll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die” (Act 5, Scene 3) is what Juliet says before she kills herself.  Shakespeare uses irony very well in this story because the whole time we, the audience, knew Juliet wasn’t really dead, while Romeo remained unaware of the situation.  
     Love and tragedy are very powerful themes, and in “Romeo and Juliet” Shakespeare defines them well. Romeo and Juliet had true love and ardent feelings towards each other. They would go out of their ways just to be with each other. Romeo being a Montague and Juliet being a Capulate causes the two to have their love in secret because of their families being enemies. “Romeo and Juliet” is the first real love play written. Shakespeare defines love as the feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, unlike many other plays during his time. “Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, by one that I'll procure to come to thee…” (Act 1, Scene 5). Juliet says this in her orchard at night after she and Romeo met. She is in love with him, and wants to marry him! The feeling is mutual for Romeo. Shakespeare really moves the audience emotionally because when you mix love and tragedy, it usually doesn’t end up being a happy play. Tragedy comes in naturally during fighting scenes. The main tragedy is when Romeo kills Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, and then he is exiled out of the town. As I said before, this causes Juliet to fake her death to go marry him without her family getting involved, but Romeo takes her death literally and ends up drinking poison. “Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die…” (Act 5, Scene 2) is when Romeo consumes the poison. Tragedy is when the main character suffers extreme sorrow or moral weakness, and both Romeo and Juliet did just that. Like many of the Shakespeare plays, “Romeo and Juliet” contained this particular theme.   
      “Romeo and Juliet” revolutionized tragedies and the theme love. It gave people a whole new perspective on irony as well. No other writer has ever done what Shakespeare has done in “Romeo and Juliet”. This play does something new, different, and extraordinary. Besides being the best writer of all time, Shakespeare inspired and still does inspire other writers tremendously. “Romeo and Juliet” is truly one of a kind.    




























   It was Virginia Wolfe, James Joyce, and Will Yeats who had a transformational impact on the world during “The Modern Period”. The new unit that will be published in our textbook should be memorable for all. This unit will be called “The Age of Transition” due to the rapid changes the societies faced during the twentieth century. Houses, jobs, cars, styles, and even the people changed so drastically. The invention of the computer changed everything. That is why I call this “The Age of Transition”. It is a period of change. J.K. Rowling, Ronan Noone, Siegfried Sassoon, George Orwell, and the Beatles had a huge impact on the world during this period starting from nineteen fifty.
 There was no band better than the Beatles. Their lyrics were touching, their melodies were catchy, and the whole world during the twenty-first century knew most of their songs by heart.  They were Britain’s icon. The Beatles became recognized very quickly world wide as one of the best bands in history. Throughout the 21st century, many artists became inspired by the Beatles music and redid their music. The song “yesterday” was written in 1971 by John Lennon. “Yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away” is the first line in the song. John Lennon is looking back and seeing how much better of he was then. He wished he could go back. “Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be” is the first line in the second verse.  
      The best play during this period is defiantly “The Lepers of the Baile Baiste” written by Ronan Noone, an Irishman. Daithi O’Neil returns to Baile Baiste (“Town of Rain”) "to bring up dirt that don’t need risin'."  The police want him locked up, the lads want him to shut up and the priest wants him to leave. But stirring up the past has tragic and violent consequences. This is a powerful, though often humorous, play about abuse and repressed guilt. “Noone has an ear for dialogue and the tension that can build beneath the everyday comings and goings of one small town” says Terry Byrne (Boston Herald.com). “The Lepers of Baile Baiste” was the 2002 winner of the National Playwriting Award in America. This play has a very simple setting, but complex dialogue.  
  The short story “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell helps the reader understand the corruption that was occurring during this time period. Questioning his own privileged upbringing and education, he went out to Burma at the age of nineteen and for the next five years served as a colonial policeman. Orwell was witty and outspoken. In this Short Story, George was in Burma and was forced to shoot a living healthy elephant because of tradition. He is a high ranked officer and shooting an elephant is something every officer must do. He didn’t want to do it, but if he didn’t, he would be looked down upon by the people. This is truly the best short story I have ever read. It kept me glued to the screen as I was reading it. “I did not want to shoot the elephant. I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to”(eighth paragraph). That is how Orwell felt about shooting the elephant.
  “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is J.K. Rowling’s fourth “Harry Potter” book out of the series. J.K. Rowling offers up equal parts danger and delight, and any number of dragons, house-elves, and death-defying challenges. Now 14, her orphan hero has only two more weeks with his Muggle relatives before returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Yet one night a vision harrowing enough to make his lightning-bolt-shaped scar burn has Harry on edge and contacting his godfather-in-hiding, Sirius Black. Happily, the prospect of attending the season's premier sporting event, the Quidditch World Cup, is enough to make Harry momentarily forget that Lord Voldemort and his sinister familiars--the Death Eaters--are out for murder. J.K. Rowling was once on welfare in Scotland, and was the first Billionaire author after her fourth book, which is 752 pages. This exciting, action filled book is a must! “The most creative and original novel out there” (The New York Times Book Review).
      “Does It Matter? –losing you legs?... for people will always be kind, and you need not show that you mind” is part of the first verse in the poem “Does It Matter” by Siegfried Sassoon. As you read on, you will find out Sassoons views on life. He is saying that it doesn’t matter if you lose your legs, or lose your sight, because people will always be kind to you. This should be in our textbook because it teaches you great morals.  
     It was Virginia Wolfe, James Joyce, and Will Yeats who had a transformational impact on the world during “The Modern Period”, but it was J.K. Rowling, Ronan Noone, Siegfried Sassoon, George Orwell, and the Beatles who got the people out of the ‘Modern Age”, and began “The Age of Transition.” Novels became more imaginative, poems became more free verse like, and plays became more realistic. Things have changed. Change is good.