Essay the third
Essay the fourth
I was rumaging
around in my basement when I came across a box with old pieces of paper.
They included old wills, letters from friends, and a bunch of records of
the Carrel family. That's when I came across a letter from my grandfather
on my father's side written to my grandmother.
During WWII my grandfather wrote a letter to my grandmother, he had just
arrived in New Mexico by train in a hospital car because of an illness he
had. He says he arrived in the afternoon, the trip went well and was well
cared for. He mentions he was going to wire my grandmother and his father
(my great-grandfather) as soon as he learned he was leaving but the
telegraph strike prevented him. He dropped off a note to his father while
At the moment my grandfather was being kept at a hospital for futher
checks. The doctor had not been able to check all the patients yet
including himself and probably would not finish until tomorrow. My
grandfather did not get a chance yet to find out about having visitors but
soon would. He also asks how things are and promises he'll try to make
arrangements so she can visit him. The letter comes to a close with a "I
miss you more than you could ever know."
This letter was long and had a lot of details. My grandfather
abreviated many words and was very specific on when and where he went. "He
wanted to keep your grandmother well informed so she would know everything
and not worry too much," said my mother whom I interviewed about the letter.
"This letter is one of a variety of different links to past generations in
our family which brought our family together."
A speech from a movie
“ahead of its time” is from, “The Majestic" written by Michael Sloane. Jim
Carrey plays movie producer, Peter Appleton, living in the 1950s who is
accused of being a communist, speaks the speech. After the whole ordeal of
having amnesia and being mistaken for someone else in a small town where, in
a way, he learned more about himself, he confronts a committee to clear up
the accusations. The speech itself speaks of the First Amendment in the
Constitution and tells everyone how the government seems to be trying to
The speech basically reminds the people of the America many have died for
and the contracts (constitution) “paid in blood.” Sloane intended this to
have an inspirational impact upon the audience, like the part where Jim
Carrey says this after reading the First Amendment: “That’s the First
Amendment, Mr. Chairman. It’s the backbone of this nation. It’s everything
that gives us the potential to be right and good and just if only we’d live
up to that potential.” This also gives the audience a pitiful feeling as
this man made a great risk to challenge the committee, fighting for what was
just. In other words, he acted just like a martyr because originally he
went to the committee with one thing in mind: to clear up the accusations
made about him being a communist and then getting back to his life. But
Sloane writes that halfway through, Peter realizes there was a bigger issue
and decides instead to basically stand up and tell everyone that America was
turning into something bitter than what it was intended to be.
In the speech, Sloane writes of Peter Appleton talking directly to the
Chairman and the committee that America had the Constitution for a reason
and was the only thing they had to live by: “It’s (the First Amendment) the
most important part of the contract that every citizen has with this
country. And even though this contract…(holds up the book of the
Constitution)…the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – even though they’re
the only contracts we have that are most definitely not subject to
renegotiation.” This refers to America’s prejudice towards communists and
that the government was trying to altar the law basically prohibiting
different beliefs. Overall, Peter was proving the point that America was
ignoring the laws already written for it and was on its way to corruption.
He used the word, contract, many times (an example of parallelism) as these
laws were signed and established for a reason.
I believe this speech was ahead of its time for the movie demonstrated one
man fighting for people’s basic rights. He practically challenged America
itself, which was what a whole country would do yet he was just one person
and not a million. It takes a lot of guts to challenge something bigger
than yourself just to fight for something you believe in.
We all have read
stories of a noble family or prince/princess with an ambitious relative,
such as an uncle. Most of the time, the mischievous uncle takes advantage
of his family to gain power through evil intentions. However the story,
“The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark,” takes these kinds of
stories to a whole new level. “Hamlet” was written by William Shakespeare
around 1600, and the story itself is about a prince named Hamlet whose
father was murdered by Hamlet’s uncle to become the new king. This piece of
literature makes all the other uncles in similar stories look like angels.
The theme of the story involves mostly revenge and honor, and there is
a hint of madness and revenge within the characters. The uncle betrays his
family’s trust by killing his brother to be crowned king with Hamlet as the
only witness. Hamlet desires to kill him but wants to kill him in a way so
the uncle will not enter Heaven, and after his guilt is revealed. Hamlet
shows signs of insanity in his role along with strange behavior, and
eventually shows the king’s (uncle’s) guilt. The king uses Laertes, son of
Polonius who was accidentally killed by Hamlet, to take out Hamlet in a duel
for he knew that Laertes desired revenge.
When Hamlet speaks, the dialogue involves him mainly speaking to
himself plotting the revenge. But the irony is he refuses to kill the king
unless certain actions are taken at certain times, and in the end when he
finally kills the king, Hamlet dies too. After Hamlet uses the help of
actors to re-enact the scene in which the uncle killed the king, and
“proved” his guilt, Hamlet follows the king to prepare for his death. He
gets ready to kill the uncle while praying, but has second thoughts. He
speaks to himself that if he killed his uncle while he was in prayer, then
this wouldn’t be revenge for he might send the king into Heaven at this
Overall, shakespeare was a marvelous writer who took the category of noble
families and ambitious uncles to a new level. The story of Hamlet
demonstrates great conflict and characterization within the plot. The irony
and dialouge is terrific in showing what the characters experience and how
they are emotionally moved in the story.
In the late twentieth
century, we live in stressful times and usually require something express
our hearts and minds. Today’s twentieth century British creations such as
the song "If You Need Me" by the Rolling Stones, the play "Endgame" by
Samuel Beckett, the novel "A Heritage in Its History" by Ivy
Compton-Burnett, "A Prayer in Time of War" by Alfred Noyes, and are great
examples and experienced by all people.
Presently, people experience great emotion in family matters and close
relationships. We show need for someone to be there for us and to keep us
company. One song: "If You Need Me" by the Rolling Stones presents this
idea. The song is about a boy who tells a girl that he loves her and if she
needs a friend; all she has to do is call him. "If you need me, Why don't
you call me" (1-2) Friendship is a huge theme in today's society; it is a
purpose to life and can help you even with the toughest situations. Friends
should stand by you always and respond when you need them.
When in tough times, people find it hard to see the purpose of the human
condition. The play: "Endgame" by Samuel Beckett gives an example of this.
The story talks about people who seemingly live in a bomb shelter after a
nuclear explosion. They experience fits of madness and illusion while
losing their purpose to life. They lose all meaning to the human condition.
"...Samuel Beckett's second play turns out to be quite impressive.
Impressive in the macabre intensity of the mood, that is." (NY Times).
As people grow older, they begin to notice changes within themselves.
Sometimes they are good or bad and the ability to cope with them depends
heavily upon themselves. Sometimes we discover things about ourselves which
were never there in the first place and can shock us. The novel, "A
Heritage in Its History" by Ivy Compton-Burnett," involves the Challoner
family who experience dramatic self-revelations about themselves. "...all
say what they feel, articulating with a brilliant and shocking precision the
truths about ourselves that we leave unspoken, unacknowledged" (dust jacket
of the first U.S. edition). They live in a Victorian mansion which has a
"deadly truth" to it. The Challoners are known as good natured people, but
soon realize, with a shock, the new values they live by involving: love,
pride, greed, marriage, adultery, incest, and death.
Sometimes we live in violent times of war and chaos. This is when we are
all most frightened because we feel we are alone and hope God will help us
through prayer. The poem, "A Prayer in Time of War" by Alfred Noyes, shows
people in time of war who pray to the Lord to help them. Though all hope
seems lost, the people believe that He will answer their call no matter what
happens. "For, while our souls in darkness dwell, We know that Thou art
There are times when a person is transfixed on what he/she does yet is
still able to respect and sometimes support what friend does which is
different. The short story, "Lovers of the Lake" by Sean O'Faolain,
presents a man named Bobby and a Woman named Jenny. Bobby is a kind hearted
fellow who cares for and is greatly respected by Jenny, who decides to go on
a pilgrimage and Bobby supports her despite his opinion. ”‘Bobby! I'm
always praising you to my friends as a man who takes things as they come. So
few men do. Never looking beyond the day. Doing things on the spur of the
moment. It's why I like you so much. Other men are always weighing up, and
considering and arguing. I've built you up as a sort of magnificent wild,
brainless tomcat. Are you going to let me down now?' "(22).