Essay the third
Essay the fourth
out to be more difficult than I thought to find just the right item. I
talked to my Grandmother, my Great Auntie Mary and my Great Auntie Marie.
There were a number of different items like bills of sales, cemetery
paperwork, auto sales papers and the letter that I chose.
The letter is written to my mother, Patricia’s, Uncle Joe from a
younger man, a distant cousin, John Preston, who worked for him and became
part of the extended family. Let me explain the family history first. My
Grandmother is the second of five children of Nora and Coleman Kelly. My
Grandmother and her older brother, Coleman “Joe” Kelly were born in South
Boston and raised in Mission Hill. He went by Joe and was a street- smart
man with family values. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed helping
or mentoring younger people. He served in World War II and worked
eventually for the United States Post Office after a long career with
Chaquita Banana. However he always had a second job and generations later
even though Uncle Joe is deceased the funny stories are still around.
The letter is written after John has gone back to school and finished
college. He is very pleased with himself but realizes that Uncle Joe has
encouraged him in a lot of ways. Some of it was telling him to go back and
other parts of it were about life stories and experiences. John knows now
that he has “book learning” as Joe called it and good practical experiences.
John seems to think that you need both to really be educated. I think that
he is right.
One of the quotes is, “So, how’s tricks at the theatre?” I didn’t have any
idea what this meant. I didn’t know if tricks was a person or what. The
other quote is “Still chasing hounds from the back gates?” It sounds like
there were dogs trying to get in to the theater. No one still uses this
language as far as I know. My father told me that “how’s tricks” is like me
asking my friend “Yo, what up?” It’s asking what’s happening. He figures
that chasing hounds meant that they had to chase kids away from the back
gates who were trying to sneak in to the movies.
I think one of the significant things about this letter is that a younger
person took the time to write to his older cousin. He wrote to tell him
what he was doing and how much he liked working at the movie theater and
working with his cousin. He obviously really enjoyed this time. Something
else that is significant is that Auntie Marie and Uncle Joe kept the letter.
I think it means that they were really impressed by it. I really think
that it meant a lot to them.
John Preston wrote the letter. I think he was in his early to late
20’s when he wrote it. Probably in his late 20’s because of what he says
about finally finishing college. It sounds like he didn’t finish college
right away. It sounds more like he went and left, maybe a couple of times.
It is good to read that he did finish.
gave his speech before his troops went into war. He gave it to motivate and
get the men psyched up to go fight. I think most of the men listening would
have been laughing a little because of some of the things he says. “I want
you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He
won it by making the other dumb bastard die for his country”. Some of them
were probably scared because it was war.
General Patton was trying to convince them all that this is the right
thing to do. “This stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to fight is
a lot of horse dung”. General Patton is inspiring them to be real Americans
and to fight to win and not to lose. He is telling them that they are part
of the best army in the world. They are part of a team and the team will
win by beating the other guys. If I was there I think I would have wanted
him to be my leader. He makes you proud to be an American.
He uses the team analogy like in sports. General Patton is saying that
a team wins by sticking together and doing the things it takes to win. He
tells them to kill the enemy and he is not kidding. He says that is the
only way to win the war, by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his
country. “I actually pity those poor bastards we’re going up against”.
Patton knows that they are young and have not been in a war before and
that they might think that they will chicken out when they get in a fight.
The General is telling them that they will do the right thing when they are
fighting. I think he knows that some of them will panic but he knows that
most of them will probably remember his words and do the right thing when it
comes to fighting. “The Nazis are the enemy. Shoot them in the belly”. He’s
telling them to go out there and kick their butt.
“I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime,
anywhere”. I think every leader in any war would say the same kind of
things to the army. I think that Caesar might have said these things to his
army and I’m sure the generals who are leading our army in Iraq probably
said things like this too.
General Patton was a tough man and a great leader in the war. He would
be the kind of leader I would want in a war. He was the kind of general
that helped America win the war.
I picked the "Merchant's
Tale" by Geoffrey Chaucer. He is a writer from the 16th century. It is a
very interesting story to me. In my essay I am going to write about how the
merchant felt about marriage and how men thought about women back then. It
is a story about people and how they treat each other.
“The Merchant’s Tale” is part of the Canterbury Tales. The Merchant is one
of the pilgrims in the story. Like all the pilgrims, the Merchant has to
tell a story. His story is about a knight who decides to get married after
being a bachelor for sixty years.
Through the Merchant’s prologue Chaucer gives us a unique perspective on
marriage. The Merchant tells the readers in the prologue how miserable a
marriage he has. He has been married for two months and says, “I have a
wife, the worst one that can be; for though the foul Fiend to her wedded
were, she’d overmatch him, this I dare to swear”. He is saying that his
wife is so bad and nasty that she would get the best of the devil if he was
married to her. He calls her a shrew and cruel. The Merchant thinks that
marriage is not a good thing. He really wants to be single because his wife
is such a witch.
The “Merchant’s Tale” is about a knight, whose name is January. He has two
brothers, Placebo and Justinus. The story starts with January talking about
how great marriage is and how the wife is there to serve the husband.
January is sixty years old and is prosperous. He decides he is going to
get married because he thinks marriage is the best thing. He says, “Praying
Our Lord to grant him that he might once know something of that blissful
life that is between a husband and his wife.” I thought this was kind of
funny because he is talking about how great marriage is and he is sixty
years old and has never been married. It sounds like he probably feels bad
about himself because he never got married and now he is getting so old and
won’t be around too much longer.
January talks about how God made Adam and then decided that he needed a
mate. He thinks that women are just there for men. He thinks God put Eve
there to be like used by Adam. “A wife is a man’s help and his comfort, his
earthly paradise and means of sport”. He thinks wives are supposed to agree
with the husband all the time and do what he says. I think that was how men
thought of women back when Chaucer wrote this story.
Chaucer gives us a good example of what kind of power men want over women.
January finally picks a young woman to marry. He says that the woman has to
be young. “I will not have an old wife coming here. She shan’t have more
than twenty years, that’s plain”. He thinks that it should be a young
woman. “But certainly a young thing men may guide, just as warm wax may
one’s hands be plied”. He doesn’t want an older woman who won’t do what he
tells her. He wants a young woman that won’t do anything except what he
wants her to do.
She gets over on him because he probably wants to believe her anyway. I
also think the biggest theme in this story is power over people. In the end
Chaucer teaches us a few lessons about marriage. For example: Never rush to
get married. Make sure you like the person. Don’t think of women as objects.
I have decided to
call my paper “Brit Lit after 1950”. I chose The Beatles as the authors of
music, Ian Fleming for the movies, Agatha Christie for novelist, Samuel
Beckett for drama, and Seamus Heaney for poetry. I will talk about
“Yesterday” by The Beatles. I plan to talk about the James Bond movies that
are based on the books by Ian Fleming. I will talk about Agatha Christie’s
mystery books. I will talk about “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett and
the poem, “Digging” by Seamus Heaney. I think all these authors and their
works will still be around in 2104.
“Yesterday” was actually written by Paul McCartney but just about all
Beatles songs said Lennon and McCartney. They were the main writers of the
Beatles songs. He wrote it in 1965 and said it was a real easy song for him
to write. He just woke up one morning with it in his head. He didn’t have a
name for it at first and he called “Scrambled Eggs” until it was finished
and he named it “Yesterday”. I think the song is about how fast things can
change in life. One day everything is great and then the next day it’s not.
“Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away now it looks as though
they’re here to stay”. He is in love with a girl and everything is so good.
He thinks it will stay like that but then she leaves him and he doesn’t know
why. I think this is what happens in real life and this song has been around
for almost 40 years already. I really think it will still be around in 2104.
It is one of the most recorded songs ever. People like Frank Sinatra, Andy
Williams (people and singers who I don’t know who they are but my parents
do) and orchestras and other groups have all recorded it. It has been
recorded more than 2500 times and is the most recorded song in history.
Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1906. He was depressed a
lot. He would stay in bed until late in the afternoon and hated long
conversations. According to the experts, this sense of depression would show
up in most of his writing, especially “Waiting for Godot”. He once said that
he did not have feelings that were human. He had psychotherapy for a year in
the 1930s. I think he might have had some mental issues. I thought this was
all interesting because he won the Nobel Prize for Literature too so he must
have written some good stuff. He wrote poems, plays, and books. So I picked
Samuel Beckett to use as my playwright.
Waiting for Godot was written in 1953. The play is about Vladimir and
Estragon and their pitiful wait for Godot. They are bums and Estragon can’t
remember anything except what he was just told and Vladimir thinks he
remembers his life. Vladimir is not sure though because nobody else
remembers him or anything. Estragon and Vladimir need each other because
they are the only ones who know each other and they need each other to pass
the time while they wait. The play is about hope. It is about how people who
have nothing and who are nothing are told that Mr. Godot will be coming. But
I don’t think we really know who or what he is. It’s like everyone in life
is waiting for something. It might be hope or love or death.
I think it is interesting because the biggest success of Waiting for
Godot was when it was shown in San Quentin prison for over fourteen hundred
convicts in 1957. The prisoners immediately identified with Vladimir and
Estragon about the pains of waiting for life to end and the struggle of
daily existence. So I think this play will last because people will always
be suffering through things and waiting for something better or waiting for
life to end.
I picked Seamus Heaney as my poetry person in my “Brit Lit after 1950”
essay. He was born in 1939 in Ireland and won the Nobel Prize for Literature
in 1995. I think his poems are about things that will last always. He writes
about his country and what was going on there and how he looked at it.
“Anohorish” and “Digging” are two poems that he wrote that tell about how
his country looked and what he saw. “Digging” talks about his father too. I
think it is a poem that will last forever because it tells about how his
father was out digging peat in the fields and how Seamus is in the house
writing with a pen. He says how good his father is with a shovel and how his
father’s father was so good too. I think it’s about how our fathers try to
work hard so that we will have it better. Seamus doesn’t have to go out
digging peat but works with his pen because his father worked hard so he
could. I know that is what my grandfathers did for my mother and father and
what they are doing for me.
Ian Fleming was born in 1908. He created the James Bond 007 character
and it was based on his real life. He wrote books about him and in the 1960s
movies started being made. The movies are all starring James Bond 007. He is
the hero who saves the world. The movies are about good against evil. The
bad guy is usually some real evil rich guy who is trying to take over the
world. He always has a bunch of bad guys working for him that 007 has to
beat. James Bond has to use his brains and his fighting to win in the end. I
think these movies will last because there is always good and evil in the
world and we need a hero to beat the bad guys. James Bond is always cool and
smarter than the bad guys and that’s what we want to see. Fleming’s books
are all about good winning and they will always be around.
Agatha Christie was born in 1890 in England. She was shy and didn’t
like to talk to people. She began writing to express herself. She created
detectives that would solve crimes that no one else could. She created
Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. They were two private detectives who
always solved the crime. Agatha Christie wrote mystery stories beginning in
the 1920s and wrote into the 1970s. “Ordeal by Innocence”, for instance, was
written in 1958. Some of her books were made into movies, like “Murder on
the Orient Express” and “Ten Little Indians” and she wrote a play called
“The Mousetrap” that is the longest running play ever. It has been going for
26 years. People always like a good mystery so Agatha Christie’s books will
always be read. I think they will be around forever.
The Beatles were looked at by older people as kind of real weirdoes
because of their long hair and the way they dressed. They were instant
successes in the United States. When critics found out that Paul wrote and
played “Yesterday”, they made kind of a big deal out of it because they
thought it was Paul going out on his own. They thought it was the end of the
Beatles. That didn’t happen until 5 years later. Just about all critics
thought that the song was wonderful.
Samuel Beckett had many critics for “Waiting for Godot”. A lot of them
didn’t have any idea what it was about. I think that most people are that
way. Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times in 1956 said, “Don’t expect this
column to give a coherent account of what - if anything - happens. Almost
nothing happens”. He called it “a mystery wrapped in an enigma”. John
Chapman of the New York Daily News in 1956 said “merely a stunt but not
without charms”. Other playwrights praised Beckett and “Waiting for Godot”.
Tennessee Williams and William Saroyan called it a great classic and the
beginning of a new way to present drama. Anyway, the play is controversial
and puzzling and a lot of people don’t know what it’s about but it is still
around and being produced.
Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995. The Press
Release for the Nobel Prize said, “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical
depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past”. “He hears
language in landscape, in rivers, in stones,” said one local poet,
Christopher Jane Corkery. Heaney, like all great Irish writers is known for
the wealth of sound, image, metaphor and rhythm in his poems. “His is a
muscular verse, filled with the richness and danger of Derry farms and peat
bogs and with the people who worked, loved, fought and were buried there.”
This was from The Boston Globe on October 6, 1995.
I chose these people in my essay Brit Lit after 1950 because I really
think that they are all important people in literature. The Beatles are one
of the most successful bands of all time. They wrote an unbelievable number
of songs. I couldn’t believe the number of songs when I started looking up
information. Like I said before, “Yesterday” is the most recorded song in
history. There is a reason for that because it is a great song and sounds
good. They have so many other songs like it. They started in the early 1960s
and broke up in 1970. They went their own way and kept making songs. Their
music will be around forever.
Samuel Beckett started writing in the 1920s and kept doing it into the
1980s. He wasn’t really as well known until he wrote “Waiting for Godot” in
1950. Because it was so controversial and famous he became well known. That
was over 50 years ago and the play is still being talked about and put on.
Beckett did many other plays and books and his work will last forever.
Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature. His poetry is very
well known and I liked all the ones I read. “Digging” was my favorite
because it was about family and doing things for each other. It is something
that will always be around.
Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond books. I like the movies that have
been made from the books and they are always about good beating evil. That
is something that has been around since the beginning and will always be
Agatha Christie’s books are mysteries and about the detective solving
the crime by using their brain. Like James Bond her detectives always beat
I really think all my choices have done things in literature that will
last forever because they are all about things that people care about and
want to see or hear.