English 10: Writing Portfolio
Essay the First

Essay the Second

Essay the third

Essay the fourth




















 On September 2, 1981 my uncle Patrick was watching Popeye, and writing a letter to my mother who was at college.  At the time my uncle was in junior high school, and he always wrote to my mom because her other brother and sister rarely wrote to her and he felt that he should write letters to her to keep her up to date.  In the letters he talks about everything that has been going on at home.  The letters that he has written are really messy and hard to read, but the things you can read are really funny.  Finding this letter was very easy because my mom had a box in the attic filled with letters and pictures from her childhood.  
     In the first letter that my uncle wrote to my mom, he was watching the television show Popeye.  The letter talks about many things such as who he has for school teachers, that one of her friends grandfather died and he also mentions that he really misses her, an that he really wants her to come home for the weekend with one of her school friends.    
     We also found a second letter that he wrote to her while she was in college and unlike the first one; this letter is much neater and easier to read than the first one.  In this letter Pat is wondering if my mom has met anyone else from school and if she has a nice dorm room.  He also uses humor in this text.  For example he says, "I know this letter sounds really corny, but I had nothing else to write about!"  Patrick also says "I wish you were still here cause I have no one to bye me a ice cream sundae."  
     To see if the letter was any different from today’s writings, I asked my brother Mike a few questions about the letters.  The fist question I asked him was, "how old do you think this text is?" His answer was "about 25 years old."  The next question I asked was, "why do you think this passage was saved all these years?"  He replied "I think this letter was kept so long, because it holds an important value to my mom since her brother wrote it."  Finally the last question that I asked my brother was "what didn't you know about the person before you read this?"  Mike replied, "what I didn’t know about mom before I read this was that she was closest to my uncle than any other of her brothers and sisters."    
     After reading the letters from my uncle to my mom, I found out many things that I didn't know about before.  For example I had no idea that my mother and uncle age wise were so far apart.  Also throughout this letter I found a couple of sentences that did not really make sense to me partially because this letter was written so long ago, and since then our language has changed.  In conclusion, after finding these letters and reading them, I learned many things about my mom and uncle, and also that our language has changed over the years.  

























SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is a very inspirational movie.  The film was written by Robert Rodat, and is a movie based upon World War II.  Throughout this film there are many great speeches, but the one I think is really great is when Captain Miller is talking to his troops. Throughout this speech Rodat uses repetition and metaphors.  Using these tricks help him get his point across better.  
     Saving Private Ryan is a great movie based on the events of World War II in the year 1945.  The main role is played by Tom Hanks, who is on a mission to find a man in the army named Ryan, because all of his siblings have been killed in battle and the army doesn’t want Ryan's mother to lose any more of her children.  The writer of the film did a fantastic job in getting the viewer into the movie, and writing it in such a way that the normal person watching it could understand what was going on since all the war terms can get very confusing.  
     One of the tricks Robert uses to get his point across is repetition.  By using repetition he can emphasize that this statement has major meaning:  “I want to get out of here and go home to my wife, I just want to go home.”  This is an example of Rodat using repetition to get the point across that all Captain Millar wants to do is go home to his wife in Pennsylvania.  This is a great way of getting his point across to his men that if they continue to fight, the war will soon be over, and they will get to go home to their loved ones.  
     Another one of Roberts tricks in this speech is the use of a metaphor.   A metaphor is a good thing to use here, because it gives the troops a better way of understanding what Captain Miller is saying.  “I just know that every man I kill, I feel like I get farther away from home.”  This is a great example of a metaphor, because he his saying that when you kill a man you don’t feel like you are getting closer to home, but you feel like you are getting farther away from home.    
     As you can probably see, by using repetition and metaphors Robert Rodat made his movie much more interesting and easier to follow.  This speech in the end had a big role in the turnout of the movie, particularly because it motivated the men to fight harder so that they would return home quicker.  This motivation eventually led to the finding of the solider that that the team was sent out to find, Private Ryan.






















  William Shakespeare who lived during the 16th century, is arguably one the best writers of all time.  He wrote different than any other writer during his life.  One out of his many sonnets that I believe is unlike any other pieces of work that Shakespeare has written is Sonnet 29. This sonnet is very well written, and in my opinion the author uses styles of writing such as imagery and similes that make the poem different than the other sonnets Shakespeare has produced.  Also he expresses self-pity for himself, which I have not seen in any other poem.
     When a writer uses imagery, he makes it much more enjoyable to read because it gives the reader images of what he is trying to explain to you.  William Shakespeare uses this form of writing better than anyone else.  A great line that expresses this form of writing is when he says “to the lark at break of day arising from sullen earth…” In this line he is clearly picturing a lark or game at the beginning of the day.
     Another style of writing that Shakespeare uses, are similes.  A simile is a form of writing that is used to help explain something more clearly by using the word like.  “Wishing me like to one more rich than hope.” Here the author is explaining that he wishes he were full of hope, and by using this simile Shakespeare is giving the reader a better way of understanding what he wants.
     Finally, William Shakespeare uses self-pity as a way of expressing himself.  I have never seen this used in any other poem or story that I have read, that came from a writer before Shakespeare.  “I alone beweep my outcast state, and troubled deaf heaven with my bootless cries.”  Here he is showing that he wants to be someone else who has a better life than the author has now, clearly showing self-pity for himself.  
     As you can probably see, William Shakespeare was one of kind.  He uses so many styles of writing that make his work phenomenal. Imagery, similes and his use of self-pity, are just a few things that make this poem unique.  Though there were many other writers during this time period, Shakespeare is the most well know writer among them, due to the fact that he uses many styles of writing that he made up, and the styles that were already in use.










































  The late 20th century, also known as the age of the Wars, was a time of war and  
technology.  Some things that changed the world were the results of WWII and the  
improvements made to cell phones.  During this time there were also many great songs, poems, stories, and plays.  The 20th century is probably most known for all the great songs and stories that were produced.
     A song that touched so many people in England during this era was Elton John’s Candle in the Wind.  This song touched millions of people in England because it was sung in memory of Marilyn Monroe, but also Princess Diana who did in a car crash in the 1990’s. The significance of this song is that it is basically saying that life is very short like the life of a candle when it makes contact with the wind, and that even though it is short you will always be remembered.
     Philip Larkin was a great novelist who graduated from St. John's College, Oxford. He published “A Girl in Winter” in 1947. This is a highly recommended novel. This 1947 book from the late Larkin, who was one of England's most notable writers, tells a story of a fateful winter day in the life of a European woman who has fled to England during  
     Taylor Street by Thom Gunn is a great poem that greatly shows the twentieth century. This is a poem that expresses “living.”  “His small eyes watch what he is not living. But he lives what he can.” This quote explains how the man in the poem sees people and how there lives are so much different from his. Jeremy Reed from the National Daily Newspaper says: “Thom Gunn's "Night Sweats" is one of his finest books of poetry. He is a master at writing lines that flow.”
     Plays also played a big role in the age of war. One great play was The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard.  This play is a comedy about a man is determined to solve mysteries. Richard Watts from the New York Post writes: "...a comedy satire of high and delightfully quality, and great fun. Even though you may admire murder mysteries or, what is more unlikely, drama critics, you can appreciate its wisdom and revel in the hilarity with which Mr. Stoppard takes them apart. The action is fast, continuous, and extremely funny."      
     Doris Lessing who wrote The Pit is a fabulous British author. The short story The Pit is about a man who comes to visit his first wife, who gets reeled in by his second wife, but she soon finds out and escapes. This story fits well with this age because during the late 1900’s there were a lot of cases where men had two wives and the women became envious over each other.  
     The late twentieth century brought many good things to the world but also it brought things that we wish had never happened.  Though through the rough times literature played a big role in many peoples lives, whether it was through song such as Candle in the Wind, or a book like “A Girl in Winter.” Short stories, plays and poems also were a way of improving the late 1900’s.  Even though there were thousands of pieces of literature that came out of this age, these pieces are the most significant.