English 10: Writing Portfolio
Essay the First

Essay the Second

Essay the third

Essay the fourth
































  This speech is said by Lt. Col. Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson) to the seventh cavalry paratroopers.  He says this speech at a ceremony for the men before they leave for Vietnam.  The film takes place during the 1960’s, the time of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.  Lt. Col. Moore said this speech to show his men that he cared for them and that he wouldn’t leave any one of t hem behind, dead or alive.  Randal Wallace wrote this speech to further show the audience Moore’s character and to show how a good military leader should care about his men.
          Some of the feelings viewers may have while seeing the speech could range from sympathy for the men to boredom.  Some people may feel that it’s an appropriate speech for that time because many men who fought in Vietnam never came back.  Others may feel impressed that a man in the 60’s (a particular time of racial tension) would tell his men to leave they’re prejudice and bias beliefs behind.
           One trick used by Wallace in the speech is an allusion.  He takes a phrase from the bible when he has Moore say “We’re moving into the Valley of the Shadow of Death.”  This phrase is very well known and basically says that the men are walking towards almost certain death.
   Another trick Wallace uses is repetition.  Moore says “I can't promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear before you and before Almighty God: That when we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to stop off. And I will leave no one behind.”  By repeating the word I in this speech Moore gets the point across that he is taking the responsibility of bringing them home into his hands.
       I’m sure that the speech made different people feel different ways but I’m sure that most people felt the same way I did. I felt that I could feel the uneasiness of the seventh cavalry. I also felt moved by the speech and the way it showed that Lt. Col. Moore really did care about the lives of his men.  




























   Born in 1792, John Keats was arguably one of the greatest British poets of the romantic age.  Although he only lived to be 26 his works are considered by some to be the greatest of his time.  Keats wrote during the romantic era thus writing romantic poetry.  These types of poems talked about man, nature, and man’s creations.  One such poem by Keats is “Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil.”   This poem is about a powerful love that is unaccepted by other characters due to a difference in the lovers’s class.
The first example of this message is found in lines 3-8 “They could not in the self-same mansion dwell……But to each other nightly weep.”  These lines first show how the lovers Isabella and Lorenzo are separated by class.  It shows this by referencing how they don’t sleep under the same roof; while this may not actually mean them living in the same house but the same type of house.  Isabella lives in a mansion and Lorenzo inhabits his own lesser home, which could be anything from an equivalent to a modern mid-sized house to a meager hovel.  This portrays their lifestyle which reflects on their class.
In lines 161 through 168 Keats refers to Isabella’s brothers discovering the love between the “servant of their trade” and their sister.  In these lines it is shown that they are upset by their sibling’s choice in a lover and plan to get her to fall in love with and marry “some high noble and his olive trees.” These lines seem to suggest that they want their sister to marry somebody with high social status and lots of money which is often the case even today.  In addition to being a reference of disapproval due to status these lines also show that Isabella and Lorenzo hid their love by saying “These brethren having found many sings.”  This means that Lorenzo and Isabella knew that they’re love would not be accepted and that they felt it had to be hidden.
While the lines previously mentioned showed potential tensions the line 169 through 176 show without a doubt that Isabella’s brother’s have no tolerance for this “forbidden love.”  This is shown when Keats says “And many a jealous conference had they, And many times they bit their lips alone, crime atone; ………For they resolved in some forest dim to kill Lorenzo, and there bury him.”  These lines show that Isabella’s brother’s were so enraged by this union that they felt the need to resort to murdering they’re own employee to keep him from they’re sister.  With these lines Keats fully emphasizes that this love is viewed not only as wrong but that the brothers go so far as to call it a crime.
In conclusion it seems as though Keats is writing this poem not only to tell this tragic story of two young lovers but to express how even in a modern society people tend to think that everyone should stay within they’re own class.  Also Keats expresses (and exaggerates) the challenges that lovers such as Lorenzo and Isabella would face.  This poem seems like it is meant to reach out to lessen the prejudice of society between upper and lower citizens.    















































 I would like to first express my gratitude for being given the opportunity to
shape the chapter from which future generations will be learning.  It is clear
that the twentieth century was a pivotal time in all fields, especially in
literature.  The changes that occurred during that time have affected our daily
lives today. Be it technological, with the invention of microwave ovens and
weapons of mass destruction or even the scratch n’ sniff sticker, or literary
with the changes in techniques and styles in writing, music and the production
of motion pictures. Whatever angle you look at it from it is clear that the
twentieth century was the defining point of the world as we know it today.  I
believe that you will agree that the works which I have selected will give
children the opportunity to read and study a small portion of the astonishingly
superb literary works that were developed during the twentieth century and
optimally make for a better learning experience.  In the following pages I have
prepared some overviews of just a taste of literature from this time of change
that I feel are essential to learning the literary culture of the twentieth
century.  The works selected have a number of excellent choices for vocabulary
words and are both challenging and interesting.  
The Beatles-
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”
In 1959 a small band from Liverpool England calling themselves The Beatles was
formed.  This band was composed of four members, guitarists John Lennon and
George Harrison, bassist Paul McCartney, and drummer Peter Best.  In 1962 Best
was replaced by the young and talented Ringo Starr (Richard Starkly).  The band
styled their music after the great American Rock N’ Roll singers of the 1950’s
Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly but added their own unique twists.  The Beatles
would change rock and roll forever becoming the greatest living legends of all
 One of the many hit songs written by The Beatles, which is a shining example of
they’re radical views and their pioneering of the world of music, was “Lucy in
the Sky with Diamonds.”  Like many others during the 1960’s The Beatles were no
strangers to experimenting with illegal drugs.  The song is inspired by the
effects of a hallucinogenic drug known simply as L.S.D.  L.S.D or “acid” would
cause the user to go on “trips” which were visions of many different shapes and
colors which aren’t there.  “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” uses a number of
colorful phrases that relate to an “acid trip” which led to further controversy
and won the admiration of millions.  For example the song makes references to
red and green cellophane flowers that grow over your head or the phrase “rocking
horse people eat marshmallow pies.”  During the time a song about the effect
drugs seeming positive and beautiful was unheard of but The Beatles paved the
way for the musicians of today.
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Heart Of Darkness
Joseph Conrad is clearly an author with a dramatic history. Born into an
aristocratic family in the Ukraine (under Russian rule) he was exiled to Volga
Russia with the rest of his family due to his father’s political beliefs.  When
he was just a young boy both of his parents died of tuberculosis and Conrad was
sent to live with his uncle in Poland who acted as a major influence to him.  
Conrad attended private schools and later worked as an apprentice for the French
merchant marines.  Conrad lived a life of danger and excitement as an arms
smuggler when he supplied weapons to the Carlist movement in Spain.  He suffered
from a gunshot wound which was the result of a failed suicide attempt due to a
massive debt he had acquired which his uncle dissolved. Conrad then joined the
British Merchant Navy.  Conrad quickly became a first mate and eventually the
master of his own ship, Otago.  Conrad also became a British citizen at this
time and worked for a number of companies dealing in the affairs in British
colonies.  These travels led Conrad to write a number of books but one stands
out from the rest, Heart of Darkness.
 Published in 1902 Hart of Darkness is about a seaman who much like Conrad has
seen much of the world in his journeys.  This seafarer by the name of Marlow is
telling a story of his time as a steamboat captain in Africa.  Throughout the
novel Conrad describes the atrocities of colonialism.  Marlow describes the
suffering the workers go through and how the British run companies care only
about money and ivory.  Throughout the story Marlow hears of a man named Kurtz
who by his description Marlow expects to meet a genious.  But when he finally
meets this great man he sees that Kurtz is in reality insane and has become a
god to the natives.
The second selected work by Conrad is a short story called “Youth” this story is
about the origins of the character Marlow from the novel Heart of Darkness.  
Unlike the novel “Youth” isn’t written to be a grim tale but rather to be a
story about a young boy’s aspiration and a great man’s beginning.  This short
story is a great way to follow studying the novel Heart of darkness because
during the twentieth century sequels and prequels were not only commonplace but
were loved by readers because they allowed you to delve into the world of your
favorite characters and understand them more.  
Seamus Heaney (1939-)
Mid-term Break
 One of, if not the, greatest poets of the twentieth century, Seamus Heaney was
a Nobel Prize winning author and literary genius.  Born in Ireland Heaney was
the eldest child of a family who consisted traditionally of farmers.  Although
Heaney admired his father and grandfather he found his calling in writing
 The poem “Mid-Term Break” gives a feel that the poem will be about a college
student’s vacation but Heaney has a sad twist to this poem.  The break is time
of leave he takes from college due to his younger brother’s death while he was
away in school.  His poem portrays not so much the death of a young child but
the devastating effect that it can have on a family.  He speaks of how his
father who had always handled himself well at funerals couldn’t bear the news of
his son’s death “In the porch I met my father crying -He had always taken
funerals in his stride.”  At the end of the poem Heaney reveals another sad blow
to the audience, the age of his brother “A four foot box, one foot for every
Sean O’Casey
The Plough and the Stars
 As one of Ireland’s most famous playwrights, Sean O’Casey’s works often speak
of a recurring topic, an Ireland free of England.  For many years the small
island of Ireland had been a slave to the superpower known as England.  Because
of this many Irish resented (and many still do) the English.  When Ireland
became a free nation the British Empire kept a hold on the northern counties
which were mainly made of Protestants loyal to England.  In this play O’Casey
describes the dream of a unified country of Ireland and how the hard the people
are willing to sacrifice everything to make that dream a reality.    
 The Above works are those which have been carefully chosen to present the
fruits of the labor of many hard working writers.  These literary pieces have
been chosen not only because they portray what twentieth century British
literature was about but because they are what twentieth century British
literature is.  These Pieces have been selected because they have the ability to
not only present but to bring to life and make tangible British literature of
the Twentieth century.