English 10: Writing Portfolio
Essay the First

Essay the Second

Essay the third

Essay the fourth



















 Many, many years ago in 1905 my great-grandmother left her family and friends in Ireland to follow her future husband to the United States of America.  Her name was Rose Long, she was 17 years old, and her future husband Martin Kelley, my great-grandfather,  came here all alone to start a new life.
     My great-grandmother Rose left her mother, father, sister and two brothers who were very upset to see her go.  In fact her parents told her they would disown her if she left Ireland.  They owned a village store in Tuam, Ireland in Galway County.  They had always thought she would stay and run the store.  She had her own dreams.
     After coming to America she wrote a letter to her parents.  She had married Martin Kelley, a man her parents disapproved of.  She told them that she wanted to start a new life here in America. (Dorchester, Massachusetts)  They had bought a lot of farmland and were going to stay in America and raise a family.  She told her parents how happy that she was and hoped they would understand her decision to stay in this country.  She also apologized for letting them down and hoped they would write her back and keep in touch.  
     A few years went by in silence but soon they were corresponding once again.  Great-Grandmother Rose went back to Ireland every year for the summer to stay with her family.  She had 12 children (my grandfather was the baby) who all grew up in Dorchester, but visited Ireland with her in the summers.  
     The summers and being part of her family again made her very happy.  She often told my mother stories of Ireland, her family, and the many letters that were written across the ocean. She always spoke about the first letter and the courage it took for her to write it.




























In the movie Saving Private Ryan, Abraham Lincoln delivered a letter, to Mrs. Bixby, mother of five sons who died fighting for their country. Years later the letter was found and read out loud by General George C. Marshall. It is written with great empathy towards a mother of five sons who were killed fighting for their country.
      During this letter that was used as a speech in a movie, the author wants you to feel his sorrow and pain for what has happened but acknowledges that he can not lesson the pain of this mother.  Someone who has suffered such a great loss, words can not begin to help.  But through this speech you feel the pain of the author and you respect his feeling of helplessness, but he does get across the fact that the sons were heroes and died "gloriously" for their country.  
 "I pray that our heavenly father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement," in this quote I feel that he realizes that he can't say anything to help but he hopes that her prays will be of some help to her.  " You have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom" In Abraham Lincoln's own way I think he used this phrase to let her know that her sons did not die in vane, and would forever be remembered and honored.  
This is a very personal letter to be sending to a person you have never met, and I think that it is very appropriately written.  
This speech makes the listener stop and feel the pain of losing a loved one---and not only one but five.  The pain for the mother is obvious and there seems to be a bit of helplessness.  What would anyone write at a time like this?
He did not say he knew how she felt and that was good because there is no way he could know how she felt, so the letter seemed real and caring.
      At this time now where we are at war, I think that we are all feeling that a loved one, family member, or friend could be in this position.  It is not a comfortable feeling.  President Bush must be finding himself in similar positions
By having to write families of soldiers.
































   Born in Dublin in 1856 George Bernard Shaw grew to become what some consider the second greatest English playwright, next to Shakespeare.  Shaw died at the age of 94 while being a hypochondriac and a vegetarian.  He had written a total of 60 plays, 5 novels and 3 volumes of criticism on music.  Although Shaw showed brilliance in many different aspects of art, the most amazing thing he accomplished was winning a Nobel Prize in literature and an Academy Award for book and play Pygmalion.  With this being said Shaw fits into the category of both a British novelist and playwright of the 20th century.  
      This story starts with a bet between two English gentlemen, Professor Higgins who is a scientist of phonetics and Colonel Pickering, a linguistic of dialects.   Higgins bets Pickering that he can transfer a foul-mouthed Garden flower girl named Eliza Doolittle into a well spoken duchess.  Pickering will pay for the costs if Higgins takes on this challenge only to better his reputation.  
      After a few trial experiments with Eliza the two men become obsessed with their ability to form their “ideal” woman.  Soon Eliza remembers her real roots after the return of her father who never really cared for her in the first place.  Eliza becomes infuriated with Higgins and returns all his fancy jewelry and clothing.  However she thanks Pickering for always being kind to her and departs Higgins household where she stayed with Higgins mom as he transformed her from a filthy destitute flower girl into a duchess.  Higgins, with his project now gone realizes that he did not obsess on her as a project but instead really loves her.  But it is too late for the relationship because Eliza has fallen in love with Freddy, a family friend.
      P.G. Wodehouse was born in Guildford, Surrey in October, 1881.  He was commonly depicted as “English literature’s performing flea.”  He graduated from Dulwich College where he met noble men who would later serve as the main characters of his famous novels. His first career was at Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank even though he was never particularly interested in banking as a career.  Two years later he left his job at the bank to earn a living as a journalist and story writer.  He moved to America before the First World War, and sold a serial to the Saturday Evening Post and magazine.  He married in 1914 and took American citizenship in 1955.  Wodehouse published over ninety books and his work has won world-wide acclaim.  His most popular works are his Jeeves and Wooster stories.  
      The Wooster stories series are always filled with plot twists and impossible situations.  But in the book The Code of Woosters  it takes an impossible situation and continues to be fun to read.  In this story the character Aunt Delia insists that Sir Watkyn has stolen her cow-creamer and wants Bertie to steal it back.  Throughout the story you read about the impossible situations and ingenious plots.  The novel involves blackmail and Jeeves assistance is needed more than ever.
     After first forming the band at the ages of 15, Paul McCartney and John Lennon recruited a couple more members, the rest of the Quarry Men (Lennon’s band) and George Harrison, who combined would later be known as the Beatles.  They first became famous in Liverpool playing at the local cavern.  After their debut album, “Please Please, Me” in the UK the Beatles became known as the most successful Rock n Roll band ever.  In the United States, the Beatles' television appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on the February 4th in 1964 launched Beatlemania and the British Invasion on a bigger scale than in the UK.  This was the day when the Beatles conquered America.  The legendary show made television history immediately, the ratings system estimated that the Ed Sullivan Show had been watched by 73 million people in 24 million households.  This means that more than 60% of all American TV viewers, the world's largest TV audience, had tuned in to watch the Beatles play.  On August 30, 1999 the 1968 film The Yellow Submarine was relaunched in Liverpool.  The sound track was also refurnished and released under the name of the “Yellow Submarine Songtrack.”  
      Virginia Woolf was born in London, where she grew up being educated at home by her father.  Also at home she had a lot of half-siblings, which caused her problems throughout her youth.  Not only was she angry that she could not go to school and experience things that normal kids did, but she was sexually abused by her half-brother.  In 1905 she married to Leonard Woolf.  Throughout her career Virginia Woolf showed society that women too could be great writers and express all their emotions in words.  One of her short stories was Monday or Tuesday in which she discusses a white Herons journey over the church and for the rest of the day until night.  I feel that she uses this short story to express how she feels not being able to go out into the world and be free.  She is almost saying that the bird has freedom while she is stuck at home in prison with all the people that she dislikes most in life.  Also no matter where the bird flies with its freedom during the day it always returns, sort of like how every day returns for (Virginia) everyday, never being able to escape her household.  Despite the fact that Virginia Woolf would be considered a 20th century writer which would somewhat classify her as a Modernist, in this particular poem she uses Naturalism to portray the beauty of the wilderness and outside world.
        Born in April of 1939 Seamus Henry became a great writer, receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.  He was born in raised in Derry, Ireland.  He was one of nine children of a working class family.  It is said that the poems that he write portray his feeling of growing up a young boy in Ireland.  At 12 years of age he won a scholarship to a boarding school in Derry.  He attended private schools, after that and became a teacher.  While teaching he published many poems including Mid-Term Break.
      Mid-term Break is a poem about the death of a college students four year old younger brother. In this poem Heaney captures the emotion of the boy who returns home from school to find his family devastated over the tragic accident of his brother.  This is his first encounter with death and all the feelings involved.  He sees his mother crying and the corpse of his brother lying in a four foot box.  He reminisces about the last time he saw his brother as he looks at him now paler than ever.  He seems to relay an anger in the way his brother was violently struck by the bumper of an automobile.  He expresses the finality of death: “A four foot box, a foot for every year.”