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The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree: On Cisneros’ “The Family of Little Feet”

By Grace Kingsbury, V Form

The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree: On Cisneros’ “The Family of Little Feet”

Everyone has heard the saying, “the apple does not fall far from the tree,” but is there any truth to it? In “The Family of Little Feet” from The House On Mango Street, Esperanza plays a game of dress-up with her friends, Rachel and Lucy. They are given old high heeled shoes and strut around Mango Street, flaunting their beautiful shoes and long legs. The three girls are catcalled by many older men in the neighborhood, but they enjoy the attention. In the short story “Girl,” the girl is taught of chores that are expected of young women by her mother. Her mother stresses the importance of maintaining a positive reputation and looks down on promiscuity. Due to the differences in their upbringing, Esperanza expresses her sexuality whereas the girl suppresses hers as seen in their prominent accepted hobbies, varying feedback, and female role models. (more…)

Referred Pain: Societal Ailments Manifested as Individual Illnesses in Dystopian Literature

By Ms. Margaret Caron, English Faculty

Referred Pain: Societal Ailments Manifested as Individual Illnesses in Dystopian Literature

 “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

  • The Princess Bride

Perhaps life is indeed pain, as Goldman suggests, or perhaps life is only pain when a government’s control and society’s structure become so stifling and warped that its people develop pains and illnesses as a reflection of that government deterioration. The unbearable agony experienced by Westley in the Pit of Despair is not unlike the pain experienced by the residents of the Thieves’ Forest as they are unjustly forced out of their homes; Buttercup’s sorrow at hearing of Westley’s supposed death mirrors Florin’s morning when they hear news that their new princess has been killed; and Count Rugen’s six-fingered right hand embodies a distorted hand of justice. A corrupt prince, an abuse of power, and manipulative treason are made more palpable by a character’s singular screams and suffering.

This narrative tactic is evident in the novels of Atwood, Zamyatin, Abdel Aziz, and Ishiguro. The Handmaid’s Tale, The Queue, We, and Never Let Me Goshare similar authoritarian governments, sick characters, and broken social systems. Offred, Yehya, D-503, and Kathy are broken, ailing humans, but they are also members of irrevocably broken societies and authoritarian governing bodies. These characters’ illnesses are more than mere byproducts of broken government control and societal values. Rather, these dystopian societies with authoritarian governments posit characters’ physical ailments as representative of larger societal illnesses and failings. (more…)

Gender Roles at Fenway Park: Analysis of “Rain Delay” by Michelle Von Euw

By Tate Frederick, Anni Zhang, Clara Hua, Tommy Flathers, Kartik Donepudi, and Elise Gobron, IV Form

Gender Roles at Fenway Park: Analysis of “Rain Delay” by Michelle Von Euw

Editor’s Note: All IV Form Writing & Literature classes embarked on a 30-20-30 Assessment (30 Minutes of Drafting; 20 Minutes of Peer Review; 30 Minutes of Revising & Editing) for a one-paragraph analysis of the short story “Rain Delay” by Michelle Von Euw. PROMPT: “What does “Rain Delay” have to say about gender? Focus your analysis on either Caroline or Kyle.”

Tate: The character Caroline in “Rain Delay” challenges the traditional gender roles used in literature because of her interest in sports and her boyfriend Kyle’s unreciprocated enthusiasm in their relationship.

Anni: Kyle acts as an embodiment for men in the society who are unaware of the other gender’s true feelings.

Clara: Caroline shows how females face more judgments and constraints in society than their male counterparts.

Tommy: By showing the difference between the reactions of boys and girls to their kiss, the way that “Rain Delay” is set up reveals the underlying role of gender that makes Caroline feel even more isolated than she already did.

Kartik: By giving insight into gender norms that guide Caroline’s actions, Michelle Von Euw uses Caroline’s situation in “Rain Delay” to highlight the expectation for high school girls to conform to societal standards when it comes to relationships.

Elise: By representing Caroline’s identity, the short story “Rain Delay” uses symbolism to communicate young women’s struggle of identity due to an underlying male superiority.

SCROLL DOWN FOR FULL PARAGRAPHS! (more…)

Post-Apocalyptic Literature Discussion Posts

By CJ Schumacher, Lucy Zheng, Stephanie Moon, and Robby Harper, VI Form

Post-Apocalyptic Literature Discussion Posts

Editor’s Note: This explanation is about “E-Portfolio and/or Discussion” posts in Ms. Hultin’s VI Form elective, The Dystopian Flood: Post-Apocalyptic Literature–“Posts are due every week or two weeks. Posts must be typed, relatively error-free, and published on your Google Sites E-portfolio or Canvas discussion page. Each post should be a minimum of 300 words. Occasionally, E-portfolio assignments will have more specific instructions. In these assignments, your answer should explore and analyze the material from class. E-portfolio posts are thoughtful, but informal responses that demonstrate your thinking on a topic.”

CJ

Robots are either created to serve humans or to emulate them. They are meant to either be companions or house maids. In “Robbie,” Robbie is created to serve, but he ends up proving that despite his lack of human characteristics; he is equally human in terms of human connection. After being thrown away by the Weston family, he risks his life to save Gloria, his only friend. Just because Robbie cannot talk does not mean he is unable to form human connections or have emotions. Ex Machina tells a different tale. Ava is the closest thing to artificial intelligence and is built to be the next evolution of the human race. However, her own genius is what keeps her from forming human connection. She is too smart to see forming an emotional connection as important. Ava manipulates Caleb into feeling as if he is forming a real connection with her. She gets him to tell her personal things about himself and shows him interest and care, which in turn gets Caleb to fall for the idea that he and Ava have a genuine connection. However, Ava abuses Caleb’s trust and uses him to help her escape and subsequently kill her creator. She leaves Caleb locked away, desperately picking up the broken pieces of his heart. In this story, Ava abuses the human need for connection for her own benefit. (more…)

Delinquency: It Comes from Within (Rebel without a Cause Juxtaposed with Cycle of Outrage)

By Matt Walsh, VI Form

 

Delinquency: It Comes from Within (Rebel without a Cause Juxtaposed with Cycle of Outrage)

Although its production was fraught with promiscuity, Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause promotes a moralistic Cold War agenda. Protagonist Jim Stark, portrayed by James Dean, is a new kid in town with a history of delinquency. Because his parents struggle to exert authority over Jim and are quick to forgive him for his wrongdoing, Jim, albeit well-intentioned, finds himself associated with a group of delinquents. Included in the group is Judy, a sixteen-year-old girl whose misbehavior is driven by her father’s reluctance to reciprocate her love for him. Jim also develops a friendship with Plato, whose absent parents make him the most delinquent of the three protagonists. Rebel Without a Cause blames their misbehavior on their lack of emotional connection with their respective parents, and likewise, James Gilbert’s 1986 book A Cycle of Outrage suggests that many Americans viewed a stable domestic setting as the panacea for all forms of juvenile delinquency. Nonetheless, the film Rebel Without a Cause suggests that only emotional connections between children and parents can curb the epidemic of juvenile delinquency whereas A Cycle of Outrage suggests that the public viewed delinquency as an epidemic that originated outside of the family. (more…)

Two Worlds, One Mind (ABC’s LOST, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Huxley’s Island)

By Boyd Hall, VI Form

 

Two Worlds, One Mind (ABC’s LOST, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Huxley’s Island)

Jacob, the protector of the Island in LOST, brings me to his island because he believes that the island will force me to confront my flaw in order to survive. My idealistic thoughts hinder me from seeing the reality of situations. I romanticize my hopes for the future until those thoughts consume my mind. Like Ferdinand in The Tempest, who is so entranced when meeting Miranda that he fails to understand the responsibilities of marriage and living on an island forever, I overlook commitments in order to see the perfect aspects of my life. On the island, I learn that indulging myself in quixotic dreams restrict me from focusing on my current being because surviving without materialistic aid requires focus and attention to the present. (more…)