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《Indigènes》–– Le Miroir de La Réalité

By Selina Wu, IV Form

《Indigènes》–– Le Miroir de La Réalité

Editor’s Note: The assignment for this essay–Write a 2-4 page analytical essay that discusses themes from the chosen content (Selina chose this film). Present themes and analysis using support from the chosen content and end by opening up a new question, which Selina does by asking: “As global citizens, how can we understand ongoing conflicts of race and religion.”

indigenes-2006-aff-01-gLe film 《Indigènes》raconte une histoire des soldats algériens pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Malgré le fait que les soldats viennent d’Algérie, ils vont à la guerre pour la
France à cause de la colonisation française. Le film montre la séparation des femmes et des hommes, les conflits entre les religions différentes, et l’inégalité des races.

Un des thèmes les plus importants est les rôles différents des hommes et des femmes pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Dans le film, les hommes et les femmes n’ont pas beaucoup d’interactions. Quand les hommes sont partis pour les combats, les femmes sont “devenues « chefs de famille » par la force des choses, pour pallier l’absence de l’homme” (Kristjánsdóttir 16). Dans le film, les soldats sont demandés de protéger un village français. Il y a seulement des femmes et des enfants dans le village parce que les hommes sont tous dans la guerre. Les rôles des femmes ont beaucoup changé après la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. La distinction entre les occupations des hommes et des femmes est clairement présentée dans le film. (more…)

A Novel of Reaction: Larsen’s Passing

By Charlotte Wood, V Form

A Novel of Reaction: Larsen’t Passing

W.E.B. Dubois wrote that “all Art is propaganda and ever must be…” He thought that artists and writers should try to make the world a better place through their work. Nella Larsen, the author of Passing, would not agree. Her novel centers on two light-skinned black women, Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield, and their respective decisions to pass as white or not. I believe she wrote this novel not to persuade the reader of something or to convince them to enact change, but rather to reflect the world how she sees it. The book is a reaction to society, not something for society to react to. Passing itself is portrayed as something that simply is, not wholly good or wholly bad. Both characters participate in it, and so the reader is not meant to side with one over the other. The relative passivity of its message is reflected in the passivity of its main character, Irene. Because she is not active, the intention of the novel is not active. Lastly, the ambiguity of the ending leaves the reader, like Irene, with more questions than answers. (more…)

Make Peace With the Day to Enjoy the Evening: Remains of the Day

By Gabriel Xu, V Form

 

Make Peace With the Day to Enjoy the Evening: Remains of the Day

There’s an old Chinese idiom that roughly translates to, “The person on the spot is baffled, the onlooker sees clearly”. Surely, this applies to the case of Mr. Stevens. As the aged butler in Remains of the Day travels farther away from the house he has been in service of for decades, he starts to see the truth of his former employer more clearly — a truth so dark and ugly that Stevens has tried very hard to escape. Although Mr. Stevens is forced to learn the tragic truth about his former lord and consequently his own small, yet undeniable contribution as butler to the evildoing his master was conducting, the meeting with Ms. Kenton, a former housekeeper, allows him to see value in his decades of service, to make peace with his past, and eventually to move forward into a hopeful future. (more…)

The Great Gatsby: Chapter 10

By Eric Zhang, V Form

The Great Gatsby: Chapter 10Gatsby_1925_jacket

(Editors’ Note: In Ms. Matthews’ American Literature class, this assignment prompted students to create a 10th chapter of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, utilizing Nick Caraway’s melancholic tone and including some type of closure for the characters)

It had been five years since the funeral, and I finally returned to this city that I once thought was haunted. Everything was so depressing. There were no sounds of the orchestra playing or shimmering sights of the girls wearing fancy dresses with decorations on their shoes. The city of New York had changed since that October in 1929, what was later called Black October. I wandered the streets of New York, and ultimately, I was pulled back to the Eggs and Gatsby’s mansion. What was once a (more…)

The History of Coeducation in America and at St. Mark’s

By Sarah Robertson, VI Form

The History of Coeducation in America and at St. Mark’s

Gender inequality has been an enduring issue in America. In 1848, there was a call to end discrimination when women signed the Declaration of Sentiments at the the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York.[1] But, it was not until 1920, seventy-two years later, voters ratified the 19th Amendment, the right for women to vote. In 1972, Congress passed Title IX, prohibiting discrimination, exclusion, and denial of benefits based on sex in all federally funded education programs.[2] It took until 1972 for coeducation, for the government to protect education of students of both sexes together. Though these strides were positive, they were certainly drawn out. The progression towards coeducation, both in the United States as a whole and at St. Mark’s School in particular, was similar: slow, always a step behind. However, both America and St. Mark’s ultimately have become strong, healthy, coeducational environments.

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Advice to a “Girl”–What I Wish I Knew

By Mary Hoffman, IV Form

Advice to a “Girl”–What I Wish I Knew

(Based on Jamaica Kincaid’s short story)

Always be aware of your surroundings; never ignore your gut feeling; when you don’t feel comfortable in a situation- leave; the police are always there to help; nothing good happens after midnight; learn from your mistakes; you deserve what you tolerate; treat people how you want to be treated; make your bed every morning, it teaches smart habits; clean your room; dress to impress, people will treat you better when you look nice whether that’s right or not; never slut shame- girls are supposed to support each other; friends and family are more important than romantic relationships; don’t gossip; don’t burn (more…)

More Important Than My Fear

By Payton Nugent, VI Form

More Important Than My Fear

Do you really think anyone cares?

During my announcement to the school, I hear this lone internal voice.

What you’re trying to do is stupid and doesn’t matter.

I have tried to shake this voice from my head, but it keeps coming back. During every announcement I make for the Gender Sexuality Alliance, that voice represents every student who is rolling his or her eyes. That voice represents every student who thinks issues of gender identity and sexuality are nonexistent because “there are no gay people at St. Mark’s.” For some, I will never be able to change their minds. Whenever I make these announcements, I wonder why I run for head of the GSA if this voice is always pestering me. (more…)

Female Value: Dead in the Ashes of McCarthy’s The Road

By Marissa Huggins, V Form

Female Value: Dead in the Ashes of McCarthy’s The Road

In a post-apocalyptic world, the way of survival is quite literally “every man for himself.” The few humans that survive the apocalypse are forced back to their primitive states of being and live in constant fear of death. Some survivors, known as “the bad guys,” change their perception of human life and become morally limitless with their methods of survival. The “bad guys” either kill or capture people, depending on the perceived threat or benefit. Thus, the post-apocalyptic world’s culture is one where everyone’s purpose is to sustain his or her own life. Unlike most of the survivors in McCarthy’s The Road, the father and son have a co-dependent relationship that often promotes their survival. While the father may have been upset that his wife killed herself, his wife was wise to end her life and escape her life of imprisonment. (more…)