Friday, May 15, 2009

Great Expectations

I actually enjoyed reading this book; in the beginning I thought I was going to hate it. This story deals with so many topics – love, finding someone, losing someone, arrogance & cruelty, depression – all emotions that could pertain to our lives. If a book is relatable to the reader, it makes it all more interesting. Pip (the main character) is a young orphan who had to live with his sister and her husband. His sister had a very hard hand, seemed to show no emotion other than anger and commands. Pip would always go to Joe for comfort. Pip’s “journey” all started off with an encounter with a convict in the cemetery. Later he is introduced to a family of higher social class who end up having a negative influence on Pip – gives him arrogance, teaches him to look down on people – losing sight of the people who truly cared about him. Also with these visits he falls in love with the daughter at this house – Estella, who treats Pip cruelly. Pip rises and falls throughout the book, it was interesting to see how he had realizations as to how he changed - it showed character development. Overall this was a really good book, it was neat to see the different connections in the book.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Book Review for "The Choice"

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks was a great, light read. At first I wasn’t too fond of it but as I got into it I grew to like it more and more, and by the end I loved it. Gabby moves to Beaufort to be closer to her boyfriend, so their love can progress, with the wish that every girl has – to get married. Gabby’s discovers her next door neighbor is easy on the eyes; he seems to have a great carefree personality, and loves to have a great time. A nice portion of the book was about them slowly growing closer to each other. Gabby would try to ignore the feelings toward Travis because she already had a boyfriend. Travis was true, loving, caring, fun, romantic – he didn’t hide his feelings towards her. Later in the book Gabby makes her decision, she makes a choice. Then we see their lives progress, and one day life flashed before their eyes. Travis and Gabby were in a car accident, leaving Gabby in a coma. Travis honored his word of marriage during this time, I grew a new respect for him. He visited her every day, bringing her flowers, pictures, books. He’d often read to her, tell her about his day. Tell her how the kids were doing. He’d help the nurses with her physical therapy so her body wouldn’t experience atrophy. He never left her – he tried everything he could. He never lost hope. The story really turned when Travis is forced to make a big decision. After 12 weeks of Gabby lying in the hospital, Travis now has to make the decision to let her go or move her to a nursing home for permanent care. What makes it so hard on Travis was not only did he love her, but was what Gabby had wanted. He had to decide whether or not to follow Gabby’s living will and remove her from her feeding tube or to keep love alive. The last chapter of the novel posed a great question, ““How far should you go in the name of love? ” The ending was very powerful, it really made me think “what would I do?” I really enjoyed reading this book. You can really relate this book to your life, which allows you to think about a deeper meaning. I recommend this book to anyone!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks 3

Travis was forced to deal with a choice. They had so many great memories and adventures together. They lived a happy marriage. They had children together. Then, life flashes before their eyes when they are in a car accident. Travis walked away with only a broken arm; Gabby was stuck in a coma. This made me feel so sad, I felt so bad! Nicholas Sparks did great job writing with detail, and made it relatable to a real life situation that COULD happen to any of us. It really allows you to try to connect to the book. I stopped at this point and remembered reading about their younger years when they were first discovering their love for each other. Going on dates, talking about life – just every little thing that happened! And now, she was unable to function. I really admired Travis’s dedication and love to his wife. He visited her everyday, brought the kids by, talked to her, helped her, sent her flowers – he never left her behind. His love never ended.

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks 2

In this portion of the book, it really dealt with Gabby finding herself, and making HER OWN decisions. Gabby finds herself falling for her neighbor, but she wouldn’t let herself because she was dating Kevin. She moved down to North Carolina for him. She has been waiting for a marriage proposal. But the feelings for Travis couldn’t go away, they were real. While having both guys on her mind, she couldn’t help but think of her mother and her expectations. She basically had to choose between two worlds – the one her mother planned out and would have chosen - boring, wealthy husband. Or Gabby could make her own decision and choose the one with full of energy, excitement, wonder, and romance . Who is she going to choose??

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

I can already tell this book is going to be about love. The two main characters of this novel are Gabby and Travis. Travis seems to have what Gabby is missing – his life is filled with friends and family, and whatever he wants to do. However Gabby seems to have what Travis is missing – she’s in a long term relationship – she moved to Beaufort, North Carolina to be near her boyfriend. Regarding their relationship, I wonder what will happen as time goes on? Will they become a couple, will they become friends, etc. Gabby noticed him around the neighborhood and found him attractive but she told herself she already has a boyfriend. Their first interaction was somewhat unfortunate. Gabby believed his dog go her dog pregnant! This infuriated Gabby which led her to stomp across the yard, to take out all her anger (when later we find out that it wasn’t his dog, his dog had been spayed!) – this was their first real interaction in the book. Personally I believe that something will happen between Gabby and her boyfriend – and she will turn to Travis.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What does it mean to be human?

To be human means to be living It means that nobody’s perfect, everyone makes mistakes – and hopefully you will learn from them. Apart of being human is birth, sickness, death – it happens every day. Emotion. Feelings. No one human is like anyone else – we are all different. To have a conscience. To have a soul. Imagination.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review for Pride and Prejudice

I didn’t really like reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. One thing that I can’t stand is when there’s far more characters then necessary. However, that being said, I think after reading it one time and seeing the move – if I were to reread this book I would like it. I may have just started off reading the book with a bad attitude, not having an open mind – which probably ruined it for me. The story itself now that I think of it WAS good, I do admit. There were many themes in this book. Love, Marriage, Goals, thinking about decisions and possible consequences, not to “judge a book by it’s cover”. Pre-judging led to unhappy feelings of certain characters such as Elizabeth, Wickham, and Darcy. Elizabeth fell for the wrong guy – and made assumptions about Darcy, who ended up being the guy she really wanted. It was interesting to see relationships between different characters form. It was neat to see the feelings and choices of the characters because you could often times relate it to present day situations. I admired Elizabeth because I believe that people get so caught up in being something they aren’t to impress people, or to fit in – that they lose sight as to who they are, their beliefs, their morals. Elizabeth always said what was on her mind, she didn’t fall for just any guy…just to get married like her mom wanted her to (unlike other characters – ahem, Lydia.) She was a genuine character. Overall I guess this book was okay, maybe I’ll reread it over the summer and I’ll enjoy it more.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's in Darcy's hands

After this reading, we see that the "bad reputation" isn't stopping guys for the Bennett girls. Wickham and Lydia are together and move up north - Bingley and Jane are together - and what's been leaving me hanging is ..... ELIZABETH!?! Now that she is ready and she discovers feelings for Darcy - will he try proposing again? If you think about it they are now "even" Darcy was mean to her, and she rejected him. However Darcy has an "advantage" on the "playing field" because of the family's reputation and lack of wealth to their name. Marrying into their family could shut him out from the rest of the community, even though he has a higher status. ((Yikes!))
Fact of life: It always seems as though a girl discovers something once its not hers anymore. "You always want what you can't have"

I can't wait to read what happens next, will they end up getting married or not???

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pride & Predjudice by Jane Austen

This book isn’t my favorite – I don’t "hate it" (that's a strong word - I'd say more .. dislike) as much as I did in the beginning but…I like the movie better! There were just so many characters and then places thrown at the reader all at once – and that just confuses me. As I read I wrote down character names and their relationships or a detail about them to help me remember. Elizabeth turned down Darcy’s proposal. I completely understand her decision. After all, Darcy did make fun of her at the first ball and said she was not pretty enough. I can’t believe Lydia ran away with Wickham!! This is bad on many levels – especially for this time. This gave the family a bad reputation. It makes it look like the parents don’t care about what their do, like they have no authoritative rule on their actions. Also, because of this now it will be hard for the daughters to get married. What guy is going to marry into a mess? Wickham wasn’t even going to marry her!! Mr. Bennett ended up having to pay Wickham to marry his daughter to somewhat save their reputation. I hope that these girls get married!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pride & Prejudice

We are now reading Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. As of right now (after reading book 1), my overall feelings toward this book are low. I don't really like it just for the fact that it has so many different characters! Why do author's do this - to confuse us? I mean is it really necessary to have all these extra people?! Other than that the book is fine. We started watching the movie in class, which helped clarify things a little more, and made it more interesting to read the book. It's interesting to see the goal of women in this book. The main goal is to find a husband of fair standards. They seem to live their life by trying to impress people. Mrs. Bennett, mother of 5 girls, has a mission. She has been trying to marry off her girls. She has been trying SO SO hard! If I were one of her daughters, I would be incredibly annoyed. You should marry a person for the right person. Money shouldn't be a priority in reasons to marry a person. But, things were different in that time.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My thoughts after reading Robinson Crusoe...

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe was a decent story. The one thing I didn’t like about it was that the same “idea” happened over and over again – it seemed as though all that happened a majority of the book was he explored the island over and over again. Then again, I have to remember that it IS a story about a man stranded on a deserted island; I shouldn’t be expecting too much excitement. Also, if you look at MORE than just events happening – and you try to analyze his feelings or you try putting yourself in his situation – it is more interesting. Honestly, do you think you could survive on an island for over 20 years – encounter cannibals, have to survive with almost nothing…have to use nature to make a house, clothes, create a canoe out of carving a tree, cultivating your own harvest, making candles for light out of animal parts…etc. Personally, I am positive that I would not be able to survive (and not just because I’m a girl!) Where he got this knowledge of survival and self reliance is a mystery to me. I thought the most interesting part of the book was Crusoe’s final decision in the island vs. home in England. It seemed as though he was lost – part of him wanted to stay in his new home, or kingdom. Yet the other half wanted to go back to his home in England. One would think that once he went back to England, where life was “normal” or easier – that he would stay there. He’d be with humans, have a house, electricity, food, a job…. However, while being in England all he could think about was life at the island. Which brings him to his final decision… Through living his life on this deserted island I believe it gave him a new appreciation for life and the things he had. He is able to overcome his own problems and appreciate the struggles in his life. It’s amazing to see that when someone has to work for something the new appreciation and respect they have for it. This idea DEFINITELY stays true in today’s world. I have 2 jobs and I babysit a lot, so when I buy things with money that I worked hard for – I take a lot more care of the item, and I’m more picky about buying things – “Do I really need it?” Once people have this new appreciation they think and view things differently.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Will he decide to move back to his "kingdom"?

Crusoe names his new found friend, Friday – he decided to name him this because this was the day that the found him on. Crusoe now spends his time trying to teach Friday how to speak English, and teaches him to eat goat mean instead of humans. I thought this was an interesting turning point in the novel. Crusoe has been living in fear of cannibals, yet all of a sudden he decides to take Friday in – and takes care of him by feeding, clothing, and teaching him. What gave him the courage to give Friday a chance? As the novel continues I noticed Crusoe and Friday’s relationship has grown stronger. With his new friends or slaves – whatever you wish to call them he has a chance to get off this island – to return home. He has wanted this so much and when he finally returns to his home town in Europe he hates it, and can’t stand it. When he returns he has no family, no friends, no one – he is just as isolated in the place that he deserted as he was on the island – the island that he made his kingdom. Will he return to this island?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Robinson Crusoe VS Castaway....WHAT?!

I was sitting on the couch watching what the rest of the family was watching. Then it got me thinking and I said, "HEY! This movie is a lot like Robinson Crusoe!!" I very rarely watch tv or movies, so I was totally surprised! It allowed me to see things differently.
Having been on the island for as long as Crusoe has - I definitely think he'd be emotionally messed up if more human life arrived to help them. In the movie while Tom Hanks was on the island for that time, there wasn't any talking. Except the occasional mumble or the chat with his volleyball named Wilson. It allowed me to imagine about poor Crusoe and silence that overwhelms his life. Except to the parrot or God.
After all this time, if human aid came ... would he accept it?? If he did, he would be a completely changed person. He would have a new outlook on life, and a new appreciation for things. Everything about him would be different. If he didn't accept the help and wanted to stay on the island - why? What's keeping him there BESIDES the house he made and crops he cultivated?
It still remains a mystery.

Robinson Crusoe

In this reading we see Crusoe continue to explore the island. After being on the island now for about 15 years, Crusoe has still managed to survive. On one of his many explorations he found a footprint – one that had to have belonged to a human. His initial reaction was that of excitement – who wouldn’t feel this way after being isolated from their own kind? Then feelings shifted to that of fear and nervousness. He began to wonder if the footprint may be from someone taken over by “Satan”. With this new fear he gathered as much as he could and started to think of new ways to protect his belongings. What made him think it was an evil sign? Is it simply because there has been no human interaction, no help in over 15 years? Crusoe built his own canoe – which took a lot of time because he was making it from scratch using what he had. He uses this canoe to navigate around the exterior of the island = he never was able successfully make it around because the currents kept pulling him too far out, and he didn’t want to risk it. We see his true feelings about the island, “I was removed from all the wickedness of the world here; I had neither the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, nor the pride of life. I had nothing to covet, for I had all that I was now capable of enjoying.” (126) This shows how content he was with being on the island – he was glad to escape the daily frustrations. There is also a quote that shows him reflecting on his new relationship with God, “..for by constant study and serious application of the Word of God, and by the assistance of his grace., I gained a different knowledge from what I had before.”(126) While reading this I often wonder if the opportunity to leave this island was available then would he use it? Part of me wants to say that he would want to leave the island – I mean, if I were in this situation that’s what I would do. Deep down, I think he won’t leave for awhile mainly because he has made it his home – or as he likes to call I, kingdom.

Monday, January 12, 2009

(Chapter 7-8 #2) "I ... was born to be my own destroyer"

After reading and commenting on my english teacher's blog I decided to write a post about this same quote. In response to Mrs. Clark Evans post I said:

"In a sense we all are our own destroyer – we make our own decisions, we decide on our actions which ends up as a domino effect…one decision has effects on several things. You bring up a great point, “Why do we do the things we do when we just KNOW it’s going to turn out badly for us?” This is a GREAT question it can be related many aspects of life –school, work, friends, relationships…. I was trying to give my friend advice over the weekend and we actually asked the same question. I guess we just have this goal in our mind that we WANT to achieve and will do anything to get to it OR we have this perfect picture painted in our mind…. That we often ignore reality or the negative strings that may be attached to it. Some of us just have to learn the hard way, from negative first-hand experiences. "

Mrs. Clark Evans then replied back asking:
Maybe this aspect of human nature is a reason why some cultures don't give their citizens choices (as in "A Thousand Splendid Suns" that we read last semester). Do you think that there are any benefits to having the freedom to make these mistakes? As I write the question, the answer seems obvious, but what are those benefits and do they outweigh the potential negative consequences?

This is a great point. As I look back in the book that we read last semester called A Thousand Splendid Suns, this culture did not have many choices, or freedom. As with many situations I do believe there are pros and cons in having freedom to make these mistakes. Pro's: Hopefully, people WILL learn from their mistakes, and never make them again - and be able to help others as well. Con's: the mistake has already been made. Wonder if this mistake was more damaging then others? For example, Mistake: those who didn't do their English homework. Result: they loose points, hopefully it wont happen again. But what about those who just don't seem to care, those who don't have the drive, they know the consequence but still don't learn. What can you do?

I'll have to think more about if the benefits outweigh the potential negative consequences...I want to say yes. Freedom is a great thing to have but what about those who can't handle it?