Ursula Le Guin’s writing style is like one I have never seen before. Most of the fantasy writers that I know take pages upon pages to pour as much detail as possible into every single scene and moment in the book. Most of the time, this results in the book being over six hundred pages long, even if they only cover a few months’ worth of content. Ursula Le Guin, on the other hand, was tasked with cramming many years of content into a much slimmer book. Just in the first chapter, she managed to tell the reader everything from how Duny “was born in a lonely village called Ten Alders, high on the mountain at the head of the northward vale,” to how, now dubbed Ged, “he set off with his new master through the steep slanting forests of the mountain isle, through the leaves and shadows of bright autumn,” at the age of thirteen (pg. 1, pg. 17). From this I can say that Le Guin’s writing style is very speedy, however not rushed. She is very good at skipping over unnecessary details and skimming over the ones that are needed. She gives the reader just enough content so that they remain interested but continue to speed through the timeline at a great pace. Due to this, whenever she slows down even a bit, to explain an important moment or scene, it seems like a beautiful expanded moment. Even a short sentence where Le Guin slows down and tells us how Duny “looked down at his thin arms, wet with cold fog-dew, and raged at his weakness, for he knew his strength,” builds greatly on an important theme that is seen in whole book (pg. 10). In conclusion, Le Guin’s writing style is genius in the way that she speeds up the pace of the novel to a point where everything is happening much faster than it does in other books, but still, she retains the same amount of detail and importance on every page.
People lost their identities when they pretend to be something they’re not.
People pretending to be something they’re not is a usual occurrence. People do this to fit in with society and to better their standing in life. However, you can’t lose your current identity when pretending to be something you’re not. Pretending to be something you are not means that you adopt another identity temporarily. People are good at this, but they also stay true to their real identity during their pretending, through their actions and in their morals. For example, a person who thinks stealing is immoral could pretend that they like something that they don’t like to fit in better in society, but they won’t steal because their morals say that stealing is wrong. However, if that same person does steal, then their morals changed. This means that their identity changed, or maybe that they adopted a new identity. Either way, it does not mean that they have lost their identity.
I interviewed Eugen Letkemann, who is a project manager at Porsche headquarters.
The three themes I took away from my interview are:
With today’s rapidly advancing world, it is sometimes necessary to create your own job or branch to live up to your potential in a company.
Your choice of profession should only be influenced by yourself and your values.
Finding a career path where you have the ability to grow and expand is very important.
In your opinion, what is the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” narrative: film or text? Explain your answer using specific details that relate to each version, as well as thoughtful reasoning.
There have been many novel to movie adaptations, and most of the time, people are disappointed with how the movie was compared to the book. However, there aren’t as many short story adaptations, which sparks the question of how good those movies are compared to the stories. This leads to the short story adaptation that we saw in class: 2081, and adaptation of “Harrison Bergeron”. After seeing the movie, I think that the short story “Harrison Bergeron” is better than 2081. I think this because of how the story lets the reader infer a lot about the setting and world that the characters live in. The movie gives you a fixed perspective, setting and characters. A reader can infer the setting due to the lack of information given about the world that the characters live in. The only information for setting the author gave us is that “the year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal”, that George and Hazel were in the living room, and every other character was seen in a ballet/news place through the TV (pg. 1). Due to this lack of setting, the reader can only guess, speculate and infer what goes on outside of George and Hazel’s living room, and what they see on TV. The reader can imagine what that world is like and think about how it would be like to live in that world. Letting the reader think and infer more about the book lets them be more involved and interested in the story. On the other hand, in the movie, the audience is given a fixed setting, with more setting spaces than in the short story. For example, there was only one news/ballet room in the short story, however, in the movie they split it into two different settings. In the story, the one news/ballet setting is seen only through the TV, however, in the movie, the audience can see things that George and Hazel cannot see through their TV. Examples of this include when there were scenes of HG men defusing the bomb, or when there was the large HG force waiting outside of the ballet theatre. This extra information about setting and characters doesn’t let the audience infer as much about what happens outside of the setting spaces. For these reasons, I believe that the short story “Harrison Bergeron” is more intriguing and engaging than 2081 which makes it more entertaining and overall a better medium for conveying this story.
“In the blink of an eye he exchanged the cloth frock and hobnailed shoes of a worker for the courting outfit of the day. The transformation was spectacular, but it required all the know-how of the store’s department manager, since Louis’ shoulders were much larger than those of Parisian bureaucrats.”
– Henry-Louis Vuitton (describing Louis Vuitton)
Louis Vuitton was a well-known bag and trunk maker who founded an incredibly successful high fashion brand. However, Louis didn’t start as a high fashion designer, he an innovative box maker and packer. He was the first to make rectangular trunks, for easy stacking and transport on railroads and cars, the first to make a water and odor proof trunk, and lastly, the first to make a light, hand carried trunk made of canvas. Now we can see Louis Vuitton’s legacy every day. The brand ‘Louis Vuitton’, started by Louis Vuitton, is the world’s leading luxury fashion retailer. Even though Louis died almost 150 years ago, his brand’s bags, clothes and even his original designs from the 19th century are owned by most prominent celebrities. Nonetheless, Louis Vuitton’s rise to become a well-known designer was not easy. He was born in a small French village called Anchay. There he grew up with his father and stepmother, but at the age of thirteen, Louis grew bored of the provincial life in Anchay and decided to run away to Paris. This was no small task, he didn’t have a form of transport and Paris was 292 miles away. What did the determined and headstrong Louis Vuitton do? He walked to Paris. It took him three years, but once he was in the capital of France, he was taken in as an apprentice by Monsieur Marechal, a renowned box maker and packer in Paris. Seventeen years later, he became the French Empress’ personal box maker and packer, which opened a door to an entirely new rank of elite and royal clientele allowing him to open his own workshop another three years later. Louis Vuitton’s challenges didn’t end there; when the Franco-Prussian war broke out and resulted in the siege of Paris, he was sent out to fight and had to abandon his beloved business. When Louis returned from the war, he found his staff dispersed, his equipment stolen, and his workshop destroyed. Once again putting his determination to use, he only took several months to build a new shop at a new location. This new address was near the prestigious Jockey Club, which once again opened a door to the elite of Paris. This is how Louis Vuitton created one of the longest lasting luxury brands in the world, which is why I am very interested in researching him. I think Louis’ perseverance and drive to follow his passion is a good lesson for everyone about how following your dreams and working hard can make anything possible.
Louis Vuitton is an interesting person for me to explore in this year’s eminent because I am interested in fashion design, and I think that Louis’ life is a remarkable story of perseverance and success. Louis was known to be a very determined person, who wouldn’t stop working towards a goal until he achieved it. Louis was also a very independent person, running away from his small French village at the age of thirteen to travel 292 miles on foot to Paris. I can’t match Louis’ determination and independence, but they are also some of my most prominent traits. Louis’ independence also relates to my goal for TALONS: To become a more independent and autonomous learner. Louis Vuitton started a fashion empire on his own, due to his personal interests and passions, and not because someone pushed him to, which I think is an excellent example of autonomy. One of the main barriers that will impair my connection with Louis is that he lived in the mid-19th century and I live in the 21st. The perception of the brand Louis has created has also changed over time. Back in the 19th century, it was a brand that specialized only on box and trunk making, and only catered to royal and elite clientele. Now, the brand still retains its roots of luggage-making, but it is also a colossal fashion brand that isn’t as exclusive it was in the 1800’s. Due to this, when it is time for speeches, I will make sure the audience understands that the life of Louis Vuitton in the 19th century is very different from the glamour of the Louis Vuitton brand we see today.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche warns us about the danger of the ‘Single Story’ in her TED Talk. I think her main point in this talk is that multiple perspectives are necessary to create a full story and much more perspectives are required to create an unbiased story. First, Chimamanda showed an important example of how everyone that she ever read about was “white and blue eyed, they played in the snow, and they eat apples,” (00:39). This is important because it shows that through the many books with only one perspective that Chimimanda was reading as a child, she came to believe that all characters in books should be white and blue eyed, play in the snow and eat apples. A ‘single story’ was forming. Chimamanda also showed great examples with people only having a ‘single story’ towards her and examples of ‘single story’ situations throughout history. The most impactful example, however, was when she went to Mexico for the first time. She talks about how when she went to Mexico, she had been living in the USA for some time. During this time, there were some tensions along the border and the Mexican people had been shown on the media and by the government “as people who were fleecing the healthcare system, sneaking across the border, being arrested at the border, that sort of thing,” (08:21). When Chimamanda went to Mexico for the first time, she was surprised to see that Mexicans were ordinary people, just like her. Then she realized that she had been influenced with the ‘single story’ of the government and the media. This last example clearly shows that anyone can be a target for the ‘single story’. Someone will always have a ‘single story’ about you, and you will always have a ‘single story’ about someone. It is almost impossible to live life without bias. However, I still think that we should try and reach out to all stories, to gain the different perspectives of the world, and see it as it really is.
One of the most impressive things about Ralph is that he has retained a leadership role throughout the book and during my scene. This scene shows that Ralph can maintain his aura of leadership even when he is very close to losing his temper. He displays this when he was confronting Jack about letting the fire out: “’I was chief, and you were going to do what I said. You talk. But you can’t even build huts–then you go off hunting and let out the fire—‘ (pg. 111). However, this scene also shows that Ralph can sometimes let his emotions get in the way of leadership: “(…) his voice came again on a peak of feeling. “There was a ship–,” (pg. 111). In this scene, Ralph wants to get off of the island by signaling the ship with a smoke signal. However, the smoke signal goes out, and Ralph fears that he will never get off this island if he doesn’t re-ignite the smoke signal in time for the ship to see it. He demonstrates this by screaming “Come back! Come back!” at the ship (pg. 107). In this scene Ralph is facing the internal conflict of dealing with the fact that their only way off the island was gone due to the mistake of the people he was trying to lead. An external conflict that he was facing was him trying to get up to the top of the mountain and lighting the fire in time to signal the ship. The development of Ralph so far is believable. Ralph entered the story as an overall ‘Mary Sue’ character, mature for his age and a good leader. However, even though he quickly recovers from it, this scene shows Ralph have the frustration and desperation of a child. We can also see the leadership position wearing his maturity away, which is very believable. I am not so critical with Ralph’s behavior because in this scene the fault of the fire going out is not on him. I also understand his frustration because the other boys’ mistake was quite devastating to him and the other boys. I am pleased with how the development is going so far because Ralph started as a ‘Mary Sue’ character, which means that he will either have a dip in character development or have a complete decline as a character. Both options are plausible because we can see Ralph’s leadership start to wear out which could mean that he continues to diminish to an imperfect character reveal himself at the end of the book as a great leader. I think that we should not look up to Ralph. Even though he is a good leader so far, only one third of the way through the book we can see his flaws start to show and we can see that he is wearing out as a leader. In this scene, Ralph is failing to lead the group of boys that he was named ‘chief’ of because nobody is following through with orders and most boys don’t care much about doing work. I can relate to this because there are times when I have had to lead a group, but they do not listen or do not do any of the work that is assigned to them. I think that I would have approached the situation in the same way as Ralph. He was first desperate to light the fire again, and then he confronted Jack about letting the fire go out, which I would’ve handled the same way.
Stuart McLean’s “Emil” offers readers a look on different perspectives of the debate on whether or not to give money to homeless people. It mostly focuses on Morley’s perspective, which is that homeless people are just as human and needing for human necessities and comforts as she is. She realizes this through becoming friends with Emil, a homeless man living in her neighborhood; while her family, neighbors and friends outcast him. Having a homeless man in Morley’s life makes her more understanding towards people with different or ‘unnatural’ lifestyles. It also helps her understand that sometimes people with these lifestyles don’t want ‘help’ to change the way they like to lead their life. One of the first signs of this in the book can be seen when she asks Dave “What is his name?” (pg. 110). This shows that Morley thinks of Emil as a regular person and wants to find out who he really is instead of isolating herself from him and trying to keep each other’s lifestyles separate. Another time she opened up to Emil’s lifestyle is when she caught him stealing flowers from the Shellenbergers garden, but “Instead of getting angry, however, she said, ‘Is that for your garden, Emil?’” (pg. 115). This quote shows that instead of getting mad at Emil or criticizing him for stealing flowers, Morley calmly tries to learn about why Emil is taking the flowers and learn about how he uses them in his lifestyle. Through talking about the flowers, Morley starts to understand that Emil is happy with how he is and how his life is, and that the flowers give him that happiness. Lastly, I think Morley shows that she finally accepts Emil’s lifestyle when she says “I don’t care what he does with the money,” (pg. 115). This last quote shows that Morley has full trust in the way Emil wants to lead his life. She now understands that Emil is maintaining this lifestyle for a reason: it makes him happy.
The best lens to watch George Lucas’ Star Wars: A New Hope is through the Social Power lens. This is due to most of the movie being about the conflicts between different social classes and two parties with different political views. Watching the movie through this lens provides an insight on the struggle of revolution and political change. Examples of social power can be seen all throughout the movie. One of the most prominent examples of the difference in social classes is seen through the characters of the movie. Only the characters that are in military or political positions of power lead a prosperous or opulent life. Most of the other characters either join the rebellion against this oppressive regime, end up farming like Luke, or turn to crime like Han Solo. This could serve as a look into real life, and show that only people in power live ‘safe’ lives without having to struggle for finances or survival. Another example of power differences between social classes is seen when the Empire destroys a whole populated planet. They commit this genocide without any question or confrontation from any regular civilians that are not rebels. This shows that the Empire can do basically whatever it wants without any opposition or confrontation, which could be showing us how people in power can do questionable or suspicious things without being confronted or questioned. My last example is when the Millennium Falcon is allowed to escape the Death Star, but only because it had a tracker on it. The author could be showing that a person can only do something or go somewhere in life if the government or person in power lets them; and even if the person does do something, the government still keeps an eye or ‘tracker’ on you. From these three examples, I see that this film might be about the division between social classes and political views, and the struggle of having an opposite political view than the overbearing current government. From watching Star Wars: A New Hope I can say that having an overarching government for every person in the world wouldn’t work because people around the world have different political views and the single government would spark resistances as seen in Star Wars.
To conclude, our colony wants to confederate. We think that we will be a great province for the Dominion of Canada because currently, we are an economic powerhouse, and with your help we can continue fueling the country with our powerful economy. However, as a small province with a small amount of taxpayers, we cannot assume other provinces debt if we want to continue to sustain our current economic state. We would also require imported raw materials from other provinces, due to most of our economy relying on us producing products out of raw materials. This would work great because our colony has a lot of port cities to export these products. To get these raw materials to New Brunswick, the cross Canada railroad would have to be extended to our main port city, St. John. The railroad will be also put to use on the way back across Canada, as we have raw materials like timber and potatoes to export ourselves.
Now, onto our second point. Britain has the finest navy in the world, and one of the finest armies. If we confederate, it will no longer be obligated to protect New Brunswick in cases of invasion. New Brunswick is a province with lots of coastal area, which is a weak point against assailants, and it also borders America, which as we know from the Fenian Raids, can invade the future Dominion of Canada. Due to these threats, we have to be guaranteed protection by the rest of Canada from invaders.
As New Brunswick is a colony with a smaller population, we want to be fully represented in government, which means no representation by population. New Brunswick is also a place where there are many minorities like Irish, Scottish, and Black settlers, and we would like government to be open to and to represent these minorities. We feel that it is important to hear these people’s voices in government because, if we confederate, a large population of the country will consist of these minorities.
That concludes the final address of New Brunswick. Thank you.