2.9 Reading response No.6

“The Last Kingdom” Written by Bernard Cornwell follows the life of Uhtred in the year 800 AD. As a young boy he watched his family killed by the people he would then come to fight for. When his father is slain in battle he is taken and raised by a family of Danish invaders. Uhtred quickly becomes on of the fiercest warriors in all of England.  His entire life he desires to return to his rightful home of Bebbenburg which was stolen from him as a child.

The battle between the Danish invaders and the English rages on and on with Uhtred caught in the middle, torn between which side he should fight for.  Uhtred is constantly undecided on whether he should fight for the Danish who raised him or his English countrymen. “Northumbrian or Dane? Which was I? What did I want to be?”. This quote is trying to teach us that we should be what we want to be. Instead of letting other people decide for us or worrying what other people might think we should make the decision ourselves. It is important as young people that we don’t let other people influence who we are. This quote is important to me as a teenager as I’m constantly surrounded by images of what the “ideal” person should be.  I feel that society places to much importance on fitting in and being something that other people tell you, that you are. 

Uhtred was raised a Pagan which means that his christian countrymen that he fights with do not trust him. He is the English Kings best warrior but he is still hated for his religious views. This is why he is constantly torn over which side he should fight for. “He was a miserable, pious, tight-fisted king who distrusted me because I was no Christian”. This quote shows that even the King who Uhtred had risked his life for looked down upon him for being of a different faith or religion. The clash between religions is stupid and petty. Christians preach “love thy neighbor” but then scorn anyone who doesn’t support the Christian faith.  Bernard Cornwell is trying to teach us as the reader that we shouldn’t judge people based of the religion they support. Peace between religions has been an idea for centuries but even now in the modern age we don’t have it. There is constant fighting in the middle east due to religion which has no end in sight. I believe that people should set aside there differences and allow everyone to believe in the whatever faith they want without fear of being judged or discriminated.  

The Last Kingdom is gritty and fast paced. Events and characters in the text are based on real life people and battles so the text is considered Historical fiction. Don’t let that genre fool you, the book is dark and graphic and so it still a really interesting read for people not interested in historical events. This book is more suited towards mature readers because of the violent content portrayed, such as the gory battles and dark violent scenes. The Last Kingdom is a well written book that grabs your attention from the very first page.

Perspectives 2.5 A

Option B. To construct and deliver an oral presentation on  a topic, issue, idea, conflict, situation that is thought provoking/ controversial this year. You must present at least two different perspectives / interpret viewpoints on this topic, issue, idea, conflict or situation. 

The biggest problem that technological advances face, is money. Money is what controls whether something stays an idea or becomes a reality. Without immense resources being poured into an idea it will take years to develop; Unless you can find a way of doing it cheaply. Time magazine places Elon Musk in the top most influential people of our time. Elon Musk is the most influential tech genius alive due to the fact that he is able to find ways of manufacturing and developing technology cheaply that was previously thought of as impossible. Elon Musk is turning unimaginable technology into common place items in everyone’s lives. 

Most people look at Elon Musk and see a nothing but a billionaire playboy doing drugs and wasting his life away on twitter. Elon Musk is worth $19.9 Billion dollars and like most billionaires he does stupid thing, so this assumption isn’t entirely unjustified.  But what most people don’t know is that when Elon Musk isn’t on twitter or taking drugs he is developing technology that normal people only dream of.

Most of the technology that Elon is developing has existed for years, but he is making it affordable for everyone. Electric cars have existed since the 1870s but back then they cost millions to make and there was no way of mass producing them. Only in recent years have electric cars become common place. Elon Musk took the idea and found a way to produce them cheaply on a global scale, founding the company Tesla.  There are an estimated 400,000 Tesla cars on the road all across the world meaning that Elon Musk’s influence in the tech world stretches across all across the globe. Tesla is also the leading company in environmentally friendly energy, with their giant solar power stations. 

The cars that Tesla develops aren’t just luxury vehicles like many are lead to believe, they are the beginning of the end for fossil fuels and are pushing the world towards a greener future. As the CEO of Tesla, Elon could easily just take whatever car he wanted, but unlike other industry leaders Elon musk  pays full price for the cars that his company develops. He does this because he wants to relate to the average everyday consumer and prove that the cars are aimed to be sold to anyone. 

For NASA to launch a rocket into space the total cost is over 1 billion US dollars. Space X, another company founded by Elon Musk, has shrunk that cost by 94% to around 60 million per launch. Space X did this buy developing rockets that are cheap to manufacture and can be reused.  This means that ideas such as public space travel and a colony on Mars are becoming more of a reality everyday.  Cost is a huge issue when it comes to Space technology, and is what has been preventing us from further advancement. So the fact that Elon Musk and Space X have been able to develop technology that can be manufactured cheaply is an incredible feat. 

Elon has envisioned the idea of the “Hyper loop” and has even started . The hyper loop is an incredibly high speed transportation system which Elon believes will change the world. The only problem stopping this from becoming common place around the world, is once again, not being able to construct it, without spending an unimaginable amount of money. If Elon is able to find a way of funding his Hyper loop project  it would make him one of the most powerful people on the planet. 

Most people who have made millions spend then money on pointless material things like fast cars, houses or yachts. Elon Musk chooses to invest his own money into developing technology that is changing people lives.

Elon Musk is the most influential tech developer of today’s world. There is no one else alive who has been involved in, or developed as much technology as him.  Elon has created technology that will help to end the worlds reliance on fossil fuels, and has started to turn the idea of a mars colony into reality. 

2.9 Reading response No.5

The book  “A Game of thrones” by George RR Martin follows the chaos of life in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Ned Stark is summoned by the King to be his Hand or chief adviser after the sudden death of Jon Arryn. Ned Stark is thrown into the political world of conspiracy and deceit. Whilst chaos ensues in the capitol the exiled “Dragon King” rises to power in the east.

The basis of the book is politics and control. Throughout the text they discuss the idea of playing the “Game of thrones” which is a dangerous power struggle between the 7 ruling families that control different regions of Westeros. Not a single person in the capitol city of King’s landing can be trusted, anyone can turn on anyone. “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die”.  This “Game of thrones” that the characters play represents the dangerous political world that we live in today. If somebody of power makes a single mistake  the rest of the world descends on them like a pack of wolves.

In the start of the text Ned Stark has to decide the fate of a deserter. Punishment for desertion is death. Instead of deciding the mans fate and leaving the rest up to one of his men, Ned kills the man himself out of principle. All of his children are forced to watch because Ned is teaching them how to be respected leaders.  “If you would take a mans life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes… If you cannot bear to do that, perhaps he does not deserve to die”. Honour is a powerful tool and without it we do not deserve to have power over others.  In a position of power relying on other people to your dirty work for you will undermine the respect that you have from other people.

Viserys is the exiled, self proclaimed “Dragon King”. He is an egotistical prick who feeds off control. Because he was born into royalty before he was exiled he has a intense air of self entitlement.  Viserys is incredibly childish in the fact that he gets angry when he does not get what he wants. Viserys’s death is incredibly ironic. All that he wanted his entire life was a golden crown and too have power over everyone in his life. Khal Drogo offers to give him this. Instead of creating a Golden crown for Viserys to wear he pours molten gold over Viserys head killing him. The gold hardens around his head in a spherical shape giving Viserys dead body the golden crown he has always desired. This is the only ending that Viserys deserved. This showed me that demanding something that you desire isn’t how you get something. Had Viserys been respected he may have finally achieved his goal.

“All Dwarf are bastards in their fathers eyes”. To me this quote is important because it shows me that no matter what you are people will always view you as something else. Tyrion Lannister was born a Dwarf and so is hated by his father and family. It is viewed as a sign of weakness that a member of a powerful family has a disability. People will always find a reason to dislike you or put you down. Like Tyrion, its best just to ignore what they think and embrace who you are instead of trying to fight against it.  “If they want to give you a name take it make it your own. Then they can’t hurt you with it anymore”. This taught me not to worry about what other people think or “label” me. I need to turn what weaknesses into my strengths so that they can’t be used against me.

One thing that I took away from the book is how to go about achieving goals. Viserys is so bent on conquering the Seven Kingdoms that he is even willing to sell his sister ( his only living family ) to a savage war-lord. I feel that George RR Martin was trying to show us that sometimes going to the extremes may not be the best way to achieve our goals. If we want to achieve something we would be better off putting our time into intelligent ideas.

Game of Thrones is definitely a book for mature people with high levels of graphic content and violence. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the fantasy side of it but I would also recommend it to anyone who is interested in the political intrigue of it.

Book Thief Essay

Question 3: Analyse how language features were used to capture the reader’s imagination.

Throughout the text the narrator, Death, talks about the significance of colours. Red, Black, White. Through the use of these colours that Death talks about, Markus Zusak is able to capture the readers imagination and create a more vivid image of the ideas that he is trying to portray. Using Colours to portray ideas creates a more vivid image because colours come with connotations surrounding them that the reader already has. We as the reader already associate different meaning with colours so when used to talk about themes in the text it allows Markus Zusak to create deeper meaning. This also allows everyone who reads the text to take different ideas from the text based on there predisposed ideas of what certain colours represent.

Part 1.  Black

“Next a signature black”. The word “black” is surrounded in negative connotations. Death, darkness, depression, these are powerful images created in people heads. Death talks about the colour black right from the start of the text and how it surrounds everything. Liesel’s brother and mother are both killed in the beginning of the text which links to the idea of death and the colour black.  The fact that the colour black is talked about a lot throughout the text indicates that Death hangs over Liesel and other characters in the text.  Death is a by-product of war. This means that in WW2 Germany Death is an all too common occurrence. Death can effect different people in different ways. Frau Hermann lost her son due to the war and it effects her deeply. She is quiet, withdrawn and depressed. Liesel lost her mother and brother but chooses not to dwell on it and finds happiness in her life. Death and the colour black hangs over Frau Hermann’s life.  “He is nothing now in this world,” she explained. “He was my…” “Apart from anything else”.  This pause when Frau Hermann is talking about her son shows that she still mourns for him.  Markus Zusak uses the language feature of symbolism to create powerful ideas of Death and the darkness that it brings people. He shows us through the colour black the influence that Death has over our life.

 

Part 2.   Red: blood, fire, war, Nazi flag

Markus Zusak uses symbolism through the colour Red, to represent the destruction and blood spilled by War and to capture the imagination of the reader. Millions of Jewish people were killed and millions of other were killed fighting to save them. The colour red symbolizes their blood that was unfairly spilled in battles caused by Hitlers extremist views. “To their left, flames and burning books were cheered like heroes.” p.122, “The Germans loved to burn things”,  Germany burned everything from books to people during the war.  Jewish people were killed and burned and books promoting anything that the Nazi’s opposed were burned also. The colour red in this part of the text represents fire and destruction The colour red would also have been seen in all aspects of Liesel’s life as it is the main colour of the Nazi party flag. The Nazi flag was common place in everyone’s homes and schools as not displaying your allegiance to the Nazi party could result in you and your family being dragged off to concentration camps. 

Part 3. White: purity, cold, harsh

The poem “Exposure” by Wilfred Owen is all about the colour white and the freezing cold and death that it brings. This relates to “The Book thief” because Frau Hermann’s son froze to death in Russia. “he froze to death….He froze to death, I’m sure of it.” It also relates to how Liesel’s brother dies on the train at the beginning of the text. When Liesel’s brother dies, he passes away in his sleep peacefully. The world around him is covered in snow. This is an example of Pathetic Fallacy. Liesel’s brother dies peacefully and the environment around him represents this. Markus Zusak uses pathetic fallacy to capture the readers imagination by making Liesel’s surroundings represent events that are happening in her life.

The colour white in the text could represent how the Nazi’s felt that white skinned people were a superior race. The ideal Aryan has blonde hair, blue eyes, white skin. Anyone else is considered inferior and worthless. The colour white is often associated with the idea of innocence. In the text Rudy is too young to understand the political and racist views of the Nazi party. Rudy’s innocence is shown in his wanting to be like Jesse Owens, the African American runner, without realizing that being black or even wanting to be black is considered sacrilege in Nazi Germany. “Mr Steiner decided to talk politics with the boy … Only in the years ahead would Rudy understand it all.”

Conclusion

All of the colours in one way or another link back to the idea of, and the narrator himself, Death. White is the freezing, cold side of Death. Red is the burning, chaotic Death caused by war. Black represents Death itself and the darkness it brings too people lives. Markus Zusak uses pathetic fallacy and symbolism to represent his ideas. Colour is a huge part of human lives and the way that Markus Zusak uses it capture the readers imagination intensely.

 

Yes, it was white.
It felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow.

 

 

 

 

2.9 Reading response No.4

Californication

Washed up writer Hank Moody spends his time getting drunk and lusting after his engaged ex and trying to be friends with his teenage daughter, whilst his previously illustrious career plummets downwards. Hank moved his family to LA in search of making money in Hollywood, but ends up losing pretty much everything due to a series of mistakes and his abrupt personality. Californication follows the hedonistic lifestyle of Hank and his best friend/agent Charlie Runkle.

Hank is the main character in Californication but he is also the most important. Normally the most important characters in texts or movies are the side characters that teach not only the viewer/reader but the main character important lesson. In Californication the character of Hank Moody teaches the viewer the important lessons. Hank constantly makes mistakes, hurting the people he surrounds himself with.  Hank’s most important trait is his sincerity. Even though he manages to hurt most of the people in his life and ruin all the good things he has, he isn’t an inherently bad person which is why most people can relate to him. No one is perfect. Hank isn’t rich and isn’t driven by money yet he still manages to find some happiness in his chaotic life. This can be linked to the cliche “Money can’t buy happiness” which in the case of Hank Moody is true.

Hank dates a girl called Carrie for almost year before breaking up with. He doesn’t realize how much this hurt her until a few months later she turns up out of nowhere and gives both Hank and herself a lethal dose of anti depressants. Hank survives but lives with the guilt that he was the reason she killed herself. He blames himself so much that it drives him into a downwards spiral of alcoholism.  “Just tell me you love me. Tell me you love me.” Carrie says this as the dose of anti depressants take off Hank’s mind and he can’t stop the words from echoing through his head.  People find themselves in bad situations or even bad relationships and end up blaming themselves for the bad things that happen. Hank isn’t responsible for Carrie’s death but he blames himself and it tears him apart. People need to see that blaming themselves for the decisions and action of others that are close to us aren’t always our fault. I feel that Hank’s toxic reaction to Carrie’s suicide taught me to not blame myself for other peoples action and to try move on with my life.

“Why are you living beyond your means?, It’s the only way I know how”, This quote is from a conversation between Hank and Charlie after Charlie gets fired from his agency. Charlie has spent his entire life living expensively to fit in with everyone else and impress people. He spends so much of his money that when he losses his job he has no money to pay rent or even by food. This is the intense desire to fit in that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Charlie is surrounded by all of Hollywood’s biggest stars and that drives him to spend his money on meaningless things in the pursuit of “fitting in”. This is the director trying to teach us that we don’t need to fit the ideals presented or created by industries or people that surround.

Although heavily crass and often stupid Californication paints a realistic view on life.  It doesn’t flaunt unrealistic ideas making the viewer feel like they need more new things to feel happy.   Hank shows that literally anyone can find happiness in their life. The characters seem to be real people instead of the usual unrealistic characters that are created purely for entertainment.

 

Maturation of Liesel

  1. Initially I imagines a “book thief” as someone older and more mature than Liesel with a greater appreciation of the literature, not just the desire to learn to read. The word thief comes with negative connotations that don’t fit with the word book. Thief’s are usually uneducated criminals who are mischievious and untrustworthy, but when the word is paired with “book” it creates a completely different image.
  2. Liesel lost her brother and then her mother “abandoned” her and left her without anyone to trust. This could lead to trust problems between her and her foster parents and between her and her friends.
  3. Her weakness at the beginning of the text is not being able to read which people make fun of her because of. The words become powerful to her because they allow her to overcome her weakness and become stronger than the people that made fun of her. The words also represent the relationship she has with Hans. Hans teaches he to read which created a bigger bond between them.
  4. Liesel vows to never kiss Rudy because she doesn’t want to ruin her friendship with him. He is one of the only kids that respects and likes Liesel from the beginning of the text which makes him hugely important and influential in Liesel’s life.
  5. Max’s experiences in Germany make Liesel’s problems look completely insignificant. Max is Jewish and is considered scum by Nazi Germany making it impossible for him to go anywhere or doing anything.
  6. Liesel keeps stealing books as it gives her something to hold onto during bad times such as when Max is in his coma. If she didn’t have the book stealing she would spend the entire time thinking about Max and she would lose hope. However as long as she kept stealing books for Max to read she felt that she could him alive.

Characterization of Rudy

Hates Hitler
Is in love with Liesel
Idolizes Jesse Owens the black american athlete at a time when being black is considered “bad”.  He idolizes and respects Jesse Owens so much that according to Liesel he purposely lost one of the races so that he wasn’t as good a Owens. This is hugely important because Rudy is the perfect Aryan child, blue eyes, blonde hair, smart, athletic but he disagrees with everything that he represents in Nazi society.  Rudy’s innocence is what makes him dangerous

Rudy changes from a small immature boy into a more sensible and intelligent teenager.  Throughout the text he dreams of kissing Liesel and he dies without fulfilling his wish.  Rudy comes from a large poor family and so is always hungry.

“He was eight months older than Liesel and had
bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes,
and hair the color of a lemon.
One of six Steiner children, he was
permanently hungry.”

Stood up for Tommy Muller even when it put himself in harms way during Hitler youth. This lead to being tortured by his Hitler youth leader, Frans Deutscher,

Confident
Strong willed
Rudy was included in the text to show that no matter how hard Hitler tried to convince the nation he was right he still wasn’t able to convince children who are usually the easiest to influence.

Rudy brings humour and fun into Liesel’s life when she first arrives in Molching which is a stark contrast to the death that Liesel has recently experienced.

2.9 Reading response No.3

Retired US Marine Wade Watts is diagnosed with 4 different types of cancer. With no hope of survival, he turns to an experimental program that will supposedly cure him.  The program cures his cancer and gives him the ability to heal anything, however it left him hideously deformed. Wade adopts the superhero persona “Deadpool” as a way to hide who he really is. Hellbent on exacting revenge, Wade tracks down the man (Ajax) who left him covered in scar tissue and kills him. Deadpool is a dark, action-comedy movie that explores the ideas of revenge, grief and personality over appearance.

One thing that is relevant to pretty much anyone who has watched the film is the feeling of being judge by someone on how we look. Wade is too scared to talk to his girlfriend, Vanessa, or even let her know that he is alive because of the way he looks. At one point he even follows her home in the rain and stand outside wondering whether he should go in. However people on the street start staring at him and his scars so instead of speaking to Vanessa he puts his hood up and leaves.  “I should have come and found you sooner. But baby, the guy under this mask, he ain’t the same one you remember.” This quote is from the final scene of the movie where Wade finally confronts Vanessa, facing what he feared the entire way through the movie.  After all the time of avoiding Vanessa, scared of what she might think, in the end she doesn’t even care. I feel this scene was trying to show us that people can look past how we look and judge us based on our personality. Wade’s personality is still exactly same as it was at the beginning which is why Vanessa doesn’t care about the scarring.  This is exactly like “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, people need to make judgments about people not by their appearance but the quality of their personality.

Colossus is all about taking the peaceful approach and instead of exacting revenge on someone he feels it is best to move on. To me the Character of Colossus seems to represent Wade’s conscience. Wade is filled with anger and spends the whole movie killing people while trying to find the person that turned him into a monster. “Four or five moments – that’s all it takes to become a hero”, This quote is from a scene at the end of the movie where Colossus is trying to convince Wade not kill Ajax and instead “spare an enemy” to become a hero. Colossus tries again, and again to convince Wade that what he is doing is wrong. Wade never listens. The character of Colossus taught me to view things from multiple angles to see if what I was doing was actually the right thing. Wade is obsessed with revenge and killing whereas Colossus, as Wade’s conscience, tries to show and teach how to deal with problems without violence. Everyone needs to have a voice like Colossus to control them in times where intense emotion takes control and we make bad decisions.

Deadpool, although a graphic action-comedy, is a extremely enjoyable movie for people over the age of 16.  The fact that is classified a superhero movie needs to be overlooked as Deadpool can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone with a sense of humour. To many Deadpool may appear to be a pointless action movie but through clever characters and humour, Director Tim Miller and Actor Ryan Reynolds were able to create quite possibly one of the best comedy movies of the century.

Significance of the Books

The significance of the book the Grave Diggers handbook is that its Liesel’s only connection to her past. It’s the only thing she still has that has anything to do with her mother and brother.  The book links Liesel to her brothers death and his funeral.  Both her mother and brother are dead so Liesel needs something to remember her by. The book also relates to Death. Death and gravediggers go hand in hand, Death creates the bodies; The gravedigger buries them. This book is extremely important because its not only a memory of her mother and brother but its also the start of her obsession with stealing books.  This book is also what teaches her to read, which sparks her passion.

The book the Stand-over man has relevance to almost every character in the text with every character having something that hangs over there head. Max has the threat of Hitler and the Nazi’s hanging over him, Hans Huberman has the guilt of Max’s father death hanging over him,  Rudy has his bully and hunger. Almost every character has something bad hanging over them making things in there everyday life difficult. The Stand-over man could also represent protectors or positive influences in peoples lives.  Hans stands over Liesel as her protector keeping her safe from everything he can, Hans is also a positive influence in her life, fueling her love for books, learning and reading.

The shoulder shrug is the book that Liesel steals from the burning pile.  The title alone represents how the country of Germany just shrugged and ignored the destruction of hundreds of pieces of literature. The German’s just stood and watched as a priceless amount of history was destroyed before there very eyes and all they did was shrug and walk off.  It also represents the start of Liesel’s rebellion, if she had been caught by Nazi’s or anyone for that matter she would have been taken away from Hans and Rosa and probably would never have returned. However, Liesel got away with it and it sparked her desire to rebel even more.

Max uses the book Mein-Kampf as a way of keeping him alive. It hid his illegal documents and he used the pages to create stories for Liesel. This is intense Irony as the book Mein-Kampf was used by Hitler as an excuse to kill millions of Jewish people like Max. Mein-Kampf was Hitler’s main form of propaganda. It gave Hitler power in Germany and was a part of why he became the Supreme Leader of Germany. Max is a person of Jewish faith and the book Mein Kampf gave him power to keep him alive and used it to make a gift for Liesel.

Liesel steals the Dream Carrier from Isla Hermann’s library. She read this book to Max while Max is in his coma state. Liesel acts as Max’s own Dream carrier while he is in the coma state, talking and reading to him and keeping him company. When Max’s wakes up he tells Liesel her heard most of what she said.

A Song in the Dark is another book stolen from Isla Hermanns library. Liesel is a Song in Max’s darkness. Liesel steals this book during Max’s coma stage to read to him in his time of darkness and despair.

Characteristation

Liesel
Started the book of quiet and scared but as the story progressed Liesel became bold and confident. Liesel pushed her way into the groups of Jews looking for Max, towards the end of the book, whereas at the start of the book she didn’t even have the confidence to talk properly with Rosa.
Her main desire was to find her real mother because Rosa doesn’t show her the love that a real mother should.  had a desire to learn how to read. Filled the alphabet that Hans made with words everyday so that she would no longer be known as dumpkoft. As the book continues Liesel becomes more intelligent and even gains the writing and reading ability to write her own book, the idea given to her by Max.

Hans
Hans is kind to Liesel the entire way through the book without fail.
Hans has this sense of responsibility for Max because Max’s father helped him during the war and he depends on his accordion to make money to support their family and without Max’s father he would never have learnt to play. When Max arrives he feels responsible for the boy and his only option is to allow him to hide in there basement even if it risks Hans’s families lives.
Rosa
at the start wanted both children only because she wanted more money from the government  “What’s wrong with this child?”  Rosa didn’t really care for Liesel she only wanted the money that having Liesel gave her.
by the end of the book actually showed genuine love for Liesel
Her determination and aggressive attitude it what helps keep the family and Max alive. Without her intense stubbornness Max probably would have died when he became hypothermic.

Rudy
Rudy changes from a small immature boy into a more sensible and intelligent teenager.  Throughout the text he dreams of kissing Liesel and he dies without fulfilling his wish.  He dreams of being Jesse Owens but in his innocence doesn’t realize how bad this is in Germany. Rudy doesn’t understand that being black in WW2 Germany is bad.  Rudy comes from a large poor family and so is always hungry.