Blackout Poem – “Where The Sycamore Grew”

Joel Thirsk
English 11
17 December 2018
Mr. Barazzuol

Analysis of “Where The Sycamore Grew”

“Where The Sycamore Grew” written by Carrie Richards, is a narrative poem is about a old woman visiting her old house and seeing all the change and reflecting on her time there. The poem begins with the woman visiting her old home and she says, “The street seems narrower, and the trees are taller../ Where once open fields spanned both sides of the road/ there are new tract houses, and fences have bloomed” (3-5). The poem continues to have the woman witness great change in her old property, and as she is looking around her property she sees, “an unfamiliar red tricycle, and a skate left behind/ along flagstone pavers that wind to the door” (9-10). She is remembering all the happy times, such as “our first Christmas trees, our first anniversaries…” (18). The mood then changes as the woman is nostalgic and remembers the tough times when her mother died. The woman misses the memories that were made, and is so grateful for the home that she used to lived in, and cherishes the times she had in it. A thematic statement to fit the poem could be, “A home can have a great impact on one’s life, and the memories made there can stay with you forever.” This thematic statement suits the poem well because the woman is reflecting on the memories many many years later, and they will stay with her forever. There are many poetic devices used in this poem, such as simile, apostrophe, and alliteration. Simile is used when the woman’s memories are flooding back to her, and says that they are, “like a whirlwind of leaves, in a springtime of lives…..” (17). The woman is describing how quickly her life flew by, and how she cherishes the memories created. Apostrophe is used when the woman describes her house as, “the place where I cried long into the night,/ as the child in me grieved for a mother who died…” (19-20). The woman is talking about someone who is not present, as her mother died many years ago. Alliteration is used when the woman first visits her old home and says, “The sun-yellow house seems smaller somehow” (1). The poem has the repetition of the letter “s” at the beginning of the three words, to help the reader be interested in the poem. This poem is significant because so many people move houses and feel a connection to where they live, and there are so many memories that are made in a home everyday, so many people can relate to this poem.

Fahrenheit 451 – Radio

This is our Podcast Project created by Joel Thirsk, Theo Turner, and Sloane Schultz. This podcast is focusing on censorship, with our main question being: “How does censorship restrict opportunity or growth?” We tied in the novel Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury, and incorporated facts that we researched. Each member did an equal job contributing to this project. 

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab




Literature Photo Project


Literature Photo Project

By Joel and Evelina

The short story, “A Sound of Thunder” written by Ray Bradbury, is about a man named Eckels, who traveled back in time to hunt a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Once Eckels saw the dinosaur, he panicked, and ran away from it, but in doing so he stepped on a butterfly. This one simple action triggered a cascade of events, and when he arrived back in the present time there were many big changes. Words were spelled differently, and a different president was elected, all because of one small mistake.

In this project, partners or individuals had to find quotes from the short story they chose that matched thirteen different literary terms. The terms had to be defined, with an explanation of how the quote demonstrates the term. The next step was to take a photo that described the quote in a symbolic or literal way. The project then had to be posted on Edublog.


Quote: “The sign on the wall stemmed to be moving under a thin film of warm water. Eckels closed his eyes for a moment, the sign burned into his memory: TIME SAFARI INC. SAFARIS TO ANY YEAR IN THE PAST. YOU NAME THE ANIMAL. WE TAKE YOU THERE. YOU SHOOT IT” (Bradbury 1).

Explanation: Exposition is the beginning of the story when the author gives the reader information about the background of the characters and setting. The quote above introduces the protagonist of the story, and gives the reader a preview of the theme, and possible events that will occur in the story.


Rising Action Example #1:

Quote: “They moved silently across the room, taking their guns with them, toward the Machine, toward the silver metal and the roaring light. First a day and then a night” (Bradbury 2).

Explanation: Rising actions are the events leading up towards the climax of the story, that will keep the reader interested to read more. This quote is a great example of rising action, as it gives the reader an idea of what the story will be about, in this case time travel, and intrigues the reader to continue reading the story. It is also the first major event in the story, as it is the beginning of the long journey that Eckels takes.


c) Rising Action Example #2:

Quote: “‘The first human isn’t born yet,’ said Travis… ‘Outside,’… ‘is the jungle of sixty million two thousand and fifty-five years before President Keith’” (Bradbury 2).

Explanation: This quote is another great example of rising action, because it is the second big event of the story, where the characters arrive in the jungle, sixty million years in the past. It stimulates the reader’s curiosity, and causes him/her to wonder what may happen next.


Rising Action Example #3

Quote: “Out of the mist, one hundred yards away, came Tyrannosaurus Rex… Each lower leg was like a powerful machine, a thousand pounds of white bone… ‘Why, why,’ said Eckels in wonder, ‘it could reach up and take hold of the moon’” (Bradbury 5).

Explanation: This quote uses powerful imagery that causes the reader to have a detailed picture in his/her mind, and also be able to imagine what the characters would be feeling in this scene. The quote is also very descriptive, because by using hyperbole, it provides excellent imagery and gives the reader an idea of how big the dinosaur is. It is also the third major event in the story, and it describes Eckels’ amazement of the dinosaur.



Quote: “‘This fool nearly killed us. But it isn’t that so much, no. It’s his shoes! Look at them! He ran off the Path’” (Bradbury 7).

Explanation: The climax is the big event that all the rising actions lead up to. It is the peak of the story, and from then on, all the events are smaller, as the story winds down to its ending. This quote is from the climax of the story, as all the other events lead up to this monumental moment. Eckels is reprimanded because he ran off the Path, which could potentially causes major changes when they arrive back in the present time.


Falling Action

 “But the immediate thing was the sign painted on the office wall, the same sign he had read earlier today on first entering. Somehow, the sign had changed:
YU SHOOT ITT” (Bradbury 9).

Explanation: Falling action is the events in the story that take place after the climax, and these events wind down the story and prepare it for its ending type. This quote is a good example of falling action, as this scene takes place after the climax, and successfully keeps the reader interested, but also gives indications that the story is coming to an end.



Quote: “He heard Travis lift his rifle, click the safety catch, and raise the weapon.
There was a sound of thunder” (Bradbury 10).

Explanation: Denouement is the final part of the story, where the plot comes together and the final scene takes place. This quote is from the final scene of the story where all the pieces of the story have been assimilated, and although there is an unresolved ending, the story all makes sense and the plot is finished.


Physical Setting

Quote: “The Machine sat in the ancient jungle. Distant bird cries blew on a wind. There was the smell of wet grass and an old salt sea. There were huge flowers on the trees the color of blood” (Bradbury 2).

Explanation: The physical setting of a story is the time, place or location where the story takes place. This quote uses descriptive words that gives the reader a clear understanding of where the characters are. The quote takes place when the time machine arrived in the past, and shows the reader what the location looks like. Ray Bradbury uses the five senses to give the reader a colourful image of the physical setting of the short story.


Emotional Setting

Quote: “‘I’ve hunted tiger, wild pig, buffalo, elephant, but now, this is it,’ said Eckels. ‘I’m shaking like a kid.’… Eckels seemed unable to move. He looked at his feet as if trying to make them walk. He gave a cry of helplessness” (Bradbury 5).  

Explanation: The emotional setting of a story is the atmosphere or mood that takes place, and reflects what the characters are experiencing emotionally. This quote is an excellent example of the emotional setting in the story, as it shows both the excitement and anxiety that Eckels is feeling. It gives the reader clues to infer what Eckels is feeling, without directly stating it.


Conflict Type

“‘Go out on that Path alone,’ said Travis. He had his rifle pointed, ‘You’re not coming back in the Machine. We’re leaving you here!’… Travis looked angrily at Eckels’ check book and spat. ‘Go out there. The Monster’s next to the Path. Stick your arms up to your elbows in his mouth. Then you can come back with us’”
(Bradbury 7-8).

Explanation: The conflict type of the story is defined by what struggles occur between a character and another force. The conflict type in this story is person vs person, as Travis threatens to leave Eckels behind because he stepped off the path. This quote demonstrates the external conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist, and how the two characters are conflicting throughout the story.


Ending type

Quote: “He did not move. Eyes shut, he waited, shivering. He heard Travis breathe loudly. He heard Travis lift his rifle, click the safety catch, and raise the weapon.
There was a sound of thunder” (Bradbury 10).

Explanation: The ending type of a story is the way the author causes the story to end, and can vary from expository happy, expository sad, suprise or twist, or unresolved. This quote leaves the story on a cliffhanger, so the ending type is unresolved as the reader is unsure if Eckels is murdered or not. This keeps the reader interested until the last sentence of the story, and causes him/her to wonder what happens.


Irony Example

“‘Every hunter who ever lived would envy us today’” (Bradbury 2). 

Explanation: Irony is when the reader expects one thing to happen, but the opposite occurs. This quote is ironic because Eckels acted like he was all tough and a great hunter, but then he was very scared and the least tough of all the hunters in his group. The quote is situational irony, because Eckels acts like he is so tough, but ends up running off the path in fear, and changes the future. 


Quote: “Travis raised his hand. ‘There,’ he whispered. ‘In the mist. There he is. There’s His Royal Majesty now.’ The jungle was wide and full of sounds. Suddenly it all stopped, as if someone had shut a door. Silence. A sound of thunder. Out of the mist, one hundred yards away, came Tyrannosaurus Rex” (Bradbury 5).

Explanation: Suspense is a state or feeling of uncertainty about what may happen in the story, that causes anticipation for the reader, and makes him/her want to continue reading. This quote demonstrates suspense, as the reader is excited to figure out what is going to happen next. Suspense builds up throughout parts of the story, to motivate and interest the reader in the plot, and to cause him/her to be uncertain or surprised at the outcome of cause and effects.


Walter Mitty Daydream Six

Joel Thirsk
English 11
9 September 2018
Mr. Barazzuol

Walter Mitty Daydream Six

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” written by James Thurber, is a short story about a man who lives a simple and boring life, but escapes from reality by having adventurous dreams. Realism and expressionism play large roles in this short story, as they are opposing forces in Walter’s life. He escapes the reality of his dull existence by expressing himself through his dreams. Expressionism is a literary tool that is used to display memories, dreams and flashbacks of characters, whereas realism is the present time and situations that the character is in. To illustrate, realism is when Walter was told to put on gloves by his wife because it was cold outside in the present time. Expressionism occurred when Walter dreamed he was a famous surgeon operating on a very rich banker. Triggers in his real life, such as when he put his gloves on and passed by a hospital, caused him to express his longings for adventure in the form of a dream.

Walter stood against the wall, his legs trembling. He was standing in thick mud up to his ankles. He held his head high, careful not to show defeat. “On my count!” barked the sergeant. “Three, two, one!” BANG… “Walter! Let’s go, it’s freezing!” yelled his wife. The couple got back in the car and Walter drove in silence while his wife rambled on about the rudeness of the cashier. Travelling the narrow cobblestone road, Mrs. Mitty exclaimed, “Oh Walter, would you look at that! America’s most wanted: Frank Hatchett”…

The frigid air pierced Walter’s lungs as he took a ragged breath. He crept along the shadowy sidewalk, and turned the blind corner. Walter saw the familiar yet elusive figure he had been tracking for months. He was close. So close. Quickening his pace, he reached his hand into his left breast pocket and withdrew a small charcoal handgun. He crouched low, behind an rusty old dumpster and peered out from behind, careful to reveal only a sliver of his face. The figure continued to move so stealthily he could have been a mere shadow. Walter knew that this was his chance. He wouldn’t let Hatchett slip through his fingers this time. Silently taking a breath, Walter stepped out with his gun held out, and fired two shots at the figure. The shadow crumpled to the ground. With his gun still extended, Walter cautiously walked towards his victim. He gasped. Laying on the ground was the body of someone all too familiar, as he looked down into the glazed eyes of his wife. Click. An icy barrel pressed to his temple, and a raspy voice whispered “Goodnight”.











The Butterfly Effect in “A Sound of Thunder”

“A Sound of Thunder” is a short story that takes place in the future, and is about a man named Eckels who traveled back in time, but his decisions altered the course of history. Eckels discovered a company called Time Safari Inc, that would allow him to travel back in time and hunt a tyrannosaurus rex. Time Safari Inc, had gone back in time already and created a path that floated above the ground, so that hunters would not kill any species by stepping on the earth.  When Eckels arrived in the Cretaceous time period, he saw the enormous T-Rex, and panicked, and ran away off the path. This one simple action caused the Butterfly Effect, and changed everything. Running off the path caused him to step on a butterfly which caused the Butterfly Effect for 60 million years, until the present time. The result of Eckels decision to go off the path, caused him to step on a butterfly, which caused many changed to the present day, such as words were now spelled completly differently, and the election that took place before Eckels went back in time had a different outcome, where a different President was elected. So many changed occured, all from one simple act.