– What psychological conflicts drive the characters or the plot?

– What significant symbols or events are going to have a psychological effect on the characters in the story?

– Are there prominent words in the piece that could have different or hidden meanings? Could there be a subconscious reason for the author using these “problem words?

– Is the main character in your novel more influenced by nature (inherited / genetic characteristics) or nurture (acquired / learned characteristics)?

– Are any characters in your novel self-actualized (the process of realizing one’s own potential, ex: making personal sacrifices to fulfill your inner potential)?

– How do characters deal with psychological conflicts that face them?

1. How have you personally connected to, “The Crucible?”
I have connected to, “The Crucible” through it’s theme of adaptations of personalities. I believe that when surrounded by others, we slightly change who we are to better fit other’s personalities and to fit in. Personally, I change different aspects of myself when I’m surrounded by others to better fit with their personalities. In, “The Crucible”, the town had change parts of their personalities in order to better fit in with others in the town, respect it’s rules (of following the church), and not to be accused of being a witch by others. Much like in life, the characters in the story had a very herd-like mentality in following what everyone else in the town was doing, to fit in.

2. How and why have you responded to, “The Crucible” in a personal, creative, and critical way?
I have responded to many aspects of, “The Crucible”, however I have felt a greater connection to the theme in the story of hysteria. I unfortunately suffer from panic attacks, which can be triggered by others emotional reactions, or through something that I fear. In the story, these seemed to be the two ingredients that caused the irrational up-roar of accusations. The unstable emotional state of everyone in the town seemed to spread from one person to the next, due to their fear of witchcraft. I have creatively responded to this knowledge, through the different ways in which this form of fear and great emotion can be expressed through different forms and intensity. In this case, these emotions and fears were expressed through writing and acting. Critically, this story, has shown me the different intensity’s and forms that people can express fear, as well as seeing what the fear looks like from an outsider perspective. This perspective has allowed me to understand how the things that we fear can overwhelm us, and take form in different things, in this case the fear the town felt transformed into accusations of witchcraft.

I chose this image due to it’s visually appealing nature, caused by it’s use of colors and composition. The overwhelming amount of red that is used in this image can represent both violence and romance. The pose of the model and her lack of wardrobe pushes the image towards a feeling of romance. The model is placed in the middle of the frame, and is the contrast of color so that the eye is drawn to her. This image could be important, because it is recognized by many, and it seems to carry an import message of how sexuality can impact one’s life.

This image was shot by director, Sam Mendez, to reveal the symbolism of roses in the film. He uses the color red, to represent sexuality, rebellion, and transcendence. These three things are represented through characters in the film. Throughout the film, red also symbolizes the essence of life, and also the color of blood. In the film, this is seen to be true, as in the beginning of the film, the main character associates his new love interest with roses which are red, but at the end of the film, he is seen lying in a pool of his own blood, with roses behind him. In this film, roses are seen as a superficial extravagance, as they are something commonly obtained, although they are more expensive than other flowers. Much like this, in the film, the door to their house is painted red, while the inside is quite dull, showing how their lives are too are only superficial extravagance. This is important to the image, because it is the reason for it. The main character is bored with his life, and this young girl becomes his escape out of his everyday ways, however, she, much like the roses, is only superficial.

My life is a sky of grey
A rain cloud providing shade.
A never-ending highway, next stop: nowhere.
I dream of someday.

Like a vision of a daydream
She stood in front of me
The key to unlock my American dream
A beauty.

My life that once seized to exist was now born,
She was the reason I felt free,
My highway now had signs,
Next stop: somewhere.

The roses that my perfect wife once grew,
Now belonged to her.
The thorns that once guarded them,
Seemed to blow away.

With that great wind, the clouds left my life too.
The sun shined bright, no longer an artificial light,
The roses grew true,
And bloomed greater than before.

She was the roses,
She was superficial elegance,
She was my better life.
But when I came close to cutting the perfect rose from it’s stem.

My highway had come to an end.
Next stop:

For this poem, I chose to use the reptition of “She was..” to show how much that the young girl had meant to the main character in the film. I also chose to leave the last stanza with only two lines, rather than four, as in the film, his life came abruptly to an end. I also used personification for, “..the roses grew true”, as his life was no longer fake to him, and it had fond a purpose. Throughout the poem, the rhyme scheme changes, and looses it’s flow, as much like in the film, there were bumps in the road towards that main characters goal of being with the young girl. However, he came back into the flow of his path after these bumps, much like the rhyme scheme in the poem.

Works Cited:

American Beauty. Dir. Sam Mendes. By Alan Ball. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch. DreamWorks SKG, 1999. Film.

Exchange, Stack. “What Did the Color Red Symbolize in ‘American Beauty’?” Movies & TV Stack Exchange, Stack Exchange, 14 July 2014, movies.stackexchange.com/questions/76281/what-did-the-color-red-symbolize-in-american-beauty.

In the poem, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, written and preformed by Gordon Lightfoot, loss and environment are central themes. This is shown throughout the poem, as it tells the story of a freighter that sunk on the Great Lakes during a storm, were every crew member had sunk with the ship. The theme of loss is represented through not only the wreck of the freighter, but also by the twenty-nine men who had lost their lives while working on the ship. In the poem, there are many lines that present this theme, such as, “[a]t seven pm a main hatchway caved in, he said / Fellas it’s been good t’know ya / And later that night when his lights went outta sight / Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (Gordon Lightfoot, 27-30). The author expresses not only the physical wreck of the ship, but also the emotional burden that faced the aftermath of wreck, “[a]nd all that remains is the faces and the names / Of the wives and sons and the daughters” (Gordon Lightfoot, 39-40). This shares the importance to remember these men, as their families were left with loss.

The theme of environment is also made clear by the author, as he not only speaks of the physical setting of the Great Lakes that day, but the effects that this had on the ship and it’s members. This is expressed denotatively by the weather that day, “[w]hen the gales of November came slashin / When afternoon came it was freezin’ rain / In the face of a hurricane west wind” (Gordon Lightfoot, 20-24). The author illustrates the physical conditions that caused the freighter to sink. However, connotatively, the author through the physical setting that the author describes, it shares a feeling of panic, darkeness and cold, with the reader, not only setting a mood of sadness and loss, but also to relate the reader to what the members of the ship faced. This is warning us as individuals of the dangers that mother nature can cause, and to be cautious and prepared, “Could it be the north wind that they’d been felling?” (Gordon Lightfoot, 16). Warning to also listen to your gut.
Overall this poem shows the effects of loss, and how the environment can play a role in our destruction.

Narrative Poem:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears:
There was once a story that seemed quite ordinary,
But contrarily it was only imaginary.
The true events that had passed began in a house,
With a Baby Bear, who was no bigger than a mouse.
Mama Bear prepared their breakfast to share,
While Papa Bear waited in his large armchair.
The Bears had been the heirs to their grandfather,
Who was a millionaire.
He had left them all his white knitwear,
Worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Since the Bear’s home was deep in the woods,
They kept it hidden under their floorboards.
Mama Bear had finished cooking their porridge,
As Baby Bear begged to go for a walk.
Mama and Papa shrugged and sighed,
Deciding to go, but forgetting to lock their door.
They began their walk through the bright sunny forest,
While Papa Bear dreamed of eating his porridge.
From the other side of the wood,
A small girl named Goldilocks crept, in a big black hood.
She had seen the Bears leave,
Their home surrounded by green.
She took a deep breath remaining unseen,
As she opened the big wooden door,
She quietly snuck in,
Remembering what she had come for.
She’d heard stories before,
And was sure the Bear’s knitwear was in some drawer.
She began to look,
Throwing everything in the house around.
She came upon the porridge Mama had cooked,
And took a bite,
“Mmm”, she had said,
“What a delight”.
She continued to walk through the house,
Feeling a board beneath her feet bounce.
She found this strange,
And checked beneath it,
“Azah!” She announced,
Her mission had been completed.
She lifted out the knitwear,
Holding it in front of her,
Realizing it was much too big to fit her.
She frantically searched through the rest of the loot,
Only to find the sizes grew.
She turned realizing the plan wouldn’t carry through.
It was impossible for her to fit into the knitwear,
All she had wanted to do was attend a show at Miu Miu.
She quickly remembered the porridge,
Still on the table behind her.
She ran past the fallen chairs and debris,
From her previous searching.
She reached the table, starting at the biggest bowl,
Grabbing the much too big spoon,
And began to chew.
Back in the forest,
The Bears were returning from their walk,
While they talked.
Papa told Mama of his dream to eat,
While Mama reassured,
That the biggest bowl belonged to him.
Back in the house,
The girl grew bigger and bigger,
Until she had finished the first bowl.
She stomped to the knitwear,
Trying it against her once more,
Only to find that it still didn’t fit.
She returned to the porridge, eating the second bowl,
Though this one was smaller, so she assumed that it would do.
As she ate the last bite,
Her pants unbuckled,
And the once loose shirt she wore began to suffocate her.
As suddenly, the front door creaked open.
The Bears had returned,
What would she do?
Scared, she ran to the knitwear and hid in the loo.
The Bears returned and Papa fumed.
Someone had entered and eaten their food.
Mama saw the mess, and held Baby tight,
Worried that the attacker might still be in sight.
Papa stomped to the porridge and let out an enormous roar.
It shook the whole house,
And the walls around Goldilocks began to break off.
She had squeezed into the space,
The walls no longer able to bear her weight.
They squeaked and squealed, until they broke open around her.
There she stood, worried for her life.
She never should have come,
As the Bears were a freighting sight.
Papa turned, angry and red.
Goldilocks could almost feel his heat spread.
He stomped over and Mama growled,
As Goldilocks stood shaking,
Stuck to the ground.
Her shaking shook the whole house,
Once Papa came over,
He took one sniff,
Screamed when he smelt his porridge,
And in just one hit,
The knitwear fell to the ground,
And with it,
Goldilocks crashed,
As the white knitwear dyed red.
Mama cleaned, as Baby took a nap.
Papa sat, trying to get his sanity back.
Mama looked at the body,
Lying where their bathroom used to be,
And knew what to do.
In a few hours Mama had made a new porridge,
For the family to eat.
Baby took his and looked up asking,
“What is this meat?”.

Do you think that we are too reliant on technology?
As humans we are constantly striving for technological advancement, however our need of technology has grown substantially throughout the past decade. Through many literary works, such as, The Great Automatic Grammatizor by Roald Dahl, it has been thought that humans are much too reliant on technology, and will become more and more reliant in the future. Young people are the most susceptible to this problem, as they are introduced to and raised with technology; never being able to experience what life is without it. NBC News did a study, that showed that, “teenagers spend an average of six hours and forty minutes a day on their cellphones” alone. This will only continue to develop into a bigger dependency into the future, and the amount of time spent on technology will increase. As a society, we are creating a need for technology in our everyday lives, and this consummation ultimately creates a greater desire for technological advancements.

This week in pre-calc, I had some trouble understanding some concepts of trigonometry. So, I will share some tips on using sepcial triangles, circle chart, the CAST rule, and when to use the Cosine Law.

There are two special triangles the first having a 45 degree angle, a root 2 of the hypotenous, and 1 on the other lengths. The only option for this angle is to have45 degrees. The second special triangle is 60 degrees and 30 degrees, 2 on the hypotenous, root 3 on the adjascent and 1 on the opposite length. The two degrees for this triangle, are 30 and 60. For the circle chart, you can apply it to triangles that are 1, -1, 0 or undefined. The top and bottom quadrants are (0, 1) and (0, -1), while both sides are (-1, 0) and (1, 0). The degrees for the circle are 0, 90, 180, and 270. The CAST rule, begins in the fourth quadrant, with “C, then the first with “A”, then the second with “S”, then the third with “T”. In the first quadrant, all are positive (Cos, Sin, Tan). In the second quadrant, Sin is positive, and Tan and Cos are negative. In the third quadrant, Tan is positive, and Sin and Cos are negative. In the fourth quadrant, Cos is positive, and Tan and Sin are negative. You would decide to use th Cosine Law when there are two sides and one angle, which surround each other, making “C shape.

This week in pre-calc, I had some trouble simplifying expressions with three factors. So, instead of explainning how to do it step by step, I will use this picture to show it so it it less confusing. Here is how to solve an expression with three factors.

This week in Pre-Calc, I had some trouble understanding how to solve absolute values in piecewise notation, and how to solve reciprocal questions. So, today I will explain the steps on how to solve these.

To solve for piecewise notation, first, you will put the equation in absoulute value form. Next, you will will find the zero of the equation (isolate for “x” if it is a linear equation, or factor if it is a quadratic equation). After you have done this, you will put the number that you got from solving for “x” on a number line. You will choose two (if there is one “x” value) or three (if there are two “x” values) test points on your number line. Once youo have tested the points (by putting them back into the original equation), and you have determined which points are negative and positive, you can write the equation in piecewise form. To do this, you write “y” and then “{” and multiply in a negative for the negative value, writing whether it is < or > where you “x” value or values are on the number line. And you will leave the positive points as the original equation, and write < or > to represent where on the numberline “x” is positive.

To solve a reciprocal function, first you will put it into a fraction. Next, you will take the original equation (not in a fraction), and find the NVP. To do this, you will find the zero (the equation cannot be equal to zero) of the equation, and do this by isolating “x” (linear) or by factoring (quadratic). Once you have found what “x” cannot equal, this will be your asymptote. After, you go one to the left from your asymptote and up or down (positive, up or negative, down) and go one to the right from the asymptote and one up or down. You will then draw the shapes (two if it is linear, or three, one is a parabola, if it is quadratic).

This week in Pre-Calc, I had some trouble understanding how to put equations into piecewise form, and how to solve absolute value equations. So, today I will explain how you do them.

When you are putting an equation into piecewise form, you first take the equation out of the absolute value signs. Once you have done this, you make the equation equal to zero. After this, you put all the numbers (without variables) on the other side of the equation. Next, you isolate “x” by diving by the number that is next to it (coefficient) on both sides, and then you will have your answer for what “x’ equals. Once you have solved for “x”, you put the point or points on a number line, and choose two (one point) or three (two points) on the number line. Based on which point is negative, you will then write the formula in piecewise form. To do this, you will write the original formula as it is, and then write “x” is < or > depending on where your point is positive and negative for all your points (one or two). Next, you will write out the original equation again, this time for the negative point, and since it is a negative, you will have to multiply in a negitive sign in the front of the original equaiton to make it positive. Once you have writtent that, you will then write “x” is < or > the point or points that are negative on your number line.

To solve an equation, you seperate it into two different equations. One will be the original equation (without the absolute value symbols) and the other will be the equation with the negative symbole multiplying in (to make the negative part of the number line positive). To solve your first side (the original one), you will move any numbers without variables to the other side. Once you have done this, you divide both sides by the number in front of “x” (coefficient), and this will give you your answer. For the second side (the original one with the negative multiplied in), you will start by multiplying the negative symbole in. Once you have done this, you move all the numbers without variables to the other side. Next, you will divide both sides by the number in front of “x” (coefficient), and this will give you the other answer.