Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Young Adult Fiction and the Fears of My Generation

 There has been growing trend among young adult fiction that revolves around anti-utopian and generally dystopian themes inserted into general action and romance novels aimed at young adults. From the hunger games ,with it's generally bleak dystopian future which is marked by its wealth and inequality and violence, to the maze runners distrust of scientism in the 21st century.It is quite apparent that young adult fiction has become bleeker and bleeker over time.One could say this is possibly because of uncreative writers and greedy publishers looking for the next hunger games. I'll give the publishing industry the benefit of the doubt and assume that these books are the reflection of the fears of my generation. One may wonder how the hunger games would have anything to do with america in the 21st cwentury,if one has payed attention to the news in recent years the paralles between Katniss Everdeen's world and ours are becoming striking obvious.We are living in an America that is divided more and more by economic class and feed off of endless spectacle and endless violence and especially violence.

Long Night

O'Brien writes,

Even with the cooling night air Fossie's face was slick with sweat. He looked sick. His eyes were bloodshot; his skin had a whitish, almost colorless cast. For a few minutes Rat waited with him, quietly watching the hootch, then he patted the kid's shoulder and left him alone.  (103)

O'Brien shows you how some nights are worse than others. In this quote Fossie is having a terrible night and nobody can do anything about it but feel bad for him and show him love. O'Brien shows that Fossie just has to deal with it and can only hope that he can get through it.

A GOOD Story...

O'Brien writes,

His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star-shaped hole, his eyebrows were thin and arched like a woman's, his nose was undamaged, there was a slight tear at the lobe of ant eat, his clean black hair was swept upward into a cow lick at the rear of his skull, his forehead was lightly freckled, his fingernails were clean, the skin at his left cheek was peeled back in three ragged strips, his right cheek was smooth and hairless, there was a butterfly on his chin, his neck was open to the spinal cord and the blood there was thick and shiny and it was this wound that had killed him. He lay face-up in the center of the trail, a slim, dead, almost dainty young man.... (118).

In the beginning of The Man I Killed, O'Brien shows us how to make a good story. Right from the beginning of the chapter O'Brien describes the man he killed for almost 2 pages. He has on point details about how the man looked to what he might have been , or what his childhood may have been like. He gave the reader a visual of what the scenery looked like, and what the body of the man looked like. Literally from head to toe. Instead of just saying things like he his eye was missing, O'Brien said "his other eye was a star-shaped hole", this gives me a great visual on what the man's eyes looked like. Tim O'Brien really made sure that he got everything down so that the reader feels like they were there looking at the body along with him.

Does War Ever End?

OBrien's writers

You can tell a true war story by the way it never seems to end. Not then not never. Not when Mitchell Sanders stood up and moved off into the dark(72).

O' Brien is explaining in this passage how war never actually ends in the perspective of a solider. The war may literally end but the solider is still haunted by all the terrible things that they experienced. They could remember the way they felt at war, and witnessing their friends die right in front of them. Altogether war never leaves a solider.

war stories

O'Brien states,

                    " You can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. If you don't care for obscenity, you don't care for the truth; if you don't care for the truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war they come home talking dirty".(66)

O'Brien reveals that true war stories aren't always about the war itself. They could be about something that has completely nothing to do with the war. Like events that happen in the war between you and your family or friends.

Allen S.

Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong How war changes you

Flossie took a hard step forward and hesitated. it was a though he had trouble recognizing her. She wore a bush hat and filthy green fatigues; She carried a m16 automatic assault rifle; her face was black with charcoal.

(Page 98)Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong: this quote describes how war changes us. Mary Anne came to the war as Mark Flossies girlfriend she was a nurse. Mary Ann eventually started to go on Ambushes with the Green Berets. War changed Mary Anne from mark Flossie's Girlfriend to a masculine rough looking soldier. Mary Anne even shaved her hair off.

Henry Dobbins

O'Briend Write

"Its was his eccentricity. The pantyhose, he said, had the properties of a good luck charm. He liked putting his nose into the nylon and breathing in the scent of his girlfriends body; he like the memories this inspired;he sometimes slept with the stockings up against his face, the way an infant sleeps with a flannel blanket."

I find this quote ironic, one of O'briens true war story factors, because they describe Henry Dobbins as this nice, good, superb soldier. It is ironic that he has this somewhat explicit way of remembering his girlfriend. He doesn't see it as explicit though or for any sexual reason, he simply believes in the spiritual values of a good luck charm and believes that this is his good luck charm.


O'Brien writes,

And in the end, of course, a true war story is never about war. It's about sunlight. It's about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. (81)

O'Brien reveals the true meaning of a war, and what he feels a war story should really be like. Not b]about the glorification or the medals or the terrible experiences they had, but sunlight. It shows that sunlight is all around a true war story and kind of guides you through what you must do, even when your afraid.

Unanswered Questions

O'Brien says,

"Daddy, tell the truth," Kathleen can say, "did you ever kill anybody?" And I can say, honestly, "Of course not." Or I can say, honestly, "Yes."

O'Brien shows that war never ends and it steals your innocence because it's years later and his daughter is asking if he had ever killed someone and he says that whether or not he did or didn't kill that man his innocence is still gone and that man isn't any less dead.  O'Brien doesn't fully know if it was him that killed that man but he still blames himself for his death.

Never Ending War

O'Brien writes,
he borrowed a pistol, gripped it by the barrel, and used it like a hammer to break his own nose...He showed him what he'd done and asked if everything was square between the. Strunk nodded and said, Sure, things were square. But in the morning Lee Strunk couldn't help laughing. 'The man's crazy,' he said. 'I stole his fucking jackknife. (pg. 64)
 O'Brien reveals the never ending concept of war that we always mention. Even when he's not physically fighting in the war, he is still in one, it is still apart of him. After the altercation with Lee, he started being paranoid. He thought that the fight between them wasn't over. He felt like he always had to watch his back as if someone was out to get him. He tries to get even so that he can relief his self of this paranoia, but in the end it remains with him. Just like the never ending war, it is apart of him forever.

A True War Story

O'Brien states,

A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior,nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done.(65)

O'Brien is basically saying that a war story isn't nice no ones is going to think if its right or wrong their just going to do it.

The Easy War

O'Brian writes,

For a medic, though, it was ideal duty, and Rat counted himself lucky. There was plenty of cold beer, three hot meals a day, a tin roof over his head.  No humping at all. No officers, either. You could let your hair grow, he said, and you didn't have to polish your boots or snap off salutes or put up with the usual rear-echelon nonsense. The highest ranking NCO was an E-6 named Eddie Diamond, whose pleasures ran from dope to Darvon, and except for a rare field inspection there was no such thing as military discipline (87).

O'Brien reveals that war is hard for everyone except certain types of soldiers.  He shows that some soldiers, like the medics, have the war life easy compared to the rest of the soldiers.  O'Brien gets his idea across in the passage by using examples of why the medics had such ideal duty, like the cold beer and not having any military discipline.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Things They Carried - Answering the Big Questions

For the blog post, find a passage from The Things They Carried -- from any of O'Brien's stories we have read so far -- and describe how that passage answers one of the following questions:

War and life
  • What is war like? How does it feel to be in the middle of a war? How does war change us?
  • How and why is our glorification of war, battles and the “good soldier” very different from the reality of war?
  • In what ways is war like life?
Storytelling and truth
  • What makes a good story? 
  • What makes a true story?
  • What is truth?
Use the following format for your post:

O'Brien writes,
[insert quote here] [(page #)]
O'Brien [shows/argues/reveals] that .... [provide a short but substantial paragraph of analysis of how that passage answers one of the above questions -- and for extra points, discuss how O'Brien uses language in the passage to get across the idea.]

Then provide a comment on one of your classmates posts.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Eminem- Love the way you lie

 In this video a couple struggles to keep a good relationship. Whenever the girl does something wrong the guy over reacts to it and hits her. After every time they get into a fight, they end up getting back together but it keeps on happening. This is an example of a  couple that struggles to stay happy and what they really need to do is break-up. 

Forever War

        when will the war on terror end?I must ask because With the latest terrorist group ISIS sweeping though Syria and Iraq one must wonder if this "War" will ever end?I'm mean I understand that we have have to fight ISIS,they have made threats against the united states and have killed two American reporters but what happens when defeat them?Will they spilt into smaller terrorist groups and smaller terrorists groups  like al-qaeda did before?I don't know? I can only wish that this "war" would end and we could really focus our attention on the economy.....also I think  Obama foreign policy has been internationalist.

Response to Obama's Speech

In his speech, Obama talks about the issue our country has with Isis. He explains that Isis is a terrorist organization and wants to do nothing but slaughter. He goes on to say that they have killed children, enslaved, raped, and forced women into marriage. More importantly they took the lives of journalists Jim and Steven. He says that our objective is to degrade and destroy Isis through a comprehensive and sustained strategy. Obama goes on to say that we already did 150 successful air strikes in Iraq. He talks about how we the Americans are so powerful. He tries to butter us up by going on and on about all of the things America has done. He says that he is proud of the people in uniform, he supports them, and he wants us to do it too. I think that he knew a lot of people were freaked out by the war and he wanted to remind us that we have did numerous amount of things, and we can do this to stand for our nation and all of our good deeds. Watching this, I took the bait, I'm convinced, and I support Obama's decision.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Illinois School Board Hiding Behind Texas's Shadow?

Steven Burgess

Oak Park River Forest High School

201 N. Scoville Avenue

Oak Park, IL 60302
                                                  Dear Texas School Board,
I feel as though you (The members of the Board) don’t take our education serious enough! I mean, altering the American history is not the path to go. We don’t want to know about Texas, and their modified information about the American History. We just want to learn about America and the history of our ancestors, and you guys voting to alter the information is not helping at all! Do you guys do this for ANY other subject as well!? What about science? Are there things, like theory’s and laws that we HAVEN’T heard of? If that is the case then the GED is a joke! What's the point of general education, if you don't know the general history of where your from? I feel as though you guys just see us (kids of Illinois) as people who don't care about what we learn. Well news flash, some of us actually care about our education. I honestly love Chicago, but if we as a city, can't even learn the basics because of Texas, the largest buyers, want to alter the information within a text book, then whats the point? Please change the way you guys make decisions about students over here, your carrying the weight of thousands of lives here, and I’d appreciate it if you guys made better decisions like you guys actually care!
Sincerely, Concerned students from a school in Illinois

Ciara Gives us an Inside Look On Being a Boy

Ciara's "Like a Boy" gives us an inside look on how it is to play the male role. It indicates that all/ or most men are cheaters and are always in the wrong. She starts off trying to be the good guy saying "pull up your pants just like him, take out the trash just like him." Later in the video she goes off to the bad boy. Implying that its in their nature to do wrong, even when they think they're right. I don't think this is true because not all guys do women wrong, but a majority of young boys do.