War vocabulary

In Language & Literature we started reading articles about war and identifying words and phrases related to armour, tensión, feelings, experience, trench life, and many others. Then we had to choose 10 images and make a description for each using the vocabulary we had previously found. I worked with Tomas.

These are the words we found in connection to war: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CnsKOtNkMs9-3W90xbmkn3R2fsINaEh8XprVUXNU2sQ/edit?usp=sharing

Descriptions:

Everyone was crammed on top of others as the same time as they were climbing up with exalted ferocity to attack the enemy. There was an outburst of artillery fire and soldiers were running in every direction attached to their rifles, shouting at each others trying not to get killed in the bloodbath. The underground passage was being emptied, leaving only loneliness and despair.

Motionless, in complete silence, two comrades lay on the grass in the middle of the battlefield awaiting for the enemy to launch an offensive. Stark terror got hold of their bodies, making it difficult for them to react in any circumstance. Nature surrounded them, making everything seem so peaceful and ordinary, when they knew they might lose their lives in any moment.

A soldier had just had blown off his feet and two other generous survivors were dragging him along the battalion towards the headquarters where they should reach safe ground and aid the fallen. The restless soldiers who are rescuing their comrade,  seemed to be all alone with their sane feet with caked mud and filth.

Earth was tottering into ruin in a no man land. Minutes later after the attack broke out officers ordered the rest to retire. Men went down with screams as gunshots were fired out of the blue into the open air. This country had already lost half the battalion and the other half was hardly breathing. 

The Vietnam War. One of the worst of all times. At the back, in a blurr, the outburst of gunfire and concussions can be observed. Around 3 million lost their lives and thousands suffered grievous injuries. Naked kids crying ran away from the terror and explosion, as a result of having been forced to tear away their burning clothes.

The light blue shiny sky was invaded by a dark intense orange color and an enormous black cloud of smoke as a result of the country’s wild attacks. Switzerland had been illegally invaded by the Polish and suffered great loses. Tanks advanced towards their objectives recklessly. 

Racing as fast as his legs could afford, soldier Mackenzie escaped from the gunfire with 2 youngsters in his arms. His strenuous training helped him to do so as to save as many as he coulddespite of the fact that he knew that unintended consequences are always a big part of war. 

Many soldiers where given masks before heading towards war, because after the Second World War, scientists created the killing gas. In the trenches soldiers slept standing because of the small space. Some teenagers where not given rifles and where forced to walk by their own fist.

Snipers and long shooters are given one of the risky jobs on war.  They have the job to enter illegally to enter enemy’s refuge zone and have the commands to kill without being seen. But also they take the risk of being caught.

Senses sharpened with adrenaline, Tomi and Luli held their breath, straining to hear with every ounce of his concentration. Not quite silent. Cool air whispered through their apartment’s ventilation system.

Description on a devastated place

In Language and Literature with Pato we had been reading some articles related to natural disasters and make a list of useful words and phrases used to describe them.

After this, with my partner Mara, we had to write a description of one devastated place based on a picture using as much as phrases from the vocabulary as we could. This is our description.

Lamphun was an alluring, picturesque and secluded village 3 months ago, before the devastating and violent earthquake demolished and depopulated the  area. I say was and not is, because such was the destruction that we cannot consider the place a “village” anymore.Lots of people were affected, many were reported missing, and also, a huge amount of buildings did not make it.

The tremor hit at south Lamphun, and was quickly followed by four aftershocks. The quake struck at 8:17pm yesterday and had a magnitude of 8.3. A tremendous amount of noise, shouting, and screaming was heard from the different alleys of the village. Asthe infrastructure collapsed, villagers were seen crying, while many others desperately tried to ferry the injured to the hospital. Bodies with white dust could be seen piled up, and the unharmed were trying to dig victims out with flashlights. Immediately after the earthquake, the remaining villagers were left without electricity, the village was in complete darkness.

People living in the area were desperate, chaos flooded the place. Rooftops ended up on the floor and the grass  could not be seen due to the debris that covered all the ground.

As regards the people’s livings, the ones who have had the luck to survive, have been left homeless, their whole house where they have always lived has suddenly vanished, they now have nothing to eat, neither clothes to wear and their whole furniture has been destroyed.

Men have described the catastrophe to the media: being walking in the streets when suddenly the ground began to shake and the flats started coming down over them provoking great bangs and explosion-like sounds. Tales of horror have been depicted by the survivors who many were  in their offices and had to evacuate abruptly interrupting their daily ordinary activities.

This catastrophe had many repercussions. There is still not official word on the casualties, people are still very much shocked, looking desperately for their loved ones. Search-and-rescue operations are underway for the missing and emergency services arrived moments after earthquake strikes. Nonetheless, the village still needs money because of the magnitude of the damage caused. Word has now spread, and many nations from around the globe are gearing up to send aid to help the people from Lamphun. India  is an example of this as it  has offered a $100000 grant emergency aid for the rebuilding of  the crumbled constructions and for the rebuilding also of the victim’s lives.

Evening in Paradise

In Literature we started reading and analysing this new poem by John Milton: “Evening in Paradise”.

 

All together we discussed it in class and produced this presentation with some notes on what we understood and interpretated from Milton’s work.

 

Task 1

An analogy is a comparison between things that have similar features, often used to help explain an idea. In the first 12 lines the author uses an analogy with the terms night and Paradise. He describes the night as beautiful, peaceful, used to rest/sleep and as the best way to end the day. This can be also applied to Paradise and, instead of being a good way to end the day, it can be a good way to end life.

Task 2

In lines 1-12 there are 3 semantic fields: 1 connected to nature (“beast”, “bird”, “grassy”, “nests”, “nightingale”), another to jewels (“Saphirs”, “Hesperus”, “brightest”, “majesty”), and the third one contrasting day (“bird”, “wakeful”, “light”) and night (“evening”, “dark”, “silence”, “twighlight”, “nightingale”, “Moon”).

Task 3

In the poem we can find analogy, oxymoron and personification. Analogy appears comparing the evening to Paradise/Heaven. Throughout the poem, words related to the night are mentioned that make readers identify instantly those words belonging to the same semantic field, as they are repeated many times. Oxymoron is, for example “wakeful nightingale”. These words are contrasting since wakeful refers to the early morning, when we wake up, whereas nightingale is a bird that sings and appears at night. Last, personification is also present in Milton’s work by giving “silence” human characteristics. “Silence was now pleased” is an example of how this word is utilised as someone who has feelings, as it feels gratified. These literary devices call the readers’ attention and make them give them importance.

Task 4

The scene portrayed in the stanza is a peaceful natural scene, but also could be seen as a funeral one. This is beacuse both peacefullness and a funeral share the characteristic of stillness, restful mood and silent atmosphere that are depicted in the poem.

Task 5

Specific words or phrases related to day/night/rest/sleep: “daily work”, “morning”, “light”, “labour”, “risen”; “night”, “noon”, “repose”, “eyelids”, “unactive”, “slumbrous”.

“These are the Times We Live in” – Questions

In Literature, we had to choose one poem: either “The Border Builder”, by Carol Rumens or “These are the Times We Live in”, by Imtiaz Dharker. I chose the second one. After analysisng it completing the “poem in a nutshell” part in the booklet, we had to draft 6 questions that should make our peers understand the poem better. This is the task on Ceci’s blog. And these are my questions.

1. Can the poem be related to the author experiences?

2. How does the poet feel throughout the poem?

3. What impact does the repetition of the title “But what do you expect?” in the poem have? What does it mean? Why did the author include it?

4. Can this poem be related to prejudice, discrimination and/or the building of stereotypes?

5. What does the 3rd line (“reading you backwards from the last page.”) suggest/imply?

6. What do you think is the author intention by repeating the word “you” many times all over the poem?

Stanza Analysis

In our Literature class, with Ceci Lasa, after giving our presentation and analysisng alltogether these 3 poems: “To the Evening Star”, “Ode on Melancholy” and “Soldier, Rest” wa had to..

Task: Choose a stanza or a set of lines of one of the Romantic poems which YOUR GROUP HAS NOT DELIVERED A PRESENTATION OF. Copy it and paste it here and show its connection with the hypothesis the class has harboured: “The poems share a criticism to the industrial, urban, rational and bellicose society of the 18th century”.

I chose the following stanza from the poem “Ode on Melancholy” by John Keats:

“No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
       Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d
       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
               Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;
       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul. “
This stanza explains what we shouldn’t do when feeling melancholic. This fragment of the poem starts with negativity: “No, no”. This means we don’t need to forget the past to feel better. This idea continues when the writer alludes to Lethe that is the river of forgetfullness (in ancient mythology) and tells us we shouldn’t “go to Lethe” meaning we shouldn’t forget our problems, troubles or sorrows.
It is full of allusions such as “Lethe”, “Proserpine”, “beetle”, “Psyche”. All these allusions reference different goddess or mythological symbols of the ancient greek mythology. Allusions are words that reference something without explaining it directly. In this case, allusions made reference to Pantheism that is the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults or the toleration of worship of all gods which was a very important characteristics of the Romantic Era. Allusions are a Romantic tool to recreate the past which are, as in this poem, related to melancholy; and also are a Romantic tool of mysthicism and trascendence (belief in beyond what we can see).
The last 2 lines (“For shade to shade will come too drowsily, And drown the wakefuñ anguish of the soul.”) depict symbols of death (“wakeful anguish”; “shade”; “drown”). Romantics believed we could find inspiration in feelings, for example in our suffering, such as through death. We shouldn’t escape from pain, we must dal with it.
So, it is made clear that Romantics were not concerned about the present but yes about the past which came along melancholy .

“The Yellow Wallpaper” Corrected and complete essay

After discussing our first-draft essays in class and being corrected by our teacher, we had to rewrite them taking into account Ceci’s corrections and also add a conclusion. This is our (Delfi‘s and mine) final draft. 

“The Yellow Wallpaper”, a gothic story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is set in the 19th century (Victorianism) when women were repressed and mostly under their husband’s control. In the short story, the female protagonist is trapped both in 2 prisons: a literal one and a metaphorical one that portray the holding back of her feelings and her inability to do what she wants without someone (John) or something (wallpaper) impeding her to do so. The metaphorical prison is represented through the protagonist marriage, and the literal through her oppression and the house she lives in.

 

On the one hand, there is the metaphorical prison that is the marriage between the female protagonist and her husband John. John is physician who is convinced that his wife is not ill. John was a believer of Positivism which was a movement present in this era that consisted on basing knowledge on facts, logic and science. He believed what the woman had was just a “temporary nervous depression”. The leading character is in disagreement with him since she strongly thinks she is sick. “But what is one to do?” She questions her own existence as she is not able to express her feelings or what she thinks. Moreover, John is the male predominant figure of the couple who does not let her change rooms, go to work or even write! “I don’t like our room a bit. (…) But John would not hear of it.” She has now given up to do what she wants or say what she thinks because her husband’s oppression. John restrained her to write that is what she likes the most to do and helps her to distract. “Personally I believe that congenial work (…) would do me good. But what can one do? I did write for a while in spite of them” She feels that writing would do her good since she likes to do it, but she is not allowed to ”There comes John and I must put this away” she has to hide from her husband and his sister to do it. This oppression constitutes her metaphorical or symbolic prison as she is subdued by her husband and sister who prohibit her from freedom and expression.

 

On the other hand, there is a literal prison that is the oppression of the female protagonist. The isolation is a typical feature of gothic literature. John thinks that the best for her wife’s condition is to be alone so he takes her to another house “The most beautiful place! It is quite alone standing well back from the road, quite three miles from the village.” The protagonist doesn’t like the house at all and thinks that she is lonely. There is not only isolation as regards the place but also from her own child “Mary is so good with the baby. (…) And yet I cannot be with him, it makes me so nervous” someone else is taking care of her own child and not being able to be with him makes her even more nervous.  Her isolated location confirms how she is trapped in his house, which makes it her prison.

 

In the light of the previous analysis, the women protagonist of the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is trapped in 2 different prisons, one literal and another metaphorical one. These two portray the repression of her feelings and doing what she wishes to because someone or something else is impeding her to do so. As we have analyzed before, the metaphorical prison represents the suppression of this woman’s freedom to her husband and his sister, and the literal oppression constitutes the fact that she is trapped in her own house, isolated from society, activities and the outer world.