Reading Logs: English 2.3 – Analyse significant aspects of unfamiliar written text(s) through close reading, supported by evidence.

  • Reading logs 1: The Giver (Book)
  • Reading logs 2: Divergent (Book)
  • Reading logs 3: The Boy​ in the striped Pajamas (movie)
  • Reading log 4: Midsummers Night Dream (Drama)
  • Reading log 5: Romeo and Juliet​ (Drama)
  • Reading log 6: Astrix and Oberli​x (Graphic Novel)

1.

Student Name: Cate Sullivan

Text Title: Divergent

Author/Director: Veronica Roth

Text Type (circle): Extended Written Text / Other Written Text / Visual, Oral or Other Written Text

Date Finished:  23rd February, 2018

Brief outline of plot (2-3 sentences):  

  • In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.

What themes are addressed in the text? How is the theme explored in this text? Use specific examples/quotes

  • One theme that is recurring and that is mentioned often is bravery. Tris chooses the faction that relies on bravery and she continues to push herself throughout the novel.

How does this text connect with the rest of the world (socially, culturally, politically, historically) Use specific examples/quotes

This book connects to social problems and political problems, what the movie the Divergent is trying to portray for the wider audience to get a better perspective on problems going on in our society now, for example how we categorise people and discriminate and judge people because of certain things they do and the way people act, we see this in divergent as everyone has to go into a faction, each faction in the movie has its own values, abnegation values selfness, dauntless value bravery, Candor value honesty, amity value peacefulness and Erudite value knowledge.

How/What does this text teach us/you about society and the world we live in (setting/themes/characters/plot) Use specific examples/quotes

Each faction as explained have different traits and each faction thinks their trait is the most important. This text relates to the rest of the world because what the author was trying to get us to understand was that  the factions are very much like like people in our world today, people are divided up due to race, religion, colour of their skin, values, appearance, sex they are attracted to (gay). If we learnt to be more accepting of each other’s ideas there would be as much conflict. For example, Hitler had different beliefs and if he had at least learned to tolerate the jews for what they were, the holocaust would not have happened.

How/does this text connect to your personal experiences or viewpoints?

This text connects to  because even though its pretty hard for a white 16-year-old girl to get discriminated against because of her colour in Wanaka, there are many other ways to categorise people and discriminate against them, personally I have struggled with weight my whole, only until last year but I was always categorised as being unattractive by all the boys because of my weight, even though this seems like a small issue and it should get brushed off it left  a huge weight on my life, “never being pretty enough” “always have to look a certain way”.

Explain why you would recommend this text (writing style/ideas/structure/language features used) Use specific examples/quotes

I would recomend this book to other tennagers and adults becuase it tranforms you and sucks you into the actual setting of the book and you feel like you are apart of it, this has been one of the very few book that I have finished. There’s never a dull moment in this book and it keeped me intrigued in the novel the whole time and you always want to see what’s on the next page. The structure of the novel is complex but the author has made it readable without to much thinking which makes this the idea novel for a 14-19 year olds. One of the primary literary devices used by Veronica Roth in Divergent is imagery. Although imagery is used throughout the book, Roth makes great use of imagery when describing the different settings of the story. One example in particular is when she describes the area where the factionless live: “Just past the Abnegation sector of the city is the stretch of building skeletons and broken sidewalks that I now walk through. This is a fine example of how the book really gives you the full sense of the settings in the book and sucks you in.

2.

Text Title: The Giver

Author/Director: Lois Lowry

Text Type (circle): Extended Written Text / Other Written Text / Visual, Oral or Other Written Text

Date Finished: March 18th, 2018

Brief outline of plot (2-3 sentences):  

  • The Giver is a 1993 American young adult dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. The novel follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas. The society has taken away pain and strife by converting to “Sameness” Jonas is selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness, as there may be times where one must draw upon the wisdom gained from history to aid the community’s decision making. Jonas struggles with concepts of all the new emotions and things introduced to him

What theme/s are addressed in the text? How is the theme explored in this text? Use specific examples/quotes

One of the most important themes in The Giver is the significance of memory in human life. The author (Lowry) was inspired to write The Giver after a visit to her aging father, who had lost most of his long-term memory. She realized that without memory, there is no pain—if you cannot remember physical pain, you might as well not have experienced it, and you cannot be plagued by regret or grief if you cannot remember the events that hurt you.

How does this text connect with the rest of the world (socially, culturally, politically, historically) Use specific examples/quotes

On a superficial level there are some similarities with the giver a dour world today- children have to go to school and adults have jobs. More significant even at this level there are differences between our society and the society in the giver, for example, lifelong jobs are assigned by the committee of elders, thought control is medically enhanced, relationships are strictly platonic on all levels.

On a deeper level, there have been countries and communities around the world that will go to great lengths to exclude all outside influences by restricting the movement of citizens and controlling communications or contacts with others. There have been and examples of doctor-assisted suicide that could be seen as paralleling the releasing room (the releasing room is where the elders of the community go to die). The treatment of the twin who was not thriving would probably be considered murder by our world.

How/What does this text teach us/you about society and the world we live in (setting/themes/characters/plot) Use specific examples/quotes

“The Giver”  Jonas society is taught to ignore individuality. Although it seems like our society is completely the opposite to this idea and we these days are taught to embrace our individuality, it hasn’t always been like this. There is still social expectations that influence and often dictate a person’s life. For example when we go to school if we don’t dress someone plain simple but nice, and if we take any risks, you will most likely be judged and hated on by your peers. This book was also written for middle to high schoolers, and what is the biggest challenge young adults experience is peer pressure. If you stick out, leave town and go sledding down a hill without anyone else is doing it, usually, it doesn’t sit well with the average young adult. This book teaches us to not be a slave to the “in crowd”. World.  “How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made.” Chapter 6, pg. 48

How/does this text connect to your personal experiences or viewpoints?

Mount aspiring college is a mufti school and personally, I am facing a hard decision every morning about what to wear to school. It is a lot easier for guys but for girls, we have a set of mental guidelines that we have to follow, “will this look good” “are these pants too short” “will people think its weird if I wear this?” “does this give off the wrong image of me”  but yet I still go to school in my outfits that look like I quickly grabbed something out of my closet. I feel like society should be a lot more accepting of people’s flaws and their individuality.

Explain why you would recommend this text (writing style/ideas/structure/language features used) Use specific examples/quotes

I would recommend this book to someone because I feel like it transports to this unrealistic world, and not only is it an interesting read with great writing styles, for example, the story is told from the third person limited perspective. This means that the narrator is not a character in the story, and is, therefore, able to give an objective account of the events. However, the narrator is also privy to the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist, Jonas.  But it tells a good moral and teaches the audience which is high schoolers and the g]younger generation to branch out and embrace the individuality.

3.

Text Title: Romeo and Juliet

Author/Director: William Shakespeare

Text Type (circle): Extended Written Text / Other Written Text / Visual, Oral or Other Written Text

Date Finished: 6th April, 2017

Brief outline of plot (2-3 sentences):  

Romeo and Juliet fall in love at a party. But they come from families which hate each other. They are sure they will not be allowed to marry. Nevertheless, helped by Friar Laurence, they marry in secret instead. Unfortunately, before their wedding night Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin in a duel, and in the morning he is forced to leave her. If he ever returns to the city, he will be put to death. He gives Juliet a sleeping potion. She appears to be dead and was put in a tomb. However, Romeo does not know about the plan, visits her grave, thinks she is dead, and kills himself. When Juliet finally wakes up, she discovers that Romeo is dead and then kills herself.

What theme/s are addressed in the text? How is the theme explored in this text? Use specific examples/quotes

Love is the most important theme. The play focuses on love, specifically the intense passion that springs up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet, love is a violent, overpowering force that overrides all other values, loyalties, and emotions.

How does this text connect with the rest of the world (socially, culturally, politically, historically) Use specific examples/quotes

This is a story of 2 star-crossed lovers and is a romantic novel. But the other side of things is the feud between the 2 families, as this story was written thousands of years ago there was a huge stigma between rich and poor back in those days and the stages in society were very relevant. Indirectly shown in Romeo and Juliet is the battle between Capulet and Montague is really the fight between the rich and poor. The Montague is underprivileged compared to Capulet. The capulet lives in an extravagant castle whereas Romeo lives in not so nicer place. The rich and poor dilemma is still going on in today’s world. You can see the different types of wealth by looking at the housing in different types of areas simlar to what you would see in Verona in 1500

How/What does this text teach us/you about society and the world we live in (setting/themes/characters/plot) Use specific examples/quotes

The moral of Romeo and Juliet is one of letting old family wounds go, and not letting your emotions rule your life. The Montague and the Capulets have let an old family rivalry take over their lives. And because of this both families lost the love of their lives. This teaches the wider audience to move past drama and just be civil with each other, there’s no point living your life with a heart full of hatred for someone when you could all just get along.

How/does this text connect to your personal experiences or viewpoints?

Because I am at high school and there tends to be a lot of drama everywhere you look, and if the drama is involving you it’s sometimes very hard to let things go and you tend to hold a lot of grudges. Is this not healthy for your mental state as you often feel awkward and self-conscious around the person? It’s better to move on with life forget the drama and sort things out. And be at peace with yourself and at peace with them.

Explain why you would recommend this text (writing style/ideas/structure/language features used) Use specific examples/quotes

I would recommend this play because not only is it the most famous piece of English literature ever produced that has been around for thousands of years but also demonstrates a lot of life lessons in the play as well (as explained above). The whole play is written in  Elizabethan English, highly poetic, and uses iambic pentameter. This makes the play not only unique but also a vital piece of English history. And can benefit your English skills.

4.

Text Title:

Author/Director: The Boy In the Striped Pajamas

Text Type (circle): Extended Written Text / Other Written Text / Visual, Oral or Other Written Text

Date Finished: June 4th, 2018

Brief outline of plot (2-3 sentences):  

During World War II, 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father (David Thewlis) has just become commandant. Unhappy and lonely, he wanders out behind his house one day and finds Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), a Jewish boy of his age. Though the barbed-wire fence of the camp separates them, the boys begin a forbidden friendship, oblivious to the real nature of their surroundings.

What theme/s are addressed in the text? How is the theme explored in this text? Use specific examples/quotes

The major theme in this movie is the desire of friendship, boyne explores the theme of friendship throughout the movie by bruno wondering to the fence of the concentration camp, and he meets another boy his age, the problem is that the other boy is a prisoner of Auschwitz.

How does this text connect with the rest of the world (socially, culturally, politically, historically) Use specific examples/quotes

This is a made up story but it’s a taken on real life events that happened in auschwitz, and other concentration camps in germany in world war 2. The director and the author wanted the audience to experience the real pain and hardship these people went through so that we have a deeper understanding of events that happened in the holocaust. The director wanted the audience to experience the pain that these people went through and also for people to never forget.

How/What does this text teach us/you about society and the world we live in (setting/themes/characters/plot) Use specific examples/quotes

The message of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is that we are all more alike than we are different. The innocent friendship of the Jewish boy Shmuel and the Nazi’s son Bruno, set against the horrific backdrop of the Holocaust, highlights the fact that divisions between people are arbitrary. This book also comments on people’s ability to rationalize evil actions committed against “other” people. Bruno’s family rationalizes their own participation in the Nazi regime—they are responsible for countless deaths—but only feel the true atrocity of the gas chambers when their own son is killed by them.

How/does this text connect to your personal experiences or viewpoints?

This text teaches me about friendship because, through the boy and the striped pajamas i have learnt more in depth about how important friendship is and i personally value my friendships a lot more. Realising that because of friendship you will learn to make sacrifices for your friends. Personally, friendship plays a huge part in a high schools life, because without your friends you’ll feel alone in all aspects.

Explain why you would recommend this text (writing style/ideas/structure/language features used) Use specific examples/quotes

I recommend this text because the holocaust is a very historical event, because WWII was a huge part of a lot of people’s lives, and its important to us to learn more and understand more in depth the hardship these people had to go through on an everydAy basis; as well as the sacrifices they had to make.

5.

Text Title:

Author/Director: The Kite runner

  • Hassan is a successful “kite runner” for Amir; he knows where the kite will land without watching it. Amir’s father, a wealthy merchant Amir affectionately refers to as Baba, loves both boys, but is often critical of Amir, considering him weak and lacking in courage.

Text Type (circle): Extended Written Text / Other Written Text / Visual, Oral or Other Written Text

Date Finished:  Sometime During Term 2

Brief outline of plot (2-3 sentences):  

Amir, a well-to-do Pashtun boy, and Hassan, a Hazara who is the son of Ali, Amir’s father’s servant, spend their days kite fighting in the hitherto peaceful city of Kabul. Hassan is a successful “kite runner” for Amir; he knows where the kite will land without watching it.

What theme/s are addressed in the text? How is the theme explored in this text? Use specific examples/quotes

The Search For Redemption Amir’s quest to redeem himself.  Early on, Amir strives to redeem himself in Baba’s eyes, because amir’s mother died giving birth to him, and he feels responsible. He has to redeem himself to Baba, Amir thinks he must win the kite flying and bring Baba the losing kite, both of which are symbols that set the rest of the novel in motion. Amir’s search for redemption, however, stems from his guilt regarding Hassan. That guilt drives the climactic events of the story, including Amir’s journey to Kabul to find Sohrab and his confrontation with Assef. Baba says that a boy who doesn’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything. As a boy, Amir fails to stand up for himself. As an adult, he can only redeem himself by proving he has the courage to stand up for what is right.

How does this text connect with the rest of the world (socially, culturally, politically, historically) Use specific examples/quotes

Throughout the novel, Khaled Hosseini portrays the abuse and murder of the Hazara ethnic group in Afghanistan at the hands dominant Pashtuns. Hosseini shows the Hazaras through the characters Hassan, Ali, and Sohrab. Ali and his son are both discriminated against becuyase they are Hazaras who live in poverty and are servants to amir and baba. They are routinely criticized because of their ethnicity throughout the novel.

How/What does this text teach us/you about society and the world we live in (setting/themes/characters/plot) Use specific examples/quotes

In pasikan this still goes on the social ladder and the way they treat people. I believe that everyone should be treated equal and this in no way is shown in the kite runner. The story the kite runner makes us open our eyes into political problems that happen all over the world and the consequences due to them, and the drain and struggle and hardship people have to go through to escape war,  By then – that would have been 1995 – the Shorawi were defeated and long gone and Kabul belonged to Massoud, Rabbani, and the Mujahedin. The infighting between the factions was fierce and no one knew if they would live to see the end of the day. Our ears became accustomed to the whistle of falling shells, to the rumble of gunfire, our eyes familiar with the sight of men digging bodies out of piles of rubble. Kabul in those days, Amir jan, was as close as you could get to that proverbial hell on earth. Allah was kind to us, though. The Wazir Akbar Khan area was not attacked as much, so we did not have it as bad as some of the other neighborhoods. (16.41) this is a long quote taken from the book about how they adapted to the lifestyle of war and the sorrow he felt for his family, the sadness he had for the loss he endured, and the regret that he left behind.

How/does this text connect to your personal experiences or viewpoints?

Personally i wouldn’t know what life is like in pakistan. But it does teach me a few good lessons, about life in general by reading the kite runner. But the main theme in this book is forgiveness, and this teaches me that i should learn to forgive more often and not hold grudges as they come back and get you later on in life. And why would you want to live your life in hatred.

Explain why you would recommend this text (writing style/ideas/structure/language features used) Use specific examples/quotes

I would recommend this to other people because it makes you experience a different culture and looks more in-depth about how other people are treated, discriminated against, and abused in other parts of the world. This makes us open our eyes to real problems that are hopping today. The structure of the text was a mixture of fiction and non-fiction which made me very engaged in the text knowing that these are real-life events that have happened. The use of foreshadowing is used religiously in the kite runner. “ I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on an overcast day in winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall., peeking into an alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it wrong what they say about the past I’ve learnt, about how I can bury it, I realise i have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last 26 years” When he could have helped him. This quote shows us the foundation for what is to come in the novel. This shows foreshadowing because it shows that Amir may have something to do with theft in the story.

6.

Text Title: The Intouchables

Author/Director: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano

Text Type (circle): Extended Written Text / Other Written Text / Visual, Oral or Other Written Text

Date Finished: Watched this movie during Term 2.

Brief outline of plot (2-3 sentences):  

  • A Parisian aristocrat, quadriplegic since a paragliding accident, hires a young man to be his live-in caretaker. Although very different the two men bond and develop a close friendship.

What themes are addressed in the text? How is the theme explored in this text? Use specific examples/quotes

Changing your life is what you need to thrive, used to employ higher people and they didn’t understand his situation because he was a paraplegic they were too sympathetic and he just wanted to live without remorse or sympathy. So he hired a lower class person because they had humour and they weren’t as careful with him. He wanted to forget that he had to spend his life in a chair.

How does this text connect with the rest of the world (socially, culturally, politically, historically) Use specific examples/quotes

This text relates to the rest of the world because 1/50 people in the world is a paraplegic and because they are disabled, society looks at them are several different ways. A drag on the government system, people feel sorry for them and they want to help, or they’re just classic people bullying them because of their disability.

How/What does this text teach us/you about society and the world we live in (setting/themes/characters/plot) Use specific examples/quotes

How/does this text connect to your personal experiences or viewpoints?

I have a paraplegic friend and she can’t walk because of an accident that happened to her, it is very sad to see someone go through this especially because they were so active and fit. I have helped her through so much and I have been very sympathetic to her state as its been very recent, but the movie the Intouchables has taught me to approach her situation with light humour to make her circumstances seem a little more light headed.

Explain why you would recommend this text (writing style/ideas/structure/language features used) Use specific examples/quotes

I learnt French 2 years ago now and I could not learn it by looking at books and listening to people speak, but when we were demonstrated movies and put words into real sentences in real life this made it a lot easier for me to understand, this film would be very helpful for anyone who was trying to learn French, as this is a French film and if you are English you will need subtitles. This would be very interesting to any students as it shows a lot of themes, ideas and morals. Many lessons can be taken from this as explained above and this would be a good movie to watch if you are personally paraplegic because it makes you look on the bight side of life.

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