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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Individual Post: Characterization

      Today, I'm looking at Tom in the literary element characterization. He is a really interesting character, with 2 sides. An "Innocent" side, and a Evil side. Whenever he does something mean he "apologizes." I use quotations because Tom doesn't really apologize. It's like making all the motions, but not being into it. He continues to be an antagonistic character throughout the novel. Trying to drown Maria's dog and laughing when he learns how it dies. However, he has an innocent face that can trick almost anyone! Tom has used this for some very cruel purposes. For example, Maria already forgives very easily, and Tom uses his face to make her forgive him many a time (according to Farmer). Tom is mentioned as being ten times worse than his half brother, Benito, who according to Celia, has no soul. Steven is Tom's other brother, and unlike Benito and Tom, Celia thinks that he has a soul... Sometimes. The comparison between the brothers is very interesting, and provides the reader with a good backbone to judge them by. Celia is quite a motherly person, and so seeing her say something like this really surprising. You know it will likely be the truth, but think that she'd be open to them.
     I'd also like to look at Maria, who is a very interesting character. She seems to go through multiple moods each day, and forgets most things after about a half hour-forty five minutes. Farmer writes a half hour in the novel, but it's sometimes more I find, for example when Maria looks at a clone, she won't talk to Matt for a few days, which would bring that number up. Maria also seems to have a relationship with Matt for the first bit when Matt is released from prison. Tom is constantly trying to break that up because he is jealous. Maria is also a very religious person, reading stories about Saints and comparing Matt to Brother Wolf, who has no soul. No animals have souls (in the Christian religion), but they can still be kind. Maria treats Matt like  a Saint would, but she doesn't view herself as one. She is not selfish and knows that she has faults, just like everyone else. Maria also seems to be forced into a relationship with Tom when Matt holds her dog for ransom.

Thanks For Reading,
Kellan

Edit: Now knowing I should have provided quotes to back up my points, I will, but I don't have time tonight. 12/05/2013 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Individual Post: Setting

     The descriptions the Farmer provided were absolutely clear. They don't require you to do too much imagining. This can be a good or bad thing, but it really depends whether or not you enjoy making your own places or having them provided. I'm going to take a look at one place that we have started to know more about. That is The Big House. In the later chapters, we have been learning lots more about it from Matt's perspective. For example, the secret passages, multitudinous of rooms, and the people who are closely tied to it. We see what El Patr`on does to the people there. The Big House is not a friendly place. It is a huge estate and we really see that with each room that is there. The piano room, Celia's rooms, El Patr`on's apartments, Tom's room, Steven's room, and so on. There's even a computer room for running the parts of the estate that humans don't need to do.
     The Big House has turned into a major place where the story takes place with it's white marble and expensive different parts. But setting isn't just the big house. Matt goes on expeditions to the Oasis to picnic and often reads there. I think it calms him and motivates him. The oasis is always well described. Scenes of great importance take place there, and I think it's because the oasis will play a large role later on. Either Matt's escape, or something threatens it and Matt will have to stand up to that force to save what has become dear to him. An excellent example of the authors description is the palo verde trees. Rather than just generalizing, Farmer chose a specific species. This might have arisen from personal experience or research, but even so, it shows great consideration of the setting Farmer was looking for. Farmer went above and beyond what you would normally find in a book in terms of description of setting, and even lead me to start guessing at about what time Mexico changed into Aztl`an. That is drawing a reader in if I do say so myself.

-I'll add more if I think I need to!

Edit: Now knowing I should have provided quotes to back up my points, I will, but I don't have time tonight. 12/05/2013

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A couple books to read.

Hi.

     I figured I should probably write a post about some of the books that I've been reading. Just because the Litspiration - Free Reading Challenge is a bit different this trimester. The two books that I've read recently are: I found this as a draft so I figured I'd share it with you!

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless - By: Jack Campbell
Ungifted - By: Gordan Korman

     One quick and notable thing is that Jack Campbell is an alias for John Hemry.

     Ungifted - I chose to read this book because I've really enjoyed Korman's other books, like the Swindle series. Ungifted took me about 2 or 3 days to read, and I thought it was an excellent novel. Here's a little summary:

     Donovan Curtis just does. He doesn't think first, he just does. This causes a bolt to break, and a letter to be sent. A sleepless night, and a very, very angry superintendent. Donovan ends up in a special program that he knows he won't last ten minutes in. He joins a robotics club (by default), and shows YouTube to someone. He saves his fellow club members from summer school, and their robot starts a brawl (also a attack on another robot, so kind of 2). This, in other words, means Donovan's life is not normal. Normally, he gets lots of "attention" from the highest level of school. This is usually because he does. He doesn't think, he just does.

     The Lost Fleet: Dauntless - It's very interesting how I ended up reading this. I started listening to the audiobook of the second book - The Lost Fleet: Fearless - and I was really hooked. I could visualize my own version of the bridge, with the fleet commander ordering his ships to do things. Again, a little summary:

     I didn't ask to be fleet commander, but it was my duty, being both senior by about one-hundred years to everyone, and because Admiral Bloch put me in charge after his doomed "negotiation" group left. The Syndics were sly, clever, and (not against bureaucrats here) bureaucratic. I had to get this fleet - correction, what was left of this fleet - back into Alliance space. Everyone thinks I can because I'm the legendary Captain John "Blackjack" Geary. I had the look of admiration in their eyes because of something I did almost a century ago. Actually, the story was exaggerated. A lot. I really do hate the hero-worship in this fleet. So I am kind of glad that there are people who doubt me.

     I would really suggest that you read both of these books, but to those fellow people doing the Litspiration Challenge, these are NOT book reviews.

I hope you Enjoyed,
Kellan

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Individual Blog Post 2 - Thoughts So Far (compressed)


Matt was isolated and uneducated his whole life.  I really think this influenced his perspective of what was happening. He didn’t know what pain was. I guarantee this emphasizes that El Patrón wanted to keep Matt very safe and “intact” until he needed him. He doesn’t really know what to say when he meets other kids. Only the television has given him any exposure, but even that is limited and 99% fictional. He can tell certain things, like Rosa’s resentment of him because the other servants were looking down on her. He viewed everyone but Celia, El Patrón, Tam Lin, and possibly Maria as his tormentors. His lack of education showed up many times in the first segment of the book, but it really seemed to tail off after that, which confused me. He starts receiving education from a teacher who does the same lessons over and over, and seems to be able to do them perfectly. The book didn’t specify the subject matter all too much, except that he was learning about reading and writing, as well as counting. Now, what little education he did have (before “Teacher”) was very Christian, which methinks shows that Celia intended to hang on to what she could bring with her from Aztlán. The fact that a cast of characters provided for Aztlán leads me to believe that either Matt will go there, or there will be a chapter or two regarding Celia’s history. This might uncover a reason that Celia never used some of her time off to educate Matt. It could also be that she was ALWAYS either working or sleeping. I also found that Celia’s mother-son relationship with Matt to be a strong indication of the author being a mother. Perhaps she views herself as a Celia–esque character? Celia might literally mean, when she says mi vida, my life. El Patrón may have threatened or created a punishment for her if Matt got hurt. This further strengthens El Patrón’s role as a Prantagonist. He is nice to some, but utterly ruthless with others. His former desire to survive (I think) fermented into a desire to be powerful, and his instincts morphed The Big House into a Darwin like hall of survival.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Changing

     So I have just learned that we are switching projects, from book review to the study of a single book. The House of the Scorpion. I added a tab linked to my group's blog (Julia, Maanasa, Liam, Lauren, and myself).

     I think the change of focus will be an interesting opportunity to go really in depth with one novel, and in later reviews, it might help me go deeper. I'm excited for the "round table" discussions, where group members will share what they think of the chapter of section we have just read. It will be interesting to get 4 different opinions on the same novel.
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     I still need to give people the blog award that I got from Maanasa with 11 people. If anyone has some suggestions for blogs with 200 or less followers that deserve more attention, post in the comments.