MINP March #2: Equity and Exploitation

Prompt: Choose a theme from Animal Farm and do an analysis on it.

Book: Animal Farm  by George Orwell

This is a theme analysis on the book Animal Farm. The two themes I focused on were whether people were treated equally in society, and how power corrupts one. The brainframe linked below can explain a bit about the themes, and the essay was a previous class assignment that also explains in words the analysis of the themes. Embedded below is a Visme slideshow explaining further in depth about the analysis of the themes.


MINP #2 – Animal Farm Theme Analysis – Brainframe

MINP #2 – Animal Farm Theme Analysis – Essay (optional)

So I hope you took away not only an analysis of the themes in Animal Farm, but also what this could mean to us. Learning from these animals mistakes could help our world eliminate some problems such as gender inequality. We should learn from Animal Farm that there is no flawless equality, yet we shouldn’t stop trying. We should also learn that power does not equal happiness, and it doesn’t benefit in any way, but rather corrupts and changes us. If we let books like Animal Farm teach us their morals, maybe mistakes like the Russian Revolution wouldn’t have happened.


Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Knopf, 1993. Print.

Shmoop Editorial Team. “Animal Farm Theme of Power: Leadership and Corruption.”Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

Editors, SparkNotes. “Themes, Motifs & Symbols.” SparkNotes. SparkNotes, 13 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

Hillegass, Clifton Keith. “Animal Farm.” Major Themes. Cliffnotes, 19 August 2009. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.


MINP March #1: Wasted Talent

Prompt: Choose a character from Animal Farm and do a character analysis on them.

Book: Animal Farm  by George Orwell

This is a character analysis of Squealer, a character in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The category mind map below explains the different characteristics of Squealer and some supporting text evidence. Since Animal Farm is an allegory for the Russian Revolution, Squealer represents the propaganda that Joseph Stalin used against the public. Squealer can also represent Vyacheslav Molotov, a close associate and protege of Stalin in the Russian Revolution.


MINP March #1 – Brain Frame – Character Analysis – Squealer

MINP March #1 – Character Analysis – Squealer

I hope you took away not only a character analysis of Squealer, but also a chance to learn from others’ mistakes. Squealer is an example of a brilliant, talented individual who used their talent in the wrong way.  If we learn from Squealer’s mistakes, if we learn to think about the consequences before acting, if we learn to think deeper and more meaningful, then maybe a mistake like the Russian Revolution wouldn’t have happened. As an anonymous person said, “mistakes are meant for learning, not repeating.”


Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Knopf, 1993. Print.

Hillegass, Clifton Keith. “Animal Farm.” Squealer. Cliffnotes, 5 June 2010. Web. 01 Mar. 2016.

Shmoop Editorial Team. “Squealer (a pig) in Animal Farm.” Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 2 Mar. 2016.

Lorentzium. “Analysis of Squealer from “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.” Analysis of Squealer from “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. EssayForum, 21 Feb. 2008. Web. 01 Mar. 2016.

Scott, Ed. “How to Write a Character Analysis.” Enotes.com. Enotes.com, 8 Aug. 2012. Web. 01 Mar. 2016.

MINP Jan #2: Secrets Hidden Within

Prompt: Mindmap – Explaining the themes

Book: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, fantasy,

This mindmap is explaining the themes of the book, Throne of Glass. In this book, young female assassin Celaena Sardothien is recruited by the prince to compete in a competition where all the notorious criminals compete to see who can be the King’s ‘Champion’. The winner gets freedom, money, and service for the king. Juggling the duties of being a Champion, Celaena finds herself tangled in problems that not only with the Captain of the Guard (Chaol Westfall) and the prince (Dorian Havilliard), but also a darkness that lurks in the shadows of the glass castle.


I hope that you took away not only the central themes of Throne of Glass, but also valuable life lessons that could really teach humanity a lesson. We should realise that books are not just for entertainment, but also for awareness. Awareness that confidence is the key to overcoming obstacles. Awareness that we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. Awareness that freedom is granted to everyone on this planet. Awareness that females should be treated equally to men. Awareness that being first in the beginning doesn’t mean you’re first in the end. Awareness that we should not only read stories that will ignite our imagination, but read for the sake of humanity.


Sophie. “Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas.” So Many Books, So Little Time: Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas. Blogspot, 23 July 2012. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Staff, BookRags. “Throne of Glass Themes.” BookRags. BookRags, 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Staff, Goodreads. “Throne of Glass.” Goodreads. Goodreads, 5 Aug. 2012. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Smith, S. E. “Book Review: Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas.” This Ain’t Livin’Meloukia, 2 Mar. 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

MINP Jan #1: Evolution of Trust

Prompt: Diary entries – development of central theme throughout the story

Book: The Game of Lives by James Dashner, dystopian fiction, science fiction

This is a series of diaries written from Michael’s perspective, the main character of Dashner’s Mortality Doctrine series. It’s written to his diary and narrates how quickly Michael loses trust in everything throughout the Game of Lives.


MINP Jan #1 – Diary Entries

I hope you enjoyed reading these diary entries, and I hope that you’ve selected out the main message of the story: trust no one. This author’s message has often appeared in many books, but I think that it can’t necessarily be used in real life because it’s in our human nature that we trust one another. True, we can’t go around trusting random strangers that will ultimately lead us to chaos and trouble, but on the other hand we can’t distrust everybody to the point where you burden all your troubles yourself. Friends, family and community is built to help you share your burden of troubles. If we can’t trust one another, then our community might as well be lost. Trust is the foundation of relationships. As Isaac Newton correctly worded it, “we build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

MLA Citations: Staff, Goodreads. “The Game of Lives (The Mortality Doctrine, #3).” Goodreads. Goodreads, 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

Staff, Wikia. “The Game of Lives.” The Mortality Doctrine Wiki. Wikia.com, 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

Dashner, James. The Game of Lives. New York: Delacorte, 2015. Print. The Mortality Doctrine.

MINP Dec #1: Is Violence Really the Answer to Suffering?

Prompt: Letter – Character’s development and central message.

Book: Then by Morris Gleitzman, historical and realistic fiction

This is a letter written from Felix’s perspective, the main character of Gleitzman’s Once, Then, Now, After and Soon series. It’s written to Zelda, whom Felix grew a bond with during the first two books, Once and Then. In this letter, Felix is eighty years old since he was eighty years old in Now.


Dear Zelda,

It’s been seventy years and I still haven’t forgotten the image of our kin, piled, bleeding, unmoving, dead.

You were crying at that time, and I couldn’t blame you. They were children, some younger than you and others older than me. They were like us, Jewish orphans trying to escape the wrath of the Nazis. But their fate ended in such a gruesome way, the picture of them has still not left my mind.

The Nazis. We used to think that they were after us only because they hated the Jewish books. Oh, how I wish I had that ignorance and oblivion now. I think we both began to realise the truth about the Nazis after seeing what we could’ve ended up as: lifeless bodies, shot and thrown in a bundle like they were nothing but rags.

A couple hundred dollars and a bottle of vodka. Remember that’s how much a Jewish person cost during the war? Imagine where we would have been if we had continued eating Mr. Krol’s turnips; somewhere in his bale of hay, unconscious and heading towards a fate similar to those in the piles of the dead. You were right in wondering why the Nazis didn’t understand that anyone, whether they were Jewish or Nazi, had a life that was worth infinite times more than a couple hundred dollars and a bottle of vodka.

Once, you made me promise that I would never leave you, and that we would find new parents together.

And then a ray of hope beamed through the dark clouds of despair. Finally, an adult who would take us in and not secretly trade us for a bounty. Remember when Genia said “I don’t like Jews. I never have. It’s how I was brought up.” (Gleitzman, pg. 45)? I never truly believed her, because of the gentleness she had when she bathed us, fed us, and provided us new hope for a new future. From thence, you and I became Wilhelm and Violetta, Polish kids who hated Jewish people. When we strode through town, proudly bearing our Polish identities, I know we both saw how much hatred the Polish community bore towards the Jewish. “Filthy vermins” (Gleitzman, pg. 132), they called the Jewish. “No dogs or Jews” (Gleitzman, pg. 67), people would nail at their doorway. I didn’t want to imagine what happened if I walked into town being Felix, not Wilhelm.

But being Wilhelm didn’t help us from suffering the consequences of being Felix. “Why are Nazi monsters so mean and horrible?” (Gleitzman, pg. 100), you once asked after Leopold was shot. Genia and I didn’t reply. What could we say, the Nazis were born like this? But I can’t, because that would be mean and horrible towards the Nazis.

Remember when I snuck out that night to hunt for rabbits and came home with a fish? I had originally grabbed hold of a rabbit, but looking into it’s big, dark eyes and feeling the “veins in its throat throbbing” (Gleitzman, pg. 111), I couldn’t bring down the knife without thinking about the rabbit’s own life, how it could live the peaceful life that we’ve always dreamed of if I didn’t kill it. I remember the kid, Dov, pointing a gun at the Nazi’s head, my breath caught in my throat. How could Dov kill a Nazi, when I couldn’t even kill a rabbit for food?

“I want Leopold’s friend [Dov] to teach me how to do it,” You had murmured, “How to shoot a Nazi.” (Gleitzman, pg. 121). Back then, I didn’t know how to fix this hatred between you and your parents. You kept throwing away your locket with the picture of your Nazi parents. Genia said that you were trying to forget about your parents, and that we had to help you do that. But she never understood, did she? “Kids like us don’t ever forget our real parents. Not ever.” (Gleitzman, pg. 83).

That was when I realised that we would never find new parents like this, with your hatred towards the Nazi interfering.

I realised that night that you would never be safe while I was around. Or so I thought. I thought asking Amon to protect you would keep the danger away while I was gone. I thought that preparing to leave you in the middle of the night after knowing that you acknowledged your Nazi parents would help. I thought that leaving you when you went to buy me a birthday present was going to relieve the danger off your shoulders. I was wrong. You never needed help. Even when you were just barely six, you understood loyalty and friendship better than any other adult could. You understood the pains of being Jewish more than I did. You understood the reality of war more than anyone did.

Then you broke your own promise.

I remember praying really hard that any second you would “come up behind me and give me a hug and you would tell me off for having smudgy glasses and not being able to see clearly” (Gleitzman, pg. 173). I remember seeing Mr. Krol first, the old man limp in the wind, slightly bumping the post. Then the breeze turned you and Genia around, and your faces stared at me, haunting me for the rest of my life. The faces that took care of me when I was sick. The faces that supported me through the war. The faces that kept me sane when all was failing. The faces that was my family. You were still dressed with the coat that you came back to get, Genia still in her usual clothes. The breeze had blown the hair out of your face, and I wished it hadn’t. Your eyes were closed, like you were sleeping peacefully. Your body was slack, lost of the energy that supplied me with hope. And the rope… the rope… the rope around your neck…

I’m sorry, Zelda. But after that, I lost the sanity that you had so carefully nourished. Dov and I strapped bombs on ourselves, murdering two Hitler Youth and disguised ourselves as part of the Hitler Youth. I remember striding in the Hitler Youth home, my eyes hard and empty. Dov and I didn’t say anything. There was nothing left to say.

I was so lost in pain and grief, Zelda, that I nearly forgot the times when you gave me hope. I nearly forgot that hope has the power to surpass all pain. I nearly forgot that leaving you wouldn’t help you; it would only hurt both of us. I nearly forgot about you.

But you didn’t forget about me, even when you were in heaven. You saved me from pulling the trigger to the grenade. You reminded me of the past Felix that couldn’t even bring a knife down on a rabbit. You saved me from drowning in the seas of pain and grief. You saved me from believing that the world was going to end because you were gone. You gave me the answer that violence was not the answer to suffering; violence would only worsen suffering. You let me realise that the suffering in war could only be cured through forgiveness, compassion, and the ability to let go. You reminded me that I was the only evidence of you, and that I shouldn’t be causing more suffering than there already was. You reminded me of what a wonderful future I could have if I didn’t pull the trigger. You reminded me that I had to keep your promise, that I would never leave you. You reminded me that you actually never broke your own promise, because you were always there, in my mind. You have taught me never to give up even when the sky is falling and the world is crumbling. You saved me from ending up like our kin, piled, bleeding, unmoving, dead. How? The golden locket with the drawing of me and you brought back my sanity, the one that you died getting for me.

Now I am all alone, living a perfect life that seems altogether empty without you.

Looking back, I don’t think I could’ve survived without you, Zelda. You were the beacon of hope in the mists of suffering. You helped me transform from an ignorant boy to what I am now, an old man learning to let go of your death. Ironic, isn’t it? Our story is so similar to the plot of World War Two, now that I research on it. The world was so oblivious of death and suffering, but after the war, it almost seems like it matured and learned it’s lesson after the war; that suffering can’t be solved with more violence. I hope the future generations don’t make the same mistake as we did.

But it’s not easy learning from your mistakes, isn’t it? The current generation is not listening to your teachings. Followers of Islam, namely a syndicate called Islamic State based on Syria, have been spreading terror around the world, much like the Nazis. Recently, they’ve murdered a hundred and thirty people in Paris, capital of France. The world was shellshocked from the news, for never had the Middle East terrorists reached to the heart of Europe. They’re followers of a religion, like me following Judaism. Their religion should be able to teach them about peace and harmony, yet why do they revolt against their religion and set the kindle to the fire of suffering? I’ve grown old, Zelda, but sometimes I wonder if it’s not their problem. Maybe the Muslims had harm done to them first. Maybe it started when the Jews took back Palestine and made it Israel, shunning and rejecting the Muslim Palestinians. Maybe they were also freedom fighters who just wanted to escape the suffering and unjust that was done to them by the Jews. Maybe they rose out of anger to revolt against the Jewish government, turning into a tumour known as the Islamic State. Maybe it was our fault that we caused the hundred and thirty deaths in Paris; maybe we Jews caused the birth of the notorious Islamic State.

Sadly, countries around the world are repeating their mistakes again. People are trying to bring down the Islamic State by causing more suffering and widespread pain. The United States, France, Russia, and now Britain have responded to Islamic State by bombing them, explosions decorating the sky above Syria. These countries don’t understand that by stopping the origin of suffering, you can’t do more suffering to them. They don’t realise that the cure to stop terrorism is to respond with something that they would never have expected: compassion.

Yet we haven’t lost hope. I’ve seen in the news of people doing compassionate, rightful acts against suffering. Bill Gates, a brilliant man who found Microsoft thirty years after your death and also the currently richest man alive, has devoted his life and money to solving the problems of the world, including many that we’ve faced in the Second World War: hunger, lack of education, environmental issues and so on. Little benevolent acts like defending a Muslim lady on a train counts too, on which I read about a British young man who protected a Muslim woman from being harmed because of her religion. I don’t resent the Muslims, Zelda, because I know how it is to be discriminated. To be teased, despised and snubbed by the entire world. To be thought of as a vermin or as filthy creatures bringing harm to the world. To be Jewish in the Second World War.

So thank you, Zelda. Thank you for supporting me throughout the war, bringing me hope and happiness. Thank you for being the candle of faith in the expanses of desolation. Thank you for teaching me that violence is not the answer to suffering. I will forever cherish your teachings and share them with the world.

Your friend who is still trying to let go of you,


P.S. After the war ended, I told everyone I met about you. I spread the story of your heroism. I expanded your library of evidence so that the world might someday learn from your wisdom. I told them, “She was only six, but she had the loving heart of a ten-year-old.” (Gleitzman, pg. 183). And I vowed that if people carried on hating each other, killing each other and spreading suffering, I would tell them this: “You can be like her. Don’t you know anything?” (Gleitzman, pg. 183)

Let’s see what they do then. (Gleitzman, pg. 183)


I hope you enjoyed reading this letter, and I also hope that when you leave, you have taken something out of this letter. Gleitzman wrote in his acknowledgement page that this series, Once, Then, Now, After and Soon, came from his imagination, but it was inspired by real history. This story of Felix and Zelda could have been real, looking at the state of suffering in the Holocaust. Nonetheless, no matter if this story is fiction, it portrays multiple strong messages that should be acknowledged by the world, including the fact that violence is not the answer of suffering. The Holocaust and many past historical events have been seen as merely fact, not lesson. I think that we should learn from the victims the same way as we learn from experience or from others’ teachings. The Jews who suffered in the Holocaust, especially the survivors, were extraordinary people who were scarred by war. As Morris Gleitzman said in his acknowledgement page, “This story is my imagination trying to grasp the unimaginable.”

MLA Citations: Baugh, Alex. “Then by Morris Gleitzman.” The Children’s War. Blogspot, 9 Jan. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

Yates, Jean. Then by Morris Gleitzman – Teaching Notes. Australia: Puffin, 12 Apr. 2010. PDF.

Murphy, Jill. “Then by Morris Gleitzman.” TheBookBag. Puffin, 28 Jan. 2009. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.


MINP Oct #2: Friendship within War

War Horse Book Cover


This book cover shows the main themes of the book, War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. One of the themes is friendship, shown by the boy hugging the horse. The fact that the boy hugging the horse is within the rearing horse is because War Horse is about Joey, the main protagonist (horse), finds friendship, kindness, compassion and care within the devastation of war. Another theme is violence and destruction, shown by the smoke behind the boy and the horse. Also, the white and blackness of this poster symbolises that this story was set in the early 1900s, when colour film was not made yet. The white also symbolises the peace surrounded by the black, which symbolises the destruction enveloping the peace.

MLA: Old Film Look Paper Texture – HD Overlay. Digital image. YouTube. CuteStockFootage, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.

Cooper, Andrew. Talking Horses in Fiction – Quiz. Digital image. Theguardian, 27 Dec. 2011. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.

Ww2 Battlefield. Digital image. Blogeuz, 20 Feb. 2011. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.

MINP Sept #2: Who is Alex Rider Now?

How has Alex Rider Changed- Infographic


This infograph explains how Alex Rider has changed throughout the first book of the Alex Rider series, Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. It provides examples of why he is, for example, impulsive or tough.

MLA Citation: Wikipedia, Staff. “Stormbreaker.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Oct. 2000. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.