From Macbeth’s phone:
From Lady Macbeth’s phone:
Animal Farm Themes
Two of the many themes of Animal Farm, by George Orwell, include that people’s ignorance contributes to their being oppressed by others and that in society, individuals are not treated equally.
The first two posters show that people’s ignorance contributes to their being oppressed by others. The “Napoleon is Always Right” poster comes from Boxer’s motto and I chose to use this because Boxer was a very important, influential, and respected animal on the farm. He worked hard and had a good attitude which gained him respect and trust from the animals, meaning that whatever he said, they believed. Boxer was not the brightest animal and he was also one of the ignorant ones being oppressed. He did not understand Napoleon’s true intentions and just assumed that everything he did was for the good of the farm, which helped Napoleon use him for his own selfish needs. The second poster shows the sheep’s favorite saying, “Four legs good, two legs bad.” This is a shortened version of one of their commandments and the sheep loved to chant it all the time. Because of this, the animals were basically brainwashed into thinking that they shouldn’t trust any human at all. This also confused them a lot when Napoleon started doing business with the humans, but were easily convinced that the trade was good when the pigs “explained” everything and Boxer recited, “Napoleon is always right.”
The next three posters (with 4, 5, and 6 written on them) also show the same theme. Those three posters show three of the commandments that were conveniently changed when the pigs did something against them. You can see that the original commandments were written normally and then the alterations were added to the end in drippy, messy paint. These posters show the theme because during the book, when the pigs did something wrong and the animals had their doubts, they would always turn to the commandments which the pigs had changed and the animals were too dumb to realize.
The last poster shows the theme that in society, individuals are not treated equally. It shows the single commandment at the end of the book, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” This shows the theme because in Animal Farm, the animals had the idea of complete equality and they thought that they had it for a while, but it was not able to last. Eventually, the pigs rose to the top and treated themselves as kings while the other animals suffered. They said that they had an equal society, but they never did.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: New American Library, 1946. Print.
Boxer Character Analysis
Animal Farm, by George Orwell, is a satire about the Russian Revolution and Communism. The book starts off with the animals gathering in the barn after Mr. Jones (the farmer) goes to bed. Major, the most respected animal on the farm, gathers all the animals to the barn. He voices their complaints about how to humans are evil, how they take so much and give so little, how something has to be done. Jones rules tyrannically over them, and they must start fighting back, he urged. He makes the animals promise to never live like Man (to never live in a house, wear clothes, smoke tobacco, etc.) and instead live in a society where everybody is equal.
“‘There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word–Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever.
‘Man is the only creature that consumes without producing….Yet he is lord of all the animals.'” (Orwell, p. 28-29)
“‘Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost over-night we could become rich an free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion!'” (Orwell, p. 30)
Major died the next day, but his idea did not. Soon the animals revolted against Jones and started the revolution. But will their new society be able to last?
The animals got to work as soon as Jones was driven out. They worked hard and were rewarded with a wonderful harvest. They ate an abundance of food and were given more recreation time than ever. The pigs, being the smartest of the animals, naturally took over. They controlled the animals, learned literature, and led debates. But the philosophy on Animalism (that all animals are equal) quickly fell apart. It was obvious that some animals thought of themselves at a higher status than others.
Two particular pigs stood out: Napoleon and Snowball. Napoleon and Snowball quickly became the leaders, learning as much as they could from Jones’ books, organizing the animals, and leading the debates. Napoleon, who eventually became the main leader, was harsh and cunning and always found a way to get what he wanted.
One of the main characters in the book is Boxer. Boxer was a gigantic horse, “nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together.” (Orwell, p. 26) He was a highly respected animal, even before the revolution, because of his strength and attitude.
I believe that in Animal Farm, Boxer represents our world’s working class because he is very hard-working and keeps things going. Without Boxer, the animals would never have been able to get as far as they had. Boxer was really able to show his diligence when the animals starting working on the windmill. In order to build the windmill, they could have to haul boulders up the hill. Of course, almost all of the work fell on Boxer’s shoulders. Whenever something failed, like if the boulder rolled down the hill or the windmill collapsed, instead of giving up, Boxer would just say his first motto, “I will work harder.” Even when his body argued, he would always push on, panting, “I will work harder.” He also woke up extra early and stayed extra late to work on the windmill on his own.
“Boxer was the admiration of everybody. He had been a hard worker even in Jones’ time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest of his mighty shoulders. From morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest. He had made an arrangement with one of the cockerels to call him in the mornings half an hour earlier than anyone else, and would put some volunteer labour at whatever seemed to be most needed, before the regular day’s work began. His answer to every problem, every setback , was ‘I will work harder!’–which he had adopted as his personal motto.” (Orwell, p. 46-47)
Second of all, Boxer is dedicated to Animalism. Like I said before, Boxer would always wake up early and work late for the windmill and whenever something went wrong, he would just say his motto. Even when his body failed him and Boxer had to stop working, his last wish was to see the windmill finished. He also proved that he would do anything for the cause during the Battle of Cowshed when he kicked the boy in the head. Unlike Napoleon, Boxer was horrified when he thought that he had killed the boy, but realized that what he did had helped the animals. Boxer did all of these things because he believed that doing so would help lock in a bright future for the farm, which was what he truly wanted.
“‘It is my lung,’ said Boxer in weak voice. “It doesn’t not matter. I think you will be able to finished the windmill without me.'” (Orwell, p. 121)
Third of all, Boxer is a follower and not a leader. Boxer never once questioned Napoleon, even when he did things that he thought were wrong. Instead, he just assumed that because Napoleon had appointed himself their leader, everything he did was good. When the other animals had any doubts, he would just say his second motto, “Napoleon is always right.” Also, like I said before, Boxer was a highly respected animal and if he wanted, he could have become the leader and overthrown Napoleon, but he didn’t. Instead, he decided to just follow everything that Napoleon said.
Last, Boxer is innocent. Boxer was not the brightest animal and at the beginning of the revolution when the pigs and some of the other animals were trying to learn to read and write, he could not even learn the entire alphabet.
“Boxer could not get beyond the letter D.” (Orwell, p. 50)
He also never questions the things that Napoleon did or if his intentions were actually good because he was not intelligent enough too. He would just say his motto, “Napoleon is always right,” and believe it. Boxer is also innocent because during the Battle of Cowshed, when he kicked the boy in the head, he was not pleased like Napoleon. He did not want to hurt the boy at all and when he did, he felt terrible for it. Also, Boxer is innocent because, like I said before, he could have used all of the respect and admiration from the animals to become the leader and overthrow Napoleon, but the thought had never even crossed his mind. He never once abused his power like Napoleon had because he just didn’t think that way.
In conclusion, I think that Boxer’s four main characteristics are hard-working, dedicated, follower, and innocent.
Connect with the Protagonist and the Conflict
First & Then, by Emma Mills, is a realistic fiction novel about Devon Tennyson. Devon goes to parties, does homework, and hangs out with friends like any other normal senior. Things start to take an unexpected turn in her life as the year goes on, though. She is hopelessly in love with her best friends, Cas, but he doesn’t seem to take a hint. Her cousin suddenly moves in with her and her family and now they are “siblings.” She surprisingly becomes friends with the best football player at the school who nobody else seems to be able to figure out.
At the beginning of the book, Devon is at the Road-to-College Club and is showing the counselor, Mrs. Wentworth, her college essay. The only problem is that she didn’t put any thought into her essay and didn’t really expect to. Throughout the book, she struggles with trying to improve her college resume so that she can get into her dream college: Reeding College. She volunteers as a TA, joins the school paper, and searches for help from the best student she knows.
“‘Devon, I really need you to take this seriously.’
I just couldn’t find it in my heart to do that.
‘But it reads like you wrote it during a commercial break.’
I took offense to that. I wrote it during at least four commercial breaks.
‘How much thought did you really give this?'” (Mills, p. 2)
I can connect with Devon because although I am not a senior preparing for college, I am an eight grader preparing for high school. I have gone through similar conversations as she had with my mom about the essays that I had written for honors next year. I had also struggled a bit with writing my essay because I didn’t really know what to write about.
Mills, Emma. First & Then. New York: Henry Holt, 2015. Print.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is an informational story of how the author explored major tipping points in history and in the modern world today. The analogy that Gladwell uses is that everyday trends and happenings are epidemics.
“It is that the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves, or, for that matter, the transformation of unknown books in bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth, or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics.” (Gladwell, p. 7)
Ideas and products behave and spread like viruses, and eventually they reach a tipping point. One example that he gives the the rise in popularity of Hush Puppies, a brand of shoes. They were a very small thing that nobody knew about. But then, something happened, something small. A few people bought Hush Puppies, wore them around, and suddenly it became the new style. Everybody was buying Hush Puppies – they were a necessity. What happened was the tipping point and what caused it was just a very small action. People didn’t go around advertising Hush Puppies, telling everybody that it was the new trend and that it was so cool. What happened was that a few teenagers bought Hush Puppies and wore them around town, exposing others to them – spreading the virus and infecting others.
Gladwell gives many other examples of tipping points in society but what he wants the reader to understand are three things: contagiousness, little things make a big difference, and that change happens at one dramatic moment. One of the major themes of the book is that it is the little things that make a big difference. Another example Gladwell gave was the dramatic decline in crime in New York in 1993. In the space of five years, the crime dropped 64.3 percent and it wasn’t because anything dramatic happened. The murderers weren’t all suddenly caught or moved away or anything like that. It was a series of small changes.
“The crack trade leveled off. The population got a little older. The police force got a little better. Yet the effect was dramatic.” (Gladwell, p. 8)
Basically, what Gladwell is trying to explain is that tipping points are caused by small, minor changes, not dramatic ones.
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point. New York: Little, Brown, 2002. Print.
Overall, I think that my NaNoWriMo story went pretty well. I was able to accomplish my goal and write 10,664 words. At the beginning, I had a hard time starting the story because I couldn’t think of a story and then I couldn’t figure out how to start it and space it out so that it would be long enough. But after I got the first couple hundred words in and I got into the flow, it became much easier and I was able to just write. One thing, though, was that since I was focusing on writing so much, the quality of the writing wasn’t that good.
Something that I learned about myself was that I get writer’s block really easily but that once I get started, it gets much easier and I am able to write a lot. Something that I learned how to do really well and that helped me when I wrote this is using a thesaurus. It really helped me a lot because I would always be coming back to it to look for better words to use than the boring ones that I had already used five times in my story and it actually helped me a lot. I learned that next time when I am writing, I should always keep one open just incase.
Although I did accomplish my goal and am pretty proud of my story, it is not very well written and I have gotten a little tired of it. The plot wasn’t that good to begin with because since I was writing such a long story there were parts that were just there to add more words and fill up room, but actually aren’t interesting at all. But, if the story was read by someone, it would have to be read in it’s entirety – just reading one chapter wouldn’t really make any sense. Also, trying to condense it into one short story wouldn’t really work because there is a lot that happens and just too much to fit into a few pages. I think that this was a great experience and taught me a lot, but I am not going to clean it up and publish it.
In Fat Kid Rules the World by KL Going, the protagonist, Troy Billings, is an overweight teenager who has no friends and is constantly being laughed at. He decides that he has to future ahead of him and that he should just commit suicide until he meets Curt MacCrae, a high school dropout and guitar legend at Troy’s school. Because of one lie, they form a band together and Troy becomes his drummer, but struggles with him self to decide whether he really wants to be.
Troy changes a lot in this book because he goes from being depressed, insecure, and conservative to a confident, happier teenager who is willing to try new things and put himself out there.
“I’m worried about potentially eternal humiliation. I’m worried about being manipulated into something I absolutely, positively, no-way-in-hell can do…..’I’ve got to go home,’ I say firmly. ‘This has been fun and all, but there’s no way I’m playing a gig. I Can’t play in front of people. I hyperventilate. I can’t. . . do it…'” (Going, p. 68)
“My body swells until I fill the room. I’m not fat. I’m enormous. I look over the crowd and think for the first time, I could be bigger. I could be even bigger…” (Going, p.94)
“I’m a total freak, but that’s no one’s problem but mine. Mine, damn it. Mine with a capital ‘M.’ I am the Rocky Balboa of obese drummers.” (Going, p. 113)
At the beginning of the book, Troy is very self-conscious about himself and always worried about people laughing at him and getting embarrassed. But as the story progresses and as he becomes better friends with curt, he gains more and more self-confidence until he realizes that he shouldn’t be thinking those things about himself, that just because he is fat doesn’t mean he should be lower than everybody else and that being fat is bad. Troy and I are alike because we care a lot about what other people think of us and are worried about being laughed at. Although it might not be as bad for me as it is for Troy, of course I still think about things like that. Also, our friends are very important for both of us. Troy only has one friend, Curt, who is probably the best possible person to be friends with at his school. He worries a lot about saying or doing the wrong thing and then loosing Curt, so a lot of his decisions are based on that. I care a lot about what my friends think of me, too, but the difference between Troy and me is that I don’t really worry about loosing them. Sometimes, like Troy, I will think about what they will think of me if I do something, but I don’t just do exactly what I know they will approve of. A difference between me and Troy is that, because he grew up with no friends, being made fun of, he has very low self-esteem, which means that he always likes to stick to the things he knows and is more scared to try knew things because of the possible consequences. I grew up with many friends and family who supported me, so I am more confident with myself and don’t think about if others will make fun of me if I try something new.
Set Huey Free!
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia is a historical fictions book set Oakland, California, 1968. It is about three African American sisters – Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern – and The Black Panthers Party.
“Free Huey! “You Can Jail a Revolutionary, But You Can’t Jail the Revolution”” Free Huey! Xroads, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.
Garrow, David J. “Newton, Huey P..” World Book Student. World Book, 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.
Hamilton, Charles V. “Black Panther Party.” World Book Student. World Book, 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.
“Huey P. Newton.” Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.
Schladweiler, Kief. “Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers – The Black Panthers.” Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers – The Black Panthers. AAVW, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.
Come Hell or Low Spirits
The themes of Hunger by Michael Grant are overcoming obstacles, regretting tough decisions, and the weight of responsibility and leadership.
“Titanium” by David Guetta ft Sia
This song is about not letting others push you around or get you down and staying strong. It is about always getting back up after you fall down. “Titanium” fits the theme of overcoming obstacles. This relates to the book because the main character, Sam Temple, keeps on facing problems and has to solve them. Sometimes he is hit hard to, either physically or emotionally, but he has to keep going and get back up.
“You shoot me down, but I won’t fall
I am titanium”
“Survivor” by Destiny’s Child
“Survivor” is also about staying strong and not letting others push you down. It is about working hard and not giving up. This song also fits under the theme of overcoming obstacles. This song fits the book because the situation is very dire and there is death in the air, they all have to learn to be strong and survive, especially Sam, who is put in danger day after day.
“I’m a survivor
I’m not gon give up
I’m not gon stop
I’m a survivor
I’m gon make it
I will survive
Keep on surviving”
“Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
“Stronger is, again, about not letting others hurt you. It is about falling down and then coming back stronger and better than before and never backing down. This is the theme of overcoming obstacles. This song fits the book because Sam has to learn that every time he falls, he has to get up stronger to be able to accomplish his goals and save his friends.
“You didn’t think that I’d come back
I’d come swinging
You try to break me, but you see
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne
“Keep Holding On” is about always staying hopeful, no matter how hard times are, and, again, never giving up. This is also overcoming obstacles. This applies to the book because Same ends up very stressed out from his leadership role that as forced upon him and (spoiler alert) eventually he hits a point where his breaks down. But he needs to “keep holding on” and stay hopeful that there is still light.
“Keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through, we’ll make it through.
Just stay strong
‘Cause you know I’m here for you, I’m here for you”
“Lie” by David Cook
“Lie” is about getting through tough times and always staying positive and hopeful. It fits under the overcoming obstacles theme. This relates to the book because a lot of the time, it seemed that there was no hope but they had to keep reminding each other and possibly lying to each other, saying that it was going to be alright.
“So lie to me and tell me that it’s gonna be alright”
“You’re hiding regret in your smile”
“What I’ve Done” by LINKIN PARK
“What I’ve Done” is about regretting the things that you have done and the decisions you have made and trying to forget all of that and forgive yourself for it. This fits the theme of regretting tough decisions. This fits the book because Sam was the leader and he had to make dozens of very important decisions, some that could result in life or death and it stressed him out and put a lot of pressure on him. Sometimes he would make a wrong decision and it would end up with something bad happening, like a death, which would really weigh him down.
“So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
And let go of what I’ve done
Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands of uncertainty”
“Breathe Me” by Sia
“Breathe Me” is about making mistakes again and again and regretting all the things you have done. It is also about losing yourself to stress and pressure and blaming yourself. This song represents the theme of the book well because Sam made many mistakes again and again and was always blaming himself to the point that he had lost himself and broke.
“Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before”
“And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame”
“Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah, I think that I might break”
“Numb” by LINKIN PARK
“Numb” is about stress and pressure and about having to live up to someone else’s expectations. It fits the theme of the weight of responsibility of a leader. The role of major was forced upon Sam, and eventually, the stress was too much and he was tired of being leader and being responsible for everything. He was tired of being who everyone wanted him to be.
“I’m tired of being what you want me to be”
“Don’t know what you’re expecting of me”
“Become so tired, so much more aware
I’m becoming this, all I want to do
is be more like me, and less like you”
“Sick Cycle Carousel” by Lifehouse
This song is also about living up to someone else’s standards and having to be somebody who you don’t want to be or who you thought you would never be. It is also about doing something, expecting one things, and getting something else and wanting to step down, wondering when it will end. This fits the theme of the weight of responsibility and leadership. This relates to Hunger because in this book, Sam is kind of forced into being the leader but it has taken a lot from him and he learns that that isn’t what he wants. All he wants is to step down and be who he was before.
“I tried to climb you steps”
“So when will this end it goes on and on
over and over and over again
keep spinning around I know that it won’t stop
Till I step down from this for good
I never thought I’d end up here
Never thought I’d be standing where I am
I guess I kinda thought it would be easier than this
I guess I was wrong now one more time”
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