Archivo de la categoría: literature

Previously in Romeo & Juliet…

Our literature teacher, gave us an assignment which consisted in making a paragraph about what happened in the first act of Romeo and Juliet. The assignment was in pairs and I worked with Valentina Pease.

At the beginning of the play, Tybalt and Benvolio got into a fight and Prince Escales threatened to sentence whoever fought again to death. Besides, Romeo was depressed because Rosaline didn’t love him. Then, Romeo found out Rosaline was going to Capulet’s party and decides to go to win her heart. Meanwhile, Paris and Capulet discuss when would Juliet marry him. Moreover, Juliet, her mother and the nurse had a talk about marriage where Juliet said she didn’t feel ready or wanted to marry Paris. At the dance, Romeo and Juliet met and instantly fell in love with each other. However, a moment after they kissed, they found out they belonged to enemies’ families, and found out they were in love with what they hated.

This is a picture of Romeo and Juliet right before their first kiss.

How and why we read

Some Literature classes ago, we watched a video on how and why we read. Then, our teacher gave us this assignment:

Watch again the video on How and Why We Read and choose:

  • one sentence you feel that summarizes the video.
  • one phrase that you think will be relevant for our course. Explain why.
  • one phrase that caught your attention.  Explain why.

The sentence I feel summarizes the video is: «We privilege reading and writing because they allow us to comunicate directly and transparently with people who live very far away from us» as that’s what you are actually doing when reading a book.

The sentence I think will be relevant for our course is: «Reading is suppossed to be some treasure map in which you discover symbols» I think it will be relevant for our course as it means that while enjoying the reading we should as well learn to spot the symbols and literary devices.

The sentence that caught my attention was:»Reading is always an act of empathy, it’s always an imagining of what it’s like to be someone else» It caught my attention because I’ve never before realized how one feels empathy for the characters when reading.


Literary Devices

Today in our literature class I worked with Carolina Cremona and made an activity on literary device which was posted in our teacher’s blog:

  • You’re sad – metaphor: I’m drowning in tears.
  • You’re tired – hyperbole: I am so tired I’d be able to sleep two days straight.
  • You’re cold – oxymoron: I’m so cold I’m burning .
  • You want peace in the world – use a symbol: I want a white dove to fly through the air around the world.
  • Think of a setting to highlight you’re depressed. Give details: It was raining and the sky was black and grey and the clock had just hit midnight. I was sitting alone in my empty room, all the lights off. I could see both the rain and my tears falling uncontrollably.
  • A bee is bothering – use alliteration: the bee is buzzing in my ear.
  • You feel uncomfortable in a room – personification: The wall stared at me as I was awkwardly sitting in the room.
  • You’re bored – simile: I’m bored like bean.

Romeo and Juliet

In our last Literature classes, we’ve been working with the prologue of Romeo and Juliet. This is how we translated it from old english to modern english.


Two households, both alike in dignity,
Two families, both from the same social rank
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
in beautiful Verona, where our scene occurs
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
From old bitterness that breaks into violence
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
Where normal people become murderers
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
From the two families that brought death to their children
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,
a couple that fell in love and committed suicide
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Their unfortunate, pitiful death
Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.
Bury their parents quarrel and anger.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
The sad/doomed story of their unfortunate love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
And the persistence of their parents anger,


Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove,
which only their children’s death could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage.
will be presented in the following two hours in the stage
The which if you with patient ears attend
Which you have to listen very carefully
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
What here is missed out, our hard work will make our mistakes right.

This are some questions we anwered:

  1. How many lines does the prologue have? A piece of writing with this rhyme pattern and number of syllables and lines is called a Sonnet. Find more characteristics of sonnets.
  • The prologue has 14 lines.
  • Characteristics of sonnets:
    • they have 14 lines which are separated in 3 quatrains and a final couplet.
    • this is their structure: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, meaning there’s a rhyme every two lines
    • The final message is in the couplet.
  1. Which lines rhyme with each other? (Give the line numbers and the rhyming words, e.g line 1 rhymes with line 3; ‘dignity’ and ‘mutiny’)
  • Line 1 rhymes with line 3, line 2 with 4, 5 with 7, 6 with 8, 9 with 11,  10  with 12 and 13 with 14 (couplet).

  1. Use a coloured pen to highlight all the words to do with love.

The answer is in light-blue.

  1. Use a different coloured pen to highlight all the words to do with violence.

The answer is in yellow.

  1. Use another colour to highlight the words to do with family.

The answer is in red.

These are some questions we anwered on Act 1 Scene 1:


  • Write a summary in your own words.
  • What’s Romeo’s problem? Why can we say he is immature.
  • Analyze Romeo’s problem?


Why can we say he’s immarure?


  • Explain the dramatic Irony at the end of the scene.


  1. The Montague’s and the Capulet’s servants met and started fighting in the streets. In the middle of the fight, Benvolio entered and tried to stop the fight but then Tybalt entered and everything gets more aggressive. Suddenly, prince Escalus entered and told both families to stop fighting, otherwise they would be killed. Then, the Montagues entered the scene and asked for Romeo as they had realized he had been really depressed and they told him to go talk to him. When he did so, Romeo told him he was depressed because Rosaline didn’t love him.


  1. Romeo’s problem was that he was in love with a girl called Roselyn, but Rosalyn did not love Romeo, so he got depressed. We can say he is immature because he was obsessed with that girl, and he couldn’t think of other girls.
  2. The oxymorons present in Romeo’s poetic language represented the confusion love causes. These are some examples present in  the book.


Loving v. Hate

Heavy v. Lightness

Serious v. Vanity

Misshapen chaos’ v. Well seeming forms

Feather v. Lead

Bright v smoke

Cold v fire

Sick v health

Still-walking v sleep

  1. The dramatic Irony in the ending is that we know something that Romeo don’t, that he will find another love and that he will died

Activity on The Open Boat

In the last Literature classes, we have been doing an activity about the story we read: The Open Boat. Here it is:

Study questions

  1. The oiler was the only one given a name (Billie) to show that he was kind of ignorant because Billie is an ordinary name which isn’t quite professional, the other members of the crew are called by their occupation which is rather professional and leave readers to assume they aren’t ignorant as they seem professional.
  2. This is because of Darwin’s theory in which he assures that the fittest survives. The oiler rowed all the way to island and he was exhausted so he gave up and drowned, nature had defeated him.
  3. The view of nature in the story is strong, able to defeat anyone and let anyone live. This is really clear when she makes the oiler drown and at the same time is able to free the correspondent from that dangerous wave.
  4. The view of men in this story is fragile and with no power compared to nature.
  5. The men in the boat relate to each other like brothers.
  6. The pattern I can find in the story is the one of the colors, gray, black and white. They are important in the story because it helps us know how the characters felt during the story. A repetition I can find in the story is the one of rowing and it is important in the story because it helps us understand how even though they worked a lot and really hard, they were never going to have more power than nature.
  7. A part in where the narrator intruded is in the part in which he explains how the characters thought that after all the work the did they didn’t deserve to drown in the ocean. I think it was effective because it helps us see what the characters felt.
  8. I think the ending of the story is truthful because after all the effort the oiler had done it was quite predictable that he would die before reaching land. Furthermore, as this is a story based in true facts, we know the oiler must have died in the story because he actually died. On the other hand, as this is literature, we can guess it also has an ironic meaning which may be that he “failed” because, as Darwin Theory explains, the fittest are able to survive. With this, he may mean that to get what you want, you have to take wise decisions (unlike the oiler did when trying to get fast to the shore instead of going slowly and near the dinghy). Moreover, when Crane says “In the shadows, face downwards lays the oiler”, he may have meant he gave up as facing down means, mostly something negative.
  9. I think Crane used that structure of Roman numbers to show that one wouldn’t mean anything without the others. Just as the men in the story, because if one of them was missing, the story wouldn’t make any sense as they would’ve instantly died. Furthermore, the men said there were 7 gods in the sea, and it isn’t quite a coincidence that there are 7 parts. What may have happened is that they believed each thing that happened in each part was determined by each god.

Pathways to interpretation

  1. During the Victorian writers wanted to display reality and this is what Crane did. Most of his stories has to do with people trying to win nature and not being able to and this is what happens in the open boat.
  2. What the historical context and the connection have to do is that during the Victorian period, when the story was wrote, a lot of writers including Crane start writing about naturalism, realism and how people can’t win nature and in the open boat that’s what happens, even though they try there’s no way they could win nature.

Patterns in The Open Boat

  1. Some uses and references to colors were:
  • Black: “… the land seemed but a long black shadow on the sea” With this, what Crane is trying to express is that the land seemed to be a dangerous, unsafe (like blurry, unclear) and that reaching there depended, mostly, in the sea.
  • White: “Slowly the land arose from the sea.From a black line, it became a line of black and a line of white…” With this, what Crane is trying to express, is that at first the place they wanted to reach was dangerous and that they were going to die before reaching that place. Nonetheless, then it turned out to be easier than expected.
  • Gray: “Gray-faced and bowed forwards…” This means that they did so emotionlessly, mechanically.
  • Gold: “Later, carmine and gold was painted upon the waters” This mean that at that point, they had gained (or at least they thought) courage over the ocean.
  1. The repetitions of the rowing passage meant, all in all, that although they tried really hard, they would never be able to overcome nature.


  1. Drowning is repeated many times because drowning is giving up or being defeated by nature. This is the situation in which the men were: about to be defeated by nature and with the chance of giving up which is also related to being defeated by nature.
  2. The oiler may have been called Billie to make reference to his ignorance as the name Billie is ordinary and not quite professional, furthermore the name Billie means protector and Billie died protecting his colleagues.
  3. Something which foreshadowed the oiler’s future was the poem about the soldier and how many times he said how exhausted he was.
  4. Some references to death in the story is black and the fear they had of being drown. Some references to dead sleep is when the correspondent falls deep in sleep because as drowning sleeping may represent giving up and when they gave up they died.
  5. At the end they aren’t interpreters as they weren’t able to understand what had happened as they were happy because they thought they had defeated nature and that was why they survived.
  6. Actually, the men in The Open Boat are spared by nature as she did whatever she wanted with them. She let some survive and left one dead.


The Open Boat

In our Literature class, we started reading a story called The Open Boat. In this entry I will post questions and stuff related to it.

Part I

  • Make a summary (include the characters and setting)

The Story is about a cook, an oiler, a captain and a correspondent who are in a steamboat near Mosquito Inlet and they are strongly, but scary fighting against the waves, which are their main obstacle, while thinking where they should go.

  • Explain what is going wrong with the boat at the end of Part I.

The boat was fighting the waves while deciding where to go.

  • Find a picture of a steamboat (19thC) and check the parts of the boat.

Parts of a steamboat

  • Where is Mosquito Inlet?

Mosquito Inlet is located at the north pf Florida, USA.

Part II

  • What do the following words symbolize:

Black: sorrow, death, emptyness, destruction.

Dark: chaos,  the end of the world is forthcoming.

Ominous: portending evil or harm, forshadows evil.

Gull: communication, community.

  • What is the meaning of:

Sinister: threatening or suggesting evil, harm or trouble.

Gruesome: causing horror or disgust.

  • Investigate the Theory of «The Uncanny»

The uncanny locates the strangeness in the ordinary, disturbing the boundary between living and death.

Part III

  • Make a summary:
    • Include:
      • what happened
      • atmosphere
      • what you feel will happen next

What happened in this part is that they got to land. The atmosphere constantly changed from hopeless to hopeful and there’s a feeling of brotherhood. I feel something bad will happen in Part IV.

Part IV

Do research:

  • 7 Gods of the Sea
  • Poseidon: god of the sea, earthquakes, floods, drought and horses. 
  • Amphitrite: goddess of the sea, wife of Poseidon
  • Pontus: was the sea itself
  • Palaemon: was a child sea-god who helped soldiers in distress with his mother.
  • Phorcys: ancient sea god of the dangers in the deep
  • Triton: fish tailed sea god.
  • Nereus: old man of the sea and the god of the dead fish.
  • Theory of Determinism

All events completely determined by previously existing causes. Determinism is contrasted with the free will.

Part VII

In the ending, as Darwin said, the fittest survive and the weak die (the oiler).

The correspondent was able to survive as he could read life.

One Art – By: Elizabeth Bishop

In our last literature classes, we have been analysing a poem called One Art which was written by Elizabeth Bishop. Here is the poem:

One Art
By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Furthermore we also worked with a presentation to analyse this poem deeper:

Check out this post to see more content related to the poem.


Essay on the poem «For Heidi with Blue Hair»

In the last Literature classes, we have been working with the poem «For Heidi with Blue Hair». This is the essay I made based on it:

How does Adcock vividly convey solidarity and sympathy for Heidi in her poem “For Heidi with Blue Hair”?

In the poem “For Heidi with Blue Hair” Adcock vividly conveys solidarity and sympathy for Heidi by describing her situation and character by giving some details or ideas which makes us feel identified with her. These ideas are her rebellion and her mother’s death.

At the beginning of the poem it is told that Heidi was a girl who was sent home from school because she had died her hair blue. This, obviously, made readers think she was a rebel girl who just wanted to call people’s attention as most of the teens do. That made teen readers feel identified with her as many of them do this sort of things, and although many teens don’t do such “extreme” things, there is always the situation of rebellion and punishment. Furthermore, when his father had to talk with the school authorities he said “… she (Heidi) is not a punk in her behaviour…”, teens were also identified with this, as in this stage of life they do many things which don’t truly represent how they actually are although they know it and their parents know it. All in all, this kind of situation is the one most of the teens are used to be involved with as they are always trying to call the attention and do things which the would never do so they are able to feel identified with Heidi, due to this, they feel sympathy and solidarity for her.

In the fifth stanza of the poem it is easy to realize how the mood changed drastically from humorous to sorrowful. This happens because a really sad and key factor is mentioned: Heidi’s mother death. When the father says “It would have been unfair to mention yours (Heidi’s) mother’s death…” we can easily realize the reason of Heidi’s decision of dying her hair blue (symbolizes sadness). This makes readers feel empathy for her, but teenagers are particularly able to feel in her situation as, although most of them don’t do this kind of things because of these causes, they can feel as Heidi as there is always another reason for a rebellion apart from the reason people take into account at first sight. All in all they are able to feel empathy and sympathy for Heidi due to the association with her because of the deep causes of the rebellion.
        In conclusion, Adcock uses examples of situations most of the people are going to be identified with as they have , at least once, been involved in those conflicts, to make readers feel sympathy for Heidi in the poem “For Heidi with Blue Hair”.

Analysis on the poem «For Heidi With Blue Hair»

In our last Literature classes, we have been reading the poem for Heidi with blue hair and this class we were said to see a post in our professor’s blog and anwer the questions given in the presentation (inside the post).

Answers to the questions:

  • The poem is about a girl called Heidi (the author’s god-daughter) who dyed her hair blue and was sent home from school. Her father totally supported her decision and even discussed with the school authorities to defend her, but there was no result as he didn’t want to mention the fact that Heidi’s mother had recently died, which was a possible reason of why she decided to change her hair to blue (symbolises sadness). At the end of the story Heidi’s friend dyed her hair too but in the school colours to mock the school’s headmistress as she had told Heidi her hair wasn’t appropiate as it was not in the school colours.  The subject of the story is Heidi who had to cope with her mother’s death to what she responds dyeing her hair blue.
  • The writer purpose is to make a sort of tribute to Heidi who had such difficult times during her adolescence. Adcock’s intentions seem to be to make teenangers be indentified with Heidi.
  • The structure and puntuation reflect that the poem is written in a narrative style as there are, for example, dialogues inserted. Furthermore, Adcock uses a technique called enjambment which consists in ending stanzas without finishing the sentence so readers keep on reading.
  • The poem’s structure reinforces an important idea in her poem as the quantity of lines in each stanza is freely decided, but is the same quantity in each one. This reinforces the idea of freedom against conformity. Which is one of the themes of the poem as Heidi tries to be free against the strict school.
  • The headmistress and the teachers are made to sound ridiculous by using irony. For example: «… yours was, apart from anything else, not done in the school colours». In this quote she was refering to the colour of her hair and it isn’t normal to send  student home from school because she didn’t dye her hair in the school colours.
  • The tone is from Heidi’s god-mother and its mood and feelings are mostly mocking except for the fifth stanza in which Heidi’s mother death is mentioned. In this stanza the mood is sad, depressive and gloomy.
  • The tone and the feelings of the poem highlight the main ideas by using literary devices on them. A clear example is when the school is mocked by saying «… yours was, apart from anything else, not done in the school colours». This deals with the idea of school conformity.
  • Some literary devices used are: symbolism (blue hair), irony and metaphors.
  • The rebel in the poem is made to sound vulnerable by mentioning her mother’s death, which may have been the cause of her decision of dyeing her hair. She is supported by her father, who was in favour of her decision and her friend who decided to dye her hair in the school colours to mock the school.
  • The battle which is named at the end of the poem was the one fought against the school.

The Fall of The House of Usher-Extra Activity

Yesterday, in our Literature class we did a fotocopy with some question about The Fall of The House of Usher. At the end of it we had an optional activity in which we had to look for an image to illustrate a quote of the book.  Here is what I did:

“From a position fronting my own, he had gradually brought round his chair, so as to sit with his face to the door of the chamber; and thus I could but partially perceive his features, although I saw that his lips trembled as if he were murmuring inaudibly.”  (p. 16 paragraph 3)

I chose this picture because when I read that part of the story, I imagined Roderick Usher sitting in a chair, inside a dilapidated room dressed in a suit. I also believe, the man is quite similar to Roderick Usher according to the description given in the book.