Which assignment(s) did you enjoy the most – the movie review, the story, the poetry analysis, reading and discussing Kindred, the theme based essay, the museum visit/art analysis, or the blog posts – and why?
I really enjoyed all essay assignments in my analytical writing class this quarter. I knew I had to practice writing in English a lot because English is my second language; and I know it would be so nonsense if I cannot even write a paper with a college degree. I always made myself excuses for not practicing it, so this English class was very helpful of forcing myself to write something.
Among five essay assignments, I was most interested in the first essay, movie review assignment. I could have written about a movie I had already watched for the assignment, but I decided to watch one I had not watched yet. I randomly picked one film that had good ratings and thought about what aspects of the film I could focus while I was watching the film. The film I chose to write about was Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, directed by Lasse Hallström. It is based on the true story of Hachiko – Japanese dog breed Akita Inu, that is renowned for his remarkable loyalty to his owner. For nine years after the owner died, every day at the same time, Hachiko continued to come to the station to greet the owner. I enjoyed watching and writing about this movie not only because the movie was touching, but also the story simply focusing on one subject, the strong friendship between Hachi and his owner. That helped me find out what I need to focus on my paper.
Despite of spending much time on writing essays, my essays left me much to be desired. I never got a help from tutors in school because I always finished all my works in the last minute. If I write an essay next time, I will finish it much earlier than the deadline so that I can get help with my errors or develop the story further with fresh thoughts.
Kindred is a science-fiction-novel written by Octavia Butler and was published in 1979. You may think it is too old for science-fiction-story to be read now, but the book will amazingly sink you into the story of Dana, the main character of Kindred, with a touching plot. Even though Octavia does not explain how Dana time travels in details in Kindred, you can easily fall in love with the story. Most of the characters in the book are held in slavery in early 1800’s, and the overall mood of the book for me was a little bit dark. I believe that the darkness of the book definitely helped me get my emotion involved. If you like to find freedom and love in darkness mood, Kindred would be the one.
Dana is a young African-American woman who lives in 1976 and involuntarily time travels back to the early 1800’s. She time travels back and forth several times through the whole story, and what she is through in the early 1800’s is very touching. When she is in the early 1800’s, she lives like a slave; she is beaten and whipped by her master and has to watch people whom she loves die. Whenever she is in life threatening situation, she gets back to 1976; so you will see Dana’s dangerous situation several times in this novel. The best part of the novel for me is that Dana keeps high tension until the end of the story by showing Dana and her peoples’ desperate lives as slaves.
This novel shows sadness, love and freedom very straightforwardly just like the very first sentence of the book; the book starts with Dana’s saying that she lost her arm on a trip. Even though I know it was a novel, the tension of darkness mood and situations kept me focused on the story until the end of the story. If you are ready to be sunk into what she is through Kindred won’t be disappointing you.
The structure of Kindred is one of the reasons I like this novel. The book consists of Prologue, The River, The Fire, The Fall, The Fight, The Storm, The Rope and Epilogue. The most wonderful thing is that how Octavia structured this novel keeps me very interested in the story until the end. As I read each chapter one by one, I follow Dana’s emotion because of Octavia’s good structure.
In Prologue, it opens with Dana’s saying that she has lost her arm. With a police officer that suspects Kevin, Dana’s husband for harming Dana’s arm, Octavia establishes mysterious mood around Dana and her husband. In The River, Octavia shows Dana’s first-mysterious time travel. In the River and The Fall, Octavia slowly reveals why Dana is summoned to the past; it also reveals that Dana can travel the distance as well as the time. There is not detailed explain about how she time travels; however, I do not think it needs any scientific explain because the story is based on a slavery system in the early 1800’s in America, and knowing the historical background of the time is much more important than knowing how she can time travels. Moreover, Octavia creates good mysterious mood in the beginning, so it is good enough to be called science novel. In The Fall, Dana meets Rufus and figures out the relationship with him and the reason she is recalled. Everything for the story is set up.
If Epilogue and the first two chapters are for setting up the stage, the other chapters are real story that is very tense. It is interesting that the length of each chapter gets longer and gets shorter again in the end. I believe that the structure of this novel definitely helps me follow how Dana feels through the story. In the first two chapters, I could feel curious and fear just like how Dana would feel.
Octavia Estelle Butler was a fabulous novel writer. Not only because she was an African-American female writer in 1970’s, but also because she knew how to draw readers into the characters’ emotions. I know how hard creating good novels is, and she must have some secrets to do so. The historical background of Kindred is in the early 1800’s; and most of characters are held slavery, and the story well shows sadness of being a slave. I believe that Octavia could write this novel amazingly because she was truly understanding sorrow and longing for freedom of African-Americans in the period time. She must had had some sympathetic feeling for those who died as a slave in the past. Octavia said that she loved to read science fiction novels and started to write science fiction when she was twelve years old. I am grateful that she happened to love science fiction so that she could write thrilling science-fiction novels with a heartful plot later.
A message is a thought or an idea that we want to deliver to other people. Message always has a point. The point can be very straightforward, but sometimes it is hard to be recognized.
A method is how you express your message to deliver in the right tone or mood that you intend. According to Convergences, same messages can be delivered in many different ways such as different tones or levels of formality. Depends on methods of delivering messages, receivers can have different levels of impacts. Convergences emphasizes on composition skills to have a better method to deliver messages. If you are using a song, a graphic design, photo, film or an essay to express your message, good composition skills are essential.
Medium conveys messages and methods. It works like a canvas that you can paint your message on.
Convergences talks about the message, method and medium. If you have a clear message, use creative method in suitable medium, receivers can have bigger impacts when they see or hear the message.
This Spanish ad shows a hidden message for children under 4’4” to prevent child abuse.
For the case a child is with his aggressor, different messages will be seen depending on the readers’ heights. This is a good example of using smart message for a message. The ad is visible to adults, or people over 4-foot-4, shows a child’s face and a message that says, “Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.” But, under 4-foot-4, the image shows the bruises on the child’s face and a bloody lip. A secret message appears that says, “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you,” and a phone number is listed.