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International Baccalaureate: World Literature

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  1. "Life of Pi" commentary

    and unremittingly trying to save the life of the Bengal tiger Richard Parker ("Don't you love life, Richard Parker? Keep swimming then!") This way the author has made the story look more realistic, as it shows the boy is not only a strong and totally positive figure, but is a normal human that have common weaknesses (blaming fate and fear of death) as well. The storyline of the extract is quite exciting and catchy, as the author has placed the main character in a circumstance that is full of danger from the beginning of the extract. The three simple words at the very beginning of the extract, "The ship sank", didn't only describe the situation but also left place for the reader's imagination.

    • Word count: 812
  2. The poem Tulips written by Sylvia Plath has very much to do with her own experience

    The poem is written in first person like an interior monologue, which is easier for the readers to put themselves into the author's shoe and sympathize her. The tone Plath used gives the readers a feeling that there are so much emotions and pain are covered under the serene mask of the patient: "My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;/Their smile catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks" (line 20-21). The words here have created a strange atmosphere, as if the author is describing something that happens everyday in a calm tone, yet the message behind the text is unthinkable cruel.

    • Word count: 578
  3. In the poem The Cyclist by Louis MacNiece the readers are invited to share the joy and freedom of the cycling the boys are experiencing in summer via various literary devices. Through the use of theme, juxtaposition,

    The speed of the bike is emphasized even more when the verb is juxtaposed with the "unpassing horse" (line 1). Because the boy is riding the bicycle with the pedals at rest, it also gives the feeling that the boy is relaxing so he can enjoy the moment of wind "cools the sweat of his neck" (line 3) to the fullest. Unfortunately, after a few lines later the readers find out although the boy seems to be free, he is still restricted "between the horizon's brackets" (line 6).

    • Word count: 886
  4. The depiction of life choices are seen through the works of Carl Sandburgs Choices and Robert Frosts The Road Not Taken and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

    In the poem, "The Road Not Taken", there is a decision that has to be made between two paths. This poem discusses the dilemma that a person comes to when there is a fork in the road. The road is a symbol of the options we have in life and difficulty people have in making those choices. As the speaker contemplates which road to take, and whichever one is chosen will bring good or bad outcomes. At this point in the poem the speaker is in a state of confusion "And looked down as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth", by taking time to evaluate the choices the "less traveled" road is chosen.

    • Word count: 1418
  5. In the novel "Invisible man", by Ralph Ellison there is a central focus of identity and race.

    He formulates this sense of doubt and it forces him to believe what his bosses make of him. "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me", the narrator follows this ideology and it leads to superiority of white men over him. Though this portrays his hidden identity, it signifies people's ignorance of his presence. Norton, Bledsoe and Brother Jack all have the capability of seeing the invisible man but they choose not to. This is one example of the weakness of his identity versus the white supremacy.

    • Word count: 856
  6. Madame Bovary Reflective Statement

    For one, it was easy to understand Emma's outright desire for the greater good. Flaubert's explicit portrayal of her extremely materialistic nature can be interpreted as her want towards a better life, with fancier items to show her higher social class. This is still accurate in most people's lives, wanting to accumulate on 'better' tangible items to show their social status, widely shown through people's unnecessary greed for items and money.

    • Word count: 423
  7. All of the characters who experience misfortune in Othello bring it upon themselves. Discuss the truth of this statement.

    (3.3.38), and, "Why of thy thought, Iago?" (3.3.108), regarding the touchy circumstance of Cassio's apparent affair. In previous scenes, Othello has been portrayed otherwise through his vibrant stories and expressive nature. The underlying tone of curiosity between his dialogue with Iago reveals the sudden change in his thought. By confirming with Iago such questions, he slowly allows himself to become manifested with preposterous insecurities regarding his wife's faithfulness, slowly bringing him to sheer insanity thereby bringing him to his downfall. Othello continues to dwell upon his mislead thoughts by comparing himself to a hideous creature as he explains, "I had rather be a toad/ And live upon the vapor of a dungeon/ Than keep a corner in the thing I love/ For other's uses."

    • Word count: 1391
  8. "Love in the times of Cholera". Through out the novel the symptoms of unrequited love and cholera are stated and they seem to have a inevitable resemblance.

    Cholera is a incurable disease, meaning that once it starts there are no ways to stop it but there are medicines that may decrease the pain, this characteristics of cholera is also reflected in love, because as showed in the book love is a permanent and perdurable feeling that would not vanish in time but that as Florentino does by establishing relationships and having sex with a lot of women, it may be appeased. The literal and metaphoric functions of cholera plague in the novel are the following, the literal function is to relate love with a horrible disease that

    • Word count: 1142
  9. What significance does the theme of innocence versus guilty play in the novel, The Assault, by Harry Mulisch?

    Anton's apathy and attempts of forgetfulness toward the killings makes him guilty in the novel; however, the fact that Anton's only mechanism for coping with the tragedy is detachment and forgetting gives him the characteristic of innocence thus raising important questions of guilt and innocence in his character. Anton's apathetic characteristic can be seen when he gains the "awareness that his house no longer existed [, coming] briefly but vanish[ing] at once (43)." Here Anton gains this awareness of a tragic event and quickly decides not to impose any guilt upon himself thus making him guilty, but because of the dreadful events that have happened to him, this can be seen as simple innocence of a teenage boy.

    • Word count: 1260
  10. Ms Julie is considered a Naturalistic play. What characterizes it as one?

    For example, Miss Julie is an aristocrat that is subjected to and subsequently rebelling against the social norms of her time. These social norms are very obviously part of her environment that she is dismissing as unimportant, or worth the risk. The first action that creates this snub is when Miss Julie enters the kitchen, which is also considered the servant's quarters. The mistress of the house should not be associating with the servants and yet not only does she associate with the servants in the kitchen, but also by celebrating mid-summers eve with the other servants at their dance.

    • Word count: 1548
  11. Fighting Ruben Wolfe Alternative Ending Creative Response

    I hear the bell. With it, the crowd comes storming into my ears. I walk forward and throw the first punch. I miss. Then Rube swings and gets me on the shoulder. There's no slow beginning, no warm-up period or watching time. I move in hard and get underneath. I hit him. Hard on the chin. It hurts him. I see it. I see it because I want it more and he is there to be hurt. He's there to be beaten and I'm the only one in the ring to do it.

    • Word count: 1068
  12. In the comic The Veil, Marjane Satrapi describes the Islamic revolution and women without a choice of freedom. She uses simple comic pictures to tell her story.

    He believes that comics are written for every one and not just for children. He demonstrates comic to introduce it to people so they would understand it better. Both writers use comics to develop their thoughts. Satrapi conveys emotions visually through the graphics depicting her childhood story, which was more effective to the reader.

    • Word count: 324
  13. Wonderful Fool (Susaku Endo) Quote Analysis in Terms of Aspects of Tokyo and Japan

    The green leaves of the trees were wet with rain and reflected whatever light still reached them. Large flowers, whose name he did not know, were in bloom of the hedges that enclosed the houses" (Pg. 192, Ch. 10) a) The passage is narrated by the author from a 3rd point of view. It is describing the poverty of the Tohoku area, which is surrounding Gaston. b) The stillness and quiet setting of the street creates a reflective mood and alludes to the theme of Gaston's isolation and alienation. It echoes Gaston's inner state. Gaston's soul is empty because he does not belong anywhere and has accomplished nothing in life so far.

    • Word count: 3869
  14. Kafka vs Gogol Crossing of the Boundaries in The Metamorphosis and The Nose: a Comparative Analysis.

    very proud of himself for having been able to provide his parents and sister with a life like that, in such a beautiful apartment" (Kafka 25). After his transformation, Gregor does not stop thinking about his family but he also understands that he is no longer needed to his relatives. A similar change to a predetermined life is portrayed in Gogol's "Nose": the protagonist Major Kovalev cannot imagine himself outside of his customary social context. His only life path is to live for himself and for his personal benefit.

    • Word count: 1243
  15. Two Kinds, a short story by Tan, and Under Pressure, a story by Honore both explore the issue of undue expectations people have on other children, in this case a mother to her child. The prevailing theme in both of these extrac

    Their contexts are also very distinct; Amy Tan was a Chinese-American living in America who with her novel reminisced about her mother-dominated childhood, while Honore wrote his book as a self-help guide to Parenting and hence used Thrale as an example of why childhood is being lost due to the "Culture of Hyper-Parenting." These two extracts however both examine the children's point of view from an adult point of view, and both attempt to explain the problems associated with over-protective parenting and their effects on the children.

    • Word count: 1424
  16. Reflective statements on "The Stranger" and The Inhabited Woman

    It explains the way Meursault's character was; pessimistic and isolated. During the Interactive Oral Discussion we discussed the way his way of being was what people were really judging him by during his murder trial. During the time that this novel took place, "character" was an important part of the law system, and the French were considered superior to the Arabs. Which is why Meursault's murder trial was so interesting to some people. They were interested in the lack of grief over his mother's death, rather than the death of the Arab.

    • Word count: 1044
  17. Isolation was a huge theme throughout The Stranger; reasons why Meursault was isolated were not directly stated though.

    Most of the western front was in France, and many of their villages were destroyed. This was a very difficult time period for many people there, because they had lost many loved ones. France alone after World War I had more than a million deaths, which was more deaths than in any other country. Many of their men had gone off to war, and a lot of them did not come back home, and the ones who did, did not return home safely. This time period was a time of depression for most French people.

    • Word count: 1310
  18. Art features and stylistic devices of the novel Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.

    Author's plan is made with meditations and reasoning, that's why its language is philosophical, it contains lots of long sentences, rich epithets, different metaphors and some other stylistic devices. Outward plan consists of different parables and single stories. The language of every little novel depends on its plot. For example, the novel about The Lonely One and his victims is written in detective style of waiting, pursuit and fear, it's a typical "horror story" with lots of expression, short sentences. The novel about wrangle of Mrs. Goodwater and Elmira Brown, a high-strung woman, is a great example of witty satire.

    • Word count: 1168
  19. Allusions and metaphors in A lickpenny lover by O. Henry.

    The match is between a team from "The Archangels" and one from "The Skidars". The Archangels are from a British (almost certainly) Cavalry regiment, whose members are well-to-do: The Skidars are a "poor but honest native infantry regiment", whose British officers probably had little to live on beyond their pay. After an epic struggle, the Skidars are victorious. The Maltese cat is the main hero of this story, she helps the team to win because of her great wisdom and skills, which are described in a short quotation: "That's because we play with our heads as well as our feet".

    • Word count: 766
  20. Characteristics of the main personalities of the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

    The characters of the play are also very realistic and specific, I think that everyone of them deserves special note. Blanche DuBois is a complex individual who provokes strong reactions from the other characters. We know that she has been a schoolteacher in Mississippi but was asked to leave her job because of an obscure story with a student, that she was once a Southern belle from a wealthy family, and that she has a failed marriage and doubtful past which she has left behind.

    • Word count: 1261
  21. Duong Thu Huong writes Paradise of the Blind intending to expose the poor workings and of Communism and demonstrate the adverse effects felt by the people effected.

    Hang recalls the 'beauty' of the 'swans as they floated, regal and serene across the rice paddies', she is then abruptly interrupted as a 'screech owl cried' making her 'jump'. These examples of natural imagery provide a sudden shift to the present supporting Hang's belief that beauty 'existed only in her memory'. When Hang returns to the present where there is clearly no mention of 'greenness warming the gold at dusk', instead these luscious images are juxtaposed with the unpleasant sound of 'croaking bullfrogs' and 'paths' that 'snaked through the graves'.

    • Word count: 1056
  22. The poem Ispahan Carpet written by Elizabeth Burge explores the cruel conditions the makers of a carpet sweat shop are subjected to.

    It also suggests that this is a 'silent' suffering, not only physical but psychological. From the second line of the poem the speaker already positions the reader to feel sorry for the workers. The word 'gallows' is used to describe the 'timber' frames the family weaves the carpets on but also carries a connotation of death and punishment. It evokes the image in the readers mind of a rope hanging over the families head capable at any time of taking their lives from them, keeping them caged and unable to break free from the chains of slavery.

    • Word count: 1239
  23. An investigation into the roles of social protocol in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Like Water for Chocolate

    Sozhenitsyn's presentation of prisoners in the gulag highlights the benefits of social protocols introduced by inmates as a coping mechanism. This allows the reader to greater understand the significance of maintaining one's humanity in the extreme situations the prisoners are faced with. Early in the novel we learn that Shukov 'insists on removing his cap before eating'. This practice of etiquette carried on from his 'upbringing' gives him the feeling that he is behaving in a 'civilised manner'. Having little control over nearly ever aspect of his life in the camp, this simple action reinforces to the reader and Shukov himself that he can retain what little sense of dignity he has.

    • Word count: 1023
  24. Present how Meursaults indifference was feigned in chapters 4-5 of "The Stranger".

    Who's the accused here? Being accused counts for something. And I have something to say!' but on second thought, I didn't have anything to say. This quote is full of clues on what he is actually saying, if it was a true indifference, again he wouldn't even have a first thought about saying his opinion, indifference is a lack of interest, concern, or sympathy, and he looks pretty interested in his judging, though I think that so much stress happened to break his composure and he lost so called "indifference". What I think in chapter 4 and 5 he particularly feigned his indifference as his way of not caring because dying was inevitable, and what forced him to break, or lose his cool like in the previous quote.

    • Word count: 1174
  25. Though a piece of fictional literature, The Stranger is an embodiment of an actual philosophical movement that took rise in the 20th century, existentialism.

    As the story progresses and comes to an end the reader comes to question just how successful Camus was in his intent to create a character set apart from the world, he doesn't. Quite on the contrary, the conclusion of the novel reveals a Mersault, whose indifference can only be compared to that of the world, bringing them together instead of apart. As a product of the intellectual climate of that age, Mersault is a character that gives the impression of a man who leads a simple life, doing what he wants, free of the guilt or faults he would face if he did take into consideration the judgment of his peers.

    • Word count: 1163

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