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Friday, July 15, 2011

Short Story Analysis: "The Rocking Horse Winner" by DH Lawrence

I. THE ROCKING HORSE WINNER      

By DH Lawrence

II. SYNOPSIS / SUMMARY

         A mother who has a son and two daughters is not contented with her marriage because she married a poor, unlucky man. But although they are a poor family, they live in style. She wants money, and nothing but money. She does not love her kids.

        Paul, her son, wants to help his mother have money, especially that their household seems to shout “more money!” He regards himself as lucky, so he tries his luck at betting for a horse at the derby together with his Uncle Oscar. This luck comes from his “foreseeing the winning horse” when he rides his rocking horse at home. Indeed, the horse he has placed a bet on wins, and he gets ten thousand pounds. 

          With the help of Uncle Oscar, five thousand pounds is put away for Paul’s mother who receives a thousand for five successive years, on her birthday, under the impression that such money is from a relative. However, greedy as he is, she wants the whole amount at once, and she gets it, with Paul’s approval. Then the household becomes stylish as ever, and it seems to shout all the more “more money!”

         Wanting to please her mother, Paul rides his rocking horse often. One night, he fell from it from riding so hard and gets hurt badly. That fatal ride has earned him eighty thousand from the winning horse. On his death bed, he seems happy and proud that he has won, for his selfish mother.
III. SHORT STORY ELEMENTS

A. MAJOR CHARACTERS

1.  Hester- the greedy mother
2   Paul – her son who can “foresee” which horse will win
3.  Uncle Oscar – Paul’s companion at the derby
4.  Bassett – the gardener who Paul considers as his bestfriend and partner in betting at horses

B. PLOT 

a)  Introduction

      This story begins by describing the woman as beautiful yet unlucky because she married a poor man.

b)  Rising Action

      Even if they live in style, the woman’s and her husband’s income put together is not enough. Hence, the household has an unspoken phrase: “more money!”

c)  Climax

        Paul wins ten thousand at the derby.

d)   Falling action

       Although Paul has “foreseen” the winning horse’s name wherein he eventually earns eighty thousand, he falls from the rocking horse.

       e)  Denouement

        The dying Paul still has his mother on his mind, and he is happy that he won eighty thousand for her.

C. SETTING
       a)  place –  in England
       b)  time-  after World War I
       c)  weather conditions - fine
       d)  social conditions- the family was poor yet lived in style
       e)  mood or atmosphere –tense
D. POINT OF VIEW
           The Point of View used in this short story is the Omniscient ObjectiveThe author tells the story in the third person.  It appears as though a camera is following the characters, going anywhere, and recording only what is seen and heard.  There is no comment on the characters or their thoughts. No interpretations are offered.  The reader is placed in the position of spectator without the author there to explain.  The reader has to interpret events on his own.

E. LITERARY DEVICES

             In my opinion, the literary devices used in this story are Symbolism and Irony.

         Symbolism – I believe that the rocking horse here stands for the luck from which Paul gets to “foresee” the winning horse’s name. On the other hand, the household’s unspoken yet dominant phrase “more money” symbolizes greed, selfishness, and materialism.

         Irony – The mother gets big money in exchange for her son Paul’s life.

        
F. THEME

              For me, the themes It is not good to be greedy and also Live within your means are applicable to this story.

G. CONFLICT

               The conflicts here are Internal:

Man vs. Circumstances (classical) - The leading character struggles against fate, or the circumstances of life facing him/her. 

                 The greedy Hester is unhappy about being poor. Meanwhile, Paul is unhappy that his mother is unhappy.

Man vs. Society (social) - The leading character struggles against ideas, practices, or customs of other people.
 
                   Hester wants to “keep up with the Joneses.”    -- ARV


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Personal Essay: What Happens After Death?


Seen in a higher perspective, life itself is a great mystery. Being alive connotes many unanswered questions. Actually, from the time of conception, this mystery already begins. Many people just do not focus on it because the daily pace of living is quite fast.

Everyone is here on earth only temporarily since death comes anytime. Nobody is spared from death.  Even the most powerful, the strongest, and the richest, will eventually die. It is in fact true that we are all equal because we all have some common factors and amongst them is dying.

Children included, practically everybody is aware that when somebody dies, that is it, end of life. But what really is death? The common perception is actually correct, because death is simply the conclusion of life’s functions, and such happens to all living things. Thus, when a particular living creature’s body cannot normally operate any longer, the internal organs give up. Every part inside the body interacts with each other; therefore, if one surrenders, the rest usually follows, unless a remedy is applied to the malfunctioning part. 

Now, what happens after death? This is truly a deep question that requires deeper answers. There are many explanations and personal experiences that point to the notion that there is life after death. For numerous individuals, it is still a notion because no living person knows exactly. They believe that near-death-experiences are merely hallucinations that result from the involved persons’ brains’ reactions to what they have always believed in. It is just like any cause-and-effect situation.

In reality, death is something no mortal can ever fathom. How much more what happens after? Human intelligence has certain limitations; the questions regarding death are still asked up to now. Though it is part of life, many think that death must not be dwelled on too much, because there are more important matters that need attention. -- ARV

A Very Inspiring Song (An OPM): "Take Me Out of the Dark" by Gary Valenciano

I was in high school when this song first came out, and I already liked it during those times. However, I liked it superficially, only for the powerful background music and for Gary V.'s soulful rendition. Fast forward to this time, this song has a deeper meaning, and it now has a big impact on me. The lines here are applicable to my life, especially that these days, I am "in the dark" which is a figure of speech that means I am very much troubled. But, I don't want to be in the dark anymore, and I need the Lord to help me get out from it. --ARV

Just what is it in me
Sometimes I just don’t know
What keeps me in your love
Why you never let me go
And though you’re in me now
I fall and hurt you still
My Lord, please show me how
To know just how you feel
You have forgiven me
Too many times, it seems
I feel I’m not what you might call
A worthy Christian after all
And though I love you so
Temptation find its way to me

[chorus]
Teach me to trust in you with all of my heart
To lean not on my own understanding
‘Cause I just forget
You won’t give me what I can’t bear
Take me out of the dark, my Lord
I don’t wanna be there
No, no, no more
You’ve never left my side
You gave your hand to me
To hold you, Oh Jesus,
I’m no longer in the cold
And yet, I leave you there
When I feel satisfied
I’d like to thank you everyday
Not only when I feel this way
I’ve never known a man who’d give his life
For sinners like me
And yet because he loves us so
He’s promised us eternity
And we can have that promise and be His
If we have faith and just believe

[chorus]
Teach us to trust in you with all of our heart
To lean not on our own understanding
‘Cause we just forget
You won’t give us what we can’t bear
Take us out of the dark, my Lord
‘Coz we don’t wanna be alone
Take us out of the dark, my Lord
We don’t wanna be there
No, no, my Lord



(Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56MOXmgCa4Y&feature=related)

Thesis Writing: The Main Parts

    
CHAPTERS:

1.      THE PROBLEM
                  Introduction                                                                                                                              
                  Theoretical Framework                                                              
                  Statement of the Problem                                                          
                  Significance of the Study                                                          
                  Scope and Delimitation                                                             
                  Research Methodology                                                             
                  Definition of Terms                                                                    
              2.  REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES
                  Related Literature                                                                      
                  Related Studies                                                                          
              3. LITERARY PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
                   Problem 1
                   Problem 3
                   Problem 3
              4. SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
                   Summary
                   Findings
                   Conclusion
                   Recommendation
              BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                                                          
              APPENDICES                                                                                              

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Movie (DVD) I Just Watched: “Firehouse Dog”

                                                      Summary:

A Hollywood dog-star named Rexxx is separated from his master when the plane he was riding crashed. He (Rexxx) is deemed as dead, but actually he is wandering around the streets until he is found by a boy named Shane (Josh Hutcherson), the only child of a fireman named Connor (Bruce Greenwood) who is a single parent and whose brother, the ex-captain of the fire department, died in a fire accident.

Because of Rexxx, Shane becomes a better son to his dad. By the way, Shane has named Rexxx Dewey. Slowly, the lovable dog becomes the mascot of that local fire department, saving lives and making the entire department happy and alert. But, during a major event, Dewey’s real owner shows up and gets the dog back, leaving Shane very lonely.

Whilst in the hotel with his real owner, Rexxx/Dewey hears a fire truck from afar. He jumps from the window to where the siren’s sound is coming from. Later, he is reunited with Shane, but not happily because they both become trapped in the fire (inside the fire station) set by the mastermind of the fire wherein Shane’s uncle died. The whole team is someplace else because of another intentional fire to cover up the arson, for some big people’s selfish intentions regarding real estate.

Due to Dewey’s heroic deed in that fire where he and Shane almost perished, he and the fire department get medals. The ending is a happy one because Dewey’s owner decides that Shane be the new owner. --ARV

The trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzRddC5mJLA):

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One of my Fave Movies: "Fireproof"

This is one of my favorite movies:


Although this was released in 2008, I watched it only recently through DVD. I was so touched by the husband’s and the wife’s rediscovering of their love for each other.

At the start of the movie, Caleb Holt, portrayed by Kirk Cameron, a firefighter, is shown as being distant from his wife Catherine, portrayed by Erin Bethea, because of his being selfish, moody, and cold. More so, he is addicted to online pornography. Catherine thinks that he is more interested in surfing such in the internet, as much as he is bent on saving up thousands of dollars for his dream boat, than making their marriage work. They always fight even over trivial matters. In this regard, they are eyeing divorce.

One day, Caleb’s dad gives him (through mail) a 40-day self-test personally called “The Love Dare” wherein being a Christian really matters, and which has been proven and tested by his dad himself, thus his parents’ steady married life. During the first few days, Caleb has difficulty in implementing this test, to the point of almost giving up. Catherine thinks he is not sincere, hence her coldness towards his attempts in saving their marriage. She becomes closer with Dr. Keller, a co-worker of hers.

Slowly, Catherine sees her husband’s transformation and she believes in his sincerity, most especially after she learns that it was he who donated $24,000, the money he has been saving up for his boat, for her mother’s much-needed medical equipment. At first, she has thought that it was Dr. Keller who donated the entire amount of $24,300; she almost gives in to her "feelings" for him. However, later, she finds out that the doctor gave only $300.

Indeed, this movie is heart-warming and touching. The happy ending shows Caleb and Catherine marrying again. This time, they are a renewed couple; a pair of devoted Christians. --ARV

Below is the trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYsQFH1T9Xs):





Applying the Cognitive Domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy to the wonderful story "The King of Persia and the Princess of the Sea"