Short Story #3 – “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

1. Provide the title and author of your story.  Then write a well-developed paragraph in response to the story.  Some questions to think about: did you like it or not?  Why? How did the story make you feel? Does this make you want to read other stories by this author? Would you recommend this story to someone else? Why?

The  short story that I will be “ranting” about is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber. I honestly did enjoy this story because the transitions between Mitty’s fantasies and the real world just abruptly stop, afterwards the event or “trigger” that starts the fantasies are amazing such as a hospital, reading a book on Germany or any other casual thing that one might find. This story made feel somewhat invigorating because there were good fantasies that actually make the reader want more. If I had the opportunity to read more stories from this author I would most definitely read the other works from this author. I would totally recommend this to anyone whom also experiences such fantasies, enjoys a good fantasy, or in general a good story to read.

2. Conflict Analysis.  What is the central conflict of this short story, how does the author create tension or suspense surrounding this conflict, and how is it resolved?  Use text evidence (quotes!) to support your response.  Your response should be a well-developed paragraph.

The central conflict of this story, that I would say, would be that Mitty cannot focus enough to do tasks in the real world, he constantly haves these fantasies that occasionally end in him getting into trouble. Whats even more suspenseful is that the reader does not know what is going on in the real world, for all we know Mitty could be in the middle of a fire or almost falling off a bridge. For example, “Not so fast! You’re driving too fast!” said Mrs. Mitty. “What are you driving so fast for?” “Hmm?” said Walter Mitty. He looked at his wife, in the seat beside him, with shocked astonishment.” In the scene before this, Mitty was a pilot of a Navy hydroplane of which causes Mitty to be driving over 55 instead of 40. Another sample of his reckless fantasies would be when Mitty becomes a surgeon in a one-of-a-kind surgery, in which afterwards he nearly crashes with a Buick. “Back it up, Mac! Look out for that Buick!” Walter Mitty jammed on the brakes. “Wrong lane, Mac,” said the parking-lot attendant, looking at Mitty closely.” However, there is one fantasy ended with “Puppy biscuit,” said Walter Mitty.”  The fantasy that made this happen, had Mitty as an assassin testifying in a court in which ends with him saying puppy biscuit due to the District Attorney saying “You miserable cur!” and being a laughed at by a passing woman. The way that I think the way that the story resolves itself is that Walter Mitty accepts the fact that no one can change him by having the last fantasy be him facing “the firing squad; erect and motionless, proud and disdainful, Walter Mitty the Undefeated, inscrutable to the last.”

3. Compare and Contrast.  Pick two of your short stories (and be sure to tell me which ones!).  In a well-developed paragraph, compare and contrast the authors’ styles.  Things you might consider: diction, syntax, tone, setting, genre, etc.  Be sure to use text evidence!!!

The two stories that I will be comparing and contrasting would be “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and “The Most Dangerous Game.” I would say that the story “The Most Dangerous Game” is more of a serious style due to the mood the story sets, such as the conversation between Rainsford and General Zaroff, ” “But no animal can reason,” objected Rainsford. “My dear fellow,” said the general, “there is one that can.” “But you can’t mean–” gasped Rainsford. “And why not?” ” I can’t believe you are serious, General Zaroff. This is a grisly joke.” By this conversation, we can assume that the rest of the story is going to have a more serious tone and setting. On the other hand, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” has more of a cheerful tone and setting, the following example sets the mood…at the end of the story, however, it on were to read it again the story is cheerful, “Then, with that faint, fleeting smile playing about his lips, he faced….Walter Mitty the Undefeated, inscrutable to the last.” The diction also sets them apart because “The Most Dangerous Game” has a more eerie word choice such as the following, “The, as he stepped forward, his foot sank into the ooze. He tried to wrench it back, but the muck sucked viciously at his foot as if it were a giant leech.” However, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the opposite of such word choice, there may be some words that one would not understand but its better than the other story, such as, ” The crew bending…looked at each other and grinned. ‘The Old Man’ll get us through,’ they said to one another. ‘The Old Man ain’t afraid of Hell!” “The Most Dangerous Game” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” are both similar and different in their own ways in that one is more serious than the other, the word choice of the authors helped determine that style, and that both are exiting to the reader.


Short Story #2 – “The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings”

1. Provide the title and author of your story.  Then write a well-developed paragraph in response to the story.  Some questions to think about: did you like it or not?  Why? How did the story make you feel? Does this make you want to read other stories by this author? Would you recommend this story to someone else? Why?

The short story I will be discussing is “The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I did not like this story because I didn’t expect it to be somewhat descriptive and moody, the story was somewhat okay but it would’ve been better if there was more to this story. This story didn’t make me have deep emotions, as I read through the story my first initial reaction was “oh, how strange and confusing.” If I had the opportunity to read more stories from this author I would give it another go, it may have been me or the story but everything deserves a second chance. I would recommend this story to others if they had the guts to interpret this story, read through some pages to get to some of the “interesting” parts, and read (what I think) the most strangest ending to a short story ever.

2. Diction analysis.  Diction means “word choice”.  The denotation of a word is its dictionary definition; the connotation of a word is what the word implies or what readers tend to associate with the word.  Many words may have nearly identical denotations, but their connotations can be very different.  For example: frigid, chilly, brisk, and numbing all more or less have the same denotation of “cold”.  But their connotations are very different: chilly or brisk temperatures call for a jacket or sweater, but frigid temperatures probably indicate the need for a coat and a hat.  Examine the diction used in the story, and write a well-developed paragraph about the diction.  Choose a few words (maybe 5-8) and discuss them: why did the author choose these specific words rather than other, similar words?   What do these words connote that other words might not?  How does the author’s diction enhance the story?

Some of the words in the short story that I found interesting were magnanimous, myrrh, antiquarian, pilgrims, and heartrending. Magnanimous is a synonym of giving and kind, however, I think the author chose this word over other words because Pelayo and Elisenda decided to send him on a raft with supplies towards his fate, they felt considerate of the angel and tried to return him to where he came from, this is what magnanimous means; being generous by doing something. Myrrh is another word that is really intriguing, when the couple “burned tears of myrrh inside it every so often, it was not in homage to the angel but to drive away the dungheap stench that still hung everywhere,” myrrh is an excellent alternative to aroma or scent because most people are used to using aroma or scent but myrrh is just mysterious until someone finds the actual meaning. Antiquarian is another fancy word that I find amazing, first off, it describes when the angel “only lifted his antiquarian eyes and murmured something in his dialect.” Since the author is deciding to use antiquarian, it gives the feeling of something antique or primitive when looking into the angel’s eyes. Pilgrims though is somewhat used properly in this short story because the couple uses the angel as means of profits, they gained so much profit that “the line of pilgrims waiting their turn to enter still reached beyond the horizon.” These people are waiting in line just to see the angel and some are not actually pilgrims but more like having a pilgrimage to this place in hopes of finding something, thus earning them the names of pilgrims in the story. Most of all, the word heartrending is just a word that makes someone feel bad for something or someone such as the woman who got turned into a spider, who had “the sincere affliction with which she recounted the details of her misfortune.” The author just breaks the persons heart when the reader reaches the part about the spider woman’s misfortune. In general the author uses amazing diction to describe some of the details in the story, the story may have not captured my eye (plot wise) but the diction was the one thing that interested me.

Short Story #1 – “The Most Dangerous Game”

1. Provide the title and author of your story.  Then write a well-developed paragraph in response to the story.  Some questions to think about: did you like it or not?  Why? How did the story make you feel? Does this make you want to read other stories by this author? Would you recommend this story to someone else? Why?

The short story that I will be talking about is “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. This story is a very good piece of literature, due to first, the protagonist (aka Sanger Rainsford) falling off a yacht and ending up in a mysterious island called Ship Trap Island by the sailors who pass by the island, another factor was that the hunting was not something I expected, instead of hunting the usual which would be animals, the hunted is man himself. This story currently makes me feel uncomfortable and sick at the same time, due to the fact the Rainsford is being hunted by a another man who enjoys “man hunts.” This story actually does make me intrigued to read more stories by this author to see if this author has any more creepy/interesting stories. I would recommend this story to anyone who is interested in a plot that seems to get darker as you keep reading the story, this story is quite a piece of literature in which the hunter has become the hunted, in which the hunted must survive on its given supplies and of course…nature itself.

2. Style analysis.  Examine the punctuation used in the story.  Choose 1 or 2 sentences with interesting punctuation, and write a well-developed paragraph analyzing the usage and effect of the punctuation.

The following sentence, I find very interesting. “Tonight,” said the general, “we will hunt–you and I.” This sentence is very interesting because of the way he speaks, he starts with “Tonight, we will hunt” but the interesting part about this sentence are the two hyphens after “we will hunt.” This gives an ominous feeling that the something is about to happen, especially when the general ends with “you and I.” The usage of this hyphen is very well because it gives a small pause then continues the story that gives an ominous feeling that something will occur if the two were to go “hunting.” By saying “we will hunt–you and I,” the general is implying that this hunt is no ordinary hunt, this is why the two hyphen’s after “we will hunt” are so perfectly placed, to give the reader a sense of dread and fear due to the general saying that the hunt will only compose of him and Rainsford.

Ready Player One Part 3

Answer each of the following questions in well-developed paragraphs.  Be sure to use spell check, proofread, and edit: your responses will be graded for content AND quality

1. Provide the title and author of your book.

The title of this book is Ready Player One, written by Ernest Cline.

2. What is the point of your book?  Did the author achieve their purpose?  If so, how?  If not, why not?  (In other words: what is the reader supposed to learn or realize from this book?)  Use text evidence to support your response.

The point of Ready Player One is to enjoy life, adventure and the 1980’s culture. The author did achieve this by using the 1980’s culture as the basis to this book and also making it a necessity for those trying to find Halliday’s easter egg. “Most of the entries…and ’80s pop culture, mixed with humorous diatribes denouncing everything from organized religion to diet soda.” (p. 7) This quote shows us that the creator of the OASIS had an interest in the 1980’s thus making it as a base for his easter egg hunt. The following quote explains what had happened when there was “a global fascination with 1980s pop culture.” “Fifty years after the decade had ended, the movies, music, games, and fashions of the 1980’s were all the rage once again.” (p. 7)

3. Explain how your book reflects history.  Your book may tie in directly (ie – nonfiction, or fictionalizing actual events) or thematically (ie – your book may be about revolution … how does that compare to what we’ve learned about revolutions thusfar this year?).  If you cannot think of any connections, PLEASE come speak with me IMMEDIATELY!!!

My book reflects the late 1970’s and the 1980’s culture, the book itself has many references to 1980’s culture of which we have not yet gone over, but most of the novels references are actually nonfiction and they all exist (is some way) in the real world. Although we may have not yet gone over what was happening in the 1980s, the novel has some other tie in with past events and people that the reader may or may not know.

4. Persuade me, Tess Mueggenborg, whether or not I should read your book.  You MAY use “I” in this response.  Use text evidence to support your response.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has some knowledge of the 1980’s pop culture, but in some cases its not necessary to know the culture of the 1980’s because the book will have some way of explaining those references. “A famous eccentric, Halliday…crammed with obscure ’80s pop culture…were lost on me the first time I viewed it.” (p. 2) This quote explains to us that the protagonist Wade had problems getting some of the references in this video but as time passed he got to familiarize himself with the 1980’s by reading Anorak’s Almanac of which contained useful information about Halliday and his obsession with the 1980s. Anyways, this novel is a must read for anyone interested in 1980s references and an action packed adventure that will keep the reader on their seat waiting to find out what happens next.

Ready Player One Part 2

  1. The novel, Ready Player One, has 375 pages and I have finished the book.
  2. Ready Player One takes place in Oklahoma, then Columbus, Ohio and finally Oregon in the real world. However, there are many locations in the book that take place in the virtual world, although the time setting is 2045 in the real world. Like the modern world today there is a diversity of races of people in the book. Religion doesn’t have much effect in the book but there are some references to religion in the book.
  3. Although this book’s setting takes place in the future, there are some aspects that relate to world history such as a power struggle for something that influences the people and the occasional resource war but that has no effect until the end of the book. Even though the setting of this book takes place in the future there is one aspect that relates to World History which is the occasional power struggle, such as the Chinese in the past and others in Europe.
  4. I like this book because the author provides very accurate details to set the mood whenever there is a major battle, aside from that there is a the occasional side story which in this case is when the protagonist goes back into the real world. The one comment that made me read this book would be “Enchanting…Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.” The following quote would be the one that got me hooked near the end, “Shoulder-to-shoulder avatars stretched to the horizon in all directions.” This book is absolutely in my top 10 books because the action seems so real, the author does a good job stating the details and making the scene work with the plot. I would recommend this book to anyone who seeks an action-packed plot with twists and turns at every corner.

Ready Player One Part 1

  1. The novel, Ready Player One, has 375 pages and I have finished the book.
  2. The main character is Wade Owen Watts or Parzival in the OASIS; the main conflict is that in 2045 there is conflict over the last remaining resources left on earth, however, our story begins in virtual reality called the OASIS. The original founder of the OASIS (“a massively multiplayer online game that had gradually evolved into the globally networked virtual reality most of humanity now used on a daily basis”), James Donovan Halliday (Anorak), has passed away and since his passion was video games and most notably easter eggs hidden in games, he has created his very own easter egg in which the first person who finds it shall gain his inheritance and his company (GSS); along with this he had a website with a high-score list which eventually came to be known as the Scoreboard. The conflict in this is that Halliday hid his easter egg very carefully meaning that people have to use their problem solving skills to figure out the clue to finding three keys to find his easter egg, however, time has passed (5 years exactly) people have given up on finding this easter egg and now say that it’s a urban myth. “Then, on the evening of February 11, 2045, an avatar’s name appeared at the top of the Scoreboard, for the whole world to see,” after this the hunt for Halliday’s easter egg has just begun again.
  3. The great part about the novel is that within the OASIS and reality there are references to books, songs, games, and mostly anything that people have known since probably the 1980’s. My favorite parts is when they receive the clues to finding one of the three keys such as the first one, “The Copper Key awaits explorers In a tomb filled with horrors But you have much to learn If you hope to earn A place among the high scorers,” the book itself has many references that provokes emotions and it also may provoke the emotions of the reader. Despite my first impressions of the book the reviews made by the authors made me finally read it, one comment was “Enchanting…Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.” by the USA Today and another comment such as “Delightful…the grown-up’s Harry Potter.” by the Huffington Post.
  4. Based on reading this book I would recommend this book to people to I know that enjoy geeky references and action-packed mystery. The book itself is amazing piece of work because the author uses so many references, the amount of problem solving and the plot twists that happen throughout the book. Despite my hesitation to read this book, as I kept reading at a abnormal pace (not really), the book was amazing the moment things started to take place, I would recommend this book who has the courage to look up the amount of references and maybe “play” the games mentioned, but I would recommend the book firs
  5. My favorite quote would be “Going outside is highly overrated,” this quote stands out to me because most people stay inside the OASIS for a long period of time. This relevant to the story because of the amazing graphics the OASIS has, its somewhat hard to differentiate reality from virtual reality and because there’s always something to do in the OASIS. The reason I chose this quote is because this is also relevant to the real world (present time earth), most people stay inside and sometimes miss very important events that they won’t be able to experience anywhere else.

Enrique’s Journey Part 3

1.    The overall message of the story is immigration, the author (Sonia Nazario) wanted to “get inside the action, watch it unfold, take people inside worlds they might never otherwise see,” she “wanted to smell, taste, hear, and feel what this journey is like” (p. xiv).

This means that the author herself went atop the freight trains, faced checkpoints, and hitchhiked the same way immigrants do; the author wants us to learn how people have the confidence to travel long distances to find a better life in “el norte” and have an economic opportunity so that they can help their family in their home country. People often face the dangers of being deported so they take desperate measures to make sure that they stay in the United States, people have “estimated that 1.7 million children live illegally in the United States, most from Mexico and Central America” (p. 241).

Nazario made us learn this by showing real life examples, people who traveled along the trains and the people who eventually make it into “el norte,” and a “letter that asked any Mexican authorities and police I encountered to cooperate with my reporting, plus the letter helped keep me out of jail three times” (p. xvii).

2.    The reason that you should read this book is that it gives an inside look into immigration, how people travel along Mexico towards “el norte” and the struggle that many immigrants face when they go north. The best thing about the book is that it actually comes from someone’s perspective, Nazario actually interviewed Enrique and his family members to produce this marvelous book. Nazario did an excellent job getting “every possible detail about Enrique’s life and his trip north.” She “noted every place he had gone, every experience, every person he recalled who had helped or hindered him along the way” (p. xix).

Aside from that, the book has an enormous amount of details about Enrique’s life and about his family members, the story itself was just amazing due to the amount of events that happened to Enrique and the amount of things he had to do in order to make it into “el norte” and avoid “la migra.” The best part in the book is that “he makes himself one promise: ‘I’m going to reach the United States, even if it takes one year.’ Only after a year of trying would he give up and go back” (p. 43).

However, there is one downside to the story, the amount of inappropriate scenes which is not a lot, though the story is mature enough to be read, just be careful when reading these scenes. “The reporting of this book spanned five years” (p. 269). Nazario “spent a total of six months, in 2000 and in 2003, in Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and North Carolina” (p. 269). But overall the book is amazing, I recommend that others read it due to the nature of the book and how its designed to look like a fiction book but in reality its a non-fiction book. Even though I just realized that I read a non-fiction book I recommend giving it a try.