Literature Response to “Bosnia List”: Deconstructionism

“.. it became my job to keep our canisters filled with water and to buy bread with the dwindling wad of bills Mom took out of her sock or bra…Our bowl of coins was getting smaller each week,” extracted from the Bosnia List by Kenan Trebincevic draws a picture of a small Bosnian family’s life from a view of a little boy, Kenan, whose family is living in war time and their lives are so fragile by using the relationship between signifer and signified (116). “Dwindling wad of bills” took out from “her sock or bra” can be understood that they are insecure and Kenan’s Mom has to hide and keep their money with her all the time on her own body, in sensitive areas so no one can take it away and she would protect it with her life since the money could only be taken away from her when something happens to her. From this sentence, it also reveals a responsible,admirable, and protective Mom that would do anything for her family. A coin is well defined by Merriam-Webster as a small, flat, and usually round piece of metal issued by the government as money but “coins” are not preferring to money in this sentence because Trebincevic already mentions about “dwindling wad of bills” so that means they use bills as money to spend and not coins; “coins” are preferred to the little family’s lives or assets. In addition, people would keep their money in a secure place so no one can take it away but Trebincevic uses “bowl” to contain the “coins;” sarcastically, the author is preferring to the lives of the little Kenan’s family being exposed to everyone, means that anyone can take away their lives and their lives both in financially and emotionally are being taken away little away each “week” by the friendly obnoxious neighbors. By using the relationship between signifier and signified, Trebincevic uses normal objects or actions to prefer to a deeper meaning behind them to make the story much more interesting and appealing.


A Journal Response to “Shooting an Elephant.”

In the essay “Shooting An Elephant”, by George Orwell, the author describes his conflicts between his personal morals and his duty to his country or to the white man’s reputation in killing an elephant  to reveal a broader picture to the power of imperialism. Orwell opens his story by first claiming that imperialism is evil “For at that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing” and emphasizes that he is fully against the oppressors, the British (557). To support his claim, he states “I was hated by large numbers of people” and “the crowd yelled with hideous laughter” to show the effect of imperialism that is creating the misunderstanding between the people, the Burma people think that all white men are evil just like the country they live in (557). When the elephant kills a coolie is the moment that the ugly part of the story truly reveals. The elephant, despite that “it” or “he” goes savage and kills someone, Orwell finds him eating peacefully; Orwell says “I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him” but at the moment when he lays his eyes at the large of amount of Burma people then he says “…but I did not want to shoot the elephant” (560). Orwell repeatedly states how immortal and guilty it is to shoot the elephant but then he has to succumb to the immortal acts and against his will to decide to kill the elephant as he falls into the expectations  of the Burma people; kill the elephant or lose face and be humiliated and a shame to his race. In the aftermath, when he is with his fellow British police officers, he is relieved and glads that the coolie died since his that gives him a pretext for shooting the elephant, he concludes “I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool” (562). At the end of the story, it is shameful when the younger officers says “… it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant…worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie” to compare the cost of lives between a human and an elephant like comparing the cost of commodities and to me, it is frustrating since I think every single life form even tiny or huge is precious (562). Throughout the essay, Orwell gives out a controversial question that is sometimes the choice is whether to meet the expectations of others or to meet the expectations of the conscience.

Response to Literature of “I stand here Ironing”

Being a young single mother is hard to everyone but to live in poverty, to work, and to take care of her family is even harder; and worst, during the years of the Great Depression. In “I Stand Here Ironing”, by Tillie Olsen, she discussed about a life of a young single mother in raising her daughter alone, a social issue that still exists today. In addition, she also revealed a dark side of being a parent at a young age: having a lack of control over her financial stability, love, and care in her small family. From the story, the mother mentioned “We were poor and could not afford for her the soil of easy growth. I was a younger mother, I was a distracted mother.” (p.96), she somehow committed her failure as a sacrificing, loving parent that every mother should be. Her first husband left her  because he could no longer endure or bear the poverty and the responsibility that he must have. From there, the mother’s life has not ever been more worse, she struggled to work and raise her daughter, Emily. Most of the time, the mother always left Emily to someone to take care of, from a woman downstairs to her father’s family then from school to a convalescent home. Somehow, this is normal to some parents those are too busy and cannot share their time with their children; it is understandable but that is when the children has lost their feelings and needs of their parents. The mother confessed that she and her second husband often left Emily home alone for hours. Hence, the family moved frequently, and Emily does not have any friend and her “illness” kept her away from school even if it was an imaginary illness. She got labelled as a “slow learner” as “who kept trying to catch up and was absent entirely too often” (p.96), it was the mother’s negligence and irresponsibility that made Emily to have that “habit”. Without education, there is no bridge that connects to a better future for them, they will step on their parents’ foot steps again. In addition, they will have no choice to choose a job that can makes them happy seven days a week but to do the work that they have to do for their own family. Overall, this is not only a warning but also a message from the author for the new generation nowadays to must be really careful with their future and their children’s future. They have to make sure that they are ready to take care of their children and give them a good life; if they cannot then not having a baby is better, for their own good. Maybe working to have a better financial stability for the children is a good thing to do but the children needs their parents’ love and care more than anything else.

Marjane Satrapi

4 notes about Marjane:

+ She was born in a upper-middle class family and all of her family members were well educated.

+ She got more involved in politic by times and influenced by her uncle the most.

+ She once denied her own racial but then she was proud of being an Iranian.

+ Her father’s advice to remember ” who you are and where you come from” and her grandmother’s advice to be true to herself.

2 questions:

+Do most of the Middle East countries anti-Westernize?

+Why all of her family members came to see her after she returned?

Causes and Effects.

_3 causes that brought you to college and 3 effects so far college has had on you:

+I wanted to get higher education so that I will be more successful in my career.

+I wanted to get future connection in my career so I have more new friends.

+My parents had high expectation from me so I must do good to make them proud.

_ A field you’re a success in and who helped you become a success in that field:

+ I always work hard even though I was once a lazy kid. I got this huge change because of my mom’s sacrifice and my step father’s help. My dad passed away when I was 15, she and my step father supported me but I think most of the work were from my mom’s hard work. I do not think that I would become who I am right now if I have not seen her working from morning till night. After I came to the USA, I become a much more dedicated person. I always see fatigue from my mom’s eyes, I often see her happiness and smile. I would say because of my mom’s precious doing that I could have had a person of myself today, an encouragement for my grit.

How To Be More Social.

All human beings are social but some are just more social than others and it is possible to become more social. To be more social means to be more involved in the society. It has many benefits to individuals such as improving communication skills, having a wider social relationship, and getting a happier life. You really do not have to prepare physically but instead, you will need to be mentally prepared. First of all, you should get rid of negative thoughts and be confident because being a positive person can make it easier to socialize and make friends; no one wants to be friends with a negative person. At the same time, stop comparing yourself with others. You should think of what you are cable of or good at; things you have achieved but others have not and then turn them into positive thoughts about yourself. Another way you can think of is by improving interaction with others, for example, using smile and welcoming body language to show others how friendly and open-minded you can be. Everybody wants to be around people who are happy, excited about life, and easy to approach; they may want to be around you, talk to you, and get to know you more. Another trick is asking people about themselves if you are shy and do not like to talk about yourself. To begin with, people love talking about themselves; if you want to be more social and to start talking to more people, then you should show an interest in them by asking how they are doing, what is on their mind. Therefore, this doesn’t mean you should be too nosy about their personal life but to show that you care by asking them to open up a bit and wait for them to get you talking in turn. Consequently, you will have some friends and then also expand social circle, you will meet more new people and make more friends from mutual friends; meeting friends of friends is the easiest way to meet more new people. In conclusion, you definitely should try doing one of these tips, and soon, you will succeed in being more social and have lots and lots of friends around you .

Final Narrative Paragrah

The War between India and Pakistan in 1999

India and Pakistan were once and like brothers but they decided to live in different houses. They had a territorial dispute called the Kargil Conflict that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir. First, Pakistan infiltrated forces into the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir and occupied strategic locations enabling it to bring  National Highway 1 (a National Highway in Northern India that links the national capital New Delhi to the town of Attari in Punjab near the India–Pakistan border) within range of its artillery fire. After that, India discovered the infiltration and mobilized forces to respond to it. Almost two millions of them were killed during the war. Many were slaughtered on trains which arrived at Lahore and Delhi, and many bloodied corpses. Prior to this war, there were three more wars between them and the savage, endless killing took place in Pakistan. In the end, India recapturing some territory held by Pakistani forces and the subsequent withdrawal of Pakistani forces back across the Line of Control after international pressure at a cost of many people’s lives. India continues to assert its sovereignty or rights over the entire region. Pakistan maintains that it is a disputed territory. From this war, it can be concluded that war or specifically violence is not a good answer and it is expensive as it measures by lives, properties and times.