Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Superstition Affects Human Behavior by Lexy M.

Throughout Macbeth many conflicts and challenges of the mind arise. Macbeth is faced with peer pressure, prophecies, and tests of the mentally and physically strongest. Macbeth is told by three witched that it was his fait to become Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth was naïve and took what the witches told him to heart and believed he was in fact the destined Thane of Cawdor. Many lives, including his own were lost in the battle to reach this. With the demanding motives from his wife and limits set by his peers, Macbeth stopped at nothing. Macbeth is faced with many challenges due to his superstition which is a direct result after being introduced to the witches in the very beginning of the play; this affects his natural and human behavior greatly.

The witches introduced Macbeth to the idea that he could in time become king which started the downfall of this sanity and health.
“Thou shall get kings, though thou be none. All hail, Macbeth and Banquo!” (1.3.69-70)
When Macbeth heard this news he believed the witches prophecies and began to consider the greatness of what they had said.

Though the idea that the witches convey seems so figurative Macbeth almost cannot believe that he would have to go through with the killing of Macduff.
Macbeth “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man. That function is smothered in surmise, and nothing is but what is not.” (1.3.149-152)
What the witches say seem unreal and something he would likely never do. He is reluctant to believe them and everything they said. However with Macbeth’s unsympathetic, and manipulative wife, Lady Macbeth, he is pushed to his extreme through harsh taunting and is pressured into commenting many inhumane crimes.

Macbeth’s moralistic personality is greatly warped over time after meeting with the witches. Macbeth becomes obsessed with believing the prophecies and he falls deeper and deeper into superstition and a careless way of life. ;
Macbeth “I have almost forgot the taste of fear. The time has been, my senses would have cooled to hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir as life were in’t. I have supped full with horrors; Direness familiar to my slaughterous thoughts cannot once start me.” (5.5.10-16)
Macbeth has become so wrapped up in trying to become Thane of Cawdor that he will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. Macbeth has gone on a spree of destroying people and family members. Doing anything and everything he has to do to get what he wants. Things and ideas that would have used to scare him and seem inhumane now becomes things that are just another obstacle in the way that he needs to eliminate, and will do everything in his power to.

Macbeth a once noble and wise character falls into a pit of dishonesty and arrogant behavior. His life is troubled with bleak and dark haunting of Macduff’s ghost and paranoia quickly consumes him as he struggles to maintain a clean record and close in of becoming the king of Scotland . This is all a result of Macbeth falling hopelessly into superstition. If he hadn’t believed what the witches told him that day in the woods Macbeth would have stayed content with Thane of Glamis and continued living a life without stress and constant worry.

Power Corrupts by Priscilla K.

When a person is in power, some situations occur when they can acquire anything, lying, cheating, coning, bribing, stealing and KILLING. Corruption is something that is motivated by greed and deception. It's a very sinister personality that controls and destroys people's lives and makes them the kind of person other people don't want to be with, harsh maybe but all of the truth.

Corruption has become a problem in the Macbeth’s home because they have gotten greedy for more a bit judgmental but, Lady Macbeth being as anxious as she was , has planned to kill King Duncan and have her husband as king instead. This idea of power has come into the hands of Macbeth because of a prediction three witches had.( Act 1,3,32) “All hail ,Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! ,All hail! Macbeth, Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter!” This corruption has turned lady Macbeth and Macbeth. In this book there is no doubt about it that lady Macbeth and her husband want to be king or queen. In Lady Macbeth’s eyes killing could possibly be an answer for her and her husband and Macbeth followed.

Lady Macbeth is very persistent and willing to do whatever it takes to have her husband as king, she is very unpredictable. She definitely wears the pants in this relationship because she demands things that she wants her husband to do and he does it. As I read along the pages of Shakespeare’s Macbeth I realized that Lady Macbeth had changed so much and let the power of corruption take over her and pulled her husband down with her. In the book she even claims that she would kill her own baby in order to reign over Scotland. THAT IS HORRIBLE!

Lady Macbeth is an interesting character very careless, a girly man and is very provoking and dishonest that’s why when I read (Act 1, 5, pg 52) I realized that she was not good and didn’t care about anyone but her power she was willing to act like someone that she wasn’t to get were she wanted. “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t”. The plot that the character has on her actions shows that she is very sneaky, bad and provoking. (Act 1,5,52) “only look up clear. To alter favour ever is to fear. leave all the rest to me.” Failure was not an option for her and whoever was in her way of power would be wiped out and that’s exactly what happened in this mysterious tale when poor king Duncan was murdered.

When Macbeth became Thane of Cawdor his wife, Lady Macbeth, was very delighted to hear of such great news. And when hearing that Duncan, the king, would be coming to eat a little grub at her home it gave her an idea. That idea was that the new king would be MACBETH! So exactly what do you think that means she was willing to kill anyone that was in her way .and she kept trying to egg on Macbeth and saying if he wants to be king he must kill King Duncan she was corrupted by the idea power. She was not in charge yet, but she still was just corrupted by the thought of power. I’m a little afraid, is power bad?

Killing king Duncan was something she believed she may have to do herself because her MAN, sugar daddy, hubby was not “man enough “…yet to do it so she shows that she would do it herself in (Act 1, 5, 53) .It says “he who is coming must be provided for; so you will put me in charge of this night’s business, which will bring royal power and mastery to us alone for all the rest of our nights and days”. She’s trying to tell her man, to man up and be strong and if not then she will.

Even though corruption took over in this play justice was found because Macbeth was defeated in the end and lady Macbeth killed herself, to end her life. Power is far more powerful than we all think bitter in ways that we wouldn’t see. When people come into a position of power they unleash a feeling in their minds that makes them believe that they can do whatever they want when they really can’t but ,in a situation like that is when power truly corrupts the minds of people and they become devious. People in power usually feel that they can do anything when their in power for a long period of time and in the play Macbeth it shows that him and his wife, Lady Macbeth let themselves get corrupted, As Macbeth and lady Macbeth’s power grew so did there corruption and that led to there downfall.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Untitled by Mykel P.

One beautiful fine Saturday afternoon, Taylor was meeting up with her buddy George, whom you might recognize from “of mice and men” for lunch. They were meeting up at the South Hadley friendly’s plaza, for some chicken tenders. Shortly after they ordered their food, they began talking about each others lives and catching up a bit. Taylor was talking about how some lady dumped a baby in her car so she’s been working 3 jobs and living with her “partner” to support them. George was outstanded by all of the hard work and everything she has gone through, he offered her 5 dollars for some baby food and gas.

“So George how has everything been lately, did you ever get that ranch with the rabbit farm?” Taylor asked.

“Why you betcha I did and it’s been great and all needs now is a women and a baby!” Taylor thought to herself, “hmm now he’s an attractive, smart, and strong young man maybe we could talk more?”

So the two of them had lunch and a couple milkshakes before it started getting late.

“So I had a really good time, you should text me and we can go out again id really like to see that new batman movie, maybe you could accompany this weekend?

As George walked Taylor through the door he gave her a hug and kissed her on her check goodbye.
A few days pass and Georges phone goes off, he looks at it and to his surprise it’s Taylor ! He quickly answered the phone and they begin discussing plans for that evening. George had asked her out to a date so that’s exactly what they did, they were meeting up at the Hadley theaters for 7:15. George showed up early so he wouldn’t make a bad impression on the first date, as he saw her car pull in he quickly check the mirror to make sure nothing was in his teeth and so he stepped out of his car to accompany the women into the theater. They bought their tickets and walked through the front doors.

“did you want any popcorn or something to drink before you go in?” insisted George

“oh um sure I would like a small Pepsi with no ice, and a package of airheads please”

George purchased their goodies and handed the gentlemen the tickets

“9 to your right” he demanded

As they walked downward to their showing he noticed his best bud Nick with his girlfriend Em

“hey nick!!!” George shouted “what movie are you two love birds going to see?

“we’re actually heading to batman nick replied

“oh awesome so are we! We can all sit together if ya want”

So George introduced everyone to each other and then held the door for everyone to go through. As they were walking in they noticed it was slighty packed, and the only choice they had was to sit in the front row seat.

“Oh shucks” said Taylor “its pretty packed but I don’t mind the front if you guys don’t”

Every body was enjoying the movie and then it came to a crashing halt when the fire alarms sounded and everybody had to evacuate the building, the four of them knew exactly how to get out so they ran out the exit door and straight to their cars, they made sure that everybody was okay and stuck around to see what all the hallabalu was about. Nick noticed an enormous black cloud of smoke coming from the ceiling and introduced the startling news to the rest of crew. Shortly after that the police and fire department showed up and told everybody to clear the area so the four of them had to leave and decided to call it a night and all agreed upon going out together another time.

As George walked Taylor to he car he kissed her and reminded her of how much of a good time he had tonight and apologized for the unconvinced but reinsured her that next time would be just as exciting. So for just two old friends catching up and grabbing some milkshakes it turned out they quickly fell in love and began a relationship and have been happy ever since.

Untitled by Marybeth H.

Marietta Greer was only a young girl when she saw her friend’s father die right before her very eyes. The tire on his tractor blew up while he was on it and he was thrown into the air, landing on a Chevron sign. Once he passed, Marietta was never the same. She decided one day that she was going to drive her car until it ran out of gas and then take on the name of whatever street she ends up on. She arrives in Taylorville right before her car dies; she takes on the name Taylor. Having driven all day with no pit stops Taylor decides it’s a good idea for her to stop at an old bar and grab and hamburger and a cup of coffee. Once Taylor finishes her dinner, she is about to drive off when a woman she’d never met before begins walking towards the car. The woman puts a baby in Taylor’s front seat. She tells her to take and keep the baby. The woman tells Taylor she is the baby’s sister and her mother had just given birth in a car. Taylor is very confused, but drives off with the baby. Having only been in town one night, the two have nowhere to sleep. Taylor finds a hotel; she decides to give the baby a bath. While doing so, she sees that the baby girl had been both sexually molested and abused. This breaks her heart; she is determined to give the child a better life. She names the child Turtle, because the baby clings to things like the mud turtles back at Taylors home.
The next day Taylor decides to go shopping for the child, because she hadn’t expected to be given a child in a bar parking lot, she had very little for the baby. After buying Turtle endless amounts of clothes and toys, the two finally checkout and head for the exit, but they hear a yell and halt. A man in a purple “Babies R’ Us” shirt with a name tag that read Mike ran over with a look of horror on his face, he said “Bella?! Is that Bella?!” Taylor looked around, surely this man was not talking to her, but no one else was around. “Excuse me?” Taylor said with a bit of attitude and confusion. Mike stood there staring at Turtle, then at Taylor, then back at Turtle. “That’s baby Bella, she was stolen from a car last night at a local bar. Why do you have her?!” he asked frantically. Taylor was shocked, a million thoughts were running through her head at once. She didn’t understand, she thought she was doing the stranger in the parking lot a favor by taking Turtle that night. Taylor said “I’m not so sure I know what you’re talking about. This child was placed in my car last night, her sister asked me to take her. I thought I could give her a better life.” Once she began telling him about that night at the bar parking lot it seemed that Mike was starting to believe her. Just before he could ask another question his manager came over and told him to get back to work. Before doing what his boss had ordered he turned to Taylor and said “Would you like to meet up when I get out of work and finish this discussion?” Taylor, of course said yes. While leaving the store she held Turtle close, no way was she going to risk anyone else noticing the baby. It was hers now, she finally had something to love, and love her back.
Later that night Taylor got a phone call, it was Mike. “Hi, it’s Mike! I was thinking we could meet up at the bar, grab some dinner and finish our discussion” Taylor had so many different emotions hitting her at once. She was excited to have maybe made a friend, scared she could lose the baby she had grown to know and love, she was fearful someone else might call the police if they saw her with the baby. She got ready, and she and Turtle were on their way to the bar. When they got there they saw Mike waiting with a big smile. “Listen, I didn’t kidnap her, her sister told me to take her and give her a good life. While I was bathing her I saw she had been molested and abused, I need to help her.” Taylor told Mike, both had tears wallowing up in their eyes. The two talked all night and agreed to see each other again.
In the next months, Mike and Taylor spent every moment that they could together. The two began dating and not long after Taylor and Turtle moved into his home. Mike had to support the family alone, because he too didn’t want to risk someone noticing Turtle. Taylor and Turtle would stay inside all day every day; eventually the family got fed up. Mike approached Taylor with the idea of leaving the state. “We can legally claim Turtle as our child and we won’t have to sneak around any longer.” Taylor was iffy about the suggestion but went along with it. She didn’t want to have to keep Turtle in hiding for the rest of her life. Once they moved they met up with Mike’s friends, Amanda and Tom. They were going to pretend to be Turtles real parents and sign her over to Mike and Taylor. Once the papers were signed, it was such a relief to everyone. They could finally live happily and normally, like any other family.

The Park by Lexy M

It was a bright warm & sunny day in Taylorville. Taylor & Turtle walk around in the park playing with the fallen leaves and looking up at the clouds, trying to makes animals out of them. Turtle is now full of energy and much more alive and excited by the fact of life, then he was a year ago, thanks to the exceptional care of Taylor & the family at the hotel. Lou Ann & Dwayne Ray are with Taylor & Turtle. As they walk the cement path through the giant park Lou Ann & Taylor lag behind while the two bundles of energy run ahead. Taylor chats to Lou Ann about everything that they have been through in the last four years. Just then she looks across the parkway and notices a strange man sitting on the park bench. He’d been looking at her too. She excuses her self from Lou Ann and quickly but cautiously walks over to him. She stops a little in front of him and allows her eyes to focus on her subject. That’s when she realizes who it is.
"Jay Gatsby?" she says almost too quite for human ears to pick up on. He smiled a perfectly white and bright smile, which made her stomach seem to flutter around in side of her.
"Hey Taylor," he said. "That is what people are calling you know isn’t it?"
"Yea," She said shortly. "Ever since I moved into Taylorville. How is it that you are here in this same park miles and miles from both of our homes?"
"Well you just got up and left flat out a few years back, without so much as an explanation and at first I was shocked, mad, and felt betrayed but then I began to realize that you had the most wonderful idea out of anyone I know. People back home get into a rut and their life is boring and not what they want for themselves. Eventually everyone grows tired of it but they’ve already been sucked into that rut and no matter how hard you try to get out the town, the expectations that society and the people in our town have allows you nothing. And so they have no choice but to stay there and keep working at a job that makes them constantly sick or gives them no time to watch their own children grow up." He paused and looked up at her. "You were right. That’s not the kind of life you wanted, and I admire you for being able to leave and go out on your own like you did. It must have been so hard to do and now that’s what I realize and that’s what you never were able to give me an explanation as to why."
Taylor stared blankly at Jay. She knew him for such a long time but she had never realized how special he was to her until she left. Every night she would think of him and what it would be like to have someone always with her besides Turtle. Would he have stayed with her through everything with Turtle or would he end up like Angel, leaving Lou Ann to deal with everything by herself? She has no clue.
"That’s the main reason I left. But things are different now."
"How?" he said "You still look the same, still have the same spark in your eyes, the confidence in your walk no matter how tough things may get for you. That’s what I admired most about you."
He looked so hopeful like he was living in a fairytale which he had been for most of his life. Taylor’s lifestyle was much different then Jay’s. He had money, more money then he could possibly count in a life time. Taylor had never had money her and her mom lived from pay check to pay check. She felt like she couldn’t bring herself to tell him about Turtle. She couldn’t take the blame for turning his world upside down. His fantasy world would go up in flames.
"I have Turtle now!" She blurted out.
"You have a turtle," he said slowly.
"No, Turtle, she’s my daughter."
His face turned sheet white and he stared blankly at her. Finally after a few extremely uncomfortable seconds that seemed to last minutes he was able to put some kind of sentence together.
"You had a kid?"
"No! Not at all. She was left in my car when I was stopped for some food on the way down here."
Jay seemed more open to the idea now that he had the understanding that it wasn’t actually her’s.
"Well where is she," he asked way more relived.
At that second Taylor fell back in love with him. Head over heels in love. She recognized the funny open-minded Jay she had fallen for back in grade school. She was in love and now it was occurring to her that her feelings had never really changed for him since she left. She had only put them out of the way because there was bigger and more important matters to be dealt with.
The rest of the day seemed to drift away as if she was being pulled into Jay Gatsby’s reality. He met Turtle, Lou Ann, and Dwayne Ray. Turtle clicked surprisingly well with him and they played with leaves in the park until the sun went down and the tall trees loomed over the park and shadows grew bigger then buildings darkened the pathways. Everyone left and Jay went back to the house. By the looks of it I would doubt he’s going back home anytime soon.

Summer Reading Essay by Josh D

Down in the southern part of Nigeria was a small tribe. This tribe was led by a young male by the name of Okonkwo. Okonkwo, a strong and powerful individual, was very succesful with his tribe in keeping them safe and healthy. The problem with Okonkwo is that he feared weakness and tried to stay as far away from it as possible. Therefore, the only people in his tribe were both physically and mentally strong individuals. However, the tribe was unhappy with Okonkwo because he was to overbearing and really uptight. The tribe felt they had no room to breathe and they couldnt relax. One member of the tribe then stepped forward and told Okonkwo that the tribe was upset with him because he was to strict. Okonkwo was affected deeply by this. He then decided to take a walk and think about what he has done even with all of his success but failed to keep his people happy.

He walked for about a mile and decided to take a break at this very small stream. he sat on this flat surfaced rocked and admired the sunset in the distance and thought. All of a sudden this tall man came out of the thickly, rather large thorn bush. he looked scary and stumbled out. The two men stared at eachother for some time. Okonkwo was the first to speak. "Who the hell are you"

The man replied, " I Lennie", in a very shaky and uncertain tone.

Okonkwo stared at this man and smelled weakness. This Lennie couldn't even speak correctly. Okonkwo then asked, "What are you doing near around this area?"

" I got kickeded out my family because I wasn't good enough and I just walked until I found you," Lennie replied.

"Can you work and work hard?," Okonkwo asked.

"Yes I can," replied Lennie.

Okwonko realized that Lennie was mentally challenged but he thought about his tribe and how he mistreated the weak. Lennie was a strong man and Okonkwo thought that maybe Lennie could work in his villiage and it would show his other tribe members that he was easing up a little bit and being kind to others. Okonkwo came back to the tribe and apologized to his tribe members on how he acted poorly and he should treat his peers, children and elders respectfully. The tribe accepted his apology and Lennie was introduced. It was a big change to the tribe seeing an idividual not up to their standards, but also a fullfiling feeling becasue now they realized they got some slack and could relax and work and communicate in a more comfortable environment.

The next day, Lennie began work. Even though he was not great at working within the tribe, he worked extremely hard and was willing to help in any way. Okonkwo realized that everything is not about being strong physically and mentally. He realized as long as you have a good heart you should be loved.

At the end of the day, Okonkwo and Lennie met up with eachother.

"Your doin great," Okonkwo respectfully said.

"Thank you", Lennie happily responded.

"Im glad you ran into me", Okonkwo said with a chuckle.

"Im happy I found my true family", Lenny said with contageous smile.

A Lunch Stop by Ashley G

In the novel “The Bean Trees”, there is a girl named Missy who witnessed a very tragic accident. One of her friends father was killed by a chevron sign after his tractor tire exploded. She wanted to get away from the small town that she lived in, so she got a job, saved up money bought herself a car and left. She decided to just drive and drive until her car ran out of gas. She wanted to start a new life, and have a new name based off of where her car stops. Her car stops in Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma she renamed herself Taylor.
A very similar problem happened with this man named George from the novel “Of Mice and Men”. He was always traveling around with his best friend Lennie. But life with Lennie was not working out well for George there were to many problems. Lennie was going to get in big trouble so George new what he had to do and that was to end Lennie’s life. George needed a new start to his life and Lennie was holding him back from that.
One day Missy and George were both on the road and they decided to stop for lunch. They both ended up at the same diner, George was sitting down on a bar stole, and Missy came in a little after him. She sat right next to George, and they started a conversation over lunch. They started talking about how there out on the road searching for a new life to start and what got them feeling like they needed a new one.

George starts off “I have traveled a lot and I have worked at many different ranches and got fired or had to run away from all.”

“I didn’t really enjoy my life back at home so I got a job saved up money and left,” Missy said.

George Responds, “That’s too bad what happened that made you not enjoy your life there?”

Missy answered after a pause, “well I watched my friend’s father get killed.
- “How?”
“Well he was on a tractor and the tractor tire exploded and he got killed by a chevron sign.”

- “That’s to bad so you took off because off because of that”

“Yes I was very stressed out because of this.”

- “That’s very understandable”

“So what is going on with you, why are you out on the road?” Asked Missy.

- “I felt like I needed to start a new life also, I was traveling with my friend Lennie and we got a job at this ranch. Lennie ended up killing the boss’s son’s wife. They were going to torture him if they found him so I had to kill him myself. After that I am on my own doing my own thing.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, you must be very upset”

- “Yea very much, so where you off to now.”

“Well I filled up my gas tank before I left and my plan is to just drive and drive until I run out of gas. When I do I am going to start a new life in the town I end up in and I’m going to change my name.”

- “Wow, you are a brave girl doing this all on your own.”

“Yea it’s a challenge but I have been saving up for a long time to leave that town, and I did. Well I am going to take off get back on the road. It was very nice to meet you George.”

- “Nice to meet you to Missy, be safe and good luck.”

Blanche & Daisy: Two Women, One World by Stacie S.

As the sun beat down on the ocean side appeared in Daisy’s window, she awoke. She removed the red silk blankets from her rested body, a deep breath was taken. She walked over to open the French doors to smell the beautiful clear air as has been her normal routine for years. Just seeing the ocean view from the balcony took her breath way. The ocean was clear and sparking. West Egg was a beautiful town. After a hot shower and putting on some beautiful clothes, she headed into New York. For blocks and blocks there was nothing but stores with the newest fashions and accessories.
Stores and more stores, Daisy could barley help herself from stopping in every store. New York in the 1920’s was a place where you could buy anything - if you had enough money, which Daisy certainly did. Daisy was extremely wealthy, both because of her family and her husband Tom. Daisy thought that being well off and well thought of was the most important thing in the world. As she was dreaming about her true love Jay Gatsby, Daisy continued to shop for a new dress to wear to the latest party she would attend. While looking through the flapper dress section, Daisy bumped into another woman who also valued her wealth and status in society. Blanche DuBois was from the South, and she too placed a lot of value on her place in society. How strange that these two women should meet in the store! As they looked at the dresses they began to talk.

Daisy “isn’t this dress just beautiful?”

“Yes its dazzling”, Blanche replied.

As she continued to walk around the store Daisy turned to Blanche and said, “It’s so great to know I could afford something as amazing as this.”

Blanche said, “I know, I couldn’t bare to live life knowing I was poor and wearing grimy clothes.”

“I’m going to purchase this, it’s too beautiful to stay on a rack!” Daisy exclaimed.

Blanche asked “Could I ask the occasion to which you would be wearing this dress.?”

Daisy replied, “A wonderful party at Jay Gatsby’s. Ever heard of him?”

Blanche, “Oh, that Jay Gatsby, I hear his parties were quite fantastic. I’ve been invited many times so have my sisters and friends. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend because of some family business. “

Daisy said, “Well if you have the opportunity to attend – I highly recommend it. His parties always have a glorious band, fine wine & drinks, the best food, and of course the most interesting people.”

Blanche seemed sad and said, “It’s not like that where I’m from. We don’t have those kinds of parties in the South. Everyone seems so close and stuck in a rut.”

Daisy thought a minute and said, “Everyone is so friendly at Jay’s parties – but theya re also superficial.”

As Daisy began to collect all of her purchases for the day, she moved to the cashier.

“It was nice meeting you Blanche. Good luck down South. I hope to see you soon at one of Jay’s parties.”

“Yes, I look forward to seeing you and your husband Tom there. I hear Mr. Gatsby is a phenomenal host!”

As the two women left the store, they saw the cars whizzing by on the busy street. New York City seemed so rich and vibrant. It seemed like the kind of place that both Blanche and Daisy really wanted to be in.

Joining Forces by Sean S

On a crowded beach in France, agent 007, James Bond, is vacationing. As he is enjoying his time in the beautiful foreign country he crosses paths with a teenage boy wearing glasses and a lightning bolt shaped scar on his head. The two begin talking about how nice the beach and weather had been, and that developed into a more in depth conversation.

“I’m Harry Potter by the way.” Said the teenage boy

“The name’s Bond, James Bond.”

“What brings you to this part of the world?” asked Harry
James contemplates whether to trust the boy and tell him the truth about him being a secret agent of if he should lie.

“Umm…” James hesitated. There was something about Harry though that James trusted him.
“I’m here on vacation, but I’m a secret agent, and I’ve been chasing a criminal by the name of Blofeld, I’ve been hoping to find him here.” James told Harry

Normally after being told something like that you are either going to laugh or be startled. Harry instead just nodded his head and said “Hmm…” with an inquisitive look on his face. “I too am here hoping to find a criminal, except I’m a wizard and I’m looking for an evil wizard from my world.”

Harry had said his last statement too seriously for James to think he was telling him anything but the truth. And the fact that Harry had believed him when James told him about his job. “There really is another world of magic?” asked James, very surprised.

“Of course there is. You didn’t think that all the unexplainable things that happen are really unexplainable could you?”

“Hmm… well that would make sense.”

“Perhaps if you need help catching this Blofeld character I could be of some assistance?”

“If you wouldn’t mind, that would be a big help.”

“Of course I don’t mind, I’d say you could help me as well but without being a wizard you would be overmatched.”
“Well I appreciate your help. I suppose I could cut my vacation a little short and get a head start on catching Blofeld!”

“Sounds good to me!” exclaimed Harry

“Great! Let’s get started then!”

James and Harry took off by foot to headquarters to find Blofeld.

The unexpected meeting by Ryan W

As Tanis half-elven wandered through the forest of darken wood scouting ahead for any goblins or draconian forces waiting in the tree. Although he knew he and his friends were safe from any outside danger he was still worried about the spirits that guard the area. Just as he thought their was no danger and started to walk away his keen woodsmen skills kicked in and he heard a tree branch snap under a foot. He quietly hid in a nearby bush and knocked a single arrow to his sturdy yew bow. As he silently in the bush a shadow in the shape of a man cast out to the clearing and a man stepped through. Tanis had slowly walked up to the man and placed the tip of his arrow at the mans spine.

“Who are you and what is your business in darken wood.” Calmly ask Tanis.
“My name is Okonkwo I am in these woods for me and my family have been cast out of our village and I am in search of food and clean water.” The man replied.

“Well I see you are not of these parts and are no danger to me and my friends.” Tanis said while placing his arrow back into his quiver. As okonkwo turn to see the man who had been asking all the questions he let out a quick gasp.

“Whaa..Whaa….what are you. You look not of this world.” Okonkwo asked while taking a step backwards.

“I am Tanis half-elven. As my name states im part elven and you sir are in one of the most dangerous forest in all the land. You might wish to stay near me or I fear you will lose your life.” Tanis stated “why have you been cast out of your village sir if you don’t mind me asking.”

“I did not heed the oracles word and killed a man who was staying with me in fear of looking weak in front of my clans men. Then I was taking part in a ceremony and my gun exploded killing a clans men. This sir is a crime in my village and was cast out for 7 years in order to atone for my actions.” Okonkwo said.

“I see, well if your family is important to you I suggest you do not come to these woods in search of food and water for this forest is cursed.” Tanis suggested.

The forest had darkened around them and a death like chill creaped out of the forest edge. Tanis quickly pulled okonkwo close to him and handed him a sword.

“Take this it wont do you good verse this enemy but it will help hold them back” Tanis said.

Just then a low rolling fog settled in and ghost like figures surrounded them. Just then they heard the spidery language of the magic “shirak!”. A bright un earthly light burst into existence and cast away the ghostly figures and a man walked to Tanis and okonkwo.

“Tanis please come with me the forest master has asked for us. Who is this man his he any danger to you?” raistlin asked

“No, he is just lost and needs to rid himself of these cursed woods.” Tanis replied

At the end of speaking raistlin once again spoke the spidery language of magic and okonkwo was transported to the edge of darken wood.

“What a strange land this is.” Okonkwo said as he tried adjusting his eyes to the now brightly lit area around him. Just as he had finally adjusted to the light a white stag ran off into another set of woods and okonkwo knocked an arrow to his bow and ran off into the new forest after the stag.

Small Talk by Jen D

Lou Ann was out for the evening on a date while the neighbors watched after the kids. It was my night to do what I pleased. I was relaxing in my pjs on the couch, curled up reading a book. Than the door bell rang and I jumped. I answered the door to find a young girl.

“Hi my name is Chloe, are you Lou Ann?”

“No I’m sorry Lou Ann is out for the night, would you like to come in?” I asked. I was not sure why such a young girl would be out all alone, but I let her in.

“My Aunt Lauren is a friend of Lou Ann and she said I could stop by on my visit to see my dad. Would you mind if I call her to let her know I am here?” she asked.
“Sure.” I said.

She went over the phone and started dialing. “Hi is Lauren there,” she said. “Oh alright well will you let her know her niece called for her,” and she hung the phone up.

She asked me if she could call back in a little while and I said yes. We looked at each other in a moment of awkwardness; then I said “Would you like to sit down?” as I motioned towards the couch. We sat next to each other. “So where are you from Chloe?” I asked.

“I’m from California but I’m here visiting my father.” This made me wonder what she was doing here, alone. She was looking out the window as if she were waiting for someone to come find her.

“So where is he now?” I asked.

“He is at a meeting and he let me leave and see the town, and I haven’t talked to my aunt in so long which is why I wanted to see if I could call her. She’s like a mother to me.” She smiled as she finished. “So do you have kids?” she asked, “I noticed the room with the cribs.”

“Yes,” I said, “I have a daughter named turtle and my friend Lou Ann has a son, Dwayne Ray. They are just toddlers. Here are some pictures of them.” I pulled out the pictures from my wallet.

“Oh they are so precious. Where are they?” Chloe asked.

“They are staying with the neighbors’ while Lou Ann is out and I can have my peace and quiet.”

“That sounds nice” she said timidly. She was acting shy so I tried to keep the conversation flowing.

“So tell me more about you, what school do you go to.” I asked.
“I go to school at an art school, I had an incident though which sent me to Lyle House, I got past it though and I am back in school.”

“Oh so you’re an artist?” I asked

“No I am there for film classes; I want to be a director” she replied.

“That’s interesting, it’s a good thing to know what you want to do, and it took me what seemed like forever to leave Kentucky.”

“Why did you come here? What’s here for you?”

“I did not intend to come here and along the way I found turtle, which made my life even better.”

“Can I ask why did you name her turtle?”

“It’s a long story, but when I got her she held on tight to me like a turtle does when it garbs hold of something.” I demonstrated for her holding my fingers pinched to my skin.

“Oh,” she replied, “Would you mind if I try calling my aunt again?”

“Go ahead,” I replied.

She started dialing the number “Hi is Lauren there” she paused “thank you.” “Hi Aunt Lauren so I came over to your friend Lou Ann’s house but she was not here, her roommate let me in though. So when are you coming to get me?” “Ok I will leave now see you then” “Well thank you so much for letting me into your home and tell Lou Ann I say hi.” She said.

“Alright I will,” I replied “it was nice to meet you.”

“I was nice to meet you too.” She replied

The Best Surprises are the Ones Unexpected by Alicia D

“What can I get for you?” The waiter with the name tag that read SCARLETTE asked. She clicked her pen and examined the tip of it before deciding to meet it with her tong.
“Uhh,” I said flipping though the menu once more to make my final decision. The menu looked as if the owner printed it off his computer himself. There were unneeded spaces between the listed appetizers and a coffee ring stain under the plastic sleeve. “Ill have the cheeseburger, with a side of fries.”
“Need anything to drink?”
“I’ll take root beer if you have it.”
“Yep,” a couple of notes jotted down on her pad, and then she pointed her pen at Turtle. “What about the little one?” I looked down at the booster seat where Turtle was chewing on the package of coloring crayons that the restraint supplied.
“Do you have macaroni-and-cheese by any chance?”
“Yep,” a couple more notes jotted down and she put the pen behind her ear and walked away, vanishing from sight behind swinging doors. The place was small and at the far end was an even smaller bar with one guy sitting on a stool. Spread out in front of him was six empty glassed and one half full glass of beer in his hand. A T.V. hung from the ceiling above the waiter’s head that flashed a bunch of random numbers. The flooring was old, nearly black wood, and the booths had craters in them exposing foam that children from years passed picked away at. There was an old musky smell that roamed the air and mingled with grease from all of the burgers. “And here you go,” she placed down a plate in front of me.” Cheeseburger with a side of fries and macaroni-and-cheese for…”
“Turtle,” I said filling in the blank. “Her name is Turtle.”
“Ah, what a different name,” SCARLETTE said. “Hope you don’t mind me asking, but how did you come up with that name?”
“Well,” I said, “it’s a long story,” I assured her.
“Its fine,” she took a seat across from me and brought her knees up to her chest, wrapped her arms around them and settled her head on top of her knees. “I have all day, it’s not like I have a lunch rush to deal with, but continue, how did you come up with her name?”
“Well I decided to pick up my life and leave, so one day after work I decided to start over.”
“Start over?” She said interrupting me.
“Yeah, so I drove until I couldn’t drive any more, until all of the gas in my car’s tank ran out.” I took a bite of my cheeseburger and Turtle picked up the noodles with her hands smashing it all over and missing her mouth. “Once I reached Taylorville I decided that my new name would be Taylor.
“You just changed your name?”
“Yep, just like that. One day when I was leaving here I went to put the keys in the ignition when my passenger door swung open and some woman’s head popped in. ‘Please take her’ the woman said and she dropped a baby in the passenger seat and closed it shut again.”
“Oh my,” Scarlette said snatching up a French-fry from my plate and shoving it into her mouth. “So Turtle is not your child?”
“No,” I said pushing the plate closer to her and Scarlette shook her head and rested her head back on top of her knees. “When I brought her to where I was staying I noticed that she had been beaten and molested. I was washing her when she clung on to me; it was like she didn’t want me to let her go.” I sighed with a smile and looked over at Turtle who had a smile on her face, along with noodles. “So I named her Turtle.” Scarlette seemed so interested in my story and I felt like I should continue, like she wanted to hear more so I gave her more. “Its hard to raise a child, even more when you’re a teenager and when its not even yours. I do love Turtle though,” I sighed and smiled. “I have done everything for her just to keep her here with me, and I’d do anything for her no matter who she belongs to.”
“I know what you mean,” she said right after I paused.

I looked around to busy myself from the quiet, stale air between us. The man with the six glasses had added four more to his collection. When I looked back at Scarlette she didn’t remove her eyes from off of me. I waited for her to break her gaze before I allowed myself to clean up Turtles mess.
“Scarlette,” a man with an apron on came up from behind the swinging doors. “What are you doing?” His hands flew up in the air above his head. “I need dished to be washed back here, c’mon.” Although, Scarlette didn’t seem to mind, she didn’t even seem to notice him.
“It almost sounds like what happened to me,” she snatched the butter knife out from Turtles hand before I had even noticed she stole it from off my plate. “See three months after Michael was killed in a car wreck,” she said as if I already knew who he was. “I found out I was pregnant soon after,” she continued. “I felt myself all alone, I mean,” she clarified. “I lived with my mother and she helped out from time to time but If it wasn’t for my best friend Halley I would have never survived teenage pregnancy.”
“Oh you’re a mom?”
“Yeah, shocked huh?”
“I just never would have-“
“-Guessed?” She finished my sentence for me. “I know right, too young and like you I never planned on it, I never planed to have Grace.” Scarlette picked up both of our plates and started to walk towards the back where her boss had emerged from several minutes ago. She stopped and turned back to me. “The best surprises are the ones unsuspected, you know.”
I smiled at her; then looked back at Turtle and then back at Scarlette.
“The food’s on me,” and she once again vanished behind the doors and the walls of the Bar.

The Castle Beyond Mountains by Wes P

As the horse driven carriage draws closer to the crumbling foundation of the castle, Dr. Paul Farmer Gazes into the candle lit windows of the gothic structure as if hypnotized by the miniscule flickers of light. Comfortably walking up the stairs towards the large weathered door, Farmer gets a chill of nervousness. Before even getting a chance to knock on the door, the door slowly opens and Dr. Farmer is politely welcomed by the infamous Count Dracula.
"Pauly!" proudly cheered the Count. "Aww c'mon Drac. You know I never liked being called that! Its Paul and nothing more ...just PAUL.". After sharing a brief awkward silence, Dr. Farmer and Dracula laughed and exchanged a hug.
Soon after, Dracula showed Farmer to the crimson parlor and sat him down at his rather large wooden table . "You have not changed one bit Paul! You look exactly the same!" said the Count. "You too! It’s been what....30 years?" replied Farmer. After a moment of smiling and nodding in disbelief, Dracula looks over at Farmer and says, "So what brings you out to these parts?". Farmer looks back at the Count and says, "ya know, I just wanted to see an old buddy!". Dracula smiles and says, "Paul... You are from Massachusetts. No one in the right mind would travel from the U.S to a remote castle in the Carpathians just to 'surprise' and old friend. Now what’s your real motivation for coming here?". Ashamed, Dr. Farmer looks at his old friend and says, "O.k.. You know how I've been traveling to Haiti, Peru, and Russia?", Count Dracula curiously nods and slides a half-full chalice across the ancient table to the doctor, "Well I've been traveling to those places to serve the poor with the health care that they need and deserve. Since the last trip I have taken, the corporation funding me to go on these trips has wiped away my funds completely." After staring at the ground and releasing a short sigh, he looked back at Dracula and said "Maybe I should just get to the point. The reason I came here today was to ask you if I could possible loan some money just until this dream becomes reality.".
After listening to Farmers, Dracula looks Farmer directly in the eye and says, "Paul..Good friend...You know I support you and all of your decisions, but why do you care so much about that specific problem? Do you honestly think that you can cure all of these people of their poverty and infectious diseases?". Immediately, Paul pulls the chalice away from his mouth and says "You know what? I am just sick of the fortunate people of the world turning their backs on the poor and needy. Just because these people don't have as much money as us, doesn't mean they don't deserve decent health care and living conditions.". Dracula thinking he legitimately offended his comrade says "I totally agree but", Farmer interrupts, "There are no 'but's. People like you consider what I am aiming for to be an impossible goal. I just look at it as a challenge. I KNOW I can do this. All that I need is the support behind me to make this 'impossible dream' one revolutionary reality. If you can't support me, than I will find someone else.".
Dracula sees the intense motivation in Farmers eyes. As Farmer quickly finishes the contents of his chalice, Dracula gives the situation some though. "You know Paul? I always knew you would become something...Something important..Even as little kids when our parents would tell us that we couldn't do something and you would do it anyway.", Farmer leans forward looking interested, "So here is what I'll do. For now I will loan you just enough to get you started. As things progress, assuming they will, I will send you what you need.". Paul looks at Dracula with great surprise and disbelief, and jumps out of his chair causing the liquor in the bottle to ripple and thanks Dracula. "Drac, I guarantee you will not regret this! I will pay you back as soon as possible!". Dracula replies by saying " Don't MAKE me regret this!".
After a hug and a hand shake, Dracula gives Dr. Paul Farmer his desired amount. Through the thunder and rain, Farmer raced out to his carriage. About half way from the castle to the carriage, Dracula yells "Good luck Pauly!". Not even acknowledging the fact that his fellow friend called him but his childhood nickname, Farmer turns back and yells "Thanks Drac!" and jumped into his carriage. Leaving Dracula's Castle, Paul looks back just in time to see a bolt of lightning crack across the dark rainy sky like a fresh crack in a sheet of ice directly behind Dracula's castle.
Soon after the loan from Dr. Paul Farmer's childhood friend Count Dracula, Paul farmer returned to helping those less fortunate with their health care. Farmer also began researching possible cures for deadly diseases. Soon after his research, Dr. Paul Farmer found a cure for every single disease known to man. He was won many awards for his work and has definitely raised enough money to pay back his friend Count Dracula.

Summer Reading Essay by Leonne V

When I was at school, I would always see this girl waking down the street. I didn’t know who she was but I still wanted to talk to her. She was so pretty to me. One day I finally got the nerve to talk to her.
“Hi,” I said, “my name is David.”
“Hi, I’m Taylor,”
“Taylor, that’s a pretty name.”
“Thank you very much.”
As gazed at her, I noticed that her hair was blowing in the breeze. She was like a rare gem in the dull earth. She made me feel like I could do no wrong, and only we where in this crazy world twisted by fate to meet on this perfect day. I saw the there where leaves blowing around her feet and up by the huge tree, that seemed dead but not just yet. She broke my day dreaming and spoke.
“So how long have you been going to this nasty school?”
“Not very long, but I like it here. It’s away from my hell at home.”
“Your parents are hard on you?”
“More like my mom but, something like that.”
Little did she know my mom would keep me in ice cold water for hours and hours at a time, and even sometimes try to kill me. In some ways she seemed almost motherly. I couldn’t help but to like Taylor. I kept wondering if she would come out and say “come on I want to take you home,” but I knew she wouldn’t. She was nice but not that nice. Also she didn’t even know really who I was, to her I was just another person to talk to but to me, she was the most beautiful thing on two legs I had ever seen. I didn’t know it at the time but, I had a crush on her. I think it was the biggest crush I had ever had on someone and I didn’t want her to leave. I felt like if she left me then I would go running after her screaming for her to come back to me. I knew now how it felt when Romeo and Juliet felt when they couldn’t see each other because he was in one family and she was in another.
“Well, I have to go many things to take care of” Taylor said after a long silence.
“Oh ya, what may that be, if you don’t mind me asking” I replied.
“If you must know, I am trying to take care of my little girl, Turtle.”
“Oh really?”
“Yes…I am.”
“OK then, I’ll let you go then.”
“I’ll see you later.”
As she waked away I couldn’t help but to feel like a part of me had gone too. I wanted to cry but I didn’t. I can’t cry because then my mother will win no matter what I’m crying about. I watched her until I couldn’t see her, and then, I went back to the school to see if I could find any food before anyone came back in from the school yard.

Summer Reading Essay by Leona G

“Things Fall Apart”, Chinua Achbee
“Norwegian Wood”, Haruki Murakami

On a college campus in Tokyo Japan, with the Sakura trees blossoms floating everywhere in the spring sky. Benches were everywhere near the school building, I noticed a girl sitting all alone. She looked lost and confused. I walked over to her and asked her “Excuse me, are you lost?”
She answered “Yeah I’m trying to find my distant cousin, Toru.”
“Toru? As in Toru Wantanabe?” I asked.
“OH!” I exclaimed. “He’s my best friend I was actually going to visit him right now! I’m Naoko.” I reached out and took her had and started shaking it.
“Hello, I’m Ezinma. It’s nice to meet you.” She said back smiling.
“So where are you form? Around here?” I asked her. I really had no idea who she was, even though Toru was a very good friend of mine.
“Me? I’m from the Umoufia Clan.” She seemed confused and scared but in a confident way. I couldn’t read her that well.
“Oh” I said kind of confused. “I don’t really know what that is.
She laughed. “No one really does. My dad sent me here to spend some time because out family got exiled from the clan because of my dad… he just messed up during a sacred holiday.”
“Oh, that’s not good.” Her culture seemed to be very different than ours. I was confused by it. She was pretty though. She had Long dark brown hair. She didn’t look Japanese though; I guess she really is a distant cousin with Toru, very distant.
“Do you live on this campus too?” She asked me, but I was too distracted thinking about how they were related.
“Huh? What?” I said quickly and very stupidly sounding.
She giggled and asked again “Do you live on this campus too?”
“Oh, no I don’t. our best friend just… well.” She looked at me with a very questioning look on her face.
“Recently our friend, my boyfriend at the time, took his own life.” I said very quietly.
“OH! I am so sorry! I had no idea!”
“Its okay, lets walk and find his room.” We were still sitting on the bench under the Sakura trees just enjoying the day.
“Alright sounds like a good idea.”
We started walking and I was waving to my friends that were on campus and people that I was an acquaintance with. It made me feel very popular. Girls in Japan don’t really go to college we are just meant to stay home and clean and take care of the children and our husband. I don’t really agree with that but It was my plan before that terrible night happened.
“How did you meet Toru?” Enzima asked out of the blue.
“He was the best friend of our deceased friend.”
“Oh, and you guys became close after the fact that happened?”
“Yeah, well we became closer.” I said kind of sadly thinking about the day. She noticed a little bit and stopped talking. “So what about you? You’re here because your dad sent you here not for school or anything?”
“No, no not for that, because my dad sent me about the whole family exile thing and I made a vow I wouldn’t get betrothed until my family moves back into the village.” She said.
“Oh, yeah, that’s a big vow. I mean I guess if you don’t have a significant other than it doesn’t matter that much.” I said not really knowing what to say. “oh! Were here I wonder if he’s even home, but hey I have to go now. We took a really long time to get here and I have to be somewhere.”
“Oh alright, I’m sure I can find it from here. It was really nice meeting you I’m sure I will see you around.”
“Yeah, definitely! You, Toru and I should go out sometime soon. It was wonderful talking with you. See you soon. Sayounara!”
“Good night” Ezinma was saying as I started to walk away waving.

Ada News by Jessica C

The hills roll from the southeast of Oklahoma and stretch from Norman to Arkansas. Some old rigs dot the countryside; and scattered through the farmlands around Ada, a small town with sixteen thousand residents, a college, and a courthouse. Money is made in Ada by the hour, in factories, pecan farms, and feed mills. Downtown Ada is a busy place, not as big as New York City, but not as small as your typical commons. There are no boarded-up buildings; the merchants survive on their business though most of them have moved to the edge of the town. Cafes are crowded at lunch.

It is one of the typical days in Ada. Everyone sees everyone at least once that day. But today was different for everyone, even if they knew it right then and there or later. Ron Williamson was getting back on his feet after his release from prison. He was getting a job, doing community service, and helping his sisters with what ever they needed.

As for Taylor Greeve, she was just looking for a little vacation with her daughter Turtle, nothing extravagant, just Turtle and her doing what girls do best. It was there first day in Ada and looking for something to do. There was so much to see and do, but so little time to do anything. The girls finally decided to have a picnic at Wintersmith Park. Turtle being the little adventurer she is, wanted to go off after having lunch for a walk. It was a one and a half mile lighted trail, and even though it was only a little after two o’clock, it was becoming dark. Taylor attempted to get Turtle to head back to the park, but she wanted to keep searching. Taylor wasn’t in a big hurry to go anywhere, it was still afternoon and they had time to spare.

“Turtle, come on lets go,” yelled Taylor.

Out of no where, is started down pouring. Taylor and Turtle, tried to get down the mountain without getting hurt. But Taylor had slipped and fell on a root and broke her ankle. She tried and tried to get up and she kept pushing herself, but her ankle hurt so badly she couldn’t keep going. Turtle called for help but nothing was yelled in return.

Fortunately, Ron happened to be walking in the woods, which were right behind his sister’s home, thinking about how he was going to keep out of trouble with drugs, alcohol, and women. Then it started to downpour. Ron was going to walk a little bit more and head on home, but then he herd a scream and thought nothing of it. But when he herd a faint yell for help he knew he had to go and find out what was wrong.

“Hey lady, you okay?” asked Ron.

Sarcastically she yelled back “Oh, yea I’m fine. I just slipped and hurt my ankle. We kind of thought it would be funny if we just stayed here and see who would show up is she started to yell. Yea, I’ll be okay.”

Ron helped Taylor and Turtle out from the woods. Ron took the girls back to his sister house and got them cleaned up.

“You girls aren’t from around here are you?” Ron asked.

“No. Where just visiting for a few days. We both needed a vacation,” smiled Taylor shyly. “Listen, is there anything we can do to help you out in any way. I am so grateful that you where there to save us.”

Ron smiled. “You don’t need to pay me back in anyway.”

As Taylor and Turtle sipped there hot chocolate, Taylor was trying to remember where she has seen Ron’s face. Was it from a show? Newspaper? Where? SHE KNEW!!! She knew him from the news and the paper. He had been convicted of killing Debra Sue Carter, was on the death sentence, and was falsely accused.

Ron saw that Taylor was thinking about something and new about what.

“You know who I am, don’t you?”

Taylor blushed. “I do. I think. You were accused of killing Debra Carter?” she paused, blushed again. “I’m sorry; it’s none of my business. I’m sorry. Forget I said anything.”

And as they became more acquainted with each other, the more they liked each other, but only as friends. They had so much in common, fighting for what was constitutional and what was unconstitutional. Taylor fought for her right to keep Turtle as her daughter. And Ron fought for his right for a fair trial. They were both committed to achieving there goals in life and had gotten them both very far.

Unfortunately, this story only takes place a week after Ron Williamson is released from prison and died. Taylor went to Ron’s funeral less then five days after she knew him. Even though they didn’t know each other that long, she felt like they knew each other for years. Taylor paid her respects.

“Come on Turtle, there nothing to be afraid of,” Taylor said. “Come on,” And there they kneeled and said there prayers. And after a long silence Taylor said “Amen.”

“Amen,” said Turtle.

They may not have been the best of friends, cousins, or brother and sister, but the love that they had for each other was like no other bond and could not even be described. Not in words, music, colors, paints, etc.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Superstition by Colton M.

Throughout the drama Macbeth, Shakespeare uses superstition to foreshadow Macbeth’s fate as the King Scotland. The three witches tell Macbeth that he is going to take the throne of Scotland, watch his back for Macduff, that no man born to a woman can kill Macbeth, Macduff’s children will take back the throne and that the Birnam Woods will destroy him. Superstition plays a key part in Macbeth that in the end he puts all his faith in it. And will lead to his downfall.

The Witches are some of the most important characters that Macbeth is involved with that use superstition. They say, “All hail, Macbeth, who will be king later on!” (1.3.33). Superstition comes in the play at this part because Macbeth chooses to believe that their prophecies will come true. The Witches predict the whole plot of the drama and without them there would be no Macbeth.

Superstition effects Macbeth’s behavior in many ways. If the Witches didn’t predict anything then I think that a lot of this stuff would have never happened. If they didn’t say that Macbeth will be king then he would have never had the idea to even become king in the first place. Since they told Macbeth that he will become king it made him want to strive to become king. Then once Macbeth became king he put all his faith in the prophecies. So in the end it ended up as Macbeth controlling his own future and not the Witches. The fact that he had all his superstition in the Witches led to his own downfall. “Macbeth will never be defeated until great Birnam wood marches to fight against him,” (4.1.171).

The first prophecy that the witches predict is that Macbeth will become king. This is the one prophecy that contributes to Macbeth’s downfall the most. When Macbeth herd this he got that in his head and all he wanted was to become king. This played with Macbeths head and he let the power get to him.

The next prophecy that leads to Macbeth’s downfall was to beware of Macduff. The first apparition said, “Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware of Macduff, Beware of the Thane of Fife. Let me go. I’ve said enough.” (4.1.169) When Macbeth herd this he thought that he needed to get rid of Macduff but he had already fled. But Macbeth felt the need to do something about this so he used his power to wipe out Macduff’s whole family. This showed that Macbeth took the witches too seriously and he was corrupted by the witches.

Shakespeare used superstition in many ways throughout Macbeth. He showed how Macbeth put all his belief into the witches’ prophecies which lead to his own downfall. If Macbeth didn’t always listen to the witches and did stuff on his own then he may have never been murdered. The witches tell Macbeth that he will gain the throne of Scotland, that no man can defeat him and that he will be taken over by Macduff. Having too much superstition in something can lead you to your downfall.

Power Corrupts by Kayla J.

In the book Macbeth, the character Macbeth is corrupted by power. He starts out as a good guy and a war hero, but throughout the story he becomes corrupted and kills constantly because the witches said he would rule. His first victim is the king, then his best friend, then women and children. Macbeth is never satisfied and is only able to be slain by Macduff.

In the beginning of Macbeth, Macbeth is a solider and he fights his hardest for the king. While on his way to see the king, some witches tell him that he will soon be king. “Hail Macbeth who will be king later on” (1.3.52)! This is what starts his psycho killing spree. First he kills the king, but he blames somebody else, so he would be able to be king himself. After the king died, he did become king, but was constantly worried about his life. He had to keep going to the witches to see what his future would be. “I command you by the black arts that you follow; however you came to learn them, to answer me. Even if you unleash the winds and let them storm against the churches; even if foamy waves destroy and sink ships; even if ripe wheat is flattened and trees blown down; even if castles fall on the head of those who live in them; even if the tops of palaces and pyramids are leveled to their bases; even if the precious seeds of all uncreated things tumble together until destruction itself grows sick of its work, answer the questions I ask you”(4.1.51-62).

Macbeth became so worried about his best friend, Banquo, that he got some murderers to kill Banquo and his son. “You both know that Banquo is your enemy” (3.1.124-125).This also affected his mind, because Banquo was his best friend. After that he went to the witches again to find out more about his future. They told him not to worry about anyone but Macduff, and that he would fail when the woods moved towards his castle.

Macduff knew about what Macbeth had done, and he had a plan to kill him. Macduff went to get help from Malcolm and they used branches from the forest to make weapons. “Let every soldier cut down a bough and carry it in front of him. That way, we will hide the size of our army, and Macbeth’s lookouts will give incorrect reports of us” (5.4.6-9). They came to the castle and Macduff and Macbeth began fighting. Macbeth was confident because the witches said he wouldn’t be defeated by any man born by a woman, but Macduff was taking from his mother’s womb. “Lose hope for your charmed life, and let the demon you’ve been serving tell you that Macduff was prematurely ripped from his mother’s womb” (5.8.17-20). In the end, Macduff wins and Macbeth dies.

Macbeth relies so much on what the witches say that he is blind to what is really going on. The power that he had received had corrupted Macbeth. He killed and continue to kill until he was finally killed him self. This shows that power does corrupt people and even a good man with too much power can become an evil man.

Macbeth's Power Role by Muhammad C.

In the play Macbeth, the protagonist is a noble man. Macbeth plays a very important role in this drama which is written by Shakespeare. Macbeth is a very vicious playa who is power hungry. The theme related to Macbeth would be his Blind ambition that leads to his downfall. Later on in the play Macbeth holds the thrown and after having total control of supremacy over the whole country he gets power corrupted.

Macbeth was a war hero and he was also a true noble man. He was exceedingly appreciated by the king for his actions upon saving the kingdom. When Macbeth and his best friend Banquo were walking throughout the forest they heard strange noises. At last the witches came out of the woods to present special news for their personal upcoming life. The witches plant their message by saying “all hail, Macbeth, who will be king later on”. They tell banquo not to worry and his son will be king later after Macbeth’s kingdom. All of a sudden the witches vanished and they were both left unaccompanied to ponder. When they went to the castle, the king gave Macbeth and Banquo a special title for their hard work and bravery of being war heroes. By the king granting them power Macbeth over abuses it to achieve even a higher status. This is where his blind ambitions kick in.

Now Macbeth has power, but he is sill hungry for more so he plans upon killing the king. With his wife being his advice-giver he kills the king but he is shameful for the horrible act that he has committed. Macbeth’s wife is disgusted of how coward her husband is and she finishes the job by framing the guards. Now Macbeth holds the thrown. He can do as he wishes and he does. Not only does he have power but his wife is in control of him and all of his decisions, she controls his mind the way she wants the joy of power. Macbeth realizes that the witches’ prophecy has detained the certainty of him becoming the king. But now Macbeth is worried about Banquo and his family because when Macbeth and Banquo were in the woods the withes also mentioned about buanqos family which terrified Macbeth. On an over view of the play, what ever Macbeth does after holding power it all leads to his downfall.

After having the Kingdome under his feet Macbeth gets corrupted by power. Macbeth and his wife remember what the witches said. So they feel the threat of Banquos son becoming the king. With that having in mind lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to hire people to get rid of Banquo and his son. Macbeth sends murders to get rid of banquo and his son even though Banquo is his best friend. When the heart only sees darkness of power it can not avail the light of true friendship. Banquo dies and his son escapes which drives Macbeth worried. Macbeth asks the withes about the future. The witches told him that no man born to a woman can kill you. But if the forest moves you will lose. After hearing the news he was chill. Macbeth found out that Macduff was after him and he knows the truth of his legacy. Macduff was loyal to the king and was miserable after the king died. Macbeth kills Macduffs family and warns him to get off me. Macbeth does what ever he is capable of doing to have continuous power over his Kingdome. But he ends up loosing to the rage of Macduff and dies severely. The Kingdome is safe again.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Macbeth Essay Comment Instructions

I would like your Macbeth essay comments to answer the following four questions. Write three to four sentences for each question.

I - What is this essay's thesis? Is it clear and concise? Is it focused? Does it engage you? Why or why not?

II - Of all the examples and quotations contained in this essay, which is the strongest? Why? What made it stand out above the others?

III - What is one thing this essay does well? It could be its organization, word choice, writing style, choice of quotations, introduction, conclusion, etc. In addition to mentioning what the author does well, copy and paste an example of what you thought was particularly effective. Be sure to put the example in quotations.

IV - What is one piece of advice that the author might consider the next time he or she is asked to write a similar type of analytical essay?

Your comments should appear below the story you are responding to. When asked to choose an identity, click "Name/URL," then write your first name and last initial in the name field. Leave the URL space blank. Comments not posted according to these instructions will be deleted.

I would like you to respond to a minimum of six essays. You will have the entire class period on Monday to comment. You may do additional comments for homework if you'd like. Please bring a printed copy of your comments to class on Wednesday, April 9th, as I will check them then. Your classmates and I thank you for your valuable feedback.
Six comments = a "check"
Nine comments = a "check plus"