Author Archives: Terry_L

The outbreak

The part one of the book “Station Eleven” written by Emily St. John Mandel started the story by an accident happened in the Elgin theater, then lead to the appear of all characters from the story, even though they were not eye-catching in the beginning. The story began with a scene of King Lear by William Shakespeare, and the main character of this show is called Arthur Leander. To be honest, it was a little boring in the beginning, it was nothing else but just the scenes from the works written by William Shakespeare, at the moment I felt like to skip couple paragraphs and continue reading after, but a change was rising in the story which an accident happened which caught my curiosity continue reading it .

Arthur Leander, the actor in the show started to act weird and couldn’t tell the scripts normally. However no one realized that except a man called Jeevan who was sitting in the audience seat. He tried to go up to the stage and help the actor, but the security thought he was a deranged fan of Arthur and stopped him from going to the stage.  Finally Jeevan was not stopped by the security and his girlfriend, Laura and quickly went up to the stage and try to save Arthur with the other people who was a cardiologist named Walter Jacobi, unfortunately they did not save Arthur successfully at the end.

The author, Mandel used a simile on Arthur behavior when he was acting unusual, “and seemed frozen in place, his mouth opening and closing like a fish” (Mandel, Page 4) This greatly described how serious the condition of Arthur was, and here to declare his death and open a line for the story.

After the failure of saving Arthur, Jeevan felt a little guilty and planned to leave the theater, however, he just found Laura left without telling him, after he met a little girl named Kirsten Raymonde which was around seven to eight who actually witnessed the death of Arthur and returned her to the wrangler, Tanya. He tried to call Laura and finally knew the reason about her leaving, he felt unhappy about what she had done and what she asked him to do after. He felt like they were not that close to each other. The author even gave some detail environmental descriptions on streets, “The night was dark and filled with movement, snow falling fast and silent, the cars parked on the street swelling into soft outlines of themselves” (Mandel, Page 12.) Mandel used the environment to reflect how exactly Jeevan felt in his heart at the moment.

The death of Arthur quickly connected to other characters such as Miranda who lived in Malaysia now, but this is not the thing yet. Jeevan’s friend, Hua gave him a call suddenly  and first told him about the serious epidemic, Gregorio’s Flu. According to what Hua said, the condition was getting worse in the hospital since there was more and more victims. By the advice from Hua, Jeevan quickly went to the local store and started to buy and store food for this disaster. After the third call from Hua which signaled the end of his life, Jeevan contacted Laura, but Laura did not take it serious or she did not believe in him. Jeevan got his food and arrived to meet his brother, Frank. Everything came to a worst situation and part one of story ended here with putting  an incomplete list at the end.

This story reminded me about the Resident Evil or the movie, Outbreak. All these began the outbreak of a type of serious epidemic which may signify  the end of the world and lead people in the world going crazy on it, they began to think back about their old life, and scared of the new days under the end of the world, it is a story about survival, but just surviving is not enough.

What is left over?

In the article of “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” written by Ray Bradbury, the author displayed a scene of tragedy after nuclear war. It had been a part of history already, grass started to grow on the land again, everything seems better, everywhere was quiet enough. However after all these happened, what is left over? Who was still there and enjoy such beautiful scene?

Bradbury described an image, “a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up , the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came down” ( Bradbury, Page 1.) Here greatly criticized the terror of the previous nuclear war. The two children supposed to enjoy playing their ball at the moment, however, the outbreak of the nuclear war destroyed their innocence and happiness and marked down the scene on the charred wall, permanently. What had they done? No, they did not do anything but just playing. The merciless nuclear war just took away everything and not  leaving any explanations.

The author also described a scene of a dog in the bad condition which left by the nuclear war, the dog had a very dirty body which covered by mud. It was extremely hungry but it had nothing to eat. Even though the front door recognized the dog’s voice and opened the door for it. It still could not escape from the destiny of death. Bradbury said, “The dog frothed at the mouth, lying at the door, sniffing, its eyes turned to fire. It ran wildly in circles, biting at its tail, spun in a frenzy, and died. It lay in the parlor for an hour” (Bradbury, Page 2.) We can see that the dog was extremely hungry at this time, unfortunately people were all gone after this nuclear war, no one could open the kitchen door for it and feed it with food, it could only breathe in the last breath of air or bite it tail to relieve the pain from hunger, and died with its unwillingness. Human beings created this war, but not only human beings  suffer, but also the animals. Even though they owned such advanced technologies in the house, but they can never use those again, everything seemed to be worthless after the war.

This article reminds me about the book called ” Silent Spring”, the overuse of pesticides destroyed most of the living things on Earth, people mostly were all gone after this, the entire world only left with quietness. It was the same here, the nuclear war destroyed most of the living things on Earth. It was quiet everywhere, you can still see the remains from the war. Unfortunately nobody will have the time to enjoy such a beautiful scene anymore. In this article, only some advanced Artificial Intelligent machines were left in the house, people were all gone from the house under the forces of the nuclear war. The machines were still keep doing their jobs, but it was still pointless, and at the end they can only watch all things were burned down to the earth and returned to silence.

Technologies don’t kill people, but people do kill themselves. If we are not able to use technologies properly, keep destroying the our environment, eventually we will harm ourselves. If we destroy the living environments for ourselves, even we still owned the advanced technologies, then what is left over?

A dream city built upon a little boy’s misery

In the story of “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” written by Ursula Le Guin, the author talked about a dream city named Omelas – a city which full of happiness. There is no crimes, no drugs overdose and no harmful things. Everything seems so fine or dream like, however, all these wonderful things were built on a boy’s misery, even though he might get used to it and don’t know to blame on his current situation. If you are the teenagers who had visited the little boy, what would you do next? Stay quiet and continue living your good life that built upon the suffering of the  boy  or try to leave the city with fake happiness and start your pursuit on the real happiness built by your own struggle?

By reading this article, I was completely shocked by the contents in the middle of the story, the author decorated the current society with a lot of fancy things and created a dream like city which only occur in fairy tale. As the author said, “The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold fire across  the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky” (Page 1, Paragraph 1, Ursula.) Everything in the land was fantastic and untouchable in the real society.

Just like a normal society does, in order to build a prosperous city, there must be some sacrificing like underneath crime or hard working. Omelas is not a dream like city that build by nothing, it was built upon the misery of a little boy. The author mentioned, “They all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their markers, even the abundance of their harvest  and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery” (Page 5, Paragraph 2, Ursula.) The little boy was taking most of the unfortunate conditions at the time other people were actually enjoying their happy life.

Why did this boy have to take all these burdens himself, he should be saved from all these misery. Yes, some people in the story, especially the teenagers who had heard about or visited the poor little boy and thought about saving the little boy from this unfortunate life, but this seemed to be impossible. Just like the author said, “To exchange all the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas for that single , small improvement: to throw away the happiness of thousands for the chance of the happiness of one: that would be to let guilt within the walls indeed” (Page 6, Paragraph 1, Ursula.) By facing the actual benefits which related to their own life or properties, people usually choose to be selfish, and all the unfortunate things happened to the little boy seemed to be natural in their mind, someone will had to sacrifice for all people’s happiness in the land, even though it’s unfair to the little boy.

Many teenagers who had visited never go back to their home but chose to leave for other places, because they felt like they are not able to live their life under the suffering of the little boy. They seemed to know where exactly they are going which was a place less imaginable than the one they lived before – Omelas. Through out the whole story, we found a Utopia which slowly faded away and showed its real identity which was cruel, and people over there were just enjoying their unreal happiness because they know where it come from, the misery of the little boy. After reading the entire article, you may be also wondering, if we experience the same situation, are we going to do the same things as the people living in Omelas did – being cruel and quiet on what happen to the boy and stay with these fake happiness, or we are going to do the same thing as those teenagers did? Maybe someone may say, who cares is it fair to the little boy or not, life is like that, you either suffering for others’ happiness or you enjoy your happiness upon the others’ misery, but I do.

Things that lead to the madness of the woman

In the story of “The Yellow Paper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, it is basically telling a woman who had slight depression after the postpartum, after that she was taken to an elite housing located in a village for a therapy by her husband. Her husband is a physician which practical in the extreme. He placed her into room which full with the ugly yellow wallpaper. She was separated from her child, she was not allowed to leave the house, she was not allowed to write or to do anything she liked. She can only face the yellow all day long, eventually she began to see illusion and thought there was a woman hidden behind the yellow wallpaper, she ripped off all yellow wallpaper to save the woman behind which was actually an illusion and totally became insane.

In the first page, paragraph six, the narrator said “John is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition.” Through this sentence we can actually see that the woman’s husband was actually full of male chauvinism, he thought everything he did to his wife was correct, but he did not know it was too much for his wife. He actually restricted the freedom of his wife. The author also mentioned that “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression — s alight hysterical tendency.” He forced his wife to take the treatment in the way he wanted, however, his wife did not want to take it but she did not want to go against with her husband.

She was actually placed in a beautiful house located in the village. However, her husband thought she needed the perfect rest and put her into a nursery on the top of the house. In the room, there was nothing but some ugly yellow wallpaper, just like the author said, “the color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.” The woman was not allowed to go out or do anything she liked but just facing these yellow wallpaper, she already had a slight hysterical tendency, and now this way would make it worse. She could not relax herself with restricting in such situation, she would just get more depress after all.

At the end of the story, the woman ripped off all yellow wallpaper to release another woman which had the similar situation as she did, unfortunately that was just an illusion from her mind, there was never a woman hidden behind the yellow wallpaper. She was obliged by her husband and lost her freedom, and then she came up with an illusion of hidden woman behind the yellow wallpaper, and she was going to save her from there. However, all these was what she desired from her husband, she did not want to be treated like this. All these feelings were put in the last two paragraph of the story, “I’ve got out at last,” said I, “in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!” Too much depressions coming across her mind, and finally got her freedom, unfortunately she was already insane at this period, and all these was because of her husband, always be practical in extreme and treat his wife in the correct way he thought, finally lead to the madness of the woman.

Feeling as an immigrant

The article “Puertoricanness” written by Aurora Levins Morales tells a story of  the immigrant from Puerto Rico who is living in Chicago right now. In the beginning of article, the narrator created an image from the protagonist’s head which was a rooster wakes up people living on 59th street at 6:00 A.M., and everyone cursed at the rooster, and here the author used Metaphor and described the little town as a chopped corn and being ruined by the rooster. However, she still likes it because it was included as a part of emotion to her hometown, she just miss her hometown very much.

When she was first living in Chicago, she was always trying to hide her true identity and her accent. As an immigrant, she refused to speak Spanish in the nursery school. She missed her life back in her hometown, Puerto Rico. Here is extract what I do when I first came to United States as an immigrant couple years ago, I refused to speak Chinese in class because I don’t want to be treated different in class. I tried to hide my accent but unfortunately I have nothing on the English background and I was not able to hide it well.

Later in the story, the protagonist also could not keep her accent under lock and key, too. Every word she was trying to hide such as dyslexia, stuttering and halting slips out as the wrong language. After the narrator use three question in the continuous way to express how embarrassed the protagonist is feeling at that moment.

Finally she realized things about herself, the things she was trying to hide from others as a Puertoricanness for all these years had already shaped her in her habits, such as idiosyncrasies of her nature. She could just be herself and lived in this new home for herself. She found that there was no need to hide herself anymore. So now she yearned for the clocklessness, looking back into her childhood and her food she enjoyed in the poorest house.

How to behave as a girl

The short article “Girl” written by Jamaica Kincaid is basically telling how a girl should behave in public, such as something that a girl should do or not to do in order to act politely. This short article  is not that interesting for me, because I’m a guy and I was doing something which is a little different from the contents of this article. Generally the author of the article is like parents which teaching their girls how to act in the society and things to do everyday.

The author of the article said, “don’t walk barehead in the hot sun”, Just like what the parents told their girl and like what girls do in public, in order to protect themselves from the sunburn, the parents usually told their girl to put on a hat when they walk out from the house. The author also said, “when you are growing dasheen, make sure it gets plenty of water or else it makes your throat itch when you are eating it”, this showed the concern from the parents in order to protect their girls and showed how much they love their girls, the author is sharing her experiences to the girl as the protagonist to guide the girl what to do after she experienced the similar troubles.

To be honest, after reading the whole article, I literally get bored on the contents itself since it was like the direct conversation from guidance of the parents to their girls, to tell their girls what they should do or things they should be aware in public in order to live their life better.

 

English 2001 Intro to Literature

Hello everyone. My name is Terry Lei. It’s nice to meet you all in class. I am sure you have seen a lot of products with labels of Made In China, today I am going to introduce to you another product which was also manufactured in China, that is me! I was born in a city which located in the southern part of China and I moved to US in 2011.

Now I am working on a major of Electrical Engineering of Technology in Citytech, and this is my third year for studying in Citytech. I did not have a job which related to my major so far, but just working in the Japanese restaurant and teaching children about math and science in my free time.  I like to play with electronic devices such as smartphones, and computers. To be honest, I am the person who’s a little active, I like bicycling, skateboarding and climbing. Whenever I have time, I will choose to go out with my bicycle or skateboard instead of staying at home. I like the music from the rock band Maroon 5, One Direction and Linkin Park, especially Linkin Park, I’ve been listening to their music for 7 years, starting from the year of 2010, their music was always powerful and inspiring. Just like many of us in class, I like watching Anime. Currently I am watching One Piece. Also I like watching movies with a lot of action scenes and good graphic such as Furious 8 and Transformers. As my goal for now, I am planning to work in the big companies such as  Samsung and Huawei as an engineering technician.

This is my old bicycle which was used for 3 years already, I love riding bicycle and taking pictures around.

My weakness will definitely be the writing part, I am not doing good in writing at all, but I love to read books and do some critical thinking, of course I am not talking about the academic books but just some scientific novels. My favorite novel is the one called “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea” written by a French Writer, Jules Verne. The reason I hate writing is that I always have lack of grammars and vocabulary to describe what I want to tell from my story or my own thinking since my English is still imperfect. I enjoy doing some kind of critical thinking whenever I read, because the ideas from the books I read is always creative and make me think deeper within my imaginations. I did use OpenLab for another English class which is English 1101, but not that much, it will still take me for a while to figure this thing out. Finally let me just express my opinion on fictions. I think fictions are some good works made by the writers which might based on their life experiences and included some kinds of deep thinking in life and  writing techniques, it will be really helpful for building up my skills on expression for my major by learning about these.