This past year has been a great experience for me. English class was intriguing and a wonderful addition to my last year of High School. I previously had Mr. Gallagher as a teacher freshman year and then as well as now I didn’t know to expect. This year as a class we studied everything from poems to Shakespeare. We delved into the world of James Joyce and Myths. I later found out that all these books that were read in class were linked together. Each one was a part of the other. The main focus this year was being able to explicate a poem or passage to the full extent. At the beginning I had a truly hard time in understanding how to exactly explicate. Now I feel as if I have a better understanding of explicating.
Throughout the whole year we only watched one film which is unbelievable. This movie was about an artist name Charles Olsen. The movie was well made and very symbolic of Olsen’s real life. Olsen had a great passion for the place that he lived in. He believed that when a place changes it has a great impact on the person living there as well as the splendor of such a place making it hard to believe that it exists. I learned this while watching the film. I then started to question what Olsen was saying in the film about his home. I began to wonder the same things and realized that he was right. Another great thing about this film was the project that followed. I enjoyed picking a person mentioned in the film and creating something similar to their work or finding out who they essentially are and how they are connected to Olsen. This project allowed me to get creative and become educated on another great artist.
Over the whole year as a class we read an assortment of great literature. One of my favorites was the Stranger. The message in this novel was as strange as the actual character. The book focused on the fact that basically everything a person accomplishes and achieves is worth nothing when death is close or the fact that death is inevitable. I had never read such a novel where this sort of message was displayed. Experiencing this book was a joy and quite an adventure. The first explication that was written was based on this book. It was difficult but a great way to start off the year. The author of the book, Albert Camus, was very determined to get his point across in the novel.
Another novel which I enjoyed was “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”. This book demanded a lot of patience and a great deal of understanding. The book tells the story of Stephen Deadalus. It focuses on the trials and tribulations of this character as he evolves. The story itself was interesting to read but the criticisms at the end of the novel helped me to fully grasp the true meaning of Portrait. The criticisms ranged from psychoanalytic to feminism and how each one of these is displayed through out the novel. These criticisms were helpful in later books that were read.
All these experiences led to the research paper. Each one of the novels, poems, passage explications helped to create the research paper. All aided in some way or another to make the research paper worth reading. Literature is supposed to make one rise a level up in their thinking method. This year’s worth of reading has improved my writing skills and provided a outlook on to what’s ahead. New philosophies and ideas came about that could be helpful in the near future. This year has allowed me to focus more on the little things as well as the big ones. Symbols that don’t seem like anything could have an enormous impact on the way one explicates. Explication was the biggest lesson for me. Even though I wasn’t new to it, I felt that I was more prepared and received a clear understanding of it this year than last year. I finally understand it even though I still struggle in the total explication of a novel or passage. It has been a fun year and I will always bear in mind what this class has taught me.