E6 L40 – London vs. Henty -Writing styles

In the past few weeks I read two different authors’ books, G. A Henty and Jack London.  Both are different, and this essay compares the two, from style, to characters, and then to setting as well.

London is a very descriptive writer, normally to the point, very detailed individual characters.  White Fang is one of these books, as well as Call of the Wild.  His books normally paint a vivid picture of the character’s placement in a detailed surrounding.  He narrates from the sidelines so he can switch views between seeing from one perspective or another from time to time.  This way the reader has more understanding of the book and surroundings.

Henty, on the other hand, goes down all the rabbit holes he can find, and is not so descriptive about characters, though he is quite a painter when it comes to settings.  The book I think about when I think about when it comes to Henty is not from this year, but it does have probably the best I’ve seen so far from Henty – The Cat of Bubastes.  He doesn’t switch views or view from the sidelines, however – he views from the character’s eyes.  This gives for a more personal experience, though it doesn’t allow for seeing what the other people are thinking.  I think he goes more for the experience of reading a good book than for character development or setting introduction, like London.

Both of these writers are good writers with a purpose for a book and a view on the audience, and I say both deserve a laudation on at least that.


E7 L35 – Treasure Island Themes

           In his book Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson offers a variety of different themes, from “Don’t trust a man with one leg and a parrot” to “The prospect of treasure can turn men into animals”, There are many possible themes for the book.  Some other possibilities are: “Sailing the seas with a bunch of pirates is a bad idea”, “treasure hunts kill people”, “Greed is destruction”, or “be content with the things you have.” 

          One of the previous themes, “Greed is destruction”, might be the message that Mr. Stevenson wanted to send – He showed this by that when everyone got all greedy over Flint’s old treasure, the problems reared up.  First the mutineers under Long John Silver (the antagonist) beached the ship too high to get it back down into the water for a great while.  After this happened, the mutineers committed their mutiny and attacked the last few honest men on the ship.  This made them as thieves, sealing their fates.  Then under Long John Silver the mutineers became real pirates by attempting to steal the map to the treasure.  They were given a copy, however, and this screwed them over, as the real treasure was gone when they got there.  Not because of the honest men, surprisingly, either.  A maroon there, named Ben Gunn, found some treasure long ago before anyone else came there.  The only thing that went right about that later was that Jim Hawkins (the protagonist) befriended him while being chased down by Long John.  This allowed for him to get part of the treasure from Gunn’s cave later on.  The real treasure, Gunn had not found.

          The other possible message is “be content with what you have”.  This is proven many times through Hawkins almost losing everything, once being attacked by pirates, once in a storm at sea, and once being almost killed by the cutlass (sword) of one of the pirates. 

          All these possible messages that Stevenson might have wanted to get through to the reader are very true, obvious, and sometimes funny, and could have significant meaning to anyone.  That’s it for today on Treasure Island Themes.

E7 L30 – Saxon Culture

             The book Wulf the Saxon gives us a very good insight into Saxon lifestyle and culture.  It also compares the Norman culture with Saxon.  As the book shows, the Normans (or Northmen) worked their butts off to build ships for their plundering, while in the Saxons, Northumbria and Mercia, the peasants were worked as serfs and had to give the landlord, who could be a bishop, a former king, or a risen freeman, whatever he wanted.  Though demolishing and taking from nearby countries was wrong, at least ye Normans of old got what they earned.  However, the landlords in English lands got what they wanted by making the peasants give the stuff to them, and took their families and jailed the man if he didn’t give the thing the landlord wanted, while the Normans had neither landlords nor jails/dungeons.  In Norway, the wealthy lived more luxuriantly, but no one got to tell each other about, except the basic king.  However, in England, everyone was apparently allowed to blackmail anyone at or below their rank, or Normans, while the Normans were in England.  The Saxons were Christians, and I don’t even know what religion the Norwegians had.  Both had slaves to work for people, and both also had their statuses, posts, ranks, and positions.  This meant that both also had kings.  The kings could be successful or not, but this didn’t matter, as Norway has lasted longer than England, which is now part of the UK, though it was barbarian.  It is Christian now, and still very successful.

  E7 L20 – Setting in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

In the Juxtaposition book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, Hank Morgan is somehow transported all the way back to the 6th century, in Camelot.  The way to know when it is, is the milieu of the book, and the Customs of 6th century AD.  This book is a Satire, a book meant to shame someone into improving somehow.  This book allows for Visualization and describes a very vivid scene; all of the underlined words together makes the Mood.  This can easily be changed by changing any of the before items, and Twain takes turns between all of them in the book.  This allows for lots of flexibility in the story to keep going with it.

The Milieu gives the book its unique story line.  He uses a series of Juxtapositions, like comparing Morgan with a knight in full armor.  It’s like the cover is covered in glue!  I highly recommend this book to politicians nowadays, as they still do the things this Satire of Twain’s pokes fun at. [1]

[1] Vocab words are underlined for easier finding

PF W4 – Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs – Personal Finance Week 4 Review


          Steve Jobs, a well-to-do billionaire, was a self-made man who built his dreams off an inspiration from his adoptive father, who fixed cars and electronics, a couple college classes, and his milieu.  He was the son of a Syrian man named Abdulfattah “John” Jandali and a woman named Joanne Scheible, who did it quietly so Joanne’s father didn’t know.  Then she was found out, and had to go to a farm, where she gave birth to Steve.  She was then made to give him away to Clara and Paul, where he got his inspiration for the tech.  One of his teachers was also a major part as she taught him about electronics, which got him to go to an electronics course later, and a calligraphy one too, and Jobs said later, “If I had not dropped in on that calligraphy class, the mac would not have multiple fonts.”  He then went and met Steve Wozniak, his later co-partner in founding Apple Inc.  they worked together through school and later Wozniak built Pong, which Jobs gave to Atari.  They thought Jobs built it, so they gave him the job at Atari.  Then Wozniak built Breakout, and again Jobs gave it to Atari.  They challenged him; they would give him $100 for every TTL he took out of the program.  He and Wozniak worked together and reduced the number of TTLs to 46.  However, this couldn’t be produced on an assembly line so they gave him $700.  Since Jobs and Wozniak had decided to split the money, they each got $350.  This gave them a start to Apple.  Jobs used the money, along with his wages at Atari to buy a house to use as a Base of Operations for Apple.  He started by building the Apple computer, their first sale.  This started getting more and more complex as they started to rake in cash for the new computers.  Jobs and Wozniak then came up with the Apple Lisa, named after Jobs daughter, and that started selling.  After Apple started selling these, they started losing stock, as nobody bought the new Lisas.  Jobs then left Apple, kicked out for bad business behavior.  After he was kicked out, Jobs started another company, NeXT.  The first thing he came up with was the Education-based NeXT ComputerLab.  This sold too high, though the WWW was built on it.  The next innovation of Jobs’ was the NeXTCube, with NeXTMail and NeXTWeb.  About then, NeXT was bought out by Apple, co. so Jobs was back in his own company.  After a couple years, some more speeches, and a few more innovations, Jobs was diagnosed with the only type of curable cancer at the time.  However, instead of getting the surgery and meds, he took the hippie route – using plants, a vegan diet,  and lots of herbs.  He slowly wasted away, until he got the  surgery.  This left him weakened, and he died soon after.  Tim Cook, his stand-in CEO, became the CEO for Apple when Steve died in 2011.

E7 L15 – Ash and Survival

The event at the Yellowstone super volcano erupted into my life, literally.  It changed everything I ever thought I knew.

It all started two weeks ago, a beautiful summer day in June at Liaden Orchard, with nothing at all to warn us of the upcoming devastating, life-taking disaster.  Being 17, my younger brother, Bob, at 16, and my girlfriend Kaydence the same age as me, we were just the right age to make it.  The first thing I noticed was that the cats and dog were going crazy. The cats were hiding in corners and under chairs with tails bushed at nothing, and the dogs were wildly barking.  Then came the earthquake.  The ground started rumbling, and the ground cracked in areas.  As the earthquake got stronger, the ash smell wafted in.  We got the cats and dog in quickly, because that smell was the smell of death.  Then came the ash cloud.  It became visible on the edge of the horizon, slowly crawling across the sky. It blotted out the sun in what felt like an eclipse.

The ash has been in the sky since that day. The ash has made some new weather patterns, like ash tornadoes, acid rain, and ashwalls.  Ash tornadoes are very dangerous; we have to go underground in a bunker when one happens.  Acid rain is simply acid falling from the sky, caused by the ash and evaporation mixing.  When the water condenses, it comes back down as acid.  That’s also what’s melting the roof of the house above us and eroding the ground little by little.  However, we’re safe from that and ashwalls down here in the bunker.  An ashwall is basically a cooled slowed pyroclastic flow.  It’s still pretty fast, though, and it’s a wall of ash picked up off the ground being swept along at approximately 50 miles per hour.  I think we could harness the wind with a windmill and light some heat bulbs for the gardens.

“Hey Bob, Where’s the water? I’m pretty thirsty.” Said Kaydence, my girlfriend.

“It’s in here, Kaydence,” said Bob, my younger brother.

“Darn it. I lost my kit…Hey Jake, can you help me find it?”

“Sorry, I’m writing a paper on what it’s like right now, No,” I said.

“Whaddaya mean, you lost your kit, Bob?  You’re a whole lot more susceptible!”

“I probably left it under my bed, Kaydence.  I’ll keep looking.”

“You’re gonna be one unlucky little rascal if you lost anything in that kit!”

“I know, Kaydence.”

Each kit includes a set of sand goggles, a gas mask, some petroleum jelly, a watch, some cloths, and a med kit.


The ground started rattling, and the wall raced towards us through a glass-covered peephole.

“Don’t forget the kits!  Bob, get that kit on right now, and shut the door!  Alright, you all know the procedure, let’s get in the storage room,” I yelled.

Now that we’re in this dark room, I wish there was a peephole in here too.  Tomorrow morning should be better, I thought.

Light! There is a sliver of light on the horizon!  It’s morning, and I think the ash is finally clearing up!  Woo-hoo!!!!!!  This long hardship made Bob more reclusive because of pressure, and Kaydence and I more attached through experience.  I think we are now one of the few who were strong enough to make it, and I think this moral and physical strength will pay off later.