Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rich and Poor- The Division of Classes

     I've been on the right track with my reading goals. Although outside of school I tend to read more short stories than anything. Again, I have my Science Fiction class to thank for this. My teacher assigns us science fiction stories to read and annotate, which takes me about an hour outside of school. Though recently we were assigned a book report over a- surprise, surprise- science fiction or dystopian novel! I've enjoyed many science fiction novels in the past, so quite frankly this genre isn't really new for me. Still, I was able to find a way to challenge myself. I chose a book about magic. And although this is a common theme in dystopian novels, it's one that I haven't been able to really appreciate. Anything including spells and dark magic doesn't really interest me, mainly because I could never see it happening in our world. But, this book was recommended to me, and the blurb seemed interesting enough, so I decided to give it a shot. I have chosen to read Blood Rose Rebellion  by Rosalyn Eves. I have been reading for about 30 minutes each day outside of school, but because I have been reading The Great Gatsby as well, I've only read about 150 out of the 416 pages in Blood Rose Rebellion. Surprisingly, I've really enjoyed it and haven't even thought about abandoning it.
     In this society, The Circle was made up of people with magic, people superior to those who weren't gifted. They had fingers in every branch of government and had better living standards. Regular people, those that consisted of the working class in the society, resented those with magic and some would even gather at a street named "Speakers Corner" to speak out against the Luminate, or the people with magic. One man in particular spoke out saying, "For too long the Luminate have fattened themselves upon the labor of the working class. It is our work, our sweat, and our blood that makes their lives possible." (Eves 20)
     In America, the wealthy corporations have always taken advantage of the working class and have failed to give them the rights they've deserved. Corporations have taken advantage of foreign laborers for years and have failed to pay them and protect them correctly. Very minimal, if any, healthcare is provided and minimum wage isn't enough to live off of any more. While corporations create monopolies, the working class has become exploited to benefit the wealthy. This proves that in every society there has to be someone who suffers while others thrive; there can never be a completely utopian society. This novel displays a division between classes that we can see in America today.
   

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

     My reading outside of School has gotten significantly better. Although it's not really my choice, but rather my desire not to fail my Science Fiction class that prompted this. Me and five other students in my group were assigned a title to read and discuss. We chose Brave New World  by Aldous Huxley, a science fiction novel that was written in the thirties, so the diction used was a little dated, as well as the references. Because of this, the book was a little more challenging than others I've read this semester. Since we were given two weeks to read two hundred and sixty pages to finish our novel, and we had group discussions every two days,  I had to read around twenty pages daily. Not to mention annotate them, which was a whole other challenge in itself. This forced me to set at least an hour and a half outside of school to focus on the book and analyze what I read for the day. I appreciated that I was able to accomplish my goal of reading more outside of school, but I was so glad when I finally finished the book a couple days ago.
     In chapter 17, a man known as the "Savage" caught a glimpse of the new society the World leaders have created and hated it. He found it disgusting that no one was an individual with their own creativity and beliefs. They all just blindly followed the government so that everyone could live in what they believed was happiness, even though all they've sacrificed wasn't worth it. The "savage" explains, "But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."(240)
    In our modern American society, we are allowed to think and believe freely. We can create our own paths and lifestyles without judgment without being labeled a savage by most. Although there are plenty prejudices in our society, we are entitled to our own beliefs. For example, we don't have to worship a God, but we are given the choice to do so if we wish. We are given the gift to pursue our own happiness without having to sacrifice anything. So, when the savage uses repetition to explain what he desires, I can acknowledge that what he wants is the freedom to choose what he wants for himself as we are allowed. Because, despite all the issues our society has, we are always given the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Friday, April 7, 2017

My Life & Reading Goals

Hi! I'm Natalie Roque, an ordinary high school student. And, despite my love for reading, unfortunately my busy study life doesn't allow me the free time to read as much as I did before. Over the summer I would read at least two books every week, but now with all the AP classes and coffee practices, I have little time outside of my English class to read. At one point, reading was all I would do. I rarely used my phone, and I had much less homework than I do no, so I would lock myself in my room and read novels back to back. My mom even had a hard time figuring out how to ground me when I did something bad (which was rare!), so she would take away the only thing I loved to do, read! She would threaten to take away my books, which always made me fix my attitude! The first chapter books that introduced me to my love for reading was the series Junie B. Jones! I had a collection of them, and made sure I read every last one. Since then, I've moved on to more young adult novels, obviously. For example, Colleen Hoover, Lauren Oliver, and Stephenie Meyer are a few of my more recent favorite authors. Now, as summer is approaching, I hope to do much more reading than I have.
 
My goal this nine weeks is to read at least five more novels.  I plan on reading at least thirty minutes daily outside of the twenty minutes we get in my English class to get in more books. One of which will be Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, because apparently it shows up quite often on the AP exams. Hopefully I'll challenge myself to read more than one of the AP titles, but we'll see. I definitely want to start reading genres outside the dystopian novels I usually read. Maybe I'll explore nonfiction, mystery, or maybe even sci-fi novels!