«A complaint» groupwork – E-portfolio 4

          To start this last term, we worked on an group activity which consisted in choosing a poem and be able to give information about the author, movement in which he participated (e.g; romanticism) and finally analysing the poem itself. All this information had to then be included in a presentation and uploaded to the blog. My group was conformed by Trinidad Porretti, Sofia Mele and I, and we worked on William Wordsworth’s poem “A complaint”. While investigating about the author, we discovered how he was one of the founders of english romanticism and how this, and other aspects of his life, influenced in his writing. Analysing the poem gave us a deeper understanding and permitted us to connect this activity with other topics, and aspects of our lives, as the poem tackles the theme of love. The presentation also had to include an explanation of the title, which we were able to easily understand, and a drawing summarizing the poem (or one for each stanza). Here is our presentation; http://abrilteranfrias.cumbresblogs.com/2019/10/07/presentation-a-complaint/

 

          Thanks to this activity, I was able to reflect on this method of learning, and how helpful it is. I think one of the reasons that explain how well I understood the poem is group work. I was really able to discuss and look up information with my teammates and learn from their point of views about the poem. I believe that, although individual work is also important, group work is helpful when analysing stories or poems as it offers us a much deeper analysis with different ideas and perceptions. In this case, we were able to connect our thoughts and the three of us were able to learn from each other.  Also, having to place all the information in a presentation really helped me to visualize all the work we had done in a more organized and appealing way, making it more easy to retain the information. A presentation forces you to reduce and summarize the information as much as possible, something that is hard sometimes. 

 

          I was able to connect this poem with many aspects of our everyday life. Sometimes, we experience situations which make us feel that we are totally broken and that we will not be able to recover. This can be something simple or something extreme. We many times wonder why things happened, and continue thinking over and over the same thing instead of trying to move on. This idea of thinking that the world is going to end is what the voice transmits in the poem as a consequence of losing his beloved. While doing this activity, I also thought about another poem we had read last year, “She was a phantom of delight”, which was also written by William Wordsworth. This poem narrates three moments in the relationship between the lyrical voice and the woman he/she refers to in the poem: the moment when they first met, how they got to know each other better, and the occurrences that took place after their marriage. The voice expresses, throughout the poem, how much he loved her; In the first stanza describing her as a spiritual, pure and perfect character, and, in the last stanza, finally accepting she was more an earthly woman than spirit. The whole poem describes how much the voice is in love and admires his beloved. I was able to connect it to “A complaint”, written by the same author, as something similar occurs. Being left by his beloved made the voice´s heart become completely broken, he felt emotionally poor, as he deeply and madly loved her. This shows how William Wordsworth tackles this idea of love and relationships in more than one poem.  

E-portfolio 2 — Cartulina Gobiernos de facto

          Durante todo el 2do trimestre, en la clase de lengua, leímos “El coronel no tiene quién le escriba” y “Del amor y otros demonios”, ambos por García Márquez. Luego de leer, analizar, y discutir ambos textos mediante distintas actividades, tuvimos que realizar una última actividad grupal enfocándonos en una característica de Latinoamérica, y no solo poder relacionarla con alguno de los libros leídos (o ambos) sino también con la realidad del continente. El trabajo debía ser plasmado en una cartulina, donde se presente claramente una conexión con alguno de los textos, una conexión con la actualidad y donde finalmente explicáramos una conclusion final. Mi grupo estaba compuesto por Trinidad Porretti, Lucía Caviglione y Valentina Re, y nos tocó enfocarnos en los gobiernos de facto. Nuestra cartulina incluía varias citas de “El coronel no tiene quien le escriba” que permiten revelar cómo los personajes se sentían durante el gobierno de facto y que explicaban lo que se vive en un período bajo el mando de un gobierno de ese tipo. Respecto a la actualidad, nos enfocamos en el caso de Pinilla, cuyo gobierno de facto fue impuesto en Colombia en 1953 (en el período en el que fue escrito el libro), y el caso de Venezuela actualmente, con Nicolás Maduro. De esta forma, pudimos concluir que el pasado condena al presente (la historia se repite), y que, al menos por ahora, no hay fin a la violencia y desolación impuesta por estos gobiernos, lo que nos deja pensando si existirá una solución para poder de una vez por todas terminar con esta problemática en Latinoamérica. 

          Esta actividad me permitió reflexionar de una manera profunda, ya que no solo me quedé con la información y enseñanza del libro, sino que también pudimos aplicarlo a nuestra actualidad. El hecho de habernos dividido en grupos fue muy útil para no solo quedarnos con el aspecto analizado por nuestro grupo, sino también para aprender sobre otros aspectos de latinoamérica analizados por nuestros compañeros. De esta forma pudimos conectar información, reflexionar y llevar lo aprendido a nuestra realidad de una manera mucho más fácil que si nos hubiésemos simplemente quedado con la lectura y el análisis del tiempo en el que fue escrita la novela. Además, el hecho de trabajar de forma grupal y no individual sirve para aprender e intercambiar ideas con otras personas, lo que hace al aprendizaje mucho más completo. En mi caso, realizar una cartulina me fue de gran ayuda, ya que ver conceptos de forma visual, incluyendo imágenes, citas y gráficos hace que la información me quede mucho más en la memoria. 

          Pude conectar esta actividad con history e historia, otras dos materias que tenemos en el colegio. En estas, vemos y vimos a los largo de secundaria diferentes problemáticas del mundo en diferentes períodos, y muchas veces enfocándonos en el impacto sobre la sociedad. Un claro ejemplo es la Gran Depresión sufrida por Estados Unidos en los años 30, en donde no solo ese país fue afectado, sino muchos otros. Además, las consecuencias no fueron sólo inmediatas, sino que repercutieron por un largo tiempo. Nosotras en nuestra cartulina nos enfocamos en Venezuela, y tanto como en history e historia, pudimos reflexionar sobre el caso al enfocarnos en el impacto que los gobiernos de facto tienen y tuvieron a lo largo de la historia sobre la sociedad y el mundo. Venezuela no solo afecta a los venezolanos sino que afecta a cualquier pais que quiera establecer relaciones de cualquier tipo con ella. Es por esto también que gracias a esta actividad, pude conocer diferentes realidades y aplicar lo aprendido en otras materias y al conectarlo con ellas, acordarme de otras problemáticas ya vistas, como La Gran Depresión. 

 

E-portfolio 3 — «The Lady in the looking glass»

          The activity I enjoyed the most was reading and discussing «The Lady in the looking glass». We dedicated several classes to the reading, as to fully understand and reflect on the story. Firstly, we contextualized the story and period by investigating about the author, Virginia Woolf. Then, the first step when reading was focusing on symbols of the first two pages. We identified the symbols of the flowers mentioned when describing the garden on the text, which mostly symbolized innocence, but without realizing the connection between the symbols and the story. Also, according to the pages read, we described the protagonist, Isabella, with the information revealed by the text. The next class, we finished reading and, after analyzing and talking throughout the reading, we were able to fully understand the story, and deeply reflect on it. Throughout metaphors, comparisons, symbols and a powerful epiphany portrayed by the object of the mirror, we were able to understand the complete contrast between the inner and outer self of the protagonist, depicted by the inside and outside of the house. This invited us to reflect on this story easily. 

           «The Lady in the looking glass» describes the story of Isabella, who shows herself as a cheerful girl, full of friends and with a really great life. This part of herself is portrayed in the story with the description of the outside of the house, a garden full of colorful and gorgeous flowers and with no imperfections. However, Isabella’s real self is nothing as the garden. She is dead alive, and feels empty. Her life is sad, and messy, just as the inside of her house. This permits to establish a constant parallelism between the house and Isabella, where the outside and the inside matches with the inner and outer self of the protagonist. I was able to reflect through this method of learning, as the story invites us to perform this reflection upon ourselves. This is possible as «The Lady in the looking glass» ends with a moral; «people should never leave a looking glass in their rooms». This invites readers, and made me reflect upon this phrase. The symbolism of the looking glass is reflecting the universe and our real selves, so by leaving a looking glass we should be conscious and prepared that the truth will come to light. This story, and especially the role of the mirror on it, made me reflect on how, although I try to always show happy, I still have a dark side with sad or obscure thoughts, as well as a part of me that is full of questions and doubts. By reflecting on this, I understood that although people usually show their outer self, their «colorful garden», we all have an unrevealed side, our messy and disorganized part, that we sometimes keep just inside of us, and is not revealed, at least until we find ourselves in a moment of revelation, were everything comes to light. 

          Throughout this activity I was not only able to reflect upon myself or connect it to people’s inside and outside, but also to today’s reality. Many people are not able to truly express who they are, because of social pressures, or just because it is too harsh to accept it. Many people’s dark side is bigger than others, and it can not be solved if it just stays in the inside just as Isabella. While performing this activity, I could think about two Ted talks I had previously watched. One was about a woman who expresses how she hid her true self for so many years, until she finally realized and accepted who she really was.. At the end of the talk she says; “My biggest obstacles I would ever have to overcome are my own fears and insecurities. I believe that by facing my fears inside I will be able to change reality outside.” These last sentences made me find a really intimate connection between Isabella and Morgana Bailey from the ted talk, as they both showed themselves in a way they were not, and finally their true selves came to light. I believe that in different lengths every human is scared about facing their own fears, which is why I really thought about this ted talk while doing this activity. I was also able to connect this work with another talk I have watched, which was performed by a model who expresses how aspect is no guarantee that you are going to get everything you want in life, no matter how beautiful or happy other people perceive you, you can still be very insecure or empty. In “The lady in the looking glass”, readers at the beginning thought Isabella was really happy and fulfilled, as she supposedly received letters from friends, was rich and people admired her. However, we then realise that although she superficially showed herself this way, she was dead alive. This ted talk, in a less extreme way, transmits the idea that having money, being beautiful or being admired by people does not mean you are complete on the inside, and explore how “image is powerful, but also superficial”, just as in “The lady in the looking glass”.

 

E-portfolio 1 — Los cuentos de Borges

 

          Una de las actividades que más gustó del trimestre fue leer los cuentos de Borges; «El Cautivo» y «Historia del guerrero y la cautiva». En ambos textos Borges explora el binomio “civilización y barbarie”, tratando con un cruce de fronteras interculturales como tópico significativo. Al leer y analizar estas historias puede ver cómo se entrelazan las culturas y características de estos dos grandes grupos sociales existentes de aquella época; la civilización y la barbarie. En dos diferentes clases leímos los cuentos y los analizamos todos juntos, junto con Cami. Luego, el trabajo más difícil era establecer la estrecha relación entre estas dos historias. A mi particularmente me tocó como principal actividad sobre estos textos hacer un ensayo enfocándome en estos textos y su relación con la civilización y barbarie, por lo que pude profundizar este tema en gran medida. 

 

         Gracias a esta actividad pude reflexionar sobre las grandes diferencias dentro de las sociedades, diferencias que se hacen constantemente y que terminan profundizando una división y generando conflictos. La lectura y análisis de los cuentos de Borges me sirvieron para reflexionar, sobre realidades políticas y sociales, y sobre cómo, aunque el paso del tiempo ocurre, hay características y hechos que persisten a lo largo de las décadas, mostrando que el pasado condena al presente. Además, gracias a la posibilidad de reflexionar que esta actividad permitía, pude aprender mucho más sobre estos dos conceptos complejos y finalmente entender la importancia de ambos en la literatura latinoamericana y su diferente uso dependiendo del autor y época. 

           Por otro lado, me permitió reflexionar sobre otros aspectos vistos durante el trimestre, como la literatura Argentina en sus inicios y el romanticismo, que fue un tema clave en los estos meses de clases. Esto se debe en gran parte a la amplitud y diversidad del binomio de “civilización y barbarie”,  ya que este tópico no solo se presenta en los cuentos de Borges sino también en muchos otros textos que nos remiten a los inicios de la literatura Argentina y a la influencia del romanticismo. Aunque me costó entender completamente este tema al principio, me gustó haber tenido que realizar un ensayo sobre este binomio, ya que me permitió reflexionar y entender mas inclusive. 

 

         Reflexionar sobre los cuentos de Borges me fue muy útil para conectar esta actividad con lo que se vive en nuestro país día a día, con esa división y marginación que existe en distintos aspectos de nuestro país. Nuestra política está caracterizada por constantes grietas entre dos ramas o partidos políticos predominantes; en la actualidad representado por la figura de Mauricio Macri y Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Por otro lado, el concepto de civilización y barbarie presente en los cuentos de Borges se ve presente en nuestra sociedad; la parte privilegiada de la sociedad siendo las clases a las que se le presta mayor atención, y las personas humildes siendo marginadas, demostrado a grandes rasgos por el lugar en donde viven, un lugar totalmente marginado. Un claro ejemplo de esto son las villas, donde habitan personas con muy bajos recursos, y cuyo contraste con los alrededores es muy grande. Esto causa una gran división, lo que profundiza aún más la grieta social. Por otro lado, los modelos económicos también pueden representar esta idea, mostrando la imposición de diferentes modelos dependiendo del gobierno que lo aplique y dependiendo del punto de vista del que se lo mire. Gracias a esta actividad pude establecer estrechas relaciones con el día a día, con aspectos de nuestra realidad que se conectan íntimamente con la actividad de los cuentos de Borges, y principalmente con la” civilización y la barbarie”. De esta forma, se puede concluir que el pasado condena al presente, y que lamentablemente por ahora no hay fin a la marginación y división en las sociedades, presente ya hace muchos años.

 

TP – Realismo mágico en «Del amor y otros demonios»

          El realismo mágico es un género literario, cuyo nombre está compuesto por dos palabras que parecen contradecirse. El realismo abarca la apropiación de la realidad por parte de la literatura, un mundo con límites, que se encarga de tomar aquello que es material, dejando en evidencia un espejo de la realidad. Por su parte, lo mágico es lo que se opone a la realidad, trascendiendo los límites. De esta forma, se puede definir al realismo mágico como el género en cuyos textos la realidad histórica y el mundo de los sueños conviven armónicamente, sin perturbar a nadie y con normalidad, poetizando al mundo. Este género, surgido en Latinoamérica en el siglo XX, permitió trascender la realidad opresiva de la época, por lo que se puede considerar que tiene un componente utópico. Esto se debe a que surgió como un escape a la realidad, yéndose al mundo de los sueños, donde aparece la magia mostrando la posibilidad de otra realidad sin los límites opresivos de la época, lo que permite ilusionarse. 

 

          Gabriel García Márquez cultivó el realismo mágico en sus textos, entre estos en el reconocido libro “Del amor y otros demonios”. En este, se presentan las diversas  características y técnicas narrativas que permiten definir a este género. A lo largo del texto, diferentes situaciones permiten a los lectores reconocer diferentes aspectos del realismo mágico. La naturaleza, como característica, y la ruptura de la causalidad tradicional, como técnica narrativa, se ven particularmente representados en una parte específica de esta obra, permitiendo aquí reconocer al realismo mágico en su máxima expresión. En el segundo capítulo del texto, se introduce la vida del marqués, desde que este era joven hasta el nacimiento de su hija. En este tiempo, los lectores permiten conocer al marqués, y a todos sus amores. Él estaba enamorado de Dulce Olivia, una mujer loca proveniente del manicomio. El padre del marqués no aprobaba la elección de su hijo, y al saber que este pediría la mano de Olivia, optó por desterrarlo. Aquí es cuando el realismo mágico se hace presente, dejando en evidencia cómo la naturaleza trasciende los límites, y como la causalidad tradicional se rompe. Márquez expresa:

 

Al primer año de destierro lo despertó un fragor como de los ríos crecidos, y era que los animales de la haciendo estaban abandonando sus dormideros a campo traviesa y en silencio absoluto bajo la luna llena. Derribaba sin ruido cuando les impidiera el paso en línea recta a través de dehesas y cañaverales, torrenteras y pantanos. Delante iban los hatos de ganado mayor y las caballerías de carga y paso, y detrás los cerdos, las ovejas, las aves de corral, en una fila siniestra que desapareció en la noche. Hasta las aves de vuelo largo, incluidas las palomas, se fueron caminando.

 

           Gabriel García Márquez permite explorar el realismo mágico mediante esta cita, ya que la misma presenta una situación en la que se trascienden los límites de la realidad. Toda clase de animales caminaban en línea recta bajo la luna, hasta las aves a las que se las conoce por volar también caminaban en esta fila. Esto muestra lo indomable de la naturaleza, que opera como una fuerza misteriosa y omnipresente, que no tiene explicación alguna. El realismo mágico no solo es visto mediante esta característica sino que también puede apreciarse la ruptura de la causalidad tradicional, en donde lo esperable y cotidiano se vuelve inesperado/extraño, y viceversa. Mediante esta cita, se puede reconocer como lo inesperado y extraño se toma como la normalidad, justificando y verificando, una vez más, como la realidad histórica y el mundo de los sueños conviven armónicamente, con total normalidad en este género. El marqués, no se sorprende ni muestra “shock” alguno al ver a los animales caminando en línea completamente recta, sino que actúa con total normalidad. Esto permite, mediante esta cita, completamente identificar a este texto, “Del amor y otros demonios”, como una obra completamente propia del realismo mágico.

Questions – The Destructors

1.The Wormsley Common Gang. Comment on membership, recruitment, enemies, activities, and motivations. How about gangs today?

 

1_ members

  •  Blackie who was the leader at first 
  • T_ trevor . He became the leader after defying blackie
  • Mike 
  • Summers 

-they made up a gang and had no enemies. they gathered close to old misery’s house in a parking lot.

-not many members were recruited, trevor had been the first one in a long time. although they were used to joking and bothering the new gang members, this didn’t happen with trevor.

-they voted on all the activities which were to be carried out, each with an equal vote

 

  1. Identify three important conflicts present in the story. Explain what exactly is causing the problem—and whether they are internal or external in nature. Finally, explain which of these conflicts seems to the central problem.

 

Leadership

  • Internal conflict
  • First blackie was the leader of the gang 
  • He had a strong personality.
  • He was humiliated by Trevor
  • Blackie lost the vote as well as the leadership
  • Blackie has a competitor (t) 
  • Losing leadership ‘it was the end of the leadership’
  • Blackie was humiliated in front of his gang, nevertheless he was still interested in Trevor’s plan.

 

General conflict

  • The destruction of old misery’s house
  • External conflict
  • Differ on taking a decision as regards how to accomplish the objective

 

Final conflict

  • Mr thomas is approaching the house while the gang is inside.
  • Should the gang leave or continue destroying?
  • Finally stayed, locked Mr Thomas and destroyed the house.

 

  1. Describe what happens in the resolution of the story. Why might Graham Greene have ended the story in this ironic manner?

 

3) In the resolution of the story, the gang tied with a rope the wooden struts of the house to a lorry. The next morning, the driver came to fetch his truck and when he accelerated the car, the house collapsed.

 

  • The author might have ended the story in such an ironic way so as to make reference to what war left to society, the damage that war left. 
  • Greene portrays a broken and damaged society who is characterised  by a great lack of empathy towards the other.

quotation: “ you got to admit it is funny”

 

4) On the surface this is a story of action, suspense, and adventure. At a deeper level it is about delinquency, war, and the hidden forces which motivate our actions. Do you agree?

 

4) We agree with this as we believe that trevor reasons to destroy the house were not the ones that he publicly expressed to his gang. His actions were determined by the impact and consequences that war had had in him and his family. He had hatred towards a house that had survived the attacks and was in perfect conditions as before the war he belonged to a very wealthy family who had suffered the war and as a consequence they had lost their fortune. The house was trevor’s object of desire as he had resentment that it had survived after ww1 while his family was devastated by the war.

quotation: “ i am looking for something special” , trevor said showing his resentment and envy.

 

5. Of what significance is the setting of this story in blitzed London? Does the story have anything to say about the consequences of war? About the causes of war?

 

5) The setting of the story is significant as London was really involved in war and had really suffered the consequences and causes of it. England ended the war with a lot of casualties, traumas and destructions. All this hatred that trevor has towards the house is lead by the fact that he is not able to desist from his object of desire that is destroying the house. For trevor, the destruction of the house is a symbol of moving on and leaving the war behind, not being attached to it anymore.

E-portfolio 2 — Working with «The Destructors»

e-portfolio activity

-Experience (description)

-Reflection (what did you learn, how and obstacles found?

-Connection (to another learning experience and real life)

 

Reading the destructors 

  • Reading and debate
  • Analysis
  • Cooperative work

 

          The activity I enjoyed the most was reading and working with “The Destructors”, to which we dedicated three classes only to read and debate about it, being able to deal with this text really deeply. We firstly read the story and analysed it part by part, connecting it with war consequences in the setting (London) society. While dealing with “The Destructors” we focused on literary devices, on the conflict of leadership between the characters and the constant parallelism established between T’s and Old misery’s house after war. We dealt with the story in different ways to analyze it properly, in which we did not only discussed all together but we were also able to discuss a part of the story in pairs. This pair activity consisted in individually reading part III of the text and then being able talk about it with our classmate. After reading, debating and analyzing the story throughout different classes, discussions and activities we did a cooperative work, in which I worked with Trini Porretti and Juana Zufriategui, and where the final work had to be writing an essay about “The Destructors”. However, first we had to develop some questions about the plot, the protagonists and the background. This helped us, not only to develop the essay easily and clearly, but also to finish our analysis and have a full understanding of every aspect of the story. 

 

          The story “The Destructors” deals with the results of WWII in Britain. This fact made me easy to reflect about war nowadays, and how traumas are so deep after war, to an extent that envy and resentment are the only feelings that remain in society. War is so harmful, painful and destructive that the damage is not only territorial or physically, but also phycological (individual damage and as a society too). With this activity I was able to truly reflect, mainly thanks to the extended metaphor presented in the story. For Trevor, the only way to move on, and leave war behind was by destroying Old Misery’s house, which represented destructing the last thing that remained after war, in order to be finally able to start all over without leaving anything attached to war and to life before war. The Destructors clearly present a broken society, whose life was upside down and whose lack of empathy was a  characteristic that defined them. The text is able to always establish a parallelism between Trevor’s and Old Misery’s houses, which showed two opposite faces. Old Misery and his house represented what Trevor had once been, before war. His world was turned upside down by war, and destroying what has remained intact after the bombings was also a way of ending with the unfairness created by war. Why did some people had to lose everything and others hadn’t? That’s a question I constantly asked myself while analysing the text and helped me to understand the story and finally be able to align with Trevor, acknowledging the reasons why he was so determined to destroy Old Misery’s house.

 

          I was able to connect the story with different aspects of my life and reality nowadays. Thanks to my reflection I could connect it with nowadays wars around the world. Although I had many times thought about this topic or felt empathy towards people living in a troublesome environment, I had never been able to truly put myself in that position and really understand war traumas. The story contained metaphors and symbolism, facts that forced me to reflect on the text even deeper, and finally being able to connect it with reality in other countries nowadays.

I then tried to think of this activity in a more personal way, and I was able to connect this story with history. For three years we deeply analysed the two world wars, and particularly its impact in countries as London. This connection I was able to establish made me reflect and understand the hidden message of the story even deeper, and be able to remember, thanks to what we studied at school in history, on how great the impact of war was. This made me feel even more aligned to Trevor, and acknowledge how broken he and society were. 

As I was able to connect the story to other aspects easily, I tried to connect it with my daily life trying to give this analysis even a deeper meaning. Although I wasn’t able to directly connect it with my daily life I was a able to connect it with bad thoughts I, or any of us, may have. Many times we are so angry with a particular matter or we are not able to express our feelings in a correct way that we have dark thoughts or we make things without truly doing it with the intention of harming someone. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by anguish, anger, envy, or by our own necessities that we do things we are not really conscious about. We are able to perform things that are not good, that show our lack of empathy as a society even knowing we a great life overall, or at least without having suffered such a trauma as war is. If we are capable of this, how, from our privileged position, can we judge someone who at a so early age had to experience a tragic and devastating war? This question left me thinking, and, although I also feel sorry for Mr Thomas who had nothing to do with it, I was finally able to truly understand Trevor, which is why I consider this my favourite and more interesting activity.

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