Robert V.

7th-Grade English Portfolio

My Portfolio Reflection

1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?

My writing at the beginning of the year wasn't very good. It was really basic and off-tracked, but now my writing is more topic-focused and is more descriptive.
2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.

One of my writing strengths is mechanics because when I write, I can be a really nit-picky writer from grammar. Another of my strengths is explaining things in writing because that's what all of our writing projects were built around explaining.

3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.

I want to be better at expanding on topics I'm writing about because that has always been an issue with my writing that I've done.
4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.

I am most proud of my Outsiders essay because it was my last essay of the year and I used all the skills I've learned throughout the year to write it.

5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.

I'm most proud of my Walrus and the Carpenter essay because my Giver essay before that was really bad, this was a lot better than that, so it was kind of my writing turning point.

Artifact #1

Hero’s Journey Essay

Heroes do not always carry a shining sword and shield into a fantastical battle while on horseback. This fact is proven in The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton through the main character, Ponyboy’s adventure following the plot of a Hero’s Journey. Many examples of which are found within the plot. This book is a monomyth because it follows the Hero’s Journey steps.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he writes a composition for English to talk about his adventure. Ponyboy’s gift to the Greasers is telling people they should be respected through his English composition when he says: “And I decided I could tell people, beginning with my English teacher”(180) as he is about to write it. In the Hero’s Journey, the Return to Everyday Life takes place when the hero returns to his regular life and brings a gift back to share with the world acquired during his adventure. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy’s Return to Everyday Life is when he threatens some Socs courageously with the bravery he got from the Transformation before that moment. Though before his adventure, he would not have done that at all. After that, he give his gift to the Greasers in the form of an English composition that he decides to write about his adventure. Through his composition, he says that Greasers are more smart, more caring, and more human than the stereotype says them to be. This signifies the hero’s Gift to share with the world, proving that this story is part of the Hero’s Journey.

In conclusion, the events that happen to Ponyboy signify the steps of a Hero’s Journey. These are when he learns that Johnny kills Bob, he learns that Johnny could die, he starts to worry about school after experiencing two deaths, and when he writes a composition about his adventure for school. Many people believe that heroes only carry a sword and shield into a battle, but this book proves that anybody can be a hero.

Artifact #2

Things are not always what they seem to be. For example, if someone is buying something from someone else, but they never see it and they aren’t to sure of who the buyer is, when they get the product they paid lots of money for, it is ruined and they got suckered out of their money. Lewis Carroll raises awareness to this issue in “The Walrus and the Carpenter”. He empathizes the theme of ‘temptation leads to consequences’.

First, Carroll uses personification to help convey the theme, but also make the poem child- friendly. When the Walrus is trying to convince the Oysters to come with him, it obviously works when “Four young Oysters hurried up”(43). This can mean two things. One, little Oysters running up a rock. Two, little people blindly walking into their demise. When children read that, they will definitely imagine the first thing it could be, and that is how it helps with the child-friendliness. This is the first part of the theme because the symbolism in the quote serves as the bridging point between the temptation and the consequences in it, so it matters in that way. Since that is in there, it contributes to the child-friendliness and helps convey the theme with symbolism at the same time.

Carroll also uses ethos to make the Walrus sound trustworthy, and also making the poem seem a little bit more like a realistic situation than just having the Walrus use brute force. When the Walrus wants to convince the Oysters to come with him he tries to lure them into coming by saying “‘A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk’”(33). When the Walrus says this, he is trying to make himself seem trustworthy, proving he is using ethos. When someone says this to someone else, they would seem good, pleasant and fine to trust. That is what the young, naive Oysters are thinking about the Walrus in that moment. Carroll uses this to show that if strangers want to kidnap you, they will more likely use a lure, or ethos, to make themselves seem trustworthy and to get you to come with them. This quote symbolizes the temptation in the theme.

In conclusion, through ethos and personification in “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, Lewis Carroll conveys “temptation leads to consequences”. He uses ethos to make the Walrus seem trustworthy and move the story along. He uses personification to make the poem child-friendly and help with the symbolism in the theme at the same time This truly does show that sometimes things are not always as they seem.

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