Alex Ross

7th grade English

My Portfolio Reflection

At the beginning of the year I struggled with correct punctuation and elaboration of my writing. However I now can punctuate and elaborate easily. When I write my strength is definitely delivering statements. What I mean by this is that I can easily stress points without writing a ton by using powerful language. Next year, I hope to learn how to further embellish my writing. I think that my Walrus and the carpenter essay best captures my growth as a writer. It shows how I elaborate to prove a point. However I believe that  my best piece of writing from this year is my Hero's journey essay, as I had a lot of passion for that piece of writing.

Artifact #1

People should not trust strangers because you never know what their intention may be. In the Walrus & The Carpenter by Lewis Carroll, some young oysters leave the sea to follow a seemingly jolly but secretly scheming Walrus on a walk. Once they reach their destination the Walrus’s rock they are swiftly sorted, lied-to, eaten, and removed from the world. If only the oysters had not rusted the goofy mammalian, they would have been fine. In The Walrus & The Carpenter Lewis Carroll emphasizes his theme of not trusting strangers while at the same time keeping his poem fun and entertaining to young and old alike.

First Carrol uses personification to create a fictional goofy world where lessons can be learned without serious malevolent tones. For instance when the Walrus is is trying to convince the fun walking,talking, and dapper oysters to leave their safe haven (the sea) the Walrus says, “‘the time has come to talk of many things of shoes and ships and sealing wax of cabbages and kings and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.”’(60-66) This example of personification makes the poem more fun while showing some of the nasty tricks a stranger may play to lure a child into their trap whatever it may be. This is a good choice of a place to sneak in some seriousness because we are distracted by the randomness of a personified Walrus talking like crazy old King Leer or something.

The other genius trick that Carroll uses is Pathos one of Aristotle’s rhetorical devices or in other words the key to a successful argument, emotion, background, and logic. Carroll uses pathos to show you what a stranger like the fabled Walrus can do to unsuspecting victims like the oysters. For example when the Walrus is about to eat the oysters he tries to convince them that he isn’t just about to brutally murder them he says “‘I weep for you, I deeply sympathize”’(97-98). This is an example of pathos because the Walrus is using the emotion of sadness to make the oysters believe his argument. He goes about this by weeping and acting blue. The fact that the oysters are tricked emphasizes Carroll's theme by showing that just because a strangers seems truly invested in the goal you strive to achieve. In the poem the oysters strived to go on a walk but in reality the Walrus’s goal was a midnight snack.

In conclusion, Lewis Carroll brilliantly emphasizes his serious theme of not trusting strangers by using the fun and playful literary device personification to make the story more appealing to children, and the emotional rhetorical device of pathos to show you why not to believe a stranger.

Artifact #2

Hero’s Journey Essay

When someone gives their all for the good of others, forgives people for their wrongdoings, and stand up for what is right, they are a hero, a great person who is loved and acknowledged for their courage and noble deeds. Ponyboy, the main character in The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, a monomyth, starts out the story a run of the mill, no-good, greaser with a very one sided view of the world and others interests. However as the book progresses Pony changes, and he realises that the Socs, the madras wearing, corvair driving, middle class folks who seemingly get all they want, are human too. The book is a monomyth because of the well defined stages of the hero’s change, otherwise known as the Hero’s Journey.

Pony continued to experience the initiation stage of the hero’s journey when Johnny died in the hospital and Dally commits suicide because Johnny was one of the few people that Dally cared about and trusted. When the gang is watching Dally commit suicide by pulling an unloaded gun on the cops Ponyboy thinks “Dally raised the gun, and I thought; ‘you blasted fool they don’t know you’re only bluffing and even as the policemen’s guns spit fire in the night, I knew that was what Dally wanted”(154). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of the initiation is when the hero faces his absolute low, begins to change and must confront fears in order to move forward. In the outsiders Pony must confront the losses of his friends. this quote is an example of Pony showing how hard it is to see Dally go. However at the end of the quote you can see that Pony is starting to change and is accepting the loss of Dally. this is big because since the beginning of the chapter Pony has been coping with the loss of Johnny, but this section of the quote shows that Pony is overcoming his friends losses and becoming more independent.

In conclusion the outsiders is a hero’s journey because of the emphasized stages of Pony’s transformation. Pony goes through all the stages of the hero’s journey as he leaves his comfort zone, faces his fears, before finally returning to everyday life a changed person. Everyone in the world has things in common, although at times people may only think of how the grass is greener on the other side. However once people look past the advantages and privileges of others you can see that everyone is human and cannot be fully judged on their wealth or privilege.

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