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Literary Life Lessons

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S: Bethany's Literary Life Lessons

FC: Literary Life Lessons | Bethany Thomas 3-4 LA 5-22-12

1: Table of Contents | The Odyssey Life Lesson 1 2 The Odyssey Life Lesson 2 4 Beowulf Life Lesson 3 6 Lord of the Flies Life Lesson 4 8 Romeo and Juliet Life Lesson 5 10 The Lottery Life Lesson 6 12 The Lottery Life Lesson 7 14 The Veldt Life Lesson 8 16 The Veldt Life Lesson 9 18

2: A major theme in The Odyssey is to be humble instead of being prideful. In The Odyssey, Odysseus's tragic flaw is his enormous pride in himself and his accomplishments. After the Trojan War, Odysseus and his army of soldiers decide to prove their superiority by overtaking the nearby island Circones. On the beach, they party and become drunk. Secretly, the Ciconians develop a plot to overtake and kill the drunken soldiers on the beach. The surprise attack killed many men. If Odysseus wasn't that prideful in himself, he would have led the soldiers straight back home to Ithaca. This theme affects me because I can be prideful sometimes, and it can hurt those I love and care about around me. I really need to think before I speak or act so accidents won't happen.

3: Pride will not get you far in life's journey. | The Odyssey by Homer

4: The Odyssey by Homer

5: Be with your loved ones all throughout life. | Another deep theme in The Odyssey is the deep human incessant need to be at home after a long journey. In the Odyssey, it takes Odysseus over 20 years to get back home to his wife and son. He avoids the pull towards the lotus, defeats the Cyclops Polyphemus, survived the underworld and the encounter with Charybdis and Scylla, woke from Calypso's spell of entrapment, and finally fought to regain his throne. I believe that no matter what stage you are in life, people have to be with the ones they love. If this isn't possible, what is the point of being human if you can't love and be loved? In my life, I frequently get upset with my parents because I want to rebel. However, I become lonely if I don't submit to my parents. No matter if I am at my angriest, I somehow manage to apologize and everything goes back to being happy.

6: In Beowulf, the courageous young warrior Beowulf travels to the land of the Danes to defeat the murderous Grendel. King Hrothgar of the Danes is very grateful that Beowulf is so brave to defeat the terrible monster. When he defeats Grendel and even Grendel's treacherous, revengeful mother, he is known throughout as a wise, magnificent warrior. Like Beowulf, we should make ourselves. However, trying to be who we are is not a competition, but a proof of self-worth to ourselves that we are capable of so much in life. Once each one of us has a grasp of that concept, bravery is not a far reach away anymore. When I was younger, I was very shy and reserved. Now, I am much more outgoing because I know that I have special skills, like singing for instance, that no one has. Although I discretely use my voice, I now have a mindset of self-approval. | Prove your identity to yourself.

7: Beowulf

8: Evil is inside all of us.

9: What would happen if the downfall of morality occurred? If we dehumanize under the right conditions? The Lord of the Flies challenges readers’ minds into deep thought over what the true definition of evil is. Being personified by a severed pig's head on a stick, “The Lord of the Flies” is defined by the book as the savagery hidden beneath all of the rules of society. In the novel, the Lord of the Flies talks to the young boy Simon, which suggests he is under a hallucination. The pig's head tells Simon that what the real Beast is not created by their own fear but is their real nature themselves. A good example of pure evil is Roger because he takes ultimate pleasure in killing the sow, as well as Piggy. From my background in Christianity, I believe every human who walked the earth is sinful. When reading this novel, I had a self-realization. Even if you are as good as Mother Teresa, you would still dehumanize into monstrous creatures with bloodlust and rage. All it takes is a vacation from laws enforced by civilization. | The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

10: Although how morbid this tragedy is, there is a major life lesson that we can acquire. When it seems the story is beginning to look cheerful, an event occurs that brings the plot into a tailspin. Actually, the very first meeting of Romeo and Juliet could have been avoided to save their lives. However, love is the strongest force in this play, so naturally Romeo and Juliet would fight for their romance by secretly getting married. Sadly, fate tears them apart, starting with Mercutio’s death. Throughout the play, events like, Mercutio's death leads to Tybalt's death, then Romeo's banishment. Tragedies continue with Juliet's arranged marriage with Count Paris. When a plan was made by Friar Lawrence for Juliet to escape out of her arranged marriage and to reunite with Romeo, Lord Capulet moves the wedding date closer. | Stay positive and fight for what you believe in.

11: She takes the potion, but Romeo doesn't get the message. Romeo kills himself by drinking poison because he thinks Juliet is dead. She wakes up to find him dead, so she kills herself. I think Romeo and Juliet teach us to stay positive even when our life dips for the worse. If either Juliet or Romeo had no faith in a happy ending, they probably would have never have remained in love with each other. Every day I practice trying to view the glass half full because I feel relieved about the stress in life. For example, I take a test and believe that I did well so that I wouldn't stress over something that I shouldn't stress over. When I receive my grade, I would neither be overjoyed nor disappointed because what matters is that I believed in myself. | Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

12: Beware those who would turn on you.

13: The Lottery takes place June 27th in a small village. On this day, the village celebrates a certain holiday where every villager has to meet at the town square. Like a lottery, a family is chosen, and then from the family a winner is chosen. In the story, it happens the winning family is the Hutchinson family. Mrs. Hutchinson protests that the drawing was unfair, but the process continues. At this point, readers now understand that the lottery prize is not a million dollars, but really is something dreadful. The official takes five slips of paper (one for each family member) and places them in the box. Only one piece of paper has a black dot on it, and Mrs. Hutchinson receives the dot on the paper. The crowds of people surround her to throw the rocks at her until finally she is stoned to death. As she pleaded for her life, children took part in the tradition, even her own children. The audience can infer a major point that the ones you dearly love may actually not stand up for you and maybe would actually tear you down in desperate situations. This teaches us to carefully and wisely choose are friends. We should find friends that would play their role in helping us in our time of need. As a kid, I made sure that I hung around a crowd of friends who would truly protect me from harm. Unfortunately, it is very far and few between to find such people. | The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

14: In this story, the villagers are very anxious and scared about what is to come, and a 70-year old man speaks about how the lottery should end. The old man also mentioned that other villages have reformed the terrible ritual, and he said that they should too. However, people were stuck in their ways and declined. We realize at the resolution of the story that he has survived against the lottery for 70 years, and he knows that something should be done about eradicating the savage ceremony. Even though Mrs. Hutchinson's pleas were to save her life, she pointed out that choice was in their hands to save others’ lives before the crowd stones the winner to death. If they were to reform their ways, good things might formulate and bring the city great success. In The Lottery, they are blind of change and keep riding the infinite roller coaster of death. As I grow older, I have to adjust to my changes as the world changes around me too. Sometimes I feel that there should be a stable constant in my life like waking up at a certain time, but studies show that brain activity weakens when we are stuck in an endless cycle. Besides, how does America run if it did not change every second? Thus, we must evolve and change so that new and grand things can occur.

15: Change is a good thing. | The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

16: Don't let technology consume your life. | The Veldt by Ray Bradbury

17: The nursery for Hadley children has all the magic and imagination a child ever needs to learn and develop. Peter and Wendy become so addicted with the nursery and its wonders that they lose sight of their real lives. The nursery has replaced the mother and father, and the relationship between the children and the parents. When the nursery has a feeling of darkness over it, the parents question their easy living in their smart house. They come up with a plan for a family vacation away from the technology. However, the children are emotionally attached to the nursery, so they instantly target their actual parents as the enemies. To protect their precious nursery, Peter and Wendy plot their parent's death. This short story teaches us that we should always make sure that we take a break from computers and other pleasurable distractions to prevent bad things. In return, we take a breather and truly live in reality. Presently, Social Networking such as Facebook and Twitter consume our lives, especially teenagers. Soon, teenagers will only socialize with people on the Internet, but never meet a single soul in reality. I don't have a Facebook, but my friends that do are addicted to the point they would do something outrageous or dangerous to be on Facebook.

18: When Mr. and Mrs. Hadley walked into the nursery, they found an African veldt as the new theme. However, they had this strange feeling of death. Lydia Hadley then expressed that they have been around technology so much that they aren't able to tie their shoes or brush their teeth. George Hadley agrees and says that they should go on a family camping trip to get away from the electronic house. They realized that they were losing family bonds, so they wanted to fix that by being a family again. However, Peter and Wendy were already so attached to the nursery that they wouldn't give it up for a family trip. They felt that their mother and father was the smart house, not Mr. and Mrs. Hadley. Both George and Lydia didn't realize that what they really needed was a family when they bought the smart house. If they knew that, then maybe their fate will be altered. I make sure to spend quality time with my parents, but sometimes I get caught up in homework and other time-consuming activities. However, I am able to break through and talk to my family. Family is the most important thing in my life. | The Veldt by Ray Bradbury

19: Family is essential in life.

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Bethany Thomas
  • By: Bethany T.
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  • Title: Literary Life Lessons
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