Monday, February 7, 2011

Books I have read in High School

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is about a lawyer and his children who get involved in a case involving a black man who was accused of a crime. The lawyer is the one who is in charge of defending the man and he's the only one who believes the man is innocent. He faces a lot of threats and scrutiny for defending the man because everyone else in his town thinks that the man is guilty and in the end the man is found guilty even though the lawyer found evidence that the man was innocent and so he loses his case and the man is sentenced to death. This novel changes people's thinking because it shows that not everyone thinks the same way or have the same views when it comes to people's ethnicities and there are a lot of good people out there who believe in equality.
2. 1984 by George Orwell is about a man who is part of a society under the complete control of the government which is nicknamed "Big brother." The man meets a woman who is also rebellious like he is and they both hate the government and hope to get rid of it one day. They then decide to live together in secrecy and when they are discovered by the police they are captured and then are tortured both physically and mentally until their views of the government are changed and they then become the very puppets of the government that they had hated so much. This novel changes people's thinking because it makes people think about how the government might have been if the country were communist. It also makes people think about the true motives of the government and what they might do to people were they to gain full control.
3. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is about a rebellious boy that decides to leave the boarding school he's in and face the world all by himself. He meets different people and gets into different situations and then comes to the conclusion that he wishes he could help his little sister keep her innocence from the world that he lives in so that she will never go through what he has gone through. This novel changes people's thinking because it makes them question of what they want to become in life and what makes them truly happy. It also makes readers question their true character compared to the main character who hates many different traits and qualities that people have and thinks that the world is filled with a bunch of people who don't know their true characters and so they act "phony."
4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is about a fireman who is part of a society that bans the reading of books and instead encourages to burn them. He meets someone who changes his mind about books and he then decides to save books instead of burn them and so he starts collecting different books and hiding them in his house. He later learns the truth of why they burn books in his society and is forced to kill his captain and run away and live in hiding. This novel affects its readers because it lets them imagine a world without books and how it would be like if books were not accepted in society. It also teaches readers the importance of books and knowledge so that the world won't turn ignorant like in the book.
5. Night by Elie Wiesel is about a young jewish boy who is captured along with his family by the Nazis and forced to live in a concentration camp. In there he and his father have to go through many hardships and struggle to survive the horrors of the holocaust. Eventually the boy's family dies except him and he is rescued by the allied forces and then he ends up living in America. The novel affects the readers because it makes them think about all the horrors that the jews had to go through during the holocaust and how cruel and evil the nazis had been. It also lets readers look at life from the point of view of a jew during the holocaust and all the struggles he had gone through to survive it.
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell is about a bunch of farm animals who decide to rally against their human captors and free themselves. After they had defeated the humans they decide who will be the leaders of the farm and they choose the pigs who are the smartest to run the farm. The pigs then start to change the farm completely and at first the other animals don't pay to much attention but then the pigs start becoming more aggressive with their laws and policies and the other animals start to hate the pigs. Eventually some of the other animals stand up to the pigs and they are then killed and in the end the pigs make a deal with the humans and become friends with them while the other animals suffer. This novel changes people's thinking because it shows how dictatorships can affect the development of a society through the course of time. Also it teaches people to choose their friends wisely because they might try to control you and betray you if you're not careful or you might get double crossed just like the pigs did to the animals.
7. Othello by William Shakespeare is about a general named Othello who gives the title of Lieutenant to Cassius instead of one of his closest friends Iago. Iago then plans to betray him so that he can get his revenge and he starts to come up with a scheme that will turn Othello against his wife Desdemona. Iago still pretends to be Othello's close friend so that he continue to have his trust meanwhile he is planning to betray him. Finally he convinces Othello that his wife is cheating on him with Cassius and Othello becomes enraged and sets out to get his revenge. In the end he murders his wife and then realizing that Iago had lied about everything he then kills himself and Iago is arrested. This novel affects the readers because it makes people think about their true friends and who they can truly trust in the end. It also shows readers that they cannot let jealousy influence their actions because they will end up hurting other people and themselves.
8. As you like it by William Shakespeare is about a man named Orlando who thinks that he is not being treated fairly by his older brother Oliver and so he goes off to prove himself by beating the best wrestler in the land. When he defeats the wrestler he meets Rosalind who is the daughter of the banished Duke who was banished by his younger brother Duke Frederick and was forced to live in the forest. As soon as Orlando meets Rosalind he falls in love with her and she falls in love with him also but then Orlando learns that Oliver is going to try to kill him so he flees into the forest with his friend. Rosalind is also forced to go to the forest because she is banished by the Duke Frederick and the Duke's daughter Celia agrees to go with Rosalind and take care of her. In the forest Orlando meets the banished Duke and he also meets Rosalind who is disguised as a man and she agrees to help him express his love for Rosalind even though she is Rosalind in disguise. In the end the Duke regains his place and Orlando marries Rosalind and Celia marries Oliver who was saved by Orlando and they all love happily ever after. This novel affects readers because it shows how love can make bad situations better if you find someone you really like.
9. Hamlet by William Shakespeare is about the Prince Hamlet of Denmark and the death of his father the King of Denmark who's name is also Hamlet. When Prince Hamlet's friends see the ghost of his father the king they tell him immediately and when the prince goes to see the ghost of his father it speaks to him and it tells him the cause of his death. Realizing that his father had been murdered by his father's own brother he immediately vows revenge against his uncle. He then becomes miserable because of what had happened and even goes mad for a while but he then concludes that murdering his uncle would calm his mind. When he exposes his uncle's guilt by hiring performers to reenact his father's murder he confirms what his father had told him and sets of to kill the king. But when he murders the father of the girl that he loves instead of his uncle the king uses that as an advantage and convinces the son of Polonius to avenge his father's murder by killing Hamlet. Laertes who is the son of Polonius challenges the prince to a duel and they start fighting but the king had poisoned Laertes's blade so that when he hits Hamlet he would kill him and he also poisoned Hamlet's goblet so that when he takes a drink he would also get poisoned. But the Queen who is Hamlet's mother drinks from the goblet instead and when Hamlet realizes what the King had done he immediately stabs him and then dies from his wounds and so does Laertes. This novel affects readers because it shows them that revenge is not always the solution to problems and just because someone has done you wrong does not mean you have to get back at them because you could also end up getting hurt.
10. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare is about the general of Rome Julius Caesar and his close friends Cassius and Brutus. Cassius believes that Caesar is not fit to be king of Rome and convinces Brutus that Caesar would just end up hurting Rome so that Brutus would join him in a conspiracy but Brutus doesn't get fully convinced. Cassius then forges letters and sends them to Brutus and Brutus reads the letters which indicate that the citizens are unhappy with Caesar and that convinces Brutus to join Cassius in and the other conspirators. Caesar is then warned by a prophet to "Beware the Ides of March" but Caesar ignores him and goes on to the senate where the conspirators are waiting for him. They then stab Caesar repeatedly and when Caesar sees that Brutus is one of them he loses his will to live and dies immediately. They then try to convince Antony who is another of Caesar's closest friends that they killed Caesar for the good of Rome and they invite Antony to speak in Caesar's funeral and Antony agrees but secretly he vows revenge on Brutus and Cassius. In Caesar's funeral Antony convinces the citizens that Caesar did not deserve to be murdered and the citizens get angry with the conspirators and force them out of the city. Antony then gathers his army and prepares to battle Brutus and Cassius who are also gathering their army. During the battle all of the conspirators are killed and Brutus is the last one who takes his own life when he sees his death is inevitable and Antony decides to give Brutus a proper burial because he was the only one who did what he did for the good of Rome. This novel affects the readers because it teaches them about choosing their friends carefully because they could end up hurting you. Also it teaches readers to not give in to peer pressure because you will end up doing something that you really don't want to do.