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Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Rise And Fall Of The Chest

This term I've been working on Shakespeare's Macbeth. As expected, it is impossible to complete this topic without writing a creative piece. I think that this is because of the countless ideas that the story itself triggers inside the reader's head. Therefore, the main part of the play that stood out to me was the death of King Duncan. Many might think of this to be fairly strange since this scene isn't described, nor takes play during the play, but rather; it is the reader or viewer who has to realise the events that have happened. I thought that this scene was very intriguing due to this; and I was immediately pulled towards it and was so eager to write out the scene as I had imagined it myself... And so, this is it!

Image result for macbeth murder duncan poster

The Rise And Fall Of The Chest

Your eyes forcefully shut as you remind yourself that the rise and fall of the man’s chest who lies before you will soon stop. Your right fist tightens around the dagger that will take this gentle man’s life, and unnoticeable, your breath is gone. You  struggle to keep your body balanced as you  look at the peaceful portrait of the man who holds your title. The red sheets in which he lies, do nothing but urge you to complete your task, however, your humanity forbids you to do so. But, the longer you stand by the side of this soft coffin, the closer the daunting walls seem to get; the room becomes smaller. The king’s breath becomes faster. Every bone and muscle in your hand becomes tighter. Your thoughts, the words, the orders from your beloved wife do not allow you to concentrate, for she speaks of urgency, while you  here, struggle to breathe; not to twitch, to think…

Abruptly, you are overcome with feelings that you cannot control. Feelings of longing and jealousy that you have never experienced. Your whole body tenses as the promises of royalty run through your head. Images of crowns, power, respect. It all seems so close. However, the man who lies before you, stands like a dark shadow within those dreams. Death will come tonight.

And so your fist is raised holding the “object that steals lives”. You bring it close to your face as if it were a treasure. You breathe out through your dry mouth. The heat from within you causes the dagger to fog up. No longer shiny and clean it is raised above your head by your rigid arm. Your blood pumps through your veins and you can feel every urgent heartbeat. You look down at the his bed. You take note once more at the rise and fall of the chest. The filling and emptying of the lungs. The persistent beating of the heart.

The knife finds its prey and attacks like any eagle would. In a fast, sharp action, the dagger rips through the thin layers of skin that protect the king’s life. It hits and rips open the heart and immediately, with the last pump of blood the whole body shakes. You  hear a throb coming from the King but do not dare look at the place from which it originates. For the sign it too scaring for any man to taken in.   

The King lets outs his last breath in the form of a dirty cough while your dagger rests between his ribs. And in an instant, the breath that you had unconsciously been holding is released. A moment of silence goes by, your hand still lying on top of a dead man. Your eager eyes begin to analyse the scene. The cold hand that desperately grabs onto a bloody bed-sheet. The arched back that hopelessly longs for another breath. And finally, your own eyes meet his. Now wildly open, and if any life was still in this man, they would be searching. Searching for reasons for your cruel action, yet they would find no answer within these four walls. For the trigger of your actions is a dark power hidden in your soul.

There is a piercing silence which allows for your slaughter to sink in. The reasons for your actions aren’t clear, nor fully known; yet the result of them will never leave you alone. Taking a man’s life was always easy in battle, but ripping the soul of a helpless man is not satisfying. It does not bring pleasure, it does not bring joy. It brings you an anxious feeling that will keep tormenting your mind. It brings a sea of blood that will cloud your soul. And it brings a sense of disorder that the people will destroy.

And so, you rip the dagger out with your bare hand that are now covered in what seems like endless blood, and you run. You run and realise that peace of mind is something that you have given up through your corrupted ambition, you have exchanged it for power, and pain along with it.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

Recently, my school encouraged my year level to read the American novel, Of Mice and Men. Although I felt like this book would be one of those "adult" book that I would have to battle through and get no pleasure of of reading; the effect this book had on me was different than expected. 
After a few weeks of hesitating to pick up Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, I finally got myself to do it. As soon as the first page was turned, the world around me seemed to fade into blackness and the only thing that was taking place in that point in time was the story of two men. I was immediately sent through time to The Great Depression and settled in a ranch in the middle of nowhere in which Lennie and George, the two main characters in the novel, worked. 
This book truly changed my reading and the style of books that I enjoy reading most. Although when this novella was first written, it was probably not aimed at 14 year olds, it is a book that I would recommend to any teenager who is struggling to get through the "children's fiction phase", not that I don't like reading those books every once in a while. 
Since it did so much to me, I decided to share it with my readers in a form of a text response, something that I haven't done yet on my blog.

The first thing you should know before reading the text response are the characters, since if you are oblivious to their personalities, this entire post won't make any sense to you. 

Lennie Small A migrant worker who is mentally handicapped, large, and very strong. He depends on his friend George to give him advice and protect him in situations he does not understand. His enormous strength and his pleasure in petting soft animals are a dangerous combination. He shares the dream of owning a farm with George, but he does not understand the implications of that dream.
 Picture of Lennie (middle) and George (right)

George Milton A migrant worker who protects and cares for Lennie. George dreams of some day owning his own land, but he realizes the difficulty of making this dream come true. Lennie's friend, George gives the big man advice and tries to watch out for him, ultimately taking responsibility for not only his life but also his death.
Slim The the leader of the mule team whom everyone respects. Slim becomes an ally to George and helps protect Lennie when he gets in trouble with Curley. Slim has compassion and insight, and he understands George and Lennie's situation. He alone realizes, at the end of the novel, the reason for George's decision.
Candy Sometimes called "the swamper," he is a old handyman who lost his hand in a ranch accident and is kept on the payroll. Afraid that he will eventually be fired when he can no longer do his chores, he convinces George to let him join their dream of a farm because he can bring the necessary money to the scheme. He owns an old sheep dog that will become a symbol of Lennie before the novel ends.
Crooks The black stable worker who cares for the horses. A symbol of racial injustice, Crooks is isolated from the other hands because of his skin color. He also convinces Lennie to let him join their dream of land, but he must give up that dream.
Curley The son of the ranch owner, Curley is a mean little guy who picks fights with bigger guys like Lennie. He is recently married and extremely jealous of any man who looks at or talks with his wife. Lennie crushes his hand, earning Curley's future enmity.

Picture of Curley (far left), Candy (middle left), George (middle right) and Lennie (far right)

In Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice And Men, many themes are discussed through the plot. One of the two most highlighted and talked about themes are loneliness and it’s opposite, friendship. Many of the character are caught in a life between both of these themes and Steinbeck explores their lives through it. There are three particularly interesting relationship in the novel that go through a lot of development. These three are the relationships between George and Lennie, Curley and Slim and lastly Crooks and Candy. All of these relationships are extremely different, but the one thing that they all have in common is that all of them include two male characters from the novel. 

George and Lennie’s friendship is the most heartwarming and heartbreaking relationship out of all the ones in the text. There is a certain quote that the reader see repeatedly in the novel that expresses their strong friendship very clearly, “Guys like us….. They got no family….. But not us”. This is George’s way of showing that their relation is much stronger that one of the ones you would find between any two men working on a ranch. They share more than just a work place. As it is pointed out within the quote, they consider each other family; then again, a very uncommon characteristic between men in those times. They are questioned a number of times throughout the story due to their relationship, since it is such an uncommon thing. The first time we see this is when we first meet the Boss. He questions weather he should give them the job because he believes that George is taking advantage of Lennie; he completely overlooks the idea they could have a close relationship and travelled together. Their relationship is so strong that it’s hard for many characters in the story to accept it aswel as understand it. This is obviously seen in the last quote of the novella, after out hearts are broken Carlson, one of the other ranch workers, simply can’t understand why two men would have a close friendship and how the death of one of them could possibly emotionally affect the other. Their relation is such a strong one that it is hard to for many of the other characters to comprehend it. 

Curley and Slim have a relationship made up purely out of the hate that they have for each other.  It is obvious that these two characters are different and don’t share many characteristics, if any ay all, but the ones that they do share cause even more tension between the two. Between Curley and Slim there never seems to be any peace due to the fact that they are both leaders of the workers at the same ranch. These positions cause rest of the ranch workers to look up at them or follow their actions. This is one of the reasons why there is so much conflict between the two and it is what causes their relationship to be such a bad one. The way people look at Slim as a leader is very different indeed to the way in which the workers look at Curley. This is due to their actions and behaviour. While Slim is a leader who gets along with everyone, gains his respect by respecting others and is often described as a man who “move(s) with majesty", while Curley gains his respect by putting other people down and showing them their place. Of course, this leads to a certain amount of jealousy from Curley towards Slim, since he could only wish of people naturally respecting him. The final reason why their relationship is such a bad one is because of Curley’s wife. Although she is married to Curley, she still makes it obvious that she wants Slim by flirting with him whenever she has the occasion to do so. This has a very negative effect on the way that Curley looks at Slim, since in his eyes, it is Slim who is trying to get Curley’s wife, rather than the other way around. Overall, these two men have a very different relationship with each other than George and Lennie. In the other workers eyes, this hateful relationship is more normal than the other one, which shows us that Steinbeck deeply explored the nature of relationships and specially those very different ones. 

The final pair of characters who shared a very unique relationship are Candy and Crooks. These two characters share many characteristics, although none are physical, the reader is easily able to see how similar they are and what a large amount of resemblance they have with one another. When we first meet Crooks, it is easy to tell that he is isolated from the community. Nevertheless, as the reader moves forward in the story, it is clear to tell that Candy struggles through the same thing. They are the two characters that show the reader the true meaning of true loneliness and the affects of it. This is one of the strongest aspects of their relationship. They both suffer of isolation, although they could support each other, as Candy point out in the quote “I been here a  long time…. never been in his room”. The relationship between these two characters is a special one in a way, because it’s nor full of hatred nor love. Although there are things that they don’t like about each other, for example Crook’s disliking white people, they are still able to understand each other and their situations. While their relationship isn’t as close as George and Lennie's it still isn’t as distant as the one between Slim and Curley is. Their relationship is exactly what you would expect to find between any two individual worker, yet there is a certain amount of understanding that they share with one another that isn’t seen between any other two characters in the novella. Their friendship is one of the oddest yet most intriguing of the Steinbeck novel. It shares the unusual way in which to two people can fall into each others arms because they don’t have anyone else, and this ending up being one of the only things that would keep them going. 

Relationships in the novella Of Mice and Men vary from hateful ones, to ones full of care, and everything in between. The way in which Steinbeck is able to express these different types of relationships is an amazing one since they all share unique relationships, even though the main theme is the novel is isolation. 

Thanks so reading! More Of Mice and Men details and reviews will come up soon as well as a new number of books!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

•The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey comments and thoughts•

During this last month, I was lucky enough to meet up with some fellow bookworms and we all got to watch The Fifth Wave which is a book to movie adaptation. Of course, we had all read the book before ; never the less, everyone had very different opinions about the movie and the book. So I have decided to let you know what they all said!

Quick summary (from
The human race stands on the brink of extinction as a series of alien attacks decimate the planet, causing earthquakes, tsunamis and disease. Separated from her family, Ohio teenager Cassie Sullivan will do whatever it takes to reunite with her brother Sam. Fate leads her to form an alliance with Evan Walker, a mysterious young man who may be her last hope. Forced to trust each other, Cassie and Evan fight for survival during the fifth assault from the invaders.


 Can you describe the book in 3 words?

• Interesting, dangerous and Divergent-like
• Amazing, hot characters
• Fictional, mainstream and... boring?
• End of Earth
• Classic teen novel

 What was your favourite thing about the book|movie?

I liked the way Rick showed that the human race has a real chance of surviving against aliens if we are smart enough.
My favourite thing would have to be the badass characters who managed to stay alive. 
• Surprisingly, there was one thing I did enjoy about both the book and the movie, and that was the fact that there was a huge plot twist... (spoiler free post).
• I liked to see the way the main character and her brother acted towards each other after so much had happened (the end of the world). I really enjoyed seeing that people still have human feeling even when they believe nothing could get any worse.
• Even though this novel was very much like any other teen-book that is out right now, I enjoyed the way the author came up with the different waves rather than just making it a normal invasion. 

 What was your least favourite thing about the book|movie?

• Honestly, even though the book was entertaining, at a few different points throughout the novel i felt like it would never end since whenever it seemed like it was coming to an end, another problem would pop up. The same thing happened to the movie. 
• The one thing that I didn't love was the way they made the aliens in the movie. I pictured them so differently in my head while I was reading and when I saw them on the screen... I wasn't disappointed, I just wasn't expecting it.
• As mentioned when I described the book in three words, I didn't really like the storyline of this novel|movie because it's just like any other teen book that it out on the market right now. The end of the world..., survivors, aliens, love... I didn't really enjoy reading it. It didn't have a special twist to it. 
• I didn't like how the story didn't have a final cut. I HATE CLIFF HANGERS!

 Who was your favourite character and why? 
My favourite character is probably Ben because although he goes through a lot during the story, he is still alway able to find a way to keep everybody calm. He is also the smartest character, from my point of view. 
• The character whose story I enjoyed reading best was Evan because he was the one who went through the most character development. 
• Definitely Cassie! She is a badass but she is also loyal to her family. She is quiet and shy at first but then you find out that she is willing to fight anyone when she know what the right thing to do is. She is AMAZING!
• Honestly, I didn't really connect with any of the character.... but if I had to choose one, it would have to be Sammy, Cassie's young brother. This is mainly because she was really cute, not because he had any specific skills I liked. 
• BEN!!!! He was smart, a leader, a strong character. Overall, a really lovable character!

 What score would you give this book out of 10?
8 because it was fairly good. It was a really nice easy read. Probably won't read it again, but during the time I was reading it, I really enjoyed it. 
• 7... A fun quick read! 
• 8 because some of the characters had a really interesting and unique story! I definitely recommend it for any young adult reader. 
• 4 because it wasn't too bad but I though it was quite stereotypical. It was kind of like any other YoungAdult book that is out in market at the moment. The characters weren't great and there wasn't a lot of character development. 
• 10!!!! It was amazing! I absolutely tell in love with the book and I can't wait to read the Infinite Sea!

What is better, the book or the movie? 
• ALL THE READERS ANSWERED BOOK!!!! yet they all agreed that it was one of the best book to movie adaptations from a YA book they had watched. 

Friday, 1 April 2016

• Visit to the magic land of Hobbiton •

All photos have been taken by me so if you do use them please let me know
Hello readers!
This Easter I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand with some friends. And if you are a The Lord of The Rings or The Hobbit fan, you'll probably know that something amazing was created there. Guys!, the 6 films were filmed in New Zealand. 

The place where the hobbits "lived" is a place now called Hobbiton. This little village is places in Matamata, New Zealand. Before the director of the film, Peter Jackson,  came by, the land in which the village now is was just 3 hills full of grass that belonged to the Alexander Family's farm. 

The few hills, were quickly turned into the beautiful homes of the Hobbits which they are still until today. 

The Hobbits took over the land and 42 hobbit holes we built along with a veggie garden, a lake, the Mill and the amazing Green Dragon. Along with that, lots of new plants were places on the set; including the the tree on top of Bag End, Bilbo Baggings house. 

Plants planted specifically for the movie and one of the Hobbit Holes

A Hobbit Hole

The veggie garden

Bag End (Biblo's home) and the tree

The Green Dragon (the Pub)

The Watermill

Since the Hobbits "lived", during our tour we found a lot of tiny clothes hanged from really small pegs on little clothes line. 

Little hobbit clothes

Also, I realised that whatever in on the front of the hobbit hole represents what the hobbit living in that house does for a living! This meant that for example, the fisherman would have fish and a fish line, the baker would have bread and little cakes and the bee-keeper would have honey jars. I don't know about you, but I thought that it was so, so cute. 

The Potter's home

The Fisheman's work space

Here are some other photos I took while I was there. I really hope you like them and this inspires you to read the books, maybe watch the movie and maybe even visit Hobbiton!!

The Shepherd's home

Bag End (viewed from the veggie garden)

Three cute hobbit holes 

Veggies collected from the garden

Bilbo Bagging's clothes on his tiny clothes line

Bag End's front door

Sign in the path towards Green Dragon
(you can't tell by the photo, but this sign was actually hobbit size! The top of it was up to my shoulder)

Sam's home!

The Water and The Mill 

Three little hobbit holes next to The Water

Veggies behind the Garden

That is all! I hope you liked looking at some photos from Hobbiton and this inspired you to visit this place. I extremely recommend you visit this amazing site... Right after you read the 4 books. 

• Pia •


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta - A.K.A. greatest book ever written

Hello Readers! 
I recently re-read one of my favourite books and it is easy to say that it is now my favourite book! I think that the reasons why I didn't like it as much when I read it the first time as the second time was because I was younger and couldn't really read between the lines as much. So! I'm going to tell you everything there is to the book without spoilers!

The first thing you should know are the facts about the actual book:

Author: Melina Marchetta
Adaptations: Looking for Alibrandi (2000)
Country: Australia
Genres: Young-adult fiction, Bildungsroman
Originally published: October 5, 1992

The book summary:

Josie Alibrandi is an girl from Italian descent who is growing up in Sydney, Australia. Josie is on scholarship at a prestigious Catholic school where it matters what her father does. Josie doesn't know who her father is as she lives with her mum, Christina, all she knows was that her mother had her against her fathers wishes when she was in her late teens. Josie and her mother's lives are interfered with by Nonna Katia, Christina's mother. 
Josie's father, Michael Andretti, comes back into Josie's life with no idea that he had a daughter. When he finds out he and Josie decide to have nothing to do with each other.
At school Josie hangs out with her misfit friends, Sera, Anna and Lee. She has a crush on the school caption of their brother school, John Barton. She also meets Jacob Coote, the school caption from the local state school, who asks her out... and I know you guys probably want to know more but I can't write any spoilers! 

The main characters:

Josephine Alibrandi
• The main character in the book
• The school vice captain of a high class school
• She is Italian
• She is the only child of single mother

Jacob Coote 

• The school captain from a local state school
• Has a crush on Josie 
• Is kind of a badass
• Is Australian

Christina Alibrandi
• She is Josie's mother
• Had Josie at 17
• She's not married
• She constantly gets told off by her mother
• She is Italian

Katia Alibrandi
• She is Josie's grandmother and Christina's mother
• She is referred to as Nona
• She treats her daughter badly because she is an only mother
• She is Italian

Michael Andretti
• Josie's father
• Lives in Adelaide
• He is unaware that Josie exists
• He owns a fair amount of money

John Barton 
• He's the school captain of a hight class school
• He has been Josie's crush since as far as sh can remember
• Josie's closes boy friend
• His father puts a lot of pressure on him

So now that you have brief idea of what the story is about the characters are in going to tell you what were the best things and the not so great things about this book:

Best Things:

-Such an fast and easy book to read
-Amazing and interesting storyline that makes you wanna keep reading and never let go of the book
-Really good character development throughout the book
-Makes you realise a lot of good and bad things about having different cultures 
-Teaches you so much about Australia

Not so good things:-Cliffhanger at the end! So if that annoys you...
-When I read the book, I would have liked to know more about how Jacob was feeling through the book
-Even though it will teach you a lot about Australian culture, there are some things that you could miss if you don't know a lot about Australia.

Josie, Nona Katia and Christina Alibrandi

Josie Alibarndi and Jacob Coote

And for you guys who like watching movies... There's a Looking for Alibrandi movie!

    Initial release: May 4, 2000
    Director: Kate Woods
    Running time: 1h 43m
    Adapted from: Looking for Alibrandi 
    Movie summary and actors:  Josie (Pia Miranda) is struggling to cope with her teenage existence. She lives with her single mother, Christina (Greta Scacchi), and attends a prestigious private school, where her snobbish classmates mock her Sicilian heritage. She contends with the dramas of teen romance, divided between John (Matthew Newton) and Jacob (Kick Gurry). When her family receives a visit from Michael (Anthony LaPaglia), her mother's former lover, Josie is overwhelmed when she discovers that he is also her father.