Literature Circles Paradigm Response

Choose ONE of the paradigms from the literature circles assignment sheet and in a response of no less than 200 words and no more than 400 words, write a paragraph response that considers the paradigm questions as they relate thus far to the novel that you’re reading.  In your response use ONE proof (quotation from the novel) to support one of your points.  Remember to use proper grammar and spelling AND proper MLA documentation “style for your quotations” (Abercrombie 45).

Mark:   /15 — 10 for detail, quotation, and thoughtful consideration of the paradigm; 5 for spelling, grammar, MLA citation.

Deadline:  Saturday, April 14th, 2012 — no later than midnight.  Late marks apply at 12:01, so post before the last minute!


~ by Ms. Cox on April 12, 2012.

25 Responses to “Literature Circles Paradigm Response”

  1. In “I am the Messenger” the usage of class,social dynamics and background,play a grand part in the book with some of the characters, their development and actions within the book. Ed Kennedy is a 19 year-old cab driver,with a background of being poor, less fortunate, intelligent and hopeless. His background shows him that his life is meaningless and has no future. Always thinking hopelessly Ed fails to realize that he means something to his town. After helping an old lady, a mother and daughter and a teenage girl, Ed begins to learn a lesson that it doesn’t matter where one comes from, what matters is your determination and your ability to stay driven. Without knowing it,thinking he was useless, Ed Kennedy without knowing became a saint. In the story,the teenage girl Ed helped said the following statement,“Ed are you some kind of saint or something”(Zusak 74). This statement is proof because it demonstrates that the most unlikely person,can be something special. Ed Kennedy saved the lives of 2 people. I think the background of Ed has influenced his decisions throughout the story by far. Due to his lack of determination, it took Ed Kennedy quiet awhile before he could muster up the courage and visit the raper house. I think that was just because when he grew up he had no incentive, therefore no determination to become a hero. He was a very quiet person and very shy as well, growing up unfortunate did that to him. Especially when talking to Audrey, he would never speak his mind, especially when he would want to comment on her kissing someone. Ed really defines his class by being shy and really standing alone. His class defined what he did, while growing up with no determination at all, he stayed that way. By acting this way, he almost allows someone to die and ruin the lives of others. In my opinion for Ed to break out of his shell, he should break his bubble and get determined. He is capable of it, he has beautiful soul. For him to be successful he just needs to believe deep down within himself that he can do it all and the skies the limit.

  2. Kalem Magny

    Power in I am the Messenger is to have control over both oneself and others. Power is mostly knowledge for Ed Kennedy. At the beginning of the novel, it is shown that Ed has no power. Ed is described as a very small man who has no physical power. He is a cab driver who never went to school because he did not think he was smart enough. Ed says “I’d realized there were people everywhere achieving greatness while I was taking directions from balding businessmen called Derek” (Zusak 15). This proves he, in his mind, had absolutely no power.
    He first achieves power when he holds up the bank robber at the bank. Ed also gets some power from when he helps make Milla, the old lonely woman feel loved again, and Sophie the young, insecure girl feel free and confident. Not much later on, Ed gets a gun in the mail; this helps him get some more power in which he will need to take on the very aggressive, very large drunk man who rapes his wife. While dealing with the large drunk man, Ed wishes he did not have the power in which he possesses. He believes he is not the right person because he does not think he holds the power one needs to accomplish each task; such as dealing with the drunken man.
    I believe he loses a lot of power when the two men, Daryl and Keith are in his house and beat him up while delivering the next card. Ed lacks some physical power but his confidence raises more and more and his knowledge is the most powerful tool he has. Ed is very intelligent; this is where he has the upper hand and why he is most likely chosen to be the messenger. Ed is very aware of his surroundings and he knows what is right. Ed holds the power that is needed for the tasks he is presented with; he is intelligent, willing, he fights for what is right and believes in the well-being of mankind. I think Ed is the perfect character to possess the power he does.

  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Community for each character in the perks of being a wallflower means that they will always be there for each other, through the good and bad times. This is shown throughout the novel at multiple times. When Brad called Patrick gay in front of the whole school and Brad and his friends started beating up Patrick, Charlie was there to help and defend Patrick. Even though Charlie shouldn’t gotten involved with the fight he was being a good friend; Charlie was a shoulder for Patrick to cry on. When Sam found out that Craig cheated on her, all of her friends were there for her. They were her moral support. “And in that moment I swear we were infinite” (Chbosky 39). This quotation represents the great friendship that Sam, Patrick, and Charlie share. It doesn’t matter how bad life is you know you will get through it when you have your friends around. Community is important for an individual to have and if someone didn’t have community life would be harder on them. Susan, Charlie and Michael’s friend does not have a sense of community once she entered high school. She is no longer true to herself, she changed so that she would be accepted by her peers. “In middle school, Susan was very fun to be around. She liked movies, her brother Frank made her tapes of this great music that she shared with us. But over the summer she had her braces taken off, and she got a little taller and prettier and grew breasts. Now, she acts a lot dumber in the hallways, especially when boys are around. And I thinks it’s sad because Susan doesn’t look as happy. To tell you the truth, she doesn’t like to tell people that she’s in the advanced english class, and she doesn’t say hi to me in the hall anymore” (Chbosky 6). This quotation is important to what happens to an individual who doesn’t have community because it shows that without some sort of stability and love from your friends in life you will try too hard to get it, even if it means acting like someone totally different and being un happy. Community is a plays a big part in the novel the perks of being a wallflower.

  4. In the book, “The perks of being a wallflower” they’re are many different types of power. In this novel, to have power means that you feel strong and happy with yourself, I believe. Having close friends or good people around you is an excellent source of power displayed in this novel. To achieve power, Charlie, the main character, becomes friends with many different kind of people. He steps out of his comfort zone and opens up and tries new things with his best friends, Sam and Patrick. Charlie achieves power when he feels one hundred per cent comfotable with these people and can have fun with them. “And at that moment, I swear we were infinite” says Charlie about how he was feeling with his friends(39, Chbosky). He feels infinite in this situation because he is using drugs and he his happy with his friends, a source of power for him. He looses that power when he is truthful, he kisses the prettiest girl in his eyes, which happens to be the wrong thing to do. In making this decision, he looses his friends and feels powerless. In the novel, the person that resists the dominant power that exsists in the book is Patrick. Patrick is gay for Brad who will not admit it because he is very insecure. Patrick could easily hold the power in this situation by telling everyone the truth and exposing Brad. However, because he cares about Brad, he doesn’t take that opportunity. The benefits of processing power in this novel are happiness and comfort. They are something, every teenager wishes to hold. This novel demonstrates a kind of realistic power, something that anyone could experience. – Keira Robertson Worden

  5. In I Am The Messenger having power means to have the knowledge to react accordingly to the situations that present themselves.  One of the biggest examples of being disempowered was the husband who got drunk and rapped his wife every night. He was disempowered by being drugged and held at gun point while being threatened to be killed.  He went from being all “high and mighty” to being nothing but another scared human.  The other type of power in the novel is physical power.  Keith and Daryl demonstrate physical power when they punch Ed while in his kitchen talking about the completion of the ace of diamonds and the start of the challenges to face in the ace of clubs.  The main power in the novel is knowledge.  Ed is the person who mainly demonstrates knowledge when he has to find out what is necessary for each person and challenge he faces on each card.

  6. In “I Am the Messenger” power is achieved in many different ways, Ed Kennedy first achieves power when he succeeds in the tasks given to him on the playing cards he receives in his mailbox. After comforting Milla (a lonely elder woman) and helping an insecure runner named Sophie, Ed gains the confidence and power he needs to stop the rapist on Edgar Street. This is proven when Ed states “I need a few wins under my belt before I can test myself against the rapist built like Tyson” (Zusak 45).
    The benefits of power within “I Am the Messenger” are that Ed can use his newfound power to help make his town a safer and better place. At first Ed lacks physical power due to his smaller frame, but after receiving a gun in his mailbox and confidence from succeeding in previous tasks, Ed can finally stop the rapist from abusing his wife every night. Ed stops the rapist by threatening him at gunpoint; therefore forcing him to leave town. Hence, Ed’s impact is very powerful on the town because helps make the town a safer and better environment for many individuals who are struggling.
    Although Ed is very powerful and influential to his community due to the bank robbery situation, in many ways Ed Kennedy is disempowered. In “I Am the Messenger” Ed is primarily disempowered of knowledge; Ed does not understand why he of all people has been chosen to do these tasks. Ed is also very confused because he does not know who is sending him the mysterious playing cards. Secondly, Ed is also physically disempowered within the novel. Ed’s physical disempowerment is proven when he witnesses the woman on Edgar Street being brutally raped by her drunken husband, Ed does not think he stands a chance against such a large man and decides to wait for an answer to come. Ed’s physical disempowerment is also evident when his house is broken into by two hit men, Daryl and Keith; after the break and enters Ed finds himself lying on the floor. In both of these situations Ed feels cowardly, meek and positively weak.
    Therefore, the recurring idea of power is evident within “I Am the Messenger” Ed starts off physically disempowered but due to his intelligence and newfound confidence receives the power he needs. For Ed Kennedy, power means helping others and protecting his town.

    *This is exactly 400 words it just looks REALLY long. lol.

  7. Literature Circles Paradigm Questions
    Cal McClelland

    In “I Am The Messenger” by: Markus Zusak there are a lot of things which relate with class. Class meaning social class and economic class. So to begin I would like do talk about how Ed Kennedy’s personal class influences his decisions and actions in the novel. Ed I feel usually does the many helpful and dangerous things in the story because of his class. Such as aiding Sophie to realize she needs to run barefoot or to put a gun to the rapist’s head. Ed sees himself as a nobody slob who lives with his dog “The Doorman”. So he decides to do theses things because he wants to be seen as a somebody and he wants to prove to himself that he is someone important. The only problem is that the majority of the time he doesn’t accept what he wants.

    ” Cabdriver – and I’d funked my age at that ( You need to be twenty) No real career. No respect in the community. Nothing. I’d realized there were people everywhere achieving greatness while I was taking directions from balding businessmen called Derek”( Zusak 15). This quotations shows how Ed wants to be doing the great things others people are achieving.

    Now I would like to talk about how characters are defined by their specific class in life. As an example the father O’Reilly in this novel can be easily defined by his class. In the novel you could tell his class by his run down church and his small house, he is obviously a lower class person. As well he is significantly different to his brother who has a big home and kids. Now how O’Reilly breaks out of his class is done by aiding Ed in making his church fancied up and by having a big service party to get people to come to his services more. then there after he has been viewed as a different person with a different class when other people come to his much change church and services. So here is a great example of character being defined by their class and how they break that class.

    In “I Am The Messenger” by: Markus Zusak there are a lot of things which relate with class. Class meaning social class and economic class. So to begin I would like do talk about how Ed Kennedy’s personal class influences his decisions and actions in the novel. Ed I feel usually does the many helpful and dangerous things in the story because of his class. Such as aiding Sophie to realize she needs to run barefoot or to put a gun to the rapist’s head. Ed sees himself as a nobody slob who lives with his dog “The Doorman”. So he decides to do theses things because he wants to be seen as a somebody and he wants to prove to himself that he is someone important. The only problem is that the majority of the time he doesn’t accept what he wants.

    ” Cabdriver – and I’d funked my age at that ( You need to be twenty) No real career. No respect in the community. Nothing. I’d realized there were people everywhere achieving greatness while I was taking directions from balding businessmen called Derek”( Zusak 15). This quotations shows how Ed wants to be doing the great things others people are achieving.

    Now I would like to talk about how characters are defined by their specific class in life. As an example the father O’Reilly in this novel can be easily defined by his class. In the novel you could tell his class by his run down church and his small house, he is obviously a lower class person. As well he is significantly different to his brother who has a big home and kids. Now how O’Reilly breaks out of his class is done by aiding Ed in making his church fancied up and by having a big service party to get people to come to his services more. then there after he has been viewed as a different person with a different class when other people come to his much change church and services. So here is a great example of character being defined by their class and how they break that class.

  8. The Blade Itself

    Power. Power can be utilized in two different ways: For good or bad. For evil or kindness. In the novel The Blade Itself power is used in mainly bad ways to control and manipulate what other people do. Inquisitor Glokta is a prime example of a character who uses power to control his victims by torturing them so that they confess, even if they didn’t commit any crime. Glokta gets all his power when he is hurting other people, because it makes him feel like he has the control. He does this because he is trying to compensate for his lack of power outside the torture chamber, where he is just an old cripple who is seen as an extremely weak man. Here, he is completely dis-empowered. We see how much power Glokta has in the chamber when he says to Rews “Practical Frost is a little girl compared to me, he’s a kitten” (Abercrombie 25). Since they are in the torture chamber, or Glokta’s office, Glokta appears to have much more power than Practical Frost, a very large man. But, outside it would be obvious that Practical Frost has much more power, when Glokta doesn’t have as much control. Another character who possesses power in this novel is Logen Ninefingers, but in a more physical way. He uses his physical power to kill things that come in his way, such as Shankas. But, Logen uses this power in a better way. It is just his survival instinct and his will to live. He must use his strength to survive in the wild. Although he has killed many people, he is still a very sympathetic man. An example of this is when Malacus Quai is unconscious and is weighing Logen down, Logen puts him over his shoulder and carries him all the way to the First of the Magi. That shows us that he can use his power in a good way as well. Power is demonstrated in many different ways in this novel, and it teaches us how to use it in a good way, and not in a bad way.

  9. I Am the Messenger – Markus Zusak

    The novel, “I Am the Messenger” was written by Markus Zusak. By default, the human brain sees power as a position of authority. This is true in some cases, however; it can be false. In this novel, characters are constantly gaining and losing power. To have power in the novel is to possess control over others and especially oneself. The protagonist of the novel Ed Kennedy is sent to complete a variety of missions. He completes his missions through his knowledge. In the novel, power for Ed Kennedy is knowledge. Ed Kennedy is described as a 19-year old man who illegally drives a cab. In the beginning of the novel, there is a robbery in progress at the bank. Ed is at the bank with his friends Marvin, Ritchie (Dave Sanchez) and Audrey. Ed has no power at this moment. The gunman is the one with the power. Ed is a prisoner of the gunman, just like everybody else. The gunman does not do a good job at the robbery, so he ends up dropping his gun when fleeing. The moment he drops his gun is the moment his power is lost. Ed picks up the gun and goes after him. The gunman’s power is transferred to Ed when the gun is picked up by Ed. One of the biggest situations of disempowerment that stands out is from the man who rapes his wife every midnight. Ed’s mission is to kill this man. While driving the cab, he picks up the man and says he will drive him home. He is not true to his word; instead he drives him to a cathedral. Outside of the cathedral, Ed makes known to the man that he is going to kill him while holding him at gunpoint. He starts out with questions and he receives responses from the man (These responses are either head nods or head shakes). The manner that Ed is interrogating and is treating the man scares the man out of his wits. The man’s reaction is this, “’Please,’ he pleads. He bends forward in a half breakdown. … A disturbing kind of sobbing takes hold of him. ‘I’m sorry, I’m so – I’ll stop, I’ll stop’” (Zusak 90). The man shows his fear here; he no longer has an aura of menace about him. He is now the prisoner whereas Ed is holding a position of authority. “I Am the Messenger” is all about power.

    By: Lawrence Jacinto

    P.S. I would change my username but I have no idea how to do that. LOL

  10. Power:
    In the novel a great and terrible beauty by Libba Bray, power is the magic that lies in the four girls. They have the power to create anything they could think of in the realm. After they touched the magic rock they had the power to move invisibly and speak French like they were a francophone (chapter 28)

    The characters Pippa, Felicity and Ann achieve power by touching a magic stone called a realm, they lose their magic when they use too much of it. Gemma, the main character has little power through out the book, but becomes stronger when she too touched the realm.

    In the book ‘A Great and Terrible Beauty’ a character, Felicity thought she was being disempowered because Gemma didn’t want to take her to the realms because she had a fight with her mother who lives in the realms, the day before. Felicity tried to find her own way to the realms by sacrifice when that didn’t work she went crazy and threatened to kill a friend of Gemma’s if she wouldn’t take her to the realms.

    The power is usurped because the Gemma’s mother told her that she and her friends that is was forbidden touch the realms because it was unknown what would happen if they did. “You’re not ready for that type of power, the order doesn’t know what will happen if it’s opened again” (Bray 208)

    In the book a great and terrible beauty there is power of authority, power of wealth and magic power.

    The benefits of possessing power is when the Gemma brought Pippa, Felicity and Ann to the magic land they found they could do or make anything they wanted, this benefitted Ann because she made herself beautiful, Felicity benefitted because she learned to hurt and be free and Pippa because she made the perfect prince charming for herself

  11. In “A Great and Terrible Beauty” by Libba Bray the social dynamics/class was determined on how much money your family possessed, which played a huge role in the novel so far. Girls in the upper class are looked up to and everybody will try to become their friends but girls in the lower class are basically the opposite. They feel like they don’t belong because they are so looked down on. Two of the main characters Felicity and Pippa are from an upper class family. They have many “friends” who are always trying in be on the inside and always trying to be best friends with them. Gemma would be a part of the middle class. It doesn’t say her family has a lot of money but it also doesn’t say they don’t so one can only assume she has a middle class family. Ann on the other hand is a part of the lower class families. The only reason she got into Spence is because of a scholar ship. Felicity and Pippa both pick on Gemma and Ann. They pick on Gemma because she’s the new girl at Spence and they want to make sure they won’t have competition. They pick on Ann because of her class. They make her feel like she doesn’t belong. “I told you- they won’t allow her in she’s not of their class” (Bray 135), this was when Gemma told Felicity that she had to invite Ann to the secret club they were organizing but Felicity thought the other girls wouldn’t accept Ann because of her class. What I noticed throughout the story is that the girls of an upper class (Felicity and Pippa) tend to bully the other girls while girls of a lower class tend to be quiet and shy (Gemma and Ann). The benefits have having an upper class status was that the other girls treated them differently than the other girls. They treated them like they were better because in their eyes they were. Some challenges the girls can face is that their family will want them to marry a rich man to no matter the age which is happening to Pippa. In conclusion “A Great and Terrible Beauty” is showing how the social dynamics/class worked back in the 1800’s.

  12. Ashley Hamon
    “I Am The Nessenger”
    In the novel “I Am The Messenger” the main character Ed Kennedy has power. He has the power of knowledge. He uses his power when he gets the ace cards with addresses on it and has to go out and figure out what each of the addresses on the card mean. When he gets to the houses, he doesn’t even know what he’s there for, but eventually after staying outside in front, it just comes to him. He uses that knowledge of what he knows he’s supposed to do, to save or help these families. He doesn’t have the same knowledge when he’s around his friends; all he does is play cards with them. Ed doesn’t think much of himself, even though he has the power to save people he doesn’t even know. If Ed doesn’t do the job properly he pays for it; he gets beat up by those who are in charge of what he’s doing. Ed has no idea who the man in charge really is, he just knows that he has to do it. What he’s doing is usurped, some of the places he goes to he has to kill the person, even though he isn’t a killer. Ed benefits from the power he uses, he becomes smarter and he gets the feeling you get when you know you’ve helped someone in need of it.

  13. My definition of a community is a group of individuals who support each other no matter what and stand by each others sides in the tough times that occur. In the book I read called “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” community was displayed in many different ways. One way it was displayed was through Charlie’s actions towards his friends (who are known as his community) throughout the story. Charlie constantly stood by their sides and was always there for them. An example of this was when Charlie stood up for Patrick,one of his good friends,when Brad was making fun of him. Charlie cared for Patrick because he was part of his community and he stood by to fight for him. Community is also described as people who care for you and tend to your problems and make your life better.”As we were approaching the tunnel, I listened to the music and thought about all the things that people have said to me over the past year. I thought about Bill telling me I was special. And my sister saying she loved me. And my mom, too. And even my dad and brother when I was in the hospital. I thought about Patrick calling me his friend. And I thought about Sam telling me to do things. To really be there.”(Chbosky,39). This quotation describes how many different communities that Charlie is involved in that care about him like his friends and family, and how his new friends included them in their community and that made him feel special and cared for. At the beginning of the novel Charlie was not involved in a community, and that made him feel alone,sad and vulnerable. “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”(Chbosky,11). This explains how Charlie feels alone and sad because he is not a part of a community since Michael died, and how before Sam and Patrick came along, he felt like he didn’t belong and that is truly one of the worst feelings in the world. I believe communities do exist but they are not in the norm, they are invisible yet power things that determine your happiness. They are enforced through friendships and the things you do in life for people you care about,which is what Charlie did throughout the novel, as well as what Charlie’s community did for him and the moments that stand out.

  14. The Blade Itself

    Power can be achieved and lost in many different ways and places. The characters may hold power in some circumstances but all that power that they once had can disappear instantly. In the novel The Blade Itself you can witness the changes of power that the characters hold. A perfect example of changing power is one of the characters named Glokta. In society Glokta is seen as a harmless, weak, powerless and crippled man. He is hardly seen as a threat to anyone. Glokta shows how much power he truly has as soon as he enters the torture chamber where he tortures people who are convicted of a crime. Glokta holds so much power that he can convince people to confess to crimes that they didn’t even commit. We can see how much power Glokta holds when he says “When I get started with you, Rews, you’ll be begging me to give you a half hour with the Practical”(Abercrombie 25). This shows you how much power Glokta holds inside of the chambers and how threatening he really is. In the chambers Glokta can break a person with just a few words. Outside of the chamber however, Glokta holds no such power and his harsh words could be easily ignored and he could be pushed aside quite easily due to his weak and crippled body. Another character who holds power in some aspects of his life but not all is the character Jezal. Jezal is a selfish officer who seems to not have a care in the world. Jezal is a nobleman and has I high standing within his society. He holds power over his friends because he comes from a family of wealth and of a higher class. However, Jezal loses all the power he holds as soon as he starts training for fencing under the direction of Marshal Varuz. At Jezal’s fencing practices it is Marshal Varuz who hold all the power. It is Marshal Varuz who decides what it is that Jezal will do, eat and how he will train. An example of this is when the Marshal whacks Jezal with a stick after Jezal fails to defend himself with the large smith’s hammer. Throughout the novel The First Blade you can witness the shift in power between characters and how they achieve and lose the power that they hold.

  15. I Am the Messenger – Power
    In “I Am the Messenger,” power plays a big role. Characters achieve power in various ways. When the book first starts, Ed has no power. He’s a weak cab driver who has many fears just like everybody else. His upside is he’s intelligent, but he never really got the chance to put his intelligence to use. He gets to put his power of knowledge to use when he’s being brought attention to the bad situations in certain people’s lives through the help of playing cards. What’s ironic is, at the same time, he has no power because he has no other choice, but to help them. Although, he has power when he’s helping others (ie. he has power when he finds Gab and beats him up and the bank robbery where he picks up the robber’s gun), there is always a higher power than him who’s making sure he gets the job done. Ed really has no control on whether he can skip a person or not. In “I am the Messenger,” there are multiple types of power. The ones that stood out were power of knowledge, emotional power and physical power. Power of knowledge occurs every time Ed receives a new card. He uses his knowledge to glue pieces of clues together to figure out the situation behind each person. Emotional power is constantly being shown by Ed. When he discovers there is a man raping his wife, he is terried and full of fear. He constantly puts it off because he knows he’s not ready to face it. He even tells himself, “you never know, Ed. It might just work itself out” (Zusak 45). Finally, he musters up enough courage to overpower his fears and confront the man himself. Physical power is present for at least one person in each card. The husband raping his wife, obviously uses his strength to overpower her, while in the Rose family, Daniel and Gav uses physical power to fight against each other each day. Eventually, Ed uses physical power to beat up Gav and in return, Daniel’s buddies uses violence to get back at Ed.
    Power can make or break people. In this case, power helps Ed conquer his fears and helps others gain power of their own.

  16. POWER

    Jasmine 🙂

    In the book “Perks of Being a Wallflower” power is something that can be derived from popularity. Power to some, is outer strength and they are regarded to people around them as being valuable. In a high school setting, the way you are looked upon will affect the way people will treat you. Characters like Patrick and Sam are considered powerful as they influence other characters into make decisions. But to others that know themselves better and have a better grasp on life, they will spend less time trying to seek the approval of others and spend more time seeking their own inner approval. Those who are popular may be perceived as powerful, but those who are quieter may often be perceived as powerless, when in fact they are the ones with true power, inner power. Charlie is an example of someone who has inner power because he uses his intelligence and heart to influence others. He notices and realises what is important in life and makes choices for him, not others. This is why Charlie is able to feel true happiness within himself. Charlie says to his friends on the way to his first party, “I feel infinite” (Chbosky 39) Another type of power in the book is the friendship. The power of friendship is what inspires Charlie to keep believing that he is important. Power shows much importance in the story.

  17. In Perks Of Being A Wallflower, social dynamics and class are one of the most obvious, relevant, and influencing aspects of the book. A few pages in, you already realize Charlie isn’t like your typical teenage boy in terms of social understandings. He seems to be inexperienced in most social situations, which makes some of his actions stand out.This isn’t surprising since Charlie is in highschool and every teenager seemingly fits into a category based on what they do. There are preps, goths, jocks, nerds, ditsy girls, player guys, etc. Charlie is described as a wall flower, which typically means a shy or unpopular individual. But, Charlie is a little more than that. He’s also said to be a wall flower because he sees things, keeps quiet about them, and understands them. Some may find this strange because he isn’t very involved in the things that go on around him. This fades away a bit, because he slowly learns more about social dynamics, how certain groups of people are and how to comport himself. He learns how to treat girls, what types of guys they like, how to go out on dates with them etc. Unfortunately, there are still some things Charlie cannot understand yet. One of these things is why Patrick is openly gay, while Brad has a fake girlfriend and tries to hide his homosexuality. This ties in with the way the character’s social class influences their actions. Since Brad is the football team’s quarter back, he’s expected to have a cheerleader girlfriend. It seems as though social dynamics and expectations from cliques can dictate what a person must be like. An example of this is when Charlie says “Patrick actually used to be popular before Sam bought him some good music’’ (Chbosky 43). In reality, the type of music you listen to should have nothing to do with your social standings, but it does. Social dynamics make teenagers try to be something they’re not. Unfortunately, it seems as though teenagers need to get accustomed to them if they don’t want to seem like an outcast.

    P.S Lawrence’s username made me LOL. Pianodude96.. Sounds like a superhero.

  18. In the novel The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie, class plays a massive role. Many characters of all different social statuses are involved in the plot of the story and the effect that that has on their interactions is incredibly clear.
    One of the most clear examples of this is during the scenes in which Ardee, Major West, and Jezal are present. Ardee and Major West are brother and sister from a low class family in Angland, and Jezal is of a very high social status within the empire and who is incredibly rich because of his father. Jezal has fallen in love with Ardee, but because of their different social statuses, a relationship seems unlikely. This is very clearly shown when Ardee states “I’ve precious little money and no blood at all, and that makes me less than nothing to the likes of you” (Abercrombie 187). It shows that because none of her relatives are powerful and she is is not rich, society does not allow her to make anything successful of herself.
    Although it may be difficult for an individual of low social status to be successful, it is not impossible. Major West was originally from the same low class family in Angland as Ardee, but through years of practice/training in fencing, he rose through the ranks of the military and won a contest, a competition of fencing skills. Because of this, Major West became of much higher social status, however not as high as if he had good blood, as shown when West says “Champions with the right blood always go on to great things” (Abercrombie 66). This shows that although Major West was incredibly skilled with a blade, he did not advance through the ranks as far as he could have if he had been born into the correct social class, and as such demonstrates the limitations that are inherent with being born as a commoner.
    These two situations very clearly illustrate the effect that class has on the social dynamics of the novel, and offer great insight as to how the rest of the novel will unfold.

  19. Power
    *How do characters achieve power? When do they have it? When do they lose it?
    *Who is dis-empowered? In what ways?
    *Is power usurped in the novel? If so, how?

    The characters in the story “ The Blade Itself” achieve power in multiple ways throughout the book. Logen Ninefingers, achieved power by constantly fighting his enemies and serving several military campaigns with the help of his strength and brute force. He possesses it in a time period a little bit before the events in the book when he was arguably the most feared barbarian in the great north. He loses it also a small amount of time before the events of the book because he made too many enemies who were constantly on his tail “There are few men with more blood on their hands than me. None, that I know of. The Bloody-Nine they call me, my enemies, and there’s a lot of ‘em. Always more enemies, and fewer friends. Blood gets you nothing but more blood. It follows me now, always, like my shadow, and like my shadow I can never be free of it. I should never be free of it. I’ve earned it. I’ve deserved it. I’ve sought it out. Such is my punishment” (Abercrombie 147). Logen was eventually put before King Bethod of the north, where he was banished from the north ”He remembered their last meeting well enough. Stretched out on his face on the floor of Bethod’s hall at Carleon, beaten and broken and well chained up, dribbling blood into the straw and hoping the end wouldn’t be too long coming. Then, no reason given, they’d let him go. Flung him out the gates with the Dogman, Threetrees, the Weakest and the rest, and told him never to come back” (Abercrombie 149). The character Glokta also achieves power in a time period before the book when he climbed the ranks of the military in the Union. Glokta eventually loses is his power after he was captured during one of the Union’s wars and was tortured vigorously to the point where many of his physical abilities such as one of his legs are badly weakened which still encumber him. After the ending of the war he was dismissed from the military because of his injuries and became inquisitor which was a much more miserable job. The characters who have been disempowered are Logen, Glokta and Jezal. Logen has been disempowered because of his banishment from the north along with his friends. Glokta lost all of his importance and power because of his dismissal from the military. Finally, Jezal has been disempowered personally and mentally due to the fact of his constant failures. He is training for a local fencing tournament and is constantly tormented by his mentors and he feels underpowered when dealing with Ardee; his current love interest and the sister of his fencing partner “He could not escape the feeling that he had been out-faced twice that day, once by each sibling. He rather fancied that the sister had given him the worse beating” (Abercrombie 77). Power is usurped enormously throughout the novel but not by any characters but by fate. Fate and fortune are the main reason why so many characters the novel have lost all their power. It was never Gloktas decision to be tortured to the point where he’d be a cripple, nor was it the decison of Logen to be lose all his fame in the north. None of the characters saw what was coming for them and that is why fate is what has mainly usurped power from most of the characters.

  20. Within the novel, “A Great and Terrible Beauty” by Libba Bray, the topic of gender becomes significant because the novel was written during a time where, in England, women were sought after to own, just like a trophy, and if you were the most beautiful trophy with a lot of worth, then everyone would want to own you. The young women were brought up controlled, never to think on their own, or to learn how to feel. Women were not treated as equal, and were expected to make their husbands look good in social status, and to walk in step behind them. Due to the fact that women were looked upon that way in England, the main character, Gemma, who was brought up in India, thought differently. She saw the world differently, and when she had to be trained to think opposite of what she was raised in. This made her look at the world differently, and made her want to change things, and Gemma found out she wasn’t the only one who saw it that way, and later on, Gemma and her three friends would chose their actions based on what they wanted to change. In the book, even Gemma’s own brother saw women the way other people saw women, which was regarded as the norm. Women were seen to just stand there and look pretty, like some sort of accessory, or an outfit. If she had a flaw, she was worthless, “If it were known, she [Pippa] would be unmarriageable. It is considered a flaw in the blood, like madness. No man would want a woman with such an affliction” (Bray, 190) was what one of the teacher’s said to Gemma when she asked why Pippa’s Epilepsy had to be kept a secret. That quotation shows that during this time of living, you had to appear perfect, and flawless. Felicity also once talked about not being able to hunt with her father because only boys were allowed to hunt. Knowing how living that way is unfair, the four friends, Gemma, Felicity, Ann and Pippa, were different from the other girls at Spence, because the others were good girls who did exactly what they were told without question. Women were looked down upon, but that didn’t stop the group of friends to want to think differently.

  21. Different concepts of power are portrayed throughout the novel, “The Blade Itself”. Every individual character displays his/her own abstraction of power whether it be through physical strength or in a mental and emotional sense. For example, Logen displays both physical and emotional power. He is capable of surviving alone without basic necessities (ex. food, warm clothes, weapons) and is known as a great warrior for his impeccable fighting skills. He has the absolute dominance to decide whether or not one should live or die. As well, he is able to live without his family who had been killed and can leave behind his friends and belongings with ease. Although he is reminded of who he cared for and lost every day, he continues to accomplish what is essential to live. With all of this being said, Logen has weaknesses. He has a tendency to lash out while in combat which means he loses all control of himself and his surroundings. This makes him volatile to his enemies and therefore gravely disempowers him.
    Glokta is empowered while working. He uses force and mental games to effectively obtain confessions from his prisoners. Practical Frost, his assistant, torchers the captives until they are no longer at a position to object and Glokta contributes a letter of agreement to be signed. Outside of his employment in the torcher chamber, Glokta is a weak, cripple with unquestionably no strength whatsoever. Another main character, Jezal, normally feels as if he is dominant over others because of his confidence. Although when he meets his friend’s sister, Ardee, all of his mental power is disoriented as a result of her witty responses and beauty. Jezal is completely subjected to all of Ardee’s movements and words.
    Each character has his/her proper meaning of power and portrays it in different ways. Whether it be positive or negative, every character uses it to their full advantage.

  22. Sorry, I forgot to add a quote…
    “Glokta held up his hand for silence. He stared at Rews’ familiar face for a moment, as though he had never laid eyes on him before” (Abercrombie 19). This statement signifies that Glokta has all control by simply raising his hand to stop the prisoner from talking. It also demonstrates how intelligent Glokta is by pretending he had never seen the hostage prior to his capture when he had known him in the war.

  23. Community can mean something different to each character in the book. In the case of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, community is friendship and a sense of belonging. Charlie has experienced many people leaving him, and each time it becomes more and more to deal with. After Charlie’s friend Micheal commits suicide, and his favourite Aunt Helen dies in a car accident, he is forced to adjust to a lifestyle without friends. His new community with Sam and Patrick gives him the reassurance and support he needs.

    Charlie quickly learns how communities work when he makes a mistake by kissing Sam while he’s dating Mary. This creates a tension between the friends, and Charlie is forced to lay low for a while until the issue is resolved. During this time, we see Charlie realize the importance of communities, especially in the setting of highschool: “I should keep staying away until things got clear” (Chbosky 138). After Charlie was told to stay away, he soon learned the pain of not having communities, and made an effort by apologizing to Mary and Sam and Patrick to fix their problems and adhere to the social norms of the community.

    Because the book takes place in a high school setting, community plays a role with the teenagers through cliques and friends. “You ever think, Charlie, that our group is the same as any other group like the football team? And the only real difference between us is what we wear and why we wear it?” (Chbosky 155). This quotation proves that there is in fact a social norm, and although sometimes it’s okay to drift away from them, there’s a reason for having them. Without having these communities, it makes highschool a dreadful experience which we see by the suffering we watch Charlie have to experience. Without having the communities, there wouldn’t be a plot in the novel, nor would we see Charlie grow as a person.

  24. In the novel, “I Am The Messenger”, by Markus Zusak, the protagonist Ed Kennedy associates with many different communities. A community is a group linked by common policy. Ed is a part of a community with his friends, a community with his family, and a community with his messaging duties. Ed values the community he shares with his friends, because his family community is lacking. Other communities exist in the novel also; Ed meets a pastor, Father O’Reilly, and the community his life is revolved around the church community. If an individual does not have a community to belong to, they do not have people to look to for help, or comfort. Without a community, an individual is lonely, and may feel helpless. Milla, the elderly lady who Ed visits in the novel, is not involved in a community so she is lonely and feels that the only excitement in her life is when Ed visits. Also, the wife who gets abused by her husband doesn’t have a community, which makes her helpless from her awful spouse. The communities in the novel all have social norms, and expectations. The community Ed shares with his friends expects everyone to show up for the card games and keep contact with each other, or else you will be frowned upon. In the community Ed has with his family, not a lot is expected, but Ed knows to listen to his Ma or she will yell and name call. Most importantly, the community Ed has with his messages, it is expected to complete the tasks, or your life may end. Community is not important or mentioned in the novel, but when thought about, one can realize how many different communities Ed is a part of, and how together, they make up his life.

  25. * How do characters achieve power? When do they have it? When do they lose it?

    * Who are the characters who resist the dominant power structures? Why do they?

    Something you first notice while reading “The Blade Itself” is the vast number of characters. There are a lot of important characters in the book, and most are pretty powerful. They each achieve power in their own way. For example, we have people like Jezal, who are born into noble families. They instantly have power and can make connections to gain more. As a comparison there are people like Logen, who are Northmen and have to work hard and achieve power with strength and violence. There is the wizard Bayaz who also had to work hard to achieve his immense power. He had to study and uncover the secrets of the world and The Art. Glokta achieves power when in the torture room and threw his connections. All these characters can lose their power, some quicker than others. It takes only someone with better blood and more money for Jeza t lose his say. It would take more to rid Logen of his strength, and no one can take away what’s in his mind. All though he is a barbarian he is wiser than Jezal and his like. Bayaz loses his power when he uses it. Blowing men up can can become tiring.
    These individuals are all powerful in their own right, however there are still dominant power structures in the novel. For example King of the Northmen Bethod and his regime. He controls most of the North. There are men who still oppose him though. Logens crew, all Named Men and very strong resist him. They refuse to bow down to any man.

    Khalid Ebrahim

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: