One of the most interesting ideas that have emerged across the course of my time in Warhammer club is the applicability of Mathematics to a wide range of fields. In fact, the topic I wrote my Mathematics IA on was using Markov Chains to try and analyse dice rolls within the game. The interesting issue here though is how, over the course of researching for my IA, I came across many other scenarios in which Markov chains, and game theory in general, can be applied: warfare, dating, politics. There’s probably a global issue there somewhere in how Mathematics connects so many different areas together.
It’s a rather odd experience planning for something one isn’t going to engage in. As the chair of our local service, Cognitive Rehabilitation with Apex Harmony Lodge, for the past year, I was interestingly involved in preparing the new batch of students in our group for the coming year. This meant that I was planning for sessions with our local service partner, which would likely be conducted online, that I wasn’t going to be part of. My job then was to try and best prepare the group in a manner that they could hopefully apply some of the lessons we’d learned last year to the upcoming year. Which isn’t as easy as it may sound given that we hardly had any people from last year continuing over. What I did in the end was to try and share my experiences last year the best I could and choose new chairs that I thought could best handle their new role. In the future, I would think it would be better if we had more measures in place to encourage Grade 10s to carry over their local service into Grade 11
The first thing I realised upon walking into Warhammer Club is that I didn’t have any clue what on Earth was going on. Warhammer, for those who aren’t familiar is a tabletop wargame with seemingly very complicated rules. Perhaps given that I joined halfway through the Season, everyone else seemed to know what they were doing except for me. In a way then, this is a challenge of its own given that the rulebook is actually as thick as a book and it’s quite a lot of material to read through and understand. I do seem to be making some progress already though given the explanations from Iman so we will see how quickly I figure this out
Describe the tone, mood and atmosphere of the opening pages of the novel. Examine the dream in the opening pages as a way of establishing a sense of foreboding.
There seems to be an almost detached, objective tone. There’s a lot of description that sounds more like someone is describing the father from the outside. Even the description of his thoughts is quite impersonal. “He mistrusted all of that” for instance. The mood seems quite bleak as the child is seen “Are we going to die?”. The atmosphere seems quite abandoned as can be seen as though interaction between the father, boy, and environment are described there isn’t really anyone else. The dream presents a sense of foreboding as the way the dream describes “a flowering wood” and a “sky” that “was achingly blue” seems to highlight the lack of such in the book’s world making the reader think of how this world may have been destroyed.
Find details which describe the landscape in these pages. Overall, what image does McCarthy create of the devastation of the earth in this world?
“cauterized terrain” “shoals of ash” “rows of black and twisted brambles”. Presents quite a greyed out or burned atmosphere
What kind of journey are the man and his son on? Where is the evidence for this?
For some reason they are trying to go through the mountains to the coast. “He said that everything depended on reaching the coast, yet waking in the night he knew that all of this was empty and no substance to it. There was a good chance they would die in the mountains and that would be that”. According to Wikipedia, this is to escape the winter. “And we’re still going south./Yes./So we’ll be warm./Yes”
Describe their relationship using evidence to support your ideas.
The father seems to be trying to explain the world to his son “What is that, Papa?/It’s a dam”. or “Will the dam be there for a long time?/I think so. It’s made of concrete.” or “Do you think there could be fish int he lake?/ No. There’s nothing in the lake.”
Memories of the past come to the man’s mind – what kind of memories are they? What importance might they have?
There’s an anecdote about watching a hawk “fall down the long blue wall of the mountain” as well as the man explaining his old house both seem to show how things used to be both in terms nature and the comforts they used to have.
What do you notice about the narrative style of writing? What might be the reason for choices McCarthy makes stylistically? Look at the effects of crafting such as: use of imagery, poetic and metaphoric features, syntax and punctuation, other?
Lots of emphasis on the cold or the colourlessness or the grayness. And the ash. eg. “cold rice and cold beans”. Some very short sentences “So thin. My heart, he said. My heart”. No speech marks. Not sure wha this means
My first engagement was at Guanghamun: the gates of the old palace where the Joseon dynasty royal family used to reside. Naturally, they weren’t there to protest a long fallen dynasty but simply because that seems to have become one of the established places to protest in South Korea. Simply being present at the event was perhaps the most insightful part of this all with posters being found saying “death to the traitors” calling (presumably) the governing party the “Satan group” (all of this naturally in Korean. These are just my translations). There were even photos of politicians the protest opposed on the ground for people to stamp on. As far as statements by the protestors themselves went, there seemed to be quite a variety of sentiments. A major component seemed to be fear about communists taking over the South. With one male protestor who looked to be in about his 20s said that if the country turns to the Commuist party there will be no freedom and that a lot of people died in the past. There also seemed to be a heavy Christian sentiment as the protest was led by a pastor and the same protestor just mentioned said that any statement about Rhee Seung Man founding the country based on Christian values is absolutely right. There were other concerns across the protestors however going from about the economy to about national security and not everyone seemed to buy into the hard right wing Christian narrative.
Perhaps the most interesting thing however is the small, police guarded, left wing protest within the midst of the large protest which would be something I’d look into more later
General (Class) Feedback:
- Mentioning writers
- Genre-specific terms
- Cohesion – a developing line of argument
- Technical terms: Foil
- You maintain an insightful comparative approach here
- Focus on craft: Shamsie characterises Isma as…
- So, maintain focus on writers to ensure your analysing their craft AND technical terms – these will be helpful prompts for your 10
Target: Maintain focus on writer to analyse craft and technical terms