English Paper 1 Practice reflection

The practice that we did on English Paper 1 was definitely a learning experience for me. I believe it is the first time for most of my friends including myself that we have done anything similar to this. It is quite different in terms of both structure and content compared to the language practices in IGCSE. The IB English Paper 1 is, in my own opinion, more challenging because we have to analyse more in-depth as what messages, values, themes….. that the piece of text is trying to convey. Furthermore, we also have to make various connections and show relationships between them and the author. In general, I think the attempt this time reflected a few areas that I need to improve on:

1. time management issue, I spent too much time annotating and making plans on what I am going to write, which puts a lot of time pressure on the conclusion, as a result, I could not finish the conclusion of my essay.

2. Lacking key connections between themes. I successfully identified various key themes from the advertisement but I did not link them with other aspects of the advertisement, such as the time when this advertisement was made, aims of the author, etc.

3. More in-depth analysis of the theme that I had developed. After identifying the key themes in the advertisement, I did not analyse them deep enough which kind of undermined the overall strength of my argument.

Liz Donnelly cartoon ELP entry

Genders are socially constructed

The cartoonist Liz Donnelly draws this cartoon to reflect her idea that genders are socially constructed. Liz uses color to present how hospital staff differentiates babies according to their sex with blue and pink. This evokes her intended audience of the public to come to the realization that gender stereotyping and expectations are placed onto children from a very young age. This can be seen from her cartoon where male infants are dressed in different colored caps and sleep in different colored beds as the females. The males are dressed in blue whereas the females are dressed in pink, which is a social stereotype as girls are imagined to like pink and boys to like blue. Furthermore, the males and females are separated into two sides of the room, which represents how genders are thought of as being distinctly different from the moment of birth. Because of the hospital’s symbolic role representing “society” in this cartoon, the different colors, and placements of the babies showed how genders are socially constructed. 

 

Gender stereotyping and expectations are a wide-spread problem

Liz Donnelly shows gender stereotyping and expectations are a wide-spread problem by drawing the infants to be having different skin tones. This reflects on her message to the audience that this social issue of gender stereotyping impacts all races, and is, therefore, a serious problem that needs consideration. The primary intended audience of this cartoon is the public because the issues of gender stereotyping and expectations are very prevalent, so she hopes to raise public awareness about it. Furthermore, her secondary audience could be people who have influence over children at a young age, so that they can reflect on what they have done wrong by imposing gender stereotypes on infants. 

 

Shows how all the infants are the same initially and gender roles and identities are socially constructed.

Last but not least, Liz Donnelly uses the structure of the foreground and background to convey the message that all children, no matter their sex, are born the same. The facial impressions and the arrangement of the formula bottles at the back of the room show her belief that all children are born the same. Since all children eat and have the same physiological functions, they should be treated the same way, instead of being forced into complying with social expectations and stereotypes of their gender identities. By contrasting the similarities in the background with the deliberate segregation of the male and female infants in the foreground, Donnelly wishes to highlight that the gender roles and identities we see today are socially constructed. 

《受戒》 读书笔记

Chinese A Literature 读书笔记— 《受戒》

 

概括总结 精彩引文/情节

作家:

生平背景

创作意图

作者汪曾祺1920年生于江苏高邮,毕业于西南联大文学系。1949年后任北京市文联和北京市民间艺术研究院干部。

作品:(外在)

社会历史

时代背景

汪曾祺年少时为了躲避战火,随父在一庙里躲避战火,当时有一户人家住在庙的附近。五十年后,他想起农村女孩富有诗意的感情,和和尚庙,便有了创作冲动。受戒完成后,因为不符合当时的社会价值观,和政治情况,直到1980年汪曾祺才在 “北京文学” 上发表此文章。

环境:

自然环境、

人文环境、

氛围

虽然明海身为出家人,生活在寺庙里,可是汪曾祺仍然用幽默的语言来描述明海和小英子的朦胧爱情。在这个寺庙里,宗教并没有把人们异化或者控制,和尚们仍然过着非常世俗的生活,打牌,娶老婆,甚至在大殿杀猪吃肉。正可谓:“酒肉穿肠过,佛祖心中留。” 荸荠庵的地势很好,在一片高地上。这一带就属这片地势高,当初建庵的人很会选地方。门前是一条河。门外是一片很大的打谷场。三面都是很大的柳树。山门里是一个穿堂。迎门供着弥勒佛。

人物:

性格特征、

人物关系

明海:庙里的小和尚,13岁出家,庙里当家的和尚仁山是他的舅舅。从小便和邻居家小英子青梅竹马

小英子:和明海年龄相仿,活泼美丽,是“荸荠庵”的邻居,家里条件不错。

仁山:明海的舅舅,荸荠庵”的住持。此人不修边服,在庵里不穿袈裟,整天穿个短僧衣。

仁海:仁山的二师弟,很爱干净,有家室。

仁渡:仁山的三师弟,很有女人缘,过年杀猪也是他掌刀。

仁山所说当一个好和尚的三个条件,他自己其实一条也不具备。他的相貌只要用两个字就说清楚了:黄,胖。声音也不像钟声,倒像母猪。

情节:

故事梗概、

矛盾冲突、

结构特征

作者在叙述上选择了第三人称(作家)的视角,并且使用了比较多的插叙。但是在描写明子和小英子的时候用的却是第一人称。这样的描写方法更能让读者感到这对人的活泼的性格。

明子:“过了一个湖。好大一个湖!”

““好大一座庙!庙门的门坎比小英子的胳膊都高。“

主题归纳:

各个层面

这篇文章和《大淖记事》有一些相似之处,两篇文章都在描画一个类似于“世外桃源”的地方。并且两篇文章都在体现汪曾祺心中的“美”,不管是自然环境还是人与人之间的感情。
语言风格 这篇文章仍然传承了汪曾祺比较常见的语言风格,句子和用词都朴实无华,而且非常精炼毫无多余的词或句子。这篇文章比较独特的地方是汪曾祺大量使用了口语化的词语,更生动的刻画出来了各个人物的性格,让他们更活灵活现,仿佛他们在你眼前。

“清亮亮”

“滑溜溜”

“格挣挣”

个人解读 这篇文章非常的美,透出一种自然,朴素的美。自然是因为这里的人们过着非常世俗的生活,活出了自我,就想那些豪不被戒律所约束的和尚。朴素是因为明子和小英子两人的爱情虽然朦胧,但非常天真,而且真实,充满童真。

 

《大淖记事》读书笔记

Chinese A Literature  读书笔记 — 《大淖记事 》

 

概括总结 精彩引文/情节

作家:

生平背景

创作意图

作者汪曾祺1920年生于江苏高邮,毕业于西南联大文学系。1949年后任北京市文联和北京市民间艺术研究院干部

作品:(外在)

社会历史

时代背景

80年代初期,中国文坛伤痕小说和反思小说居多,所以当《大淖记事》被发表后,造成了比较大的社会反应,汪曾祺也因此得到了1981年的最佳短篇小说奖。

环境

自然环境、

人文环境、

氛围

大淖这个地方被一片水隔开,远离了现代文明,这里的民风非常的淳朴,人们生活的更加自在,快乐。生活在大淖里的人们没有被保守的儒家文化所约束,他们虽然异常贫困,但是有着高尚的人格。 姑娘媳妇挑得不比男人少,走得不比男人慢。她们像男人一样的挣钱,走相、坐相也像男人。走起来一阵风,坐下来两条腿叉得很开。她们像男人一样赤脚穿草鞋。她们嘴里不忌生冷,男人怎么说话她们怎么说话,她们也用男人骂人的话骂人。”

人物:

性格特征、

人物关系

巧云:美丽且坚强,对霸道的刘号长用行为做出了反抗,努力而且勇敢的追求爱情。虽然家里两个伤残,可是她仍然非常乐观,对未来充满了希望。

小锡匠:聪明,正直。偶然认识巧云后,便深深的爱上了她。直到后来刘号长毒打他,他也没有屈服或离开巧云。但他却对此不抱有任何怨恨,也说明了他是一个心胸宽阔的人。

刘号长:狠毒,心胸狭窄,持强凌弱,很好面子。在锡匠们顶香请愿后受之无愧的被驱逐。

“巧云十五岁,长成了一朵花,眉毛黑如鸦翅,长入鬓角。”

“小锡匠不吐一个字,被他们打昏死了”

“两只鸳鸯怕是配不上对”

情节

故事梗概、

矛盾冲突、

结构特征

作者没有使用小说常规的写法,没有直接进入主题,而是花了很多笔墨描绘大淖的地理环境,风土人情。当小说篇幅有一定量后,主题才渐渐明朗。这么多笔墨用来描绘环境和人文气氛看似是浪费,但其实事为情节的发展做一个铺设。巧云妈妈跟别人出轨,和巧云失身这在当地都没有什么大惊小怪的,正是因为前文大量的铺设描写,从而读者也会认为巧云的失身是合乎常理的,她的爱情也是纯洁美丽的。

主题归纳:

各个层面

汪曾祺写这篇文章的目的使用一个理想主义,乌托邦般的社会团体来宣扬人们的真善美。
语言风格 作者描写人物大部分用的是侧面描写,例如旁人的眼光,或是巧云每次去买东西,买回来的分量和质量都很好来体现巧云的美。作者也适当的使用了白描,营造出了大淖如诗如画的境界。

“巧云十五岁,长成了一朵花,眉毛黑如鸦翅,长入鬓角。”

春初水暖,沙洲上冒出很多紫红色的芦芽和灰绿色的芦蒿……夏天,茅 草、芦荻都吐出雪白的丝穗……秋天, 全都枯黄了……冬天,下雪这里总比别处先白。

个人解读 我觉得这部作品虽然语言看似轻松,但是伤感的描绘了一对情侣如何为了爱情而出勇敢的反抗。体现了他们高尚并且纯洁的价值观。看完后心里不乏有些压抑。

 

 

在《风筝》中鲁迅先生如何运用各种文学手法来抒发感情

一部文学作品的意蕴和哲理由表现手法诠释。一个资深作家能够巧妙地运用各式艺术技巧或文学手法使他/她想表达的思想跃然纸上。若要是想透彻的理解一篇文学作品,那么刨析和解读作品的文学手法的环节必不可少。在《风筝》一文中,鲁迅先生使用环境描写来渲染气氛,先使读者体会到自己悲哀的心情,随后再简洁精炼的几笔刻画出弟弟对风筝的态度和自己如何实行“精神扼杀”,最后再精细如至地表达自己渴望补过的心情和对中国腐朽的封建文化的态度。

开头段,鲁迅择北平的冬天为景,毫不含蓄地表达了自己悲哀的心情。“北京的冬季,地上还有积雪,灰黑色的秃树枝丫叉于晴朗的天空中” 作者借北平冬天异常凛冽,巧妙地将颜色加入环境描写,使其颜色分外单调的特点来表达自己低落的心情。随后作者提到“远处有一二风筝浮动”来描写自己对故乡风筝时节的回忆。这里,作者颇费篇幅地描写了江南春二月的景色,“杨柳发芽” “山桃吐蕾” “淡墨色的蟹风筝或嫩蓝色的螟蚣风筝”。这些景物样式各别,色彩艳丽,看得出作者刻意描画出生机盎然,色彩缤纷的初春江南,与寒风沁骨且灰暗的北平冬天形成极大的反差。这段环境描写既是鲁迅回忆和现实的真实写照,也是有象征意义的环境氛围烘托,相当于鲁迅将社会现状和他认为理想的社会状态做对比,反映了当时腐朽的封建制度的灰黑犹如北平的冬天。

第三段,鲁迅以“但我从来不爱放风筝的”作为转折点和引文,将回忆对象从环境转移到儿时扼杀弟弟童真的场景。这部分呈现鲁迅较为独道的人物描写风格,他从简使墨,区区几字便将人物刻画地跃然纸上,神态,心理,精简到位。“张着小嘴,呆看着空中出神” 和看别人放风筝时“惊呼”,“跳跃” 这些言简意骇的动作和神态描写将弟弟活生生的刻画出来,向读者呈现出一个虽然“自己买不起风筝”但愿意“苦心”自己制作的天真,活泼男孩。而在读者将自己的意愿强加于弟弟并折断他的风筝时,弟弟“绝望的站在小屋里” “失了色” “惶恐” “瑟缩”。这些地方虽笔墨甚少,但细致入微,如实的描述出冷酷的封建制度和价值观对童真的破坏。

最后一部分也是体现文章主旨的部分,先是写出了自己认识到了对小兄弟精神虐杀的错误的悔恨与自责。当自己认识到了封建教育思想的危害,了解了游戏是孩童的天性时,彼此的天真烂漫的童年时代早已逝去(然而他其时已经和我一样,早已有了胡子了)。于是,作者想到了要得到小兄弟的宽恕,可当与他谈起儿时时,他竟惊异地反问道,“有这么一回事吗?”(“他什么也不记得了”,“无怨的恕”),在两种补救方法皆告失败后,作者的心情变得十分沉重。试想,如果被虐杀者都变得对残暴麻木不仁,向恶势力低头时,还有什么可以挽救他们呢。这一幕激发了作者内心的悲凉与绝望,也有对国人这一愚昧行为的愤慨与无助。

CAS Reflection #2

This week, after careful and thoughtful planning, we met our clients from AMK Minds for the first time. The people who are currently being assisted in AMK Minds are either intelligently incapable or lacks any form of independence in their everyday lives. However, they surprised me with how friendly they are, sometimes I found myself surrounded by those people with my hands shook and held in various directions. Even though playing sports activities with those people is not as exciting or intense as the ones we do in school, but it is interesting and inspiring in another way. During the games, I realised the importance of verbal and visual communication, as sometimes talking alone will not be able to get the idea across to those people, so you will have to shorten your sentences and pronounciate word by word. Furthermore, you will have to demonstrate to those people how the activities are carried out, and with sign languages incorporated into it. Because those people are taking longer to grasp ideas, so most of the time, you will have to repeat yourself several times because they can really get what you are saying. This can be challenging at times when you have to manage between several different people and this requires a high level of organizing skills. All in all, even though this is my first session, I have learnt many skills and values that hopefully I will be able to use in the coming years of service.

 

  • What values are being conveyed?
  • How are the advertises similar/different in conveying this?
  • How do they provoke thinking about the global issues
  • How does the craftsmanship of the text explore the idea of representation and identity?

 

 

The left side of the photo on the left shows a girl in traditional Indian makeup, jewellery and dress. However, on the right side of the picture, the girl is shown to look more masculine with short hair, thick eyebrows, no makeup and she is wearing a shirt instead of a blouse. This clear contrast in gender presented on the same individual shows how Indian society values boys, considering them to be superior compared to girls and they are often prioritised when there are limited educational resources. The photo on the right shows the side profile of a girl wearing a short skirt that has the label “Whore” next to it. There is also a ruler indicating other skirt lengths, and they come with negative labels like “Prude”, “Slut”, “Cheeky”. The underlying value that this advertisement is trying to critique is how judgemental our society is with regards to how women dress since the advertisement shows how there are negative criticisms no matter the skirt length. In the sense that women’s attires are often associated with a negative connotation.

The advertisement on the left uses the technique of contrast to show how different genders in India are treated fundamentally differently. The advertisement achieves this effect by using the same model who is presented differently, conveying their desired message that girls and boys are fundamentally the same and it is the society that grants them different rights purely based on their sex. Furthermore, the dark red, almost sinister background of this advertisement suggests the hardship that women in India are going through just to be educated or granted equal rights as men. This is because dark red and black are often used in the description of dangerous places, similar to how hell is being described in the Bible. On the other hand, the advertisement on the right uses a scale which resembles a ruler that measures the length of skirts that women are wearing. The effect of this ruler image shows women to be judged very harshly, as a ruler is associated with precision and accuracy, and this suggests that women are being judged very closely by society. Interestingly all the labels on the ruler are negative, revealing how women will be judged for wearing a skirt that is either too long or too short. This mirrors the highly judgmental nature of society where they will never be satisfied with how women dress and will always be critical of it. These two advertisements are similar in a way that both are focused on the physical appearance of women in conveying their values since both advertisements use pictures of women to deliver their message. This focus on women’s physical appearance highlights how it is the physical appearance of being a woman that ultimately results in the hardship she faces. 

The advertisements provoke thinking about these issues by exposing societal attitudes that we might think is normal just because many people hold those views. For instance, if a person is raised in a conservative Indian society, he or she will most likely think that it is right to prioritise boys in education since girls are supposed to get married and be dedicated to home chores. The same applies to the second advertisement since it is common to judge a girl if she is wearing a mini skirt, and we unknowingly hold on to the idea that decent girls will not dress that way. The fact that the ads highlight such societal attitudes will propel us to give them a second thought and reconsider if these attitudes that we hold are really fair, or if we are just being judgmental based on our own improper perceptions of people. 

Furthermore, the use of slogans and text in both advertisements aid in the craftsmanship of the texts by delivering the advertisement’s main messages. In the first advertisement, the use of statistics in “In India, more than 30% of women are illiterate.”. This statistic illustrates that almost one-third of India’s female population is being denied education, showing this is a serious issue. Additionally, the line “Do we have to come so far to get equal rights?” is the use of the rhetorical question to make the readers realise that how much effort and hardship females in India have to go through just to earn basic rights as men who have them readily available. In the advertisement on the right side, the line “Don’t measure a woman’s worth by her clothes” effectively uses diction of “measure” and “worth” to make readers realise how commonly society objectifies and labels women according to their physical appearances and dressing, which is both inaccurate and unfair. The word “measure” also links to the visual representation of the ruler in the advertisement, making readers realise that it is demeaning to judge a woman in this superficial way. 

Andy’s CAS Reflection #1

Related image

I have started my service for some time now, I have had my grip on it already and understands the purpose of this service. It is called Sports Activites with AMK Minds. Basically, my service’s role is to work with AMK minds Ang Mo Kio in their sports activities and hopefully by the end of this year’s session, helping the intellectually disabled to play a basic game of basketball. For the past 2, 3 weeks, we have met the people who are currently running this organisation and ever since that meeting, we have been planning on our training schedule. Being in the position that I am in right now, I am very excited to see them next week because I have never worked with intellectually disabled people.

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