02 January 2007

Pulling out a passage from the excerpts

This blog posting is due before class starts Monday, Jan. 8. Good luck...

We read three novel excerpts - Frankenstein, The Color of Water, & Black Boy - and you've been asked to highlight passages that made you stop and think, and those that raised questions, and those that provoked a strong reaction. If you're reading carefully and thoughtfully you should have no problem encountering such passages.

Here's your chance to share one of them with your classmates. Your assignment is to post your passage - it should be at least a sentence and most likely a little more. Write a 100-150 word response about why you chose it, what ideas it may raise about the book, how you may connect it to something significant outside the text... or other related thoughts about it.

Cite your passage with the title of the novel and page number like so - "Words and sentences from the book, blah, blah, blah..." (Book title, 12)


Olivia said...

"...We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves-such a friend ought to be-do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures..."
-Frankenstein pg.12

This passage really stuck out to me. This man is telling Walton that we are nothing with out another half; a true friend. One who makes us seem better and someone who brings out better qualities in ourselves. You should find a friend who seems better than you, in order to get this satisfaction. This way, you can better eachother in desired ways. However, you can not balme this person for your imperfections, and you cant count on them to make you perfect. You should be able to bring your better self out when you are with this person always. Your nature should feel better when you are with such a good friend. I chose this passage because it is relatable. In highschool, you usually find out who your true friends are. When you find this equal, it should be how this man describes. I can connect this passage to alot of my true friends and how i feel when i am around them.


Tal..!! said...

"Black Boy" Page 11. "My brother ran away in fright. I found a peice of rope, made a noose, slipped it around the kitten's neck, pulled it over a nail, then jerked the animal clear of the ground. It gasped, slobbered, spun, doubled, clawed the air franticall; finally it's mouth gaped and its pink white tounge shot out stiffly. I tied the rope to a nail and went to find my brother. He was crouching behind a corner of the building."

I choose this excerpt because it shocked me in ways unimaginable. I read this and my eyes filled with tears while my head spun with anger and confusion. Why in the hell did this little girl kill a kitten? To proove to her father that she hated him. She took another life to proove that. All I could think of for the next hour at least, was the image those words put into my head. A simple kitten, just hanging there. She or he looked to these kids for five minutes for love, and they go and kill her. This is just an example of how disgusting human beings are. We have no concept of love. i like the brutal images, becaue it actually springs emotions inside me. Thats what I want out of a book.

MillerBHS said...

Note to students:

So far these two posts show some examples of the kind of thinking I'm looking for on the blog. Olivia uses her passage to jump off into a discussion about a theme, or larger idea, raised in the novel. It's quite an interesting observation, and those of you who chose Frankenstein to read will no doubt address the concept of a person's other half - sometimes referred to as a doppelganger.

Tal writes of a strong emotional response brought on by a passage from Black Boy. Although she inadvertantly refers to the character as a female, she shares an emotional response to a specific event and then expands it into a brief commentary on human nature. It would be even stronger if the response came back more specifically to events from the text and made mention of some of the underlying reasons behind Richard's shocking actions in killing the kitten.

Keep thinking everyone.

Shane said...

“But success shall crown my endeavors. Wherefore not? Thus far I have gone, tracing a secure way over the pathless seas: the very stars themselves being witness and testimonies of my triumph.” (Frankenstein, 7)

After reading this quote it made me think of a few things. First of all I think Walton is a bit full of himself and greedy. It seems that he’s determined but too determined. Almost as if he’s willing to do anything to make a big discovery and as soon as he does that he will take full credit for it and keep everything to himself. I think this foreshadows what’s going to happen in the story. I think Dr. Frankenstein is going to be just like him. Somebody who never quits and who wants to make some sort of discovery, somebody who’s willing to do anything to benefit themself.

Period 1

luke per. 4 said...

“ You want to talk about me family and here I been dead to them for fifty years. Leave me alone. Don’t bother me. They want no parts of me and me I don’t want no parts of them” (pg. 1) from The Color of Water. I chose this passage because it stood out over everything else and left all sorts of questions running through my head. I wondered if she was dead, why she dislikes her family so much, why don’t they want a part of her and why doesn’t she want a part with her?

Ted said...

" Gradually, as the weeks passed and the terror of going to school subsided, I began to notice something about my mother, that she looked nothing like the other kids' mothers...I noticed that Mommy stood apart from the other mothers, rarely speaking to them...ignoring the stares of the black women as she whisked me away." (The Color of Water,12).

I chose these specific parts of passages, because they show how people of certain races or ethnic groups can discriminate other people of other races or ethnic groups. This is what is happening in these passages. The child's mother is white with black children as everyone else in their neighborhood is black. This makes me think of how awful the mother must feel everyday being treated that way by those other people. I think that everyone around the mother should respect her for all she has to put up with, whether it's taking care of all of her kids or dealing with people in her neighborhood when she rides her bike everyday. I think it's amazing how she goes on everyday, ignoring everyone that disrespects her. I think the title, The Color of Water, is referring to different colors of skin and races as the word "water" is referring to skin, so instead of saying, The Color of Skin, the author says, The Color of Water.

Lindsay said...

“It is true that I have thought more, and that my day dreams are more extended and magnificent, but they want (as the painters call it) keeping; and I greatly need a friend who would have sense enough not to despise me as romantic, and affection enough for me to endeavour to regulate my mind.” (Frankenstein 4)

I chose this passage because it shows that even though Walton knows that his imagination is deep and his mind is broadly spread out, he still knows that his life is not fully complete. He knows he is in need of a friend to listen to his feelings and to “conclude” his thoughts. He says that this friend should no enough not to “neglect” him, and should have enough affection for him to “strive” to regulate his mind. This shows that maybe throughout the story, although Walton seems to not need any guidance, he truly is in need of a friend to understand him as a person. This passage can relate to many peoples’ lives right now, because there are many people today that need someone to guide them and to understand them. I know that even though I am an independent person, I still need true friends to support me and understand my thoughts and feelings. I know that without those true friends, I would not be the same Lindsay.

-Lindsay, Period 1

Matt Schell, P4 said...

"When is He going to send it? I don't know, But Im hungy! She was ironing and she paused and looked at me with tears in her eyes. 'Where's your father?' I stared in bewilderment... 'I don't know." (Page 15 Black Boy)

This quote is the ending to the packet. It seems to be very important to the rest of the story. The father of this story is very violent. He beats his children along side the mother. By the end of this chapter the family seems to fall into hunger. Richard is very hungry and is constantly complaing to his mother for food. The reason for no food is because his father is gone, and has been gone for many day. The mother does not know were he has gone, leaving her alone to tend to the children. This could be very important to the rest of the story, in that he may never come back, forcing a change in the family. It is a question that will not only affect the mother but richard and his sister's lives too.

will b. said...

"One winder morning in the long-ago, four-year-old days of my life I found myself standing before a fireplace, warming my hands over a mound of glowing coals, listening to the wind whistle past the house outside."
-Black Boy p. 3

I chose this quote because it is the first statement in the story, and I always feel that it is one of the most importnat quotes or statements made throught a story. It gives you a first look on how the story will be, or it could have some significance on what will happen in the story. Sometimes the quote may be writtin in sort of a mysterious way, so you immediatly get drawn into reading the story to find out what it is about and what will happan. In particular, the lines I highlighted in Black Boy seem to talk about a memory that the main character had when he was young, and this memory will probably be significant to the story, and possibly tie into other things that happan later in the story.

Natschja said...

“And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury; but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path. Oh, that some encouraging voice would answer in the affirmative! My courage and my resolution is firm; but my hopes fluctuate, and my spirits are often depressed. I am about to proceed on a long and difficult voyage, the emergencies of which will demand all my fortitude: I am required not only to raise the spirits of others, but sometimes to sustain my own, when theirs are failing.” (Frankenstein, 3)

I chose this passage because it really showed the characteristics of Robert Walton. It shows how Robert Walton is a depressed and lonely kind of person. He says he was born with wealth, and has lived in luxury. However, he seems to be looking for something more in his life. He wants to find more meaning in his life. So, he decides to go on a dangerous journey to find something. It looks like he’s going on a journey to find something, but he doesn’t know where he’s going, or exactly what he’s trying to find. Later on he mentions he’s looking for a friend. However, a dangerous voyage isn’t necessary to find one. Which makes me wonder, why is he bored with his life? And why, after all these years in looking for a friend, can’t he find one?

Jenn with two N's said...

"i stumbled out into the black night, sobbing my legs wobbly from fear. Thoguh i knew that i had killed the kitten, m mothers words had make it live again in my mind. What would that kitten do to me when i touched it? would it claw at my eyes? as i groped toward the dea kitten, my mother lingered behind me, unseen in the dark, her disembodied voice egging me on."
I chose this passage from "blackboy" because I was still confused as to why he would kill the kitten i don's see how someone can take something that serious and actually do it. When he had to bury the kitten i could picture this passage very well becuase i could see as to the description his reaction would be and how scared he is. THis makes me wonder as to if him killing the kitten would almost hant him and this be his fear for the rest of his life. This passage just really stuck out to me because of the description and the way his fear was brought out made me feel as to what would happen.

Matt T. said...

"One winder morning in the long-ago, four-year-old days of my life I found myself standing before a fireplace, warming my hands over a mound of glowing coals, listening to the wind whistle past the house outside."
-Black Boy page 3

I chose this quote for a couple of reasons. One main reason is that this is the beginning sentence of the story Black Boy. This first sentence sets up the plot for that chapter. It brings you back to the so called “four-year-old days” of this kid’s life. I thought that this scene of Richard over a fire place, warming his hands was easy to picture. I tend to like books better when the author makes it is easy to picture scenes. The author did do a good job describing the scene as well. I also liked that this quote set up for the rest of the story line of the chapter. It turned out that the fire he was using to warm his hands would be a big part of the chapter. Reading that made me keep reading and I found out that Richard eventually ended up burning about half of his house down.

Michelle said...

“Soon my mother would smell that smoke and see the fire and come and beat me. I had done something wrong, something which I could not hide or deny. Yes, I would run away and never come back.” (Black Boy, 5)

I choose this exert because it made me wonder if his parents beat him often. The boy sounds like running away isn’t a big deal. He can just leave so that his parents won’t beat him. I think the boy does many things that make his parent angry. Throughout the first chapter of the book Richard gets in trouble repeatedly. He gets in trouble in the beginning of the chapter for being too loud. Then later in the chapter his father yells at him for killing the kitten. I think that the things that are written in the first chapter will be important in the rest of the story.

Period 1

Anonymous said...

“ You want to talk about my family and here I been dead to them for fifty years. Leave me alone. Don’t bother me. They want no parts of me and me I don’t want no parts of them”- The Color Of Water-pg. 1

This passage really stuck out to me because It left me thinking why would this women want to leave her family and her past behind and never talk about it again. What horrible things could've happened to her that made her think such things as I don't want a part of my family.I personally don't know what I'd do without my family.I think this women just has so much anger inside of her because she wanted to be different she wanted to be something other then what she grown up with. She wanted her family to accept her but still allow her to be her own person.From what I think of this passage ,the mother thought that her only way out was to like forbid all the religious rules and do the oppisite of everything that her family wanted her to do. She wanted to be her own person and if it were my family and my daughter wanted to become something different then what I had wished for , I would still accept her because you never turn your back on family.Because most times their yoour blood and their born with a bond to you but even if their not your blood their born with a bond in the heart.

-Liz Pirrone

Will J. said...

"I noticed that Mommy stood apart from the other mothers, rarely speaking to them"(The Color of Water,pg. 12)

This just shows that his mother stood apart from the others, and didn't want to get to know them either. His mother was the only white one there and she didn't get along with any of the other moms. I chose this quote because I think it's a good display of the kids’ mother and how different she acted around other people. From this, you can tell she isn't going to interact with others for a while. This reminds me of a book i read when a boy's family just moved into town, and he didn't know anybody. so he just stood at the bus stop not talking to anyone. In the end he made a lot of friends.

g said...

"I found a peice of rope, made a noose, slipped it around the kitten's neck, pulled it over a nail, then jerked the animal clear of the ground. It gasped, slobbered, spun, doubled, clawed the air frantically; finally it's mouth gaped and its pink white tongue shot out stiffly. I tied the rope to a nail and went to find my brother." (Black Boy, 11).

This passage affected me in many ways. Although, it mainly made me think about the concept of life. It shows that human beings are willing to torture, humiliate, and even kill others to prove a point (in this case she used revenge on her father). People obviously do not value life enough and that they will carelessly end another's life to make a stand. This reminds me of the "Saw" movies. The elder man captures human beings and puts them through strenuous tasks, and doesn't let them live unless they complete them. He does this because he feels that they didn't value their life in any which way prior to being kidnapped. Maybe the boy's mother (narrator of this passage) in Black Boy should have this done to her.

katharine said...

"'When is He going to send it?' 'I don't know' 'But I'm hungry!' She was ironing and she paused and looked at me with tears in her eyes, 'Where's your father?' She stared in bewilderment...'I don't know'" (Black Boy 15)

I chose this passage because it seemed like the rest of the book would have an impact of their father leaving. It makes me wonder why the father left. He was abusive, but it didn't seem like he hated living with the children and the mother. Without the father the family has no support on their own without the father. This passage shows that the family will have a lot of difficulties living without their father. The first line tells you that the family always depends on food from the father, and if he's gone they won't have food as often.

George Dummar said...

That last comment was by me it got screwed up.


Jordan said...

The excerpt that grabbed my attention the most was The Color of Water. These few chapters were very invoking and interesting to me. I liked the manner in which it was written and I enjoyed learning about the characters thus far. Right off the bat the one passage that stood out to me and made me wonder about what was going to happen was in the very first chapter, and on the first page.

“You want to talk about my family and here I been dead to them for fifty years. Leave me alone. Don’t bother me. They want no parts of me and me I don’t want no parts of them.” (The Color of Water pg.1)

At this point in the excerpt I didn’t know much of anything about what was going on except for that the person talking was dead and she and her family weren’t very close at all. This passage stood out to me for many different reasons. One reason was that I chose these sentences was because I wondered well…, if her family doesn’t like her and she doesn’t like her family, and she’s dead, then what the heck is going to happen in the book? Then I realized that she was being interviewed by her son, which was a little confusing for me. I also chose this passage because I am close to my parents, and know about their childhoods and their families. To imagine having not known anything about my parents ever until I was older is unthinkable for me. I also wondered, well why was she so taken back by her children that she felt as if she couldn’t tell them about her past? I can’t imagine how tough if was for her, being a white Jewish girl who had fallen in love, married, and had children with a black man, who’s father was an Orthodox Jewish rabbi none the less. That type of pressure for her must have been intense. I’m guessing that she doesn’t want to tell them about her past because for one thing they already think that she is weird and embarrassing because she is white, and because she rides an old bicycle around town with them, and because for that reason they don’t talk to her very much as a mother figure, looking up to her and discussing things with her at all. It makes me think of people that I have come in contact with throughout my life, that haven’t had a well developed relationship with their parents, whether it be because of their parents being separated, or fighting a lot , or because of problems that their parents had. Their parent’s weren’t really there for them 100% because they were dealing with problems of their own. This instance reminded me very much of the book at this point. I think that it’s sad when families don’t share things, or feel uncomfortable confronting each other about certain issues or just regular things.

matt r said...

“We perceived a low carriage, fixed on a sledge and drawn by dogs, pass on towards the north, at the distance of a half a mile; a being which had the shape of a man, but apparently of gigantic stature, sat in the sledge, and guided the dogs. (Frankenstein 8)”

This quote raised an obvious question in my mind: “Who was this gigantic man and what was he doing so far away from civilization?” Personally, I believe that this man was Dr. Frankenstein’s creation of man. There are several reasons that lead me to this conclusion. A little bit later in the story, Mr. Walton picked up a man nearly frozen to his death. After regaining his conscience and strength, the stranger stated that he was out in the arctic “to seek one who fled from me.” Mr. Walton then stated that his crew and he had spotted someone a few days ago in the distance. My very vague knowledge of the storyline of "Frankenstein" ends with the monster’s escape to a place of solitude. The arctic would be a perfect example of a place of solitude and the stranger who Mr. Walton picks up is the perfect example of Dr. Frankenstein. Therefore, I conclude that the “man of gigantic stature” is Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, and the man whom Walton describes as a “stranger” is Dr. Frankenstein himself.

Matt R - Period 1

Dana said...

"And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury; but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path." (Frankenstein, page 3)

This quote raised a few thoughts and questions in my head. It made me think about my life, and whether I'd rather pass through it taking all the easy paths, or it I'd like to do something memorable or heroic with it. I decided that I'd like to do something in which I can be rememberd by. I decided that when faced with an easy choice, and a harder yet better choice, I'll choose the harder one. This also made me think about the narrator, and why he chose glory in his life, or why he wants glory in his life. I wondered if that was the reason why he was travelling. Is that why he is sailing the north pole, to find some glory?

Alicia said...

" My idea was growing, blooming. Now I was wondering just how the long fluffy white curtains would look if I lit a bunch of straws and held it under them. Would I try it? Sure. I pulled several straws from the broom and held them to the fire until thye blazed; I rushed to the window and brought the flame in touch with the hems of the curtains. My brother shook his head."
(Black Boy 4)

What grabbed my attention the most about "Black boy" was the idea of lighting curtains on fire, and then being (even more) stupid enough to hide under the house, while it's on fire. Why would you hide under a burning house? And- why would you being even stupid enough to lite curtains on fire? Also the fact that his brother shook his head about it and was basically hinting that- lighting the curtains on fire would be a bad idea. "Yes there was really a fire, a fire like the one that i had sen one day burn a house down to the ground, leaving only a chimney standing black. Soo there was houses and (fire men) knocking on the door. It seems to me like this isn't the first time this boy has done something stupid, or have gotton into some serious trouble.

Alicia <3/ Class: 1

bekah said...

"I know what I'm talking about. Don't follow none of them around. You stick to your brothers and sisters, that's it. Don't tell nobody your buisness neither!" (The Color of Water, 13)

This passage was one that stuck out to me because I didn't understand why the mother said what she did. She seemed to hate her family for their dissapproval of her marriage, which would tell me that she wasn't racist or anything. She married a black guy; how could she be racist, right? But then she doesn't want to have anything to do with the other mothers and she doesn't want her kid to interact with the other kids. The other mothers seem to like her kid, just not his mother. Does that mean that the other mothers are racist against white people? The thought never really occurred to me but it seems to make sense. If they didn't like white people, then the mother wouldn't want her son to interact with them so that they couldn't brainwash him into hating his own mother.

alec h. said...

I choose the story "The Color of Water" because I think it has a very interesting beginning(I'm Dead).It gives me this feeling of interest and that the story maybe very interesting.

The short story of "The Color of Water" that we read was about a boy telling his live to someone in a lot of detailes. In the first chapter he tells the person, that interviews him that he is Orthodox Jew, when he was born and about his mother and brother. In the second chapter he goes into detailes about his mom riding her blue bisycle out on the streets of Brooklyn. HIs biological father died to while he was fresh born but that was fourteen years ago, then he had a step father that died. After his stepfather died he dropped out of High school. I think this is a very sad story and it catched my interest because it's just terible that a 14 year old child loses already 2 people that he loved. I also chose the story because I lost a person that I loved to and I want to now what else happens in that story.

Anonymous said...

“You want to talk about me family and here I been dead to them for fifty years. Leave me alone. Don’t bother me. They want no parts of me and I don’t want no parts of them” (1)The Color of Water. This passage made me think the most because I knew that she wasn't dead because she was talking about herself, and dead people can't talk. But I thought maybe a part of her died, and I wondered why and how. I wondered what event had take place within those 50 years for her to be saying that, and I thought it must be something very intense because she obviously does not want to remember it.

Brandon Lucibello
Period 1

John M said...

I think that Black boy was the best out of the three because it gave the best quotes. For example, “Granny lay ill and under the day and night care of a doctor and I knew I would be punished if I did not obey”. I liked this quote because it gives you a good image of what his family is like and how they got beat if they did not obey. I also like how the author describes the grandmother. “Granny’s old, white, wrinkled, grim face, framed by a halo of tumbling black hair”. It makes be understand the story when they use good description like this author uses.

Alyssa D said...

" I didnt want my friends seeing my white mother out thre riding a bicycle. She was already white, that was bad enough, but to go out and ride an old bike that went out of style a hundred years ago?" the color of water (8)

This made me think about, how this must be hard for the children growing up in New York and having a white mother, but also that there must be more to the story that i dont know yet like how come the mother and kids dont get along if something happened when they were younger. Also maybe they dont have alot of money and the son is embarassed about that, how maybe they cant afford another bike or a care to ride around. But i do want to read thsi story to try and find out what some o f the reasons are.

Dominique said...

"I found a peice of rope, made a noose, slipped it around the kitten's neck, pulled it over a nail, then jerked the animal clear of the ground. It gasped, slobbered, spun, doubled, clawed the air franticall; finally it's mouth gaped and its pink white tounge shot out stiffly. I tied the rope to a nail and went to find my brother." -Black Boy, page 11

This probably wasn't the most meaningful quote I have read out of the three excerpts, but it was the one that shocked me the most, because it is really unusual for a young boy to kill a kitten. The way that the author described it was also really gross, but you can definitely picture it while you're reading. I think this quote shocked me the most because it was just a really disturbing and cruel act, and the boy only did it to kind of get his parents angry, because he hates his dad so much. I think this quote is an indication that this kid will do really bad things just in spite of his parents. In the beginning of the book, he burns down the house, and now he kills an innocent kitten. I think this child is disturbed, but it is his parents' fault because they beat him.

brianna said...

"When is He going to send it? I don't know, But Im hungy! She was ironing and she paused and looked at me with tears in her eyes. 'Where's your father?' I stared in bewilderment... 'I don't know." (Page 15 Black Boy)

I chose this passege because i think it describes the book Black Boy very well. In Black Boy Richard is constantly showing in different ways how strongly he dislikes his family. In the first portain of the exerpt the author quotes, "many many days mother had to hold me down to keep me from running away. Oviously someone that enjoyed his life with his family would not try time and time again to run away, to get away from their family. This exerpt also tells the reader that the children would be beaten badly if they misbehaved. When Richard lit his house on fire he was beaten untill he passed out with a branch from a tree. I think that this tells alot about the parenting in this book. I think that the children in the book Black Boy are in desparate need for some love and attention. When the kids grow up they will most likely continue to venture along the path that their parents have taken.

joe sa said...

one winter morning in the long-ago, four-year-old days of my life.

i think this is talking about how old the boy is. it was very different. i did not under stand it. but he is probubly talking about his age.

Anonymous said...

"Do you share my madness? have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me,- let me reveal my tale, and you will dash teh cup from you rlips."

I had questioned this passage because I wonder what was it that he was “drinking” why did poison him so. How is Robert Walton following in his footsteps, how are his goals and ambitions leading him to dash the cup achievement from his lips. What madness does the two shares, and what is his madness, that’s probably my largest curiosity what is this man’s history. What did he do to forebode such a journey?

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