Sonnet 18

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 has struck chords in a lot of people’s hearts, because it is the way it is. It is written in a compelling way. So, when translating it, you risk losing the power and the magical aura of the original sonnet. This is what Andre Bjerke and Edvard Alme has attempted to do.

Shakespeare is a bit of a rule-breaker in my eyes, where he writes his sonnets exactly how he wants to write them, using real words or not. This is something I feel that Alme mostly tried to do as well. For example, he writes “sumar’n”, and while “sumar” is a real word, bending the word in a way that is not necessarily “allowed” in my opinion. He also moves the words around just like Shakespeare does; “Skal med ein sumardag eg likna deg?” This is a type of sentence build-up that I would expect from Shakespeare, but he writes his introductory sentence grammatically correct, which says: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.” A quite strange switch of techniques, right there.

What I feel that what we lost from the translation, was the kind of summery and magical, yet cynical, feeling Shakespeare planted in the original Sonnet 18. The way he rhymes so rhythmically makes the sonnet feel dreamy and poetical. The Norwegian translations did not bring me the same feelings and thoughts, because the thing is that them being written in Norwegian makes the sonnet feel more familiar and at home, but that is exactly what makes me like the original so much. I like how it is a bit unfamiliar and strange since my mother tongue is not English. To me Sonnet 18 in English shines a beautiful light on the English language.

All three are beautiful sonnets, but the original one hit me differently than the Norwegian ones did since it is not something I would usually read, but after I read it I certainly did not regret doing so.

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Task 2 «Getting a Feel for the Play» page 50

a) The mood seems suspicious and lurking, since the time is late at night and they are supposedly fighting? What I think I have understood from the excerpt is that one of them challenged the other to a fight of some sort? Also, the ghost of the king appeared. Which confirms that the mood must have felt quite chilly and tense.

b) Shakespeare entered the ghost into the scene in the middle of a sentence, which kind of pushes forward a tense and frightened reaction. This is what I, personally, felt established the mood the most.

c) I honestly did not see where it says that Barnardo challenges Francisco in any way. I am still having struggles with understanding Shakespeare’s way of writing.

d) He declared the time, which is twelve o’clock, and then proceeded to have one of the characters tell another character to go to bed; “’Tis now struck twelve, get thee to bed Francisco.” After that Horation and Marcellus shows up, and to that he seems to be yelling “Stand ho! Who is there?” Maybe because he cannot see them in the dark? He also makes two of them tell Francisco goodnight; “Give you good night.”

First Task of the Class

Initially I did not have much choice between subjects to choose from, because at first I was excited to choose the other type of English this year, but the school was not as excited as me apparently. Which then led to me choosing this type and I am even more excited than before! I love English, so any English is honestly good enough for me, but this class will probably be a match made in heaven since I love speaking English, I love writing in English and I love English books and movies and such. (Literally every book I read, every movie I watch and every person I follow on YouTube is speaking English so at heart I am, in fact, English.)

My expectations have been a little negative from the beginning because some other students had complained about a big workload and the fact that you need a school book in this class, but it does not really concern me that much anymore. My biggest, and maybe only, expectation is different and/or creative ideas of ways our teacher can teach the subject, and special/creative ways for us students to show what we can or have learned.

What I wish for this year is to see things in class that I might know about already in a different way by discussing those things or reviewing those things with the others. I mean when I just found out the Lion King is basically Hamlet; I was already amazed. And I can honestly not think of any special ideas for the year. Maybe “role play” characters from history to understand them more? But only if we wear costumes!!! Basically, I want to learn what we are going to learn in a fun and weird way so I’ll remember it in general and remember it as a good memory.

My favorite book in this entire world is also the most basic book that every teen girl (usually teen girls) love; Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. It is a romantic dramatic teenage drama fantasy m-a-s-t-e-r-p-i-e-c-e. It makes the heart bleed to put it lightly when you read it. Some things are considered basic to love because they are just. That. Good.

To sum it up I’m very ready for English class to invade my mind again after a long summer of boring ol’ Norway!

Gran Torino

Gran Torino is a film directed by Clint Eastwood, who also plays the main character Walt Kowalski. Mr. Kowalski is an old-fashioned man who have lost his wife recently, and his neighborhood is practically packed with Hmong residents. This leads to him meeting one of the neighbor-kids, Thao, and developing a father-son-like relationship with him. I will be answering question number 2 and 4 from our handout about the movie.

“2. How do we see oppression of the Hmong people in this film? What has the film taught you about the Hmong people in the USA?”

The Hmong people are, especially by Walt, treated with brutal racism. In other words; they are heavily misunderstood. They have very specific traditions and ways to behave against others in different settings. For example, it is very rude to have eye-contact with a guest, and it is seen as very polite if you feed your guest a lot. And I mean a lot. When Walt visited Thao’s family during their barbeque, he gets confused by this, and a little shocked. When observing the way that he was received, and the way that the Hmong was received by him, I noticed my own reactions being a little similar to Walt’s. I would very likely be just as confused as he was at that barbeque if none of the Hmong people would look me in the eye. Except I would watch my language. This is a good example of cultures colliding. And this taught me a lot about myself, and how easy it is to end up with misunderstanding others. After the movie I have thought of the Hmong as very polite, strict and charitable. This is not necessarily negative, but it is quite easy to misunderstand.

“4. What experiences does Walt have with living in a multicultural neighborhood? Use examples from the film and discuss to what extent Walt develops/changes through the movie.”

Walt has always been a man who follow his morals without caring about what others might think of it. I mean try counting all the times he pulls up a gun or a fake gun to intimidate others! He is a very cold and isolated man, but meeting Thao definitely changed him significantly. I noticed right away him being more prone to ask for help when he needed it, instead of waiting for Thao to come over to work his moral debt off. And he talked little by little more about his past life. Living besides the Hmong taught him a lot about how different does not always mean “scary” or “bad”. When he saved Thao from being taken by his cousin to do illegal activities, Thao’s family was so grateful they brought over all that they could in order to repay. After a while you see Walt finally accepting their gifts and not being as overwhelmed by them. He even develops friendship, instead of skepticism, with Thao’s sister. Walt softens up as much as an old man like him could ever soften up throughout the movie, but he will always be a certain degree of a bad ass.

The movie did not only show that people like Walt can change, despite a lot of prejudice being worked into their system, but so can people like the Hmong. Walt learned that the Hmong was not so bad after all, and the Hmong learned that Walt was better than he seemed. In conclusion, this movie is a symbol of hope and change, even if the odds make it seem impossible to be achieved.

Spotlight

Question 6.

Spotlight is given a case about priests in North America, who have been and are sexually abusing children. That is the main conflict. They have to work around the case carefully in order to not get caught by someone from the outside, who they do not trust. The Catholic Church obviously cannot be trusted. Therefor they speak to survivors of the pedophilia from the priests, in order to get the full picture. The biggest issue for Spotlight may have been that the Church is very sly and unreliable, so they are always at high risk of people turning against them, while turning to the Church. The very minute they knew that the documents they needed to prove all their statements were public, one of the members of Spotlight ran down to the court house to be the first one to get to them. If that does not explain the amount of stress that the Boston Globe was under about this case, then I do not know what is. Going against the church in one of the biggest and most catholic countries in the world is not something you do lightheartedly without proof.

Question 5.

I personally feel that the protagonist of this story was Robby. While I do understand that he was sent a very important list of names of priests that were guilty of pedophilia far too long ago before this story came to life, I also think that that particular case needed to happen when it happened. Good timing comes and goes, and while he had the chance back then, the timing came back to him and the team, and they did a remarkable job that made a huge impression. Speaking of timing, he was also very sure of himself every time he said that something was not ready to be done yet, and if he did not have that sureness to him, then I think I’d be writing another answer to this question.

Now, the antagonist. I am going to have to say the Church, and every devil in it that dared to abuse children is the definite antagonist in this story. They could have saved themselves from all the hate the probably received after Spotlights’ store was out, if they had only dealt with the guilty priests the second, they found out about their behaviors. I feel that they would even be more respected if the Church didn’t just move all those pedophiles around the world, instead of handling the damage they caused. So many lives could have been saved, and so many children could have been spared if they had only kicked those priests out of the church and into a jail cell. They may be men of God, but that does not mean that they should have a right to traumatize thousands of lives.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist book was turned into a movie in 2012. Some might say it was brilliantly made to represent the book in a very creative type of manner, but to be completely clear right away; I have never in my life hated a movie based on a book more than I hate the Reluctant Fundamentalist’s movie.

Words can barely explain my anger, but I’ll try. First of all, there is a difference between starting a movie “in medias res” and starting it “in medias mess”. From start to finish I could barely cling onto the little drop of information you get, and this coming from someone who actually has read the book. For example, when Erica gets upset twice because she is with Changez while still loving her dead ex-boyfriend, someone who did not read the book do not even understand the tiniest bit of sad that she actually is, because the film does not at all represent the relationship she had with him before he died! Her ex is one of the biggest parts of her character and you get none of that from the movie! What a waste.

Speaking of waste, I did not know Changez had to turn into Jafar in order to make the movie exciting enough. In the book there is a perfect balance of distrust between the American and mister Jafar here. They are both just tense enough for the excitement to go on throughout the book until the ending. They both acted suspicious, but they were still polite and kept on going with the night. In the movie Jafar the evil genius is constantly under surveillance and they see him as the bad guy, while the American is such a good dude looking for his old mate who disappeared. Hm, I wonder who ended up shooting an innocent in the end? I mean where the book could have made the movie bloom so much more, there is unnecessary scenes of people yelling and running around making the movie even more messy than it already is!

Now, one of my biggest issue with the whole film is the prioritizing of those who are deemed important and those who are not. Jim is such a big character in the book and you basically read about him being here and there in so many of the chapters, but in the movie? No, there he is apparently not. Because it is apparently more important to watch the American and Jafar fuss about which on of them is in the right. The whole thing the director made about an American professor being missing is so unnecessary to make it interesting. The book is about Changez’ life, and how he is telling the American about it. And I do not know about you, but to me his life is more interesting than most, and adding so many scenes of things that never took place in the book is so far out of character it feel unnecessary to the highest degree there is.

I have already expressed some of my frustration with Erica and the gaping, black, hole where the info about her character should be, but I feel that I have not yet thoroughly enough yelled a bit about how the character acts and looks like. The biggest appeal about her, which draws mister Changez Jafar Khan towards her is how she is such a typical, but untypical, twentysomething year old. In the book she struts around in shorts and tank tops while being very muscular and fit. She lives with her parents in a penthouse apartment and has dark secrets around her. In the movie she is boring as boring can be. She has no mystery, no deep dark past and no appeal. The book version of Erica gave me goosebumps for days, while the movie version has already started fading from my bored memory. A little backstory would be nice eh, director?

To sum up, the film was tiresome, messy, unnecessary and starved from the lack of info it could have had. A little context never hurt nobody. I hate it with all of my heart and would rather learn every bee pun made in the bee movie, than to ever see ten minutes of that movie.

The Murder of Maharram Durrani

Among all the journalists murdered in 2018, Maharram Durrani was one of them. Durrani was no older than twenty-eight years old, not even finished with her training. She and several other journalists were murdered by a suicide bomb.

Now, the fact that we live in a world where people even get the idea of placing a bomb on themselves and ending their life just to end someone else’s is incomprehensible. She was a great role model for other women, as she passed by society’s expectations to do her own thing and support her family. She was the number one income source for her whole family, which they were very proud of and grateful for, and now they have no one. Not to say all she was was their money, but now the world has not only one more struggling family, but also another family experiencing severe loss.

A great woman that showed an amazing example of strong women going against everyone’s expectations was on her way to work, and that was it for her. If you are not even safe on your way to work, when are you really safe anymore?