English unit 4
17. Write answers in paragraphs in response to two of the following questions. Each answer should be approximately 200 words. Support your answer with specific references to Still Stands the House. Organize your ideas to express them clearly and coherently. a) The house is a dominant symbol that looms over Still Stands the House as if it were a character itself. What does the house symbolize? Support your answer with two references to the play.
b) This play has several strong themes. Identify one of them. How does the symbol of the house contribute to the theme? Support your answer with two references to the play.
c) Identify one character trait of Hester or Ruth. How has the playwright used dialogue effectively to reveal this character trait? Support your answers with two references to the play. a) The house symbolizes different things for each character. For Ruth, it symbolizes a sense of isolation, and otherworldliness, with how everything is so cut off from town, and everyone else that she knew. For Hester, the house represents a place where she had once been happy, and where her life had a meaning and was set. She knew what her life would be like in that house, and it allowed her to be close to her father who had died years before. For Bruce, it symbolizes failure, but also some sort of desperation of trying to salvage something lost. Hester was much attached to the place even though Ruth was hoping to sell, “The House means so much to her. But maybe she won’t mind” Ruth was telling Arthur Manning when he came by to buy the place from Bruce. Hester was angry when Ruth tried to change anything in the house, “There’s nothing in this house that isn’t good, that wasn’t bought with care and pride by one of us who loved it. This stuff is cheap and gaudy” Ruth hated being so far away from town, and Hester never wanted to leave or see anyone else. She had a choice to leave and she never did. To her, the house was where she was meant to be, it was her world, and she didn’t think anyone else should take that from her. Bruce was conflicted. A part of him wanted to keep the house, to preserve the memory of his father, and the land they had worked so hard on to produce any crop, but another part knew he needed to sell. The land was to dry to grow anything and his wife was desperate to be closer to town, and he wanted to make her happy.
C) One character trait of Hester is obsessive. She’s obsessed with how things use to be, with the house and with her own memories of life when her father was alive. Any time Ruth tried to change something about the place, whether it was new furniture or drapes, or even simple chintz for the chair. She got upset when Ruth used a bowl that use to be Hester’s mothers, for her hyacinths, so Ruth had to change it over to a plan one. She also got upset when Ruth touched the picture of her father, “Can’t I have anything of my own? Must you put your fingers on everything I have?”
Hester didn’t like sharing the space with Ruth, and she wished that Ruth would just go away. Hester followed a routine, it shows some obsessive compulsive disorder with how she likes everything to be done at certain times and she always kept her dads room locked. At night she would put her father’s slippers beside his chair, and grab the bible and start reading the bible out loud, as if her father was still there. She dreamed of the time when everything was the way it use to be. She never wanted things to change. She made sure that everything was set up as it was when her father was alive. She was even willing to get rid of her brother and his wife to keep things as she believed they should be. “You’re going now. That’s right. I told you you should go.” She tells Ruth, when Ruth goes out to find Bruce after realizing that the lantern hadn’t been filled, Ruth had asked Hester to fill it, but Hester never did, and Ruth left to find Bruce with a half filled lantern, in a blizzard. Near the end it seemed that Hester wasn’t in her right mind, her obsessive behaviour overwhelmed her compassion or any other human qualities she may have possessed. Hester got what she wanted, the house to herself to keep her father’s memory alive. 18. Write an essay describing three ways in which Jinch Malrex is similar to The Farm Show and the theatre group to which Miles belongs. Use examples from the article, from the information in this lesson, or from The Drawer Boy to illustrate and support your comparison. Organize your essay this way:
* Introductory Paragraph.
* Three paragraphs-each paragraph explains and supports one point of similarity. * Concluding Paragraph.
In The Drawer Boy, Miles tells a couple of farmers that he wants to do a play based on farming in Ontario. He asks if he can observe their work and make notes to give his play some realistic views. He explained that his play was going to be called The Farm Show. From the article that I read, it talked about a play called Jinch Malrex. This play is also based in Ontario, more specifically Toronto. The similarities between the two plays aren’t as noticeable when you look at them from the outside, but if you get down to the process of how the play was made, you understand a little more about how they are similar. Three ways that The Farm Show and Jinch Malrex are similar is in the process of how the play was created, the message the plays are trying to create, and the locations of where they take place. In the process of how the play was made for both Jinch Malrex and The Farm show, research was done.
The Farm show was being researched by a writer by the name of Miles. He showed up on a farm and asked the two people living there if he could watch what life on the farm would be like. Once they agreed, he was told he would have to help out in order for them to let him stay, he soon began to learn how much hard work went in on a daily basis to keep the farm running, and was very vigilant at keeping his notes so he would be able to recreate the experience for the audience as well as for the actors who would be playing the part. In Jinch Malrex the play was created by people who lived in the “hood”, Kids who had experience of life in the bad areas of the city. Using their own experiences they created the play to help educate the audience of life on Jane and Finch, and in other poorer areas. With both plays on difference spectrums of writing styles, they both used real research based on real people in order to make their plays authentic and to deliver a specific message.
The message they are trying to create ties in with each of the plays focus. The Farm Show focuses more on a rural area, with farmers and the animals that tie in with their work. The Farm Show is a focus on the life of farmers in Ontario, and the kinds of work and scenarios most farmers would find themselves in. In the Drawer Boy, Morgan tells Miles, the writer about what kind of money farmers like him receive with how much work they do every day. According to Morgan, Miles as a writer makes more money than Morgan who works every day for long hours to produce crop and milk and eggs for stores and a small amount to feed himself. The message that they are trying to get across is farmers work harder than most people to produce food for everyone else to eat, and they aren’t paid enough for the labour they put forth causing a lot of people to leave the farmers for better futures, and that soon food would have to be imported from other countries cause no one else will want to produce it since they aren’t being paid what they’re time is worth. In Jinch Malrex, the message they are trying to produce is similar in that people believe one thing about a group of people, especially those troubled kids in Toronto, that they aren’t going to amount to anything, they have no real aspirations, but they play is proving otherwise.
Those kids are dreaming of a better future, they don’t want to be living in the poor area of Toronto, they want to be able to go to school and get good grades and become the best version of themselves they possibly can. Both the farmers and those kids in Jinch Malrex just want appreciation for what they do to overcome their stereotypical positions. The locations of each play may not be in the exact same spot but they aren’t too far off from each other. Jinch Malrex takes place in Toronto, and though The Drawer Boy never specifically states where in Ontario the play takes place, it does hint that it’s not far off from Toronto at the time. Miles, the one creating The Farm Show is trying to make the play as realistic as possible so I think he would use the same location as where the actual farmers were working. It also mentions that Miles is from Toronto, so there is some correlation to Jinch Malrex and the kids who made it as well as Miles who is creating The Farm show.
In Conclusion, though the plays have a different style of writing associated with them, they have many things in common once you look under the surface. The process of how the plays are created isn’t something well known, but it does draw similarities and helps people understand where the process of play writing starts at. Most plays are created to deliver a message, and more often than not, you’ll find a lot of plays have the same message to sell. Most plays have been written to take place in well known areas that people can connect with, cities that are talked about through books or movies or in other ways. Even though on the surface you would never think these plays could have any similar connection, looking deeper into what lay behind the scenes can give you a better grasp of how similar they really are.
19. Does The Drawer Boy express theme(s) that are universal? Write a formal essay (500-800 words) in which you answer this question by: * Identifying a theme you think is expressed in The Drawer Boy * Showing how this theme is developed in the play
* Explaining why you do (or don’t) consider this theme “universal”.
The Drawer Boy is a play created by Michael Healey. The play takes place in Canada, on a farm with two people who live and work there, and one person who was planning on writing a play based on farming. In the play, the playwright learns the workings of a farm, but also uncovers the hidden secrets of the two farmers and begins to unravel the truth from a sad situation that the two farmers had faced. This play points out a universal theme of friendship, and overcoming obstacles of hardship and even betrayal.
Friendships all over the world can relate in some way to this play. The situation may be a rare case, but they commitment that they show each other is something every friend has experienced. In the play, Morgan would tell Angus a story. It was a story about their friendship, about the love of their lives, and the war and what Angus and Morgan had faced while there. Morgan always told the same story, and Angus would listen intently, because to him Morgan was telling him the truth something he knows to be true. Miles eavesdropped one night on Morgan telling Angus the story, and he wrote it down to incorporate it into his play, in a way to connect with the audience, and when Angus saw the rehearsal, something clicked with him, and it tore Morgan up because Morgan knew that what Angus believed to be real, was in fact a story Morgan had created to keep Angus happy, and calm. Morgan knew that the truth would hurt him, and so he kept it from him. Friends always try to be truthful, but when they know a lie would be easier and better for their friend to hear, they will tell them the beautiful lie, instead of the ugly truth. Morgan was just trying to be a good friend and protect Angus from the pain of their past.
There are plenty of obstacles in everyone lives, and hardships that we all have to face at some point or another. The hardship and obstacles that are talked about in the play are when Miles is brought onto the farm, and learns that farming, though it’s very hard work, is not very rewarding. The government and grocery stores, take most of the money the farmers make, and so they have to face months were they can’t afford repairs to their house or car, or anything that would make farming a little easier. Morgan’s hardship was to constantly watch Angus, because he was so forgetful because of his accident that he had the tendency to burn the bread he made.
Though it’s not the same kind of hardships that people nowadays have to go through, people can still relate because of the frustration it must have caused when he had to constantly remind Angus to check the bread, or to do certain chores. Morgan knew that though things were difficult, he still enjoyed his life because he had his best friend with him, and he felt good about the service he was providing the world. As a message to those who read it, there are always obstacles that get in the way of your goal, once you overcome them, you will reach what you’ve been working so hard to achieve.
In conclusion, this play has quite a few themes in it, but in each theme it represents a universal connection to anyone who reads the play or goes to watch it. They may not think at first that they connect with it, but deeper into the play they will begin to notice similar situations in their own life that this play brings up, and they will see how each universal theme is handled and solved or just built on. The Drawer Boy was a beguiling play, and it brings you close with the characters and makes them feel alive, their problems become a problem for everyone to face, and they become stronger people in the end. Friendships are solidified, and obstacles are solved and the goal has been reached. You couldn’t ask for something more universal then this play.
20. Write a formal comparison essay of approximately 500 words in which you compare and contrast two characters from two different texts that you read in Lessons 16 to 19 of Unit 4. For example, you might compare the way Hester and Morgan deal with change, the way Hester and Angus use ritualistic storytelling, the way Ruth and Minnie Foster respond to the experience of life as a farm wife, the way the characters in Trifles and Still Stands the House express the theme of loneliness. There are several other ways in which the characters in the three works in Unit 4 intersect. * Analyze two differences OR two similarities OR one difference and one similarity. * Support your comparison with examples and quotations from the texts. * Use AB/AB/AB pattern of organization.
* Use transition words to make your ideas flow smoothly. * Use formal diction and accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Apply the steps of the writing process to generate and organize your ideas, develop your first draft, and then revise and edit it. Submit your final draft only.
Having read both plays for Trifles and Still Stands the House, they have many similarities and differences. One similarity is the feeling of isolation and loneliness that each play imparts on the readers through the wives of the farmers. One of the differences is in how each character from the plays deals with their own isolation.
In Trifles, you get the sense of loneliness from how the women talk about how Minnie Wright lived. “The kitchen in the farmhouse was gloomy”, was how the introductory of the setting was described. Based on that statement you can tell that there wasn’t much cheerfulness being brought out in that house. Mrs. Hale talks about how she hasn’t seen Mrs. Wright in over a year, indicating that Mrs. Wright didn’t get many visitors’s and was very isolated in the house. She was alone, without children and had only her very stoic, moody husband for company. Similarly in Still Stands the House, Ruth also gives you a sense of her loneliness. Talking to Mr. Manning, Ruth tells him “I use to like the winters in town. We use to go skating on the river and tobogganing, but out here its different” and she sounded wistful. Ruth misses being closer to town, seeing people and interacting. Living on the farm with her husband and his sister, she feels isolated and alone. Her only comfort was some hyacinths she was nursing, and the upcoming baby she was preparing for.
On the other hand, Ruth and Minnie dealt with their own isolation differently. Minnie’s recourse to save her from the loneliness and neglect she felt with being a farmer’s wife all alone was to kill her husband to free herself. From the little bits of evidence that the other women found while the men were upstairs, indicates the unhappiness Minnie suffered at the hands of her husband, that when she hung him, she felt no regret, if anything, she was classed insane because of her lack of empathy towards his death. However, Ruth’s route was to convince her husband to sell the property and move closer to town. She wanted to raise her child in a less isolated landscape, and she knew that with the new property, they would finally be able to grow something and make money, which she knew her husband had been desperately trying to do with his father’s land, which had become barren and unusable for growing anything.
In conclusion, though the plays represent different tales, they both also show many signs of similarity and differences. Only a few of which were mentioned, the isolation both Minnie and Ruth experienced as farm wives, living so far away from other people. The differences in how each one handled their isolation when it came down for a chance to change it. Minnie took the quick way out by killing her husband, and Ruth took the longer way out, by trying to convince her husband to move closer to town, making it easier to raise their baby. In the end, they both got their wish to leave the isolated landscape behind.
Courtney from Study Moose
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