Friday, April 1, 2016

HB Notes 04/01

Harrison Bergeron Notes 04/01

  • George is a negative example of the theme since he conforms, succumbs by the crab bucket mentality because he pulls himself down/handicaps himself
  • Harrison fights back against the conformity
    • Both of these characters are examples of us because everyone conforms
  • Why do we have herd mentality? Serves us well sometimes, we have to make the call and take the responsibility ourselves
  • Existentialists on pre-determination v.s. freewill: 
    • Sartre: The human condition is that “You are condemned to be free”
      • You’re always making a choice, you even choose not to choose
  • ESSAY Information: 
    • No “I” or “you”, Can use “We” 
    • This, that, and it’s need to have a noun after them
    • No contractions
    • Only present tense verbs 
    • Spell out any numbers under 100 
    • How to indicate page numbers: (#) 
  • Plot paragraph: consists of the conflicts 
    • 2 types of conflict: external and internal
    • Protagonist: Harrison 
    • Antagonist: Diana 
    • Setting: 2081 in the U.S.
      • Why does Vonnegut have the story take place in the U.S.? U.S. is supposed to be the “Land of the free, home of the brave”, the setting represents situational irony
      • Would you expect the parents of a 14 year old boy to not remember their own child’s death? No, it’s situationally ironic 
      • Why does Vonnegut have the story take place in April? Because “still drove people crazy” (119), “April is the cruelest month” said the poet T.S. Elliot
    • Exposition: 
      • Overstatement (hyperbole): It took 213 amendments to make things equal
        • What is Vonnegut suggesting by this? 
    • Remember NOT to plot rehash 
  • Symbolism paragraph: 
    • Harrison: represents individuality, freedom for the individual that fights against conformity, freedom to be all you can, etc. 
    • Diana: represents society, control, authority/power, conformity, limitations of the community 

  • HB is a dystopian story
    • Utopia: means “nowhere” because the Greeks understood that there is no perfect place
  • HB is also a satire: makes fun of or ridicules some aspect of society and/or human behavior with the intent to improve
    • Most important tool of satire is irony
    • All the literary devices in this story are ironic
  • What is Vonnegut saying, through his story, that we need to improve on? (The answer is the theme)
    • We should not confuse equal opportunity with equal ability 
    • Don’t bring people down, raise them up 

Quote of the day: 
“Take writing laxatives to get the shit out” 


HB Notes 03/31

Harrison Bergeron Notes 03/31

  • What is the message of the short story? 
  • What is the real topic of this story? Conformity
    • “Everybody competing against everybody else” (121), Vonnegut wants us to compete because that’s how we progress as a society, when we self surpass we progress as a society
  • Ideas for the conclusion paragraph: 
    • Would we rather live in a society where everyone is equal or where the more gifted and talented take advantage of the system for their own selfish gains? 
    • Analyze how Vonnegut make us feel and how he does that
      • Sad, angry, disappointed, scared: Vonnegut made us feel this way through the denouement 
      • Why? Vonnegut makes the parents forget Harrison’s death
        • Hazel is too stupid to remember, even though she doesn’t have any handicaps 
        • George is handicapped, which we know because “they was a sound of a riveting gun in his head” (124). George also doesn’t remember because he chooses to forget things, which we know about him when he states, “forget sad things”. George chooses to forget because he is afraid of how society used to be and he handicaps himself
      • What are the two ways George handicaps himself?
        • George goes into the kitchen to get a beer, we use drugs as a handicap 
        • Watching television (since the television burns out he goes to get a beer)
    • The paradox of pre-determination v.s. freewill 
      • Are we most responsible for who we are? 
      • Freedom v.s. “Happiness” 
      • Ignorance v.s. bliss 
    • Competition 
  • Why do we have the crab bucket mentality?
    • The paradox that 99% of who you are is predetermined for you, nonetheless we are in control because it is how we deal with what we’re dealt, but we don’t like the freedom because freedom comes with responsibility
    • Why do we handicapped ourselves? Because we are social animals and we need to be liked, we fear alienation 
  • What changes in the story? Harrison dies
  • What makes it change? He gets shot by Diana 
  • In what way does it change (how does Harrison bring it on himself)? Harrison has hubris
  • What kind of hero is Harrison? Homeric 
  • Why does Vonnegut have it change that way? 
  • Homeric Hero Analysis: 
    • Arete: “Now watch me become what I can become” (123), striving to become the greatest individual he can become despite society trying to drag him down
    • Hubris: “I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived” (123)
    • Ate: “[...] to kiss the ceiling, they kissed it” (124), “defied the laws of physics” (124), 
“snatched the two” (123), “slammed them” (123)

    • Vonnegut is purposely using the word “snatched” and “slammed” to indicate how Harrison has exceeded what was meant for him
  • Nemesis: “she fired twice [...] they hit the floor” (124)

Harrison Bergeron Notes 03/30

Harrison Bergeron Notes 03/30

  • Hazel has perfectly average intelligence (119) IMPORTANT QUOTE
    • Why does Vonnegut use the word perfectly? What literary device is Vonnegut using when he uses the word perfectly?
      • IRONY: surprising, interesting, or amusing contradictions, more specifically Vonnegut is using dramatic irony; therefore, Vonnegut thinks that people who think in short bursts aren’t intelligent 
        • Dramatic (prose): when the author has a character say/do something that is the opposite of what the author intends
        • Situational: when what happens in the story is the opposite of what is expected
        • Verbal: when a character/narrator says the opposite of what is meant
    • What is perfectly average intelligence in this story? 
      • Perfectly average intelligence: “couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts” (119) Who tells us this? Third person omniscient (“all knowing”) narrator, we can always rely on a third person narrator 
      • “having no mental handicap herself” (120): Hazel can’t think about anything except in short bursts but she doesn’t even have a handicap 
      • Procrustian society 
  • Why does Vonnegut have Hazel resemble the Handicap General? 
    • Hazel can only think in short bursts, while Diana has the ability to think intelligently, so what does Hazel do in the story and how do they resemble each other? 
      • Hazel is the mother of HB 
      • Diana’s job is to be a leader and handicap people; therefore, she has control over society 
  • Why does Vonnegut have Harrison be 7 feet tall (122)? To show that he is taller than the average person, ironic because it’s something the Handicap General cannot change, typical alpha male, society is composed of individuals
  • Why does Vonnegut make Harrison only 14 years old (119)? 
  • Who is the protagonist? H.B. 
    • Who is he symbolic of? The individual. 
  • Who is the antagonist? The Handicap General, Diana
    • What is she symbolic of? Society.
    • Will society be self surpassing if we pull down our strongest members of society? No. 
  • What is the external conflict question? 
    • “Now watch me to become what I can become” (123)
    • Harrison is struggling to become all he can become, but he must overcome the Handicap General to accomplish this
    • External conflict: individual v.s. society 
  • What is the external conflict resolution? 
    • “[...] they hit the floor” (124): Harrison dies 
  • What is the internal conflict question? 
    • Can Harrison avoid having hubris? (hubris: excessive pride)
  • What is the internal conflict resolution?
    • Harrison fails and could not avoid having hubris, “I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived” (123)
  • Relates to the crab bucket mentality! 

Quote to help you get through the bootcamp: 
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” 

-Desmond Tutu

Homework: April 1, 2016 -- Happy April Fools Day!

Euro Lit
Read Candide Chapters 13-16
Chapter reports 13-16 due Monday

Honors 9
Re-re-re-re-read Harrison Bergeron
Organize notes by literary devices
Get ready to write the essay!!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Homework: March 31, 2016

Euro Lit:
Read Candide Chapters 9-12
Chapter reports for 9-12 are due Friday

English 9 H:
Re-re-read Harrison Bergeron
Consider why this POV (point of view)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

HW 03/30

European Literature:
Read: Candide chapters 5-8
Chapter reports for 5-8 due Wednesday, MAKE 2 COPIES

English 9 Honors:
Re-read: "H.B"
Write: 3 questions related to H.B. and answers plot, MAKE 2 COPIES

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

HB Notes 03/29

Harrison Bergeron Notes 03/29

  • “What is the theme?” answer using literary devices
  • Stick to the focus of your conversation to get the most content out of it (mine the vein)
  • Re-read stories to analyze why Vonnegut includes each detail. 
  • How did we feel after reading it? Why?
    • Many felt sad, disgusted, let down
    • We felt sad at the end because nothing changed, “forget sad things”, George and Hazel aren’t aware of what happened, seems like wasn’t a point to Harrison’s sacrifice 
      • George gets a beer 
      • George tells Hazel to “forget sad things” (IMPORTANT QUOTE) 
      • Why is this quote significant? 
        • Shows that George and Hazel have chosen to remain ignorant, how is it showing this? They just saw their son die and they can’t remember, Hazel can’t remember it for a different reason than George (119, 124)
    • Equality and average intelligence 
      • Live in a world where people can’t be above average, “one size fits all”, no individuality 
        • What is the price of equality? Is equality worth it when we have to sacrifice our individuality? 
      • “Equality”: Instead of raising the bar for everyone, the bar was lowered, everyone has average intelligence 
        • What is average intelligence in this society? “Hazel had a perfectly amount of average intelligence, she couldn’t remember anything” (119, paragraph 3)- Hazel couldn’t think of anything except in short bursts, what is this significance? 
          • Society cannot change anything, the government controls everything 
          • Example: “Hazel saw him wince having no handicap herself” (120), what is the significance of this? 
            • Hazel does not have a handicap, she is letting society control her even though she has the ability to overcome the conformity 
          • “Who knows better than I do on what normal is” (120), what is normal?  
          • “Hazel as a matter of fact bore a strong resemblance to a Handicap General” (120), why does Vonnegut put this detail in the story? Who is Hazel? What role does she play? 
          • Hazel and Diana are the same both physically and in their amount of control/power
        • They achieve an average intelligence by having society wear handicaps 
        • “Their faces were masked [...] would feel like something the cat dragged in” (bottom of 119) 
  • Why does Vonnegut choose this setting? Why in the future and why in America?

Quote of the day: 
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” 

-Kurt Vonnegut

HW 03/29

European Literature:
Read: "Candide" chapters 1-4
Chapter reports for 1-4  due Wednesday, make 2 copies!

Honors 9 English:
Re-read: "HB"
Write: 3 key details (nuts & bolts) and why they are significant, print TWO copies

Monday, March 28, 2016

HW 3/28

European Literature:
Read: "The Invention of the Scientific Method"
Write: Answers to take home quiz

Honors 9:
Read: "Harrison Bergeron"
Write: Brief paragraph about HOW it made you feel! And bring 2 copies :)