Reading Log #3- October 12, 2017
"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snicket
Topic Choice #1- Characters
This first novel in the "A Series of Unfortunate Events' by Lemony Snicket tells the story of 3 children who have become orphans after their parents died in a fire and are now under the care of their long-distanced relative, who is pursuing their inheritance and family fortune. The main characters of the story are the three Baudelaire children (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny) and Count Olaf, the Baudelaire's new legal guardian. Violet Baudelaire is the eldest of the three children at the age of 14. She is very inventive and has a knack for constructing and engineering strange and unique items and is said that she dislikes being disrupted by something trivial like her hair. One quote from the novel stating," This morning she was thinking about how to construct a device that could retrieve a rock after you had skipped it into the ocean," is one piece of textual evidence showing how innovative and creative Violet really is. Klaus is the middle child at the age of 12 and the only boy among the three siblings. Just like his sister, he is very intelligent, but focuses more on reading books and retaining much information from them, rather than choosing to build objects. Sunny is the youngest Baudelaire child, since she is only an infant. Because of her age, Sunny lacks the ability to build objects, read and speak, and do other activities, but she does enjoy biting objects, no matter the shape, size, or texture of it. The last main character of this story is Count Olaf, the new legal guardian of the children. He is a short-tempered man who is conceited and very demanding at times, and so he is loathed by the Baudelaire children. These characters have their own significance to the story. The Baudelaire siblings are meaningful to the story since they are the protagonist, trying to disrupt and cease Count Olaf's vengeful plan to retrieve the children's inheritance. Meanwhile, Count Olaf is significant since he is the new guardian of the children and is expected to be like a fatherly figure to them but is instead the villain trying to retrieve their fortune and soon dispose them afterwards. All three siblings are dynamic since they are constantly changing throughout the story. They start at the beginning of the story with the perfect lives, being very cheerful and optimistic about their future, before being told their parents had perished and were going to live with Mr. Poe. Afterwards, they become less enthusiastic about their passions and become full of despair after leaning about the type of person their new guardian, Count Olaf, is. Evidence for this transformation can be stated on page 12 of the book, stating," It was of course terrible because they had both lost their parents at the same time, and for several days they felt so miserable they could scarcely get out of bed. Klaus found he had little interest in books. The gears in Violet's inventive brain seemed to stop. And even Sunny bit thing with less enthusiasm." And this proves my statement since this is not like the very intelligent Baudelaire's to be doing since, as we know, they are charming and resourceful young geniuses. Meanwhile, Count Olaf remains to be the same menace he always is by pursuing the Baudelaire's fortune, doing whatever he can to inherit it, making him a static character.
Reading Log #2- September 23, 2017
"How to Fight a Dragon's Fury" by Cressida Cowell
Topic CHOICE #2- Conflict
The story continues in the same novel written by Cressida Cowell as Hiccup has just been crowned the new King of the Wilder West. Right around this part of the story is where the conflict of this adventure begins. The main conflict in this adventure is that Hiccup must now face the leader of the dragon rebellion, Furious, and end this revolt between humans and dragons, even though Hiccup now doubts he is able to achieve this and doesn't have any confidence in himself. This problem began after Hiccup found out the Dragon Jewel, which was supposed to have the power to wipe out all dragons or just threaten them, was indeed just a red herring and not the actual Dragon Jewel, which is discovered on page 247 of the novel. It states, "The Wodensfang switched to Norse. 'This isn't the real Dragon Jewel! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! I just assumed it was real, since you were crowned King! Otherwise, the Druid Guardian wouldn't have crowned you. But this is just a Fake!' Hiccup's heart sank right down into his ragged, furry boots. Oh dear, indeed." This is a conflict and not an important event, because the conflict is trying to be resolved throughout the book and since the fate of the dragons and Vikings depends on the outcome of this occurrence. Furthermore, the dragons, Vikings, and Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third are being, or could be, affected by the conflict. The conflict in this story is both internal and external, since we have Hiccup's internal conflict in which he struggles to believe and be inspired to confront and speak to Furious. On the other hand, the conflict is external since it was fate for Hiccup to become King and to represent all the tribes at times of dangers like this one. Hiccup reacts to the conflict by questioning whether he could face Furious and end the rebellion and also considers turning back to not face this creature. But then again, he reminds himself why he is doing this and recalls distant memories, giving him courage and inspiration to approach the face of the dragon. One example of his reactions is identified on page 272, stating, "Every instinct in Hiccup was telling him to turn away, go back- but he could hear the voices of the people in the Archipelago willing him on. And the songs gave him audacity, and calmed him." Because of the conflict that is happening, Hiccup decides to confront Furious and speak to him about their situation. Furious becomes infuriated at the sight of Hiccup and tries to kill him after Alvin violates the laws of the battle and interferes. In the end, we find out the conflict was resolved by a compromise that arose from it, that is written on page 391. "'I promise I shall call off this rebellion and this Red-Rage. I shall work fang and claw to make my brother dragons and the humans live together in peace. I give you my word, from King unto King.'" And the story concludes with all of the Vikings singing their hearts out on the little island of Tomorrow, as they now celebrate a new life of peace and tranquility forever more.
Reading Log #1- September 6, 2017
"How to Fight a Dragon's Fury" by Cressida Cowell
Topic CHOICE #3- Plot
The Doomsday of Yule has arrived in the Archipelago for Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third and the rest of the Vikings in Cressida Cowell's best-selling novel, "How to Fight a Dragon's Fury." In the story, Hiccup, the protagonist of this adventure, has to overcome various obstacles such as fight against some of the dragons from the dragon rebellion that is against him, recover his memory from amnesia, and make it past the Guardians of the Island of Tomorrow in order to stop the antagonist of the story, Alvin the Treacherous, from being crowned King of the Wilder West and eradicate all the dragons. Perhaps the most important scene in this novel occurs in the Rising Action when Hiccup is about to be killed by the Guardians of Tomorrow by being thrown into the air and being released to plummet to his death. Instead, halfway through the journey into the sky do the dragons realize that they have made a mistake to do this and instead release Hiccup in a swamp where he climbs out and races to castle where the crowning is taking place. This scene is described in page 147 where it states, "But then they saw, distinctly, the creatures shooting back down again, madly, and zigzagging low over the bogs. Something dropped from their claws into the bog something small and raggedy and what they thought was insignificant. 'I don't believe it,' the blind Axeman whispered. 'The dragon Guardians have made a mistake... They never make mistakes!'" Some of the characteristics of Hiccup are revealed and described in this segment as him being "small and raggedy" but also usually being mistaken to be insignificant. This scene has such significance and is important, because confusion and disorder erupts between the Vikings and cause them to question whether or not Alvin is the rightful King of the Wilder West, since they have now found out that Hiccup is not dead like they thought he was in the last book (How to Betray a Dragon's Hero). And since it was the very first time the dragon Guardians had made an error, more panic and disorder is caused as the Druid Guardians of the island are searching for an explanation on why Hiccup was so valuable and important enough to not be killed. Not only that but the scene is important, since it leads to the complications Hiccup must face in order to prove he is king and be crowned, even though Hiccup has none of the objects need to be crowned king, and it leads to the resolutions of the problems. The main complication Hiccup had to overcome, which was originated from the scene mentioned, was proving how he is the actual heir to the throne to everyone. And the way he did so was with concrete evidence from a letter written by the last King of the Wilder West, Grimbeard the Ghastly, which was given to him by his best friend Fishlegs. In his letter, Grimbeard states what he expects from his true heir. On page 199, it states, " 'Grimbeard the Ghastly says: ' I dream of a Heir who shall be a dragon whisperer, a man who talks with the monsters.' And a 'dragon whisperer' can only refer to Hiccup because Hiccup is the only one here who can speak the dragon's language.'" Due to this evidence, Hiccup managed to win over the Vikings, and with their support, were able to prove him to be the rightful King of the Wilder West. And though this does seem like a jovial moment for the barbaric viking tribes, the most important danger and obstacle of stopping the dragon rebellion is still to come. What will Hiccup do to the dragons in the dragon rebellion now that he is king? Will Alvin interfere with Hiccup's plans to end the rebellion? And most importantly- Can Hiccup save both the dragons and the humans from war in the next part of this novel? Surely, the answers are yet to come.