Silas Marner by George Eliot

Of course, one might argue that George Eliot has his own experience incorporated in the novel Silas Marner. This statement is both correct and flawed. Yes, George Eliot did put personal experiences and circumstances in life to enrich the story. Yet George Eliot is the pen name of a female author, so do not make the novice mistake of addressing the author as he! Silas Marner is one of the true classic Victorian novels written by Eliot. The book revolves around the three traditional factors of Victorian novels, which are coincidence, suspense, and irony. Throughout the book, such themes are prevalent to determine such a community-minded story. The coincidence of Dunstan Cass stopping by the cottage of Silas Marner when Marner goes out for a walk, the suspense of Godfrey Cass waiting to confess his sins, and the irony of Marner’s loss of gold giving him more valuable personal growth are some examples. If you want to figure out this Victorian novel, and its twists and turns that ooze philosophical lessons on human life, make sure you read it or take AP LIT with Mr. Scanlon!

book cover silas marner

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King Lear

king lear title page

In our AP Literature class, we have recently read one of the most tragic of Shakespearean tragedies, King Lear. King Lear contains both the pessimistic realities and the signs of optimism in such well-crafted manner that the coexistence of the two seems natural. I would like to summarize, briefly, the coexistence of the two possible interpretations.

Unlike many other plays, King Lear could possibly be considered as the most tragic of Shakespearean tragedies not only because of the sheer number of deaths that happen but also because of how the nihilist idea perpetuates throughout the play. Along with Lear’s final illusion before his death that Cordelia still survives and with continued disregarding of Edmund by the nobility despite his death, Cordelia’s death shows the culmination of such nihilist values: the crucifixion of the Christlike figure and the pagan gods’ failure to meet the earthly demands.

Yet, as in all tragedies, some signs of optimism can be detected. Lear’s newly detected sympathy and the idea of socialism and the reestablishment of justice and natural order after Albany and Edgar’s survival all indicate some positivity left in the play. Moreover, Kent’s seemingly endless loyalty, even as he decides to follow his master, Lear, to his death at the end of the play, seems to indicate the power and the persistence of a relationship.

Filled with literary allusions, symbols, and ideologies, I strongly recommend that you read King Lear, and if you have already read the book, read it once more, searching for those enriching, hidden, and never-ending treasures that Shakespeare not-so-unintentionally offers.

Movie Review: The Intern

On my 14-hour flight back to JFK to get back to school, I was looking for a great movie to entertain myself during a rather tedious flight. Looking through trailers, I discovered The Intern, a movie about an elderly man (Robert DeNiro) who retired from work but realized that his life basically revolved around his passion for work. When he coincidentally finds a pamphlet asking for old interns (to provide moral support for Anne Hathaway, CEO of a clothing company), he applies and gets to meet her, becoming the best life advisor for a young woman endeavoring to live the hectic life of the modern world. The Intern, although labeled as a comedy film, is not merely a movie to just laugh at and release our stress.

The movie has so many valuable merits. Firstly, reflected in his advice to Anne Hathaway, Robert DeNiro’s wise experience and words give the audience guidelines for living in this busy and feverish world. Anne Hathaway is overwhelmed; some time for oneself and relaxation is key for self-development. Secondly, we can feel the familial warmth from the two unrelated people. Robert DeNiro’s wisdom, consideration, and benevolent words fill our rather detached lives with heartwarming affection for human relationships. Lastly, the movie also sends an important message to society that we should not neglect the elderly and consider them not valuable. The wisdom, experience, career, understanding, and love of the elderly are often qualities that can save us from the selfish rush for success and life problems that sometimes overwhelm us altogether. This is a can’t miss movie. If you want to feel some emotional and mental healing, or want a heart-warming experience, you should definitely watch this movie.

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