Friday, March 2, 2012

Why Genocides Exist

Power, hate, political tensions. What do these three things have in common? All common themes, that, when entangled into one, results in mass murders, also known as a genocide. A genocide is defined as: The deliberate killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation. But how could something so violent and ruthless even happen in our world? One of the main reasons is hate. Take, for example, the genocides that took place in Rwanda during the 90's. Nate Carter writes, "Such a violent and horrific display of actions is nothing short of a political outrage between two groups of people in a country." In this excerpt Nate talks about how two political groups fought and killed in mass numbers just because the two sides didn't like one another and didn't want to see the other group come into power. This is a perfect example of why genocides take place. They almost always happen because of a dispute over power or because one group hates another. It is senseless violence resulting in innocent people being murdered.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Japanese Occupation of Korea

Korea has had a long and violent history of foreign occupation. Although there have been many offenders, none is worse than the nation of Japan. Colonial rule of Korea began in 1910 and extended until 1945 upon the surrender of the Japanese Imperial Army. Over these thirty-five years the people of Korea lived under an iron fist as the Japanese strove to strip Korean citizens of their independence and cultural identity. Although the Japanese were cruel and stern in their occupation they, at the time, argued that they were improving Korea and the change was good for the Korean people. This idea of improving peoples lives and the world through mass murder and suppression is a common theme among genocides throughout history.

During the thirty-five year occupation of Korea, Japan strove to destroy any aspect of Korean culture. During the first ten years of Japanese occupation the Japanese military was the main force behind the campaign as they pushed Korean culture and ways of life out of the minds of the citizens. In a history of Korea during the 20th century the author writes, "People were forced to adopt Japanese names, convert to the Shinto (native Japanese) religion, and were forbidden to use Korean language in schools and business." These actions taken against the Korean people are a direct attack and are a clear attempt to dehumanize an entire ethnicity. Even more disturbing is the fact that these two countries are neighbors to one another and share many of the same ethnic roots.

Although the Japanese were cruel  and ruthless they truly believed that their occupation of Korea was just. So, as Hitler crusaded to create a better world in Europe the Japanese strove to do the same to the West. Japan claimed that by occupying Korea they were actually helping the Korean people, ushering them into the modern world. In an online article about development of Asia the author touches on said topic. They write, "many recognizably modern aspects of Korean society emerged or grew considerably during the 35-year period of colonial rule. These included rapid urban growth, the expansion of commerce, and forms of mass culture such as radio and cinema, which became widespread for the first time. Industrial development also took place..." This justification resembles very much what Hitler told the German people to justify the killing of millions of Jews. I believe, however, that this is not true. Japanese occupation of Korea took place while Japan was wrapped up in imperialism and expansion. This is the reason for occupation, not to build up Korea. japan has never been in the business of nation building so why all of a sudden start.

There have been many horrific cases of genocide throughout the course of history. Japanese occupation of Korea, I believe, falls into the category as being one of the worst. This is true because of it's length and the content of which the Korean people were stripped of. Although it may not be the same as taking a life, (not to say the Japanese didn't do that as well) being stripped of your identity and being forced to follow foreign customs is still a daunting blunder to try and deal with.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mentor Text- Hoodwinked

For my mentor text this time I chose to watch the movie Hoodwinked. Hoodwinked is the story of Little Red Ridding Hood but told from all different perspectives. This story starts out at the end, with a domestic disturbance call in the middle of the woods involving a girl, a wolf, and an axe. As cops show up to investigate there is a suspicion that this disturbance may in fact be related to another case involving the "Goody Bandit" who's been stealing all the recipes of local sweet makers and driving them out of business. As the cops try to get information about everything that has been happening we get into the main plot. The story is told from all different perspectives as police question each party involved individually (Wolf, Granny, Red, and the Axe man). I chose this as my mentor text because I am also taking a classic story and putting a twist onto it and telling it from a different perspective. One thing watching this movie helped me with was character development and the idea of inter weaving different stories and perspectives so that they all end up at the same point when the story is over. I also liked how this movie started from the end and then worked its way through every characters account to make sense of what really happened. It's an excellent way to keep an audience hooked and engaged. Another thing watching this movie helped me with was dialogue. The majority of this movie is told from different perspectives so it is narrated. This helped me see what others have done with their characters and how they used wording and story telling to make sense of a plot. Finally, watching Hoodwinked helped me to get an idea of how to introduce a major twist in the story line. I'm going to have a twist at the end of my story as well and being able to see how it was introduced in this movie helped me to realize how I want to do it in my own story.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grant Solis"The Bridge" Interview Q&A

1. What is the moral of your story?
The moral of my story is the necessity for brotherhood and finding yourself along the way. As the two brothers grow to hate each other, they must learn that they need each other in order to survive.2. How old are the brothers in the story?
Nathan, the oldest is 17. And the youngest Tyler is 11.
3. Why does the government/ army cover up the death?
Technically, the government nor the army covers up Blaine’s (the father) death. If you want to know why or how you’re gonna have to read the story for yourself.
4. Why did you chose the title of your book?
As mentioned earlier, the two brothers must find themselves while learning about how important being brothers truly is. They are "Bridging" the gap that they have created. In other words, they are making amends to their lives in order to live and prosper.

5. Are the two brothers in the army too?
No they are not. There is some illusion that the oldest Nathan would want to join the army, but his plans are not set in stone.6. How long will your book be?
As long as it takes to tell the story. In order to create the in depth, heart felt story it takes time in order to have the reader feel the emotions they feel in order to sympathize and care for the characters I’ve created.7. How will you set up your ending? Tragedy? Happy?
Not wanting to give too much away here, but the ending I think is very climatic. Tragedy? Not necessarily. But there will be closure of some sort.
8. How will you portray the Afghan Forces?
The Afghan Forces in this story are the good and the bad guys in a way. In the story, they are aiding in the overall plot without really knowing it.9. Do you think it is too soon to write about the Afghan War?
I don’t think so. My goal is to reach out to two different groups of readers that need to understand the war from different points of views. The Afghan War is something I feel people need to understand what it does to families.10. Do you use any metaphors?
Here in there. More in descriptions such as setting up scenery or describing events. But there is no overall metaphor. 11. Do you use foreshadowing?
I believe foreshadowing is an almost un-necessary tool because if you attempt to utilize it’s capabilities and fail at it, then you just gave your ending way. I would rather shock the audience then allude to an ending or a climax before I reach it.12. Do you use symbolism?
I love symbolism. I think that it can really broaden the horizons of a story. I won’t tell you where exactly it is in my story but yes, it’s in there.
13. How will the two brothers get over to Afghanistan?
As the two brothers find out that their father has disappeared, Captain John Miller comes for the two of them in order retrieve and identify "the body" and also to take part in the ceremonies overseas.
14. What genre is your story?
My story has a few genres. It’s a mystery, blended with some action with just a dash of love. I think it reaches out to those looking for a story they can think about while also enjoy.15. Is the storyline based off a real story?
Nope. This story is completely fictionalized and created by me.
16. Will there be a prologue or epilogue?
Yes, there is a prologue but this prologue is different because it opens the book with a very sad moment which makes you feel sympathy right away.
17. How many chapters will there be?
At the moment there are 5 planned chapters. They are:
Chapter 1: Parallel
Chapter 2: Centerfold
Chapter 3: Decisions
Chapter 4: Outbreak
Chapter 5: Revelations

18. What age group is this book aimed at?
This reaches out to all ages. You have the adulthood, the middle schooler and also the High Schooler. I chose these ages because that’s who mainly is going to be reading our stories. It reaches out and connects with each age group in my story right from the start in the first chapter Parallel.
19. Do you think this book might be difficult for 5th graders?
I don’t think so. It’s easy and simplistic, but also meaningful and inspiring which I feel most people can connect too. 20. What was your favorite chapter to write thus far?
The first one so far. It connects to all ages right from the start. It ties everything together without knowing exactly what it’s tying into. I feel like it’s a different type of chapter than most people can write.
To read this story click here

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Wolf Who Cried Boy (what I have so far)

The air was crisp, the leaves were orange, gold and yellow. Fall had begun to settle in upon the little town of Littleton. This meant many things, but for Mr. Wolf this meant that he would be getting his sheep ready to be stored away for the winter ahead. And yes, Mr. Wolf is a wolf, and yes he is a sheep herder. How did he get such a job? Well Mr. Wolf doesn't like the taste of sheep at all. But, because he is a wolf, sheep still feared and listened to him. It's a perfect fit, really. But not everyone in the little town of Littleton agreed. A group of people in town hated the wolf and campaigned and petitioned to get rid of him. So, one day in mid October Mr. Wolf was letting his sheep graze on a nearby hill for what was one of the last times before the cold of winter set in. Mr. Wolf watched on as his sheep grazed happily. "What a nice day." Mr. Wolf thought out loud to himself. Mr. Wolf turned around to admire the view and gazed upon rolling hills and beautiful valleys. After a minute he was reminded of his sheep by a faint "bahhh" behind him. Mr. Wolf snapped around quickly and just caught a glimpse of the culprit. He was a young blond boy, and he was making off with one of Mr. Wolf's sheep. Mr. Wolf sprang into action and bound after the young boy. The boy was fast but Mr. Wolf was that much faster. Just on Mr. Wolf was on top of the boy he tripped and the continued off towards town. "He wont get away with this." Mr. Wolf proclaimed out loud then he too made haste towards the town. When he reached the little town of Littleton he didn't see the boy so he called to the whole town that his sheep had been stolen. Many heard and gathered in front of the wolf as he told his story. Many people, however, looked skeptical and didn't know whether to believe the wolf or not. In order to find out the truth someone went to go fetch the boy. An old man returned with the boy the wolf had described. He was a short blond boy, maybe 10 years old, and he looked out of breath. This was no surprise to Mr. Wolf as he had just been chasing the boy. Mr. Wolf descended upon him and started firing off questions at the boy:

"Where were you ten minutes ago!?"

"Why did you take my sheep!?"

"Did you think you could get away with it!?"

Mr. Wolf was determined to expose the truth, but the boy was that much more determined to hide it. All of a sudden, in the middle of Mr. Wolf's rant, the boy started to cry. This is where things started to sway in the other direction. The towns people, previously watching silently, swooped in to comfort the boy and condemn the wolf for acting so cruel. They yelled mean things at Mr. Wolf and said a young boy so sweet and innocent could never do such a thing. Mr. Wolf was stunned and walked angrily back to his house. The next morning Mr. Wolf woke to a bright sunrise. As usual he got up to go and check on his sheep before doing anything else. Mr. Wolf got dressed, went downstairs, crossed the yard, and over to the barn where his sheep sleep at night. Careful not to wake the sheep Mr. Wolf opened the barn door slowly.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mentor Text- True Story of the Three Little Pigs

I read the story of the Three Little Pigs from the wolf's perspective which is what the wolf claims to be is the real story of what happens. He says that he was baking a cake for his granny but he didn't have any sugar. So the wolf went to his neighbor which was a pig and asked to borrow sugar but there was no answer. Just as the wolf went to go he felt a sneeze coming on, as he had a cold, and sneezed at the pigs straw house which knocked it down and killed the pig. Similar situations happen again at the second and third pigs house and when the reporters published a story about it they made it more interesting by "spicing" it up and saying that the wolf was a maniac. By reading this it showed me how someone else wrote about an alternate story to an already popular children's book. This also gave me ideas on how to introduce the story and from what perspective to tell it in. On top of that I also took note of the authors tone throughout the book and will look to make one similar to the book I read. There were a lot of other things that the author did well that I liked too. Such as making the background people in the story (the public) against the wolf and making the wolf seem innocent so that you want to trust him and believe his story rather than the other.