Raven Symoné

Raven Symoné

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Magical Realism

Jake Nusynowitz
AP Literature
Ms. Howard
6 December 2014
We are told we evolved from an ancestor common to humans. A wizard, Mermis of Atlantis, activated our DNA. Something not many people know was that Atlantis was in touch with the supernatural world. Atlantis was not forever, though. Mermis foretold the end of Atlantis, but few heeded his warnings. My ancestors chose to have their genes activated and imbued with special powers.  When Atlantis sank, we were the only ones to survive. Mermis became our leader. We rebuilt Atlantis deep beneath the ocean as our new home.
I always have this dream that I’m flying. It always starts the same, my lone body hovering above cerulean waters. All of a sudden, I am in total control, exploring the world, watching humans. You know, it’s in that fantasy where I feel completely safe. I’ve finally escaped the waters that trapped me for seventeen years. And then I wake up.
That dream was, in a way, always a fantasy, until the eleventh full moon of the year. It was a normal day; I woke up, had breakfast with my parents, collected four baskets of sea kelp, and raced Meranda around Mermis Rock. It wasn’t until I returned to my parents that things became far from normal.
“You’re going to land today, Meredith. We’ve found a beautiful city for you to stay in and go to school. There are many prospective humans there,” my parents explained. I felt my head getting light. I never thought this day would come. They were sending me out of the ocean and to land. I felt the sea kelp I ate earlier come up. But I knew it was time, and I was ready. When a mermaid turns seventeen, she joins the human world to search for a human man who can help her reproduce and continue her family. I just didn’t know they would send me off so soon. That night, I said my goodbyes to Meranda and my parents. Soon, the Transfer Committee took me to land. As soon as the sun came up, they brought me out of the water. I always imagined what my legs would look like, but I never actually thought I would have them. They were so long and beautiful, just like a human! We all walked to a black box, what we were told were called “cars,” I thanked them, and they were gone. I was on the road to my new home.
We pulled up to a beautiful house in “Miami, Florida.” As I stumbled to the front door (I was still learning how to use my legs), a man, a woman, and a boy were standing there, smiles beaming from cheek to cheek. “Welcome to Miami, Meredith!” They all shouted. They all shook my hand and brought me inside. This was my new home. This was my new family. They showed me the kitchen, the family room, and my bedroom equipped with a pool of water for me to sleep in. When the moon came out, my tail came back and without water, I would not be able to survive. They showed me my clothes and where I would be going to school. It all seemed to happen so fast, but I loved it. After getting to know them, I settled in, then headed downstairs for dinner. The mother and father prepared something called sushi. I did not know what sushi was but it reminded me of the ocean. I liked it.
That night, the boy came into my room. His name was John. He had brown hair and beautiful piercing blue eyes. He asked me how I liked it here. We started off with small talk, talking about school and friends and Miami. We couldn’t stop talking. We talked about religion and politics and the mermaid world and the human world and love and hatred and everything in between. We talked for six hours. I loved him. I knew he was the one. As the sun came up, he went back to his room while as we both grasped the few hours of sleep we could get. He woke me up and told me to get dressed. He told me he was taking me somewhere. I didn’t argue. I slipped on my new shorts and a shirt and walked downstairs. He stood at the bottom of the stairs with a picnic basket and told me we were going to have lunch. We headed to a park with a grassy spot that looked like it was meant for picnicking. We ate and talked for hours. As we got ready to leave, he leaned in and kissed me. I knew it was real. I could feel it. As the sun started going down, he told me we needed to get back before my tail came back out. We got into his car and drove home. I knew I needed to ask him to be mine.
We arrived back to the house to the surprise of our parents standing there at the front door with three tall men in suits. “What’s going on?” John asked. “Back away from Meredith,” his mom yelled. All of a sudden, the three men started walking towards me. They grabbed me and shoved me in the back of a car. I yelled for help, but nobody was there. It was over.
I woke up in a white room. I was tied up and had things stuck to my entire body. I screamed and cried for hours until finally a man came into the room. “What am I doing here, please let me out!” I yelled. “Hello Meredith! Welcome to the MCA! Here, we control disgusting creatures like you. We are a branch of the US government that works with mermaids, mainly. Your new parents were communicating with us the entire time and helping us pinpoint the exact time to bring you here and exterminate you! I appreciate you cooperating so well.” I felt queasy. This was it. I was going to die. My life was over. “Are you going to kill me?” I asked, my voice shaking. “Oh, Meredith, of course we are. And then, once we’ve killed you, we’re going to throw you back into the ocean so your disgusting relatives can see their dead daughter, their dead sister, cousin, and friend and know to stay in the water. Land is not a place for you things. I’ll be back shortly.” I couldn’t stop crying as he left the room. My family, Meranda, John, I would never see them again. I sat there, tied up, with my eyes closed and prayed. As I prayed, I heard screaming. All of a sudden, the door swung open. It was John. “Meredith! I found you!” He quickly untied me. “We have to go.” I kissed him and then we went. We ran. Gunshots seemed to be coming from everywhere. We made it out of the building and jumped into his car. We drove for miles until we were safe and could talk. He apologized to me about his family and told me he never wanted to go back. He asked me to be his forever. I cried and nodded, “yes, of course.” He asked me, “Where do you want to go?” I smiled, and said “Anywhere, as long as I’m with you.”
Five Years Later
We moved to Orlando, Florida, where we both got jobs at Sea World. I could use their facilities every night and we got to be together every day. We moved into a modest house outside of the city and eventually had a baby girl. We named her Mercy. We visited my family in the ocean every so often, and made trips down to Miami to show Mercy where her father grew up. We truly had it all. And I didn’t want it any other way.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fairy Tale

Two exquisitely curious juveniles were once dropped in the center of an immense thicket. Before being left by their abominable progenitors, one of the children left a pathway in hopes that it would lead them back to their household. Being dragged out into the boscage once again, the children instead assembled a different kind of path to lead them back. But, to their dismay, an unsolicited visitor consumed their avenue; one who knew nothing about their dire situation. Wandering aimlessly, the two juveniles stumbled upon a beautiful cream-colored bird and followed it to a clearing in the boscage. Soon, they discovered a magnificent home, rather a cottage, built of tasteful gingerbread and cakes, with windowpanes of sparkling sugar. They could resist anything but temptation. Famished, the children began to eat the rooftops of the candy-coated home. They couldn’t help but feel slightly selfish, but, then again, selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. A decrepit woman soon emerged from the woods, luring them inside and promising them soft, pillow-covered beds and exquisite meals. They comply, the wise fools, completely unaware that the hostess is really not only decrepit, but wicked and plans to cook and devour the children.
            The following morning, the conjurer sealed one of the adolescent’s in a rigid iron cage in the garden and forced the other into slavery. Feeding the trapped child constantly, in hopes to augment their weight, the witch prepares to indulge in the growing child. As the witch prepares the blazing oven for the plump juvenile, she decides she is ravenous enough to devour both children. The witch coaxes one of the children to open the oven and prods her to lean over in front of the blazing inferno. Knowing what the corrupt woman plans to execute, the child acts befuddled in hopes to get the witch to demonstrate her intentions. As the woman leans over the flame, the child thrusts her into the oven, slams, and bolts the door shut. The children emerge free, finding vases full of exquisite treasures and precious stones. With riches beyond compare, the children set off for their home.

            In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. Coming to the realization that their father’s wife had passed from unknown causes, and joyously finding out that he had spent all his days lamenting the loss of his children, they return to their home and the lives they once knew. With the witch’s wealth, they all live jubilantly for the rest of their days.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bernard Marx

            I wish I were more confident. Approaching Lenina was hard enough, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of happiness that rushed through my body – like a huge dose of soma – when she agreed. Although, you couldn’t imagine the embarrassment I had when she publicly discussed her sexual life. I wish she kept herself more private, but I didn’t let myself think about it too deeply. The rumors going around about me are absolutely repulsive: “…somebody made a mistake when he was still in the bottle–thought he was a Gamma and put alcohol into his blood-surrogate. That's why he's so stunted…” they say (Huxley 46). These ridiculous stories are probably why I apparently am lacking so much on my confidence. Hopefully visiting the reservation soon should be interesting. I hope the Director lets us. And I really hope Lenina likes it. She says she interested. She also thinks I’m sweet. I appreciate that. She fixes my lonely feelings; she makes me feel wanted. She wants me to go to some sort of wrestling match. I agreed, but really have not much interest in what she wants to do. I feel hugely disconnected. It feels as if there is a rainstorm above my head, dark and gloomy.
She wanted me to take it. Over and over again, “Take the soma! Take the soma!” No. No. As we returned, I hovered the helicopter over the Channel. The silence makes me feel individual, I told her. She begged me to take her away from the water and the emptiness that comes with it. She eventually got me to take soma, way, way too much soma. We had sex. I didn’t want to. I want to act mature. I wanted to act like an adult.
            The Director said yes! I was almost positive he would disapprove. He told me how he lost a woman he went up there with in a storm. It scared me; I could only imagine how much shock he suffered from that. Then, something weird happened. He threatened to exile me to Iceland due to my “antisocial behavior.” Why? Regardless, I was pretty proud. I felt rebellious. I felt confident. More importantly, I felt ready to be with Lenina.
Today was an especially important day. It was the day we travelled to the reservation. It all seems like a blur, to be quite honest. One thing that keeps playing back in my mind is Helmholtz’s news. This whole “exiled to Iceland” thing seems to be becoming more and more real. It seems unreal. I can’t be exiled! I belong here. All that I felt, my proudness, my confidence, was gone. I was scared. I was scared until I took soma, of course. We met John, a blond boy from the reservation. He could be one of my greatest discoveries. He told us some shocking news: that The Director was his father. Linda, John’s mother, a particularly frightening woman, furthered the story and told us she had problems with her contraceptives. Why would someone lie about this? It had to be true. I think John will help me. He said he would come to London with me. John could change my life in the World State. And, perhaps, help me embarrass the Director. I have plans to expose him as John’s father, but I don’t plan on telling John about those. I was happy I could make John happy to finally see the World State. I’m not sure why he is excited, though. The World State is full of such hatred and disgust. I feel like a misfit there. I hope he doesn’t have some type of false hope that London will be some type of Shangri La. I fear he does…
I went to visit Mond today. He agreed that John was important in the World States’ scientific interest. When I returned to the Director, he had the nerve to call me a heretic. I was in shock. What gave him the right to speak to me, let alone anyone like this! I’m not an infant. And I will not be sent to Iceland or Greenland or any land besides my land, the World State. I was so angry that I presented John and Linda to the entire room. The look on the Director’s face was truly priceless. The laughter that ensued as he ran out of the room was the cherry on top of an unforgettable moment!
The unforgettable moments continued. I was a hit. I was popular, all thanks to John. Being his guardian gave me what felt like some type of immunity. As if his popularity rubbed off onto me. Nobody could stop me. Nobody could hurt my confidence or me. The amount of sex I was having was amazing. Off the charts, I swear. I wish this wouldn’t end. I owed everything to John. And I didn’t care about what Helmholtz thought about me, he was simply jealous. These had to be some of the best moments I’ve had in years. I refused to let them end. 

Works Cited

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper & Bros., 1946. Print.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Froonkoonstoon :D

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein represents interplay of Enlightenment rationalism and Romantic irrationality. Essentially, Victor Frankenstein represents the Enlightenment’s ideas of rationalism, while his creation, the monster, represents the irrationality of romanticism. The Enlightenment and its rationality were focused on science, and all things that are physical. Victor represented these ideals through his constant work in his laboratory, and creation of the monster through research in chemistry and other sciences. Essentially, his fall into a life with no social skills and obsession with the monster represents a condemnation of rationalism. Shelley showed the problems with thinking completely rationally and like an Enlightenment thinker, but also showed the issues with thinking like a Romantic: irrationally. Romantics argued that “the complexity of human experience could not be explained by an inhuman rationalism,” and that is exactly what Victor attempted to do (Smith 2). By creating life and attempting to bend the rules of nature and religion, he tried to explain the complexity of human experience, such as creation, rationally. This essentially caused his downfall, as he could care less about Romantic ventures and was solely focused on rational thought.

            On the other hand, the monster represented the Romantic Movement. By relying on his feelings, for example begging Victor to make him a female companion so he can be happy. Essentially, he lets emotions take over his life: “I will revenge my injuries; if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my archenemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred” (Shelley 182). The monster even takes it so far to say he will ruin Victor’s life if he does not create someone for him to love. Through this, it’s clear that the monster had a very Romantic way of thought which also caused his downfall, due to his lack of rationality. Overall, Frankenstein still has resonance for our culture as it poses questions that are still relevant today. It questions, initially, the question of technology and science versus morality. Just because we can do something, does that mean we should? It brings up questions of the moral consequences of things such as cloning, which is, in a way, done in Frankenstein. As science becomes more and more powerful in culture and society, the idea of Frankenstein and the monster becomes more and more powerful. We continue to question more and more, is this possible? Could something like this truly happen? These questions make Mary Shelley’s timeless piece live on today and continue to live on for years to come.

Works Cited
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. Print
Smith, Andrew. Gothic Literature. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2013. Questia School. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Hemingway has a very distinct writing style exemplified in all of his work, but specifically The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway's style is focused on the realm of prose, which means written in an ordinary form without a metrical structure. Hemingway takes a very modern approach to writing, which is seen through the next few specifics found throughout The Sun Also Rises. Initially, he uses limited words in the dictionary of his novels. He speaks about this in the book, when Jake tells us "The English spoken language... must have fewer words than the Eskimo...The English talked with...One phrase to mean everything...I liked the way they talked" (Hemingway 149). This is ironically, how he felt, and Hemingway managed to communicate effectively using very few words. Hemingway also employed very short sentences, such as "It was a fine morning"  (Hemingway 35). The pattern of keeping short sentences continued throughout the book, furthering his radically modern approach to writing, unique during his time. Lastly, his lack of clarity between sentences is something very unique to him. Often, Hemingway would imply the relationship between two sentences, forcing readers to be active: "The wine was good. I drank much of it" (Hemingway 180). Furthermore, Hemingway's detached storytelling represents Jake, Mike, and Brett's world, once meaningful and now disconnected completely full of debauchery and nonsense. All of these style elements Hemingway employed represents his unique and modern style, one of the first of its kind.
"Happy birthday Jake!" Oh god. I hate birthdays. I don't really like being the center of attention. Robert Cohn on the other hand, he couldn't handle not being talked to or talked about for two seconds. "You know, Jake. This reminds me of the one time I brought a cake to school. Everyone liked it, it was so flavorful..." Robert said a little louder than necessary. Everyone sighed, including Brett, who Cohn loves but Brett can't stand him. Now Cohn gets quiet! I like chocolate birthday cake. I wish my mom wouldn't take so many damn pictures. "Turn off the damn flash...for the love of god..." I yelled. Whatever. It's my party, I can yell if I want to. Having them at my party was nice, along with Bill and Mike. Brett's great. Robert is tolerable. I can't believe i'm eighteen. It feels like just yesterday I was running around, playing with action figures. "Shut up, Robert" I yelled. "What, why?" he responded. I ignored him. The sight of him can really piss me off.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vengeful Repetition in WH

  Wuthering Heights is essentially a story focused on repetition. On the surface, this recurring theme is clear through things like Catherine and young Catherine, with a simple repetition of names. But as the book continues, repetition in a deeper sense is revealed. Many critics agree that the story essentially repeats itself with regard to conflicts: first with Hindley bothering Catherine and Heathcliff, and then later with Heathcliff bothering Hareton, Linton, and young Catherine. This repetition is obvious and is well supported throughout the text. 
Initially, when Heathcliff joins the Earnshaw family, he is very quickly loved by both Hindley’s father (as the new “baby” of the family) as well as Catherine. Hindley’s jealousy is obvious very quickly as he does not want to give up the privilege of being the young man of the house: “…The young master had learned to regard his father as an oppressor rather than a friend, and Heathcliff as a usurper of his parent's affections and his privileges; and he grew bitter with brooding over these injuries” (Brontë 55). Hindley quickly looks for ways to seek revenge on, essentially, his replacement by Heathcliff. When Hindley returns from college as head of the estate, he swears to seek revenge on Heathcliff for, in his opinion, ruining his childhood. His vengeful attitudes are blatantly spoken in chapter three and prove the beginnings of the vengeful cycle that is Withering Heights: “He [Hindley] has been blaming our father… for treating H. [Heathcliff] too liberally; and swears he will reduce him to his right place” (Brontë 30). When Hindley dies, and Heathcliff eventually becomes the master of Wuthering Heights, his vengeful attitudes to get back at how Hindley treated him soon come to surface.
     When Heathcliff ends up taking care of Hareton, he essentially treats him as Hindley and shows that he will truly do anything to inflict pain on the closest person who treated him so poorly: “He had the hypocrisy to represent a mourner: and previous to following with Hareton, he lifted the unfortunate child on to the table and muttered, with peculiar gusto, "Now, my bonny lad, you are mine! And we'll see if one tree won't grow as crooked as another, with the same wind to twist it!” (Brontë 119). Heathcliff soon bothers Linton, his own son, and young Catherine, his deceased love’s daughter, seeking revenge on all three of the children living in his estate. Young Catherine believes that Heathcliff torments Linton and herself because he sees that they are in love, and becomes jealous of what he never had with young Catherine’s mother. Regardless, it’s clear that the tormenting of Linton, young Catherine, and Hareton are part of the repeated storyline that Wuthering Heights is. Although the head of the estate changes, the estate that is Wuthering Heights always is full of vengeful feelings; whether Heathcliff is enduring them or forcing them on others. Whether Heathcliff is truly a spiteful human being or he truly feels threatened by Linton, young Catherine, and Hareton is a psychological journey in itself.

Works Cited
     Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights.  New York: Scholastic, 1961. Print.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bright Lights Big City Reaction Post

You wake up. 7:40 AM. F**k.
You lift your body out of bed and stumble to the bathroom. You squeeze too much Colgate toothpaste onto your toothbrush. You swirl the toothbrush around in your mouth and spit.
You are going to be late.
Your most important class starts at 8. Biology. You have a big test today: your midterm examination. Cellular respiration, Punnett Squares, and the Calvin Cycle flutter through your already scattered brain.
7:45. As you struggle to put your contacts in, you drop one on the floor. Falling to your knees in rage, you search. With frustration at an all-time high, you decide to compromise and wear your shitty twenty dollar glasses from Walmart Optical. You try to do something with your hair but end up making it worse. You hit the bed frame. Multiple times.
7:47. You look around for whatever clothes that are lying on the ground from yesterday. Theres no time to think of what could look good. You pull yourself together, grab your review sheets, trip over your mini-fridge, wake up your roommate, get a box of Premium saltine crackers thrown at you, and walk out the door. What a sh*tty brand of Saltine crackers he eats. You think it's time to reevaluate your friendship.
7:50. You run through the campus, your review sheets disheveled in your hands. You flip through the pages, reviewing whatever you don't remember. A lot.
7:54.You turn the corner at Mason St. and begin to sprint. You don't realize the huge f**king puddle of water to the left of you, and apparently neither does the car that drives right f**king through it. You are dripping wet.
7:56. As you realize that there is less than no time to worry about how freezing cold and soaking wet you are, you continue sprinting and turn the corner on McInerney Road. You see the Biology building in plain sight. A tear streams down your face. You don't cry.. get your sh*t together.
7:58 You enter the building and stumble through the hallway to the examination room. Your professor is waiting at the door, gives you either a disgusted or pissed look (you think it was a mix), and hands you a test.
8:00. You need to get a f**king car.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Catcher in the Rye Reaction Post

     In todays society, there is a constant push for individuality. "Be yourself" is plastered on walls throughout 

schools, and conformists are often looked down on as "unoriginal" and "typical". The 50's, when The Catcher in 

the Rye was written, was an  immensely different time. With the rise of television, societal norms were broadcast 

widely, with characters showing what the "protocols" were to dress nicely or poorly, act cooly or freakishly, and 

generally be popular or 

"alone". Salinger explores the idea of conformity vs. individuality in his novel The Catcher in the Rye through the 

protagonist, compulsive liar Holden Caulfield.  Throughout the novel, Holden, constantly makes up ridiculous lies 

to, in a way, react to the "phoniness" and conformity of the world around him. One example of Holden's constant 

lies, sometimes even for no reason, is when he meets Mrs. Morrow on the train and they begin to discuss her 


"'...Perhaps you know my son, then, Ernest Morrow? He goes to Pencey.' 'Yes, I do. He's in my class.' Her son 

was doubtless the biggest bastard that ever went to Pencey, in the whole crumby history of the school. 'I must tell 

Ernest we met,' he said. 'May I ask your name, dear?' 'Rudolf Schmidt,' I told her. I didn't feel like giving her my

 whole life history. Rudolf Schmidt was the name of the janitor of our dorm" (Salinger 87).

     Holden's random and often ridiculous lies can be seen as a reaction to the "phoniness" of other people. When 

Holden decides a person he is talking to is phony (a conformist), he lies to cope with their phoniness and, in a 

way, match what they exude. Holden also lies to cope with his own personal phoniness, which he attempts to 

break throughout his push for non-comformity throughout the novel. 

     Holden's move to New York, stay in a sketchy hotel, and constant conversing with strangers show his urge to 

be independent. Through this, it can be 

seen that Holden is trying to find his authentic self. By dropping out of school and warping usual social rules, 

Salinger attempts to exemplify the importance of finding yourself through Holden's move from normality. Salinger, 

who pushes the idea of conformity equalling phoniness throughout the novel, presents an odd ending to the story.

At the end of the novel, Holden is unhappy with his new life, formed through his independence, and decides to 

"conform" and go back to school. Through this, Salinger shows that although Holden might be "conforming", his 

authenticity could sprout from moving with the crowd. Salinger shows that, whether it's "conforming" or "being 

independent", it's important to find your authentic self and possible to in either instances. Some people are 

leaders, and some followers, and Salinger mirrors this dichotomy through Holden's inner conflict, showing its true

 importance in society both in the 50's and today.