so i write, yes. how about creative writing? here’s everything i’ve done, along with their prompts if there was one.

this one was an accidental thing from basic art.

it works though, so beat that.

The king called for war. He lost everything in the process. In the end, he stood alone, calling for an assault that never came. He died alone, wielding a longsword with a fractured crown on top of his head.

Of course, it wasn’t always this hopeless.

At first, the public was roaring for war. An attack on the border of their great country simply couldn’t be tolerated. Thousands of men joined the ranks of the army hoping for their chance at greatness. It was declared, 3 days after the attack, that war would be had.

The first attack was a overwhelming victory. News of the war hadn’t yet reached their capital, and so nobody was expecting such a large advance. The second, third, forth attack were just the same. Even when the enemy forces started to come out of the woodwork, it was like they had been blessed by a war god. Victory after victory with no signs of ever stopping until the enemy’s capital was reduced to dust.

But nothing can be that perfect for that long. After a long year of fighting, some soldiers were tired of the fight. They were drafted after all, they didn’t sign up for this. So they started looking. Scandals were uncovered, and the press got some very interesting messages. Letters detailing the conditions of the soldiers trying to fight for their country. Starvation. Disease. Death. The war was not as sucessful as some had thought.

The public opinion of the war dropped tenfold overnight. The morale of the soldiers did the same.

People started deserting. And losses started accumulating. Their winning streak was over, and the bodies started piling up. More people deserted, and more battles lost. A cruel feedback cycle.

All was not lost, said the king. He preached that they were nearing the end of the war, the capital building right there! But it did not work. A man who did not care about his own soldiers could not get their support.

He called for the final assault, but it all was for naught. He turned around on the hill, and saw only a few sets of eyes. They all turned their backs to him, and with a shameful look in their eyes, left for home.

Traitors, he called, you’ll never get away with this!

But they already had. The war was lost at that moment, even if there was one more casualty to be had.

The king called for war. He lost everything in the process. In the end, he stood alone, calling for an assault that never came. He died alone, wielding a longsword with a fractured crown on top of his head.

honors english.

got an a, lol.

I See The World

"He called the Los Angeles fire department and asked them at what temperature paper burned. Fahrenheit 451, somebody told him. He had his title. It didn't matter if it was true or not. [1]" In 1953, Ray Bradbury published Fahrenheit 451. It remains a disconcertingly relevant statement about the role of mindless television, and the modern day equivalent that is social media. Set sometime in the future, firemen take on a different role. Books are banned, and the firemen start fires to keep them a bygone. The book follows Guy Montag, a fireman who becomes disillusioned with his role and begins to question everything he knows. Bradbury highlights the dangers of exchanging books and other such things for mindless television. Fahrenheit 451 illustrates how a society without books and only shallow entertainment can lead to the loss of critical thinking, intimate relationships, and intellectual growth.

One key issue in this society is the loss of critical thinking. When there is only superficical content, then there is no room for introspection. Mildred, Guy's wife, is a unfortunate example of this. She gets absorbed by the 'parlor walls', which are immersive, interactive television sets. She cannot engage in any meaningful conversation or realize her own emotions, as her attention is fragmented by the barrage of entertainment. “That’s all very well,' cried Montag, 'but what are they mad about? Who are these people? Who’s that man and who’s that woman? Are they husband and wife, are they divorced, engaged, what? Good God, nothing’s connected up.' 'They—' said Mildred—'well, they— they had this fight, you see. They certainly fight a lot. You should listen. I think they’re married. Yes, they’re married. Why?" (Bradbury, 43) Mildred isn't even able to keep details about the false family straight. Bradbury's portrayal of the loss of critical thinking serves as a caution for our own society. The book raises questions about the quality of information and prompts us to reflect on our own choices.

Another problem in this dystopian future is the lack of any real intimate relationships. Mildred continues to be a prime example. The family on those parlor walls becomes more real then her own husband. "Well, wasn’t there a wall between him and Mildred, when you came down to it? Literally not just one wall but, so far, three! And expensive, too! And the uncles, the aunts, the cousins, the nieces, the nephews, that lived in those walls, the gibbering pack of tree-apes that said nothing, nothing, nothing and said it loud, loud, loud." (Bradbury, 41) 451's portrayal of Mildred's disconnect from the real world only exemplifies the consequence of prioritizing a cheap fake over the real thing.

The last issue for today's discussion is the failure to allow intellectual growth. Captain Beatty, the fire chief, explains this topic well. He notes how society transitioned from deep, challenging literature to content that lacks substance at all. "Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!” (Bradbury, 52) Those parlor walls function as a tool of conformity, only presenting content that's shallow. Mildred is, once more, the perfect example. She only mindlessly absorbs the content of the walls, showing no desire in looking beyond the surface.

In conclusion, Bradbury's legendary yet cautionary tale displays the role of mindless television in society. The novel underlines how the constant stream of artifical content though those 'parlor walls' undermine critical thinking, sever genuine relationships, and stifle intellect. Overall, Bradbury's work serves as a reminder to consider everything you may be sacrificing in the pursuit of that next dopamine hit.

[1] Gaiman, Neal. “Fahrenheit 451 and What Science Fiction Is and Does.” The View from the Cheap Seats, p. 257.

“outstanding, lucas! post this on a website somewhere”


California Dreamin’

Transcendentalism is a philosophy in which people believe in intuition and the self, among other things. Chris McCandless believed in that philosophy, and agreed with many of the things said in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance. There are many similarities and overlapping ideals between Emerson’s words and McCandless’s actions.

One such parallel is with the idea of escaping civilization. McCandless had written a declaration of independence under the pseudonym of Alexander Supertramp. “Two years he walks the earth…an aesthetic voyager whose home is the road…no longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone to become lost in the wild.” (Krakauer, 163) Emerson wrote about a similar ideal in Self-Reliance: “...a true man belongs to no other time or place, but is the centre of things. Where he is, there is nature. He measures you, and all men, and all events.” (Emerson, 7) Both quotes move almost in lockstep, telling the same story without knowing about the other. McCandless succeeded in breaking off from civilization, forgetting time, and became lost in the wild. 

Another similarity is with the idea of nonconformity. This is shown with McCandless’s letter to Ronald Franz in chapter 6: “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism…nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.” (Krakauer, 56-57) Again, Emerson notes a similar ideal: “Your conformity explains nothing. Act singly, and what you have already done singly will justify you now.” (Emerson, 6) Both quotes showcase the transcendental ideal of nonconformity. McCandless both had a nonconformist streak, and successfully convinced other people to match that ideal. He refused to become what his parents wanted.

Our last overlap comes at the very beginning of Into the Wild where McCandless first gets dropped off by Gallien. “Hell, no… How I feed myself is none of the government’s business. Fuck their stupid rules.” (Krakauer, 6) He pushes back against the government and society in general for most of the book. Emerson has a similar disdain for society in his essay: “Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater.” (Emerson, 2) Both of these quotes detail the transcendental ideal of self-reliance. Both Emerson and McCandless hold a grudge against society. They felt like society was a constricting force stopping them from being themselves.

Chris McCandless was not a perfect man. His words and actions often contradicted those that society would accept. He was, however, a man of principles. He stuck to them stronger than many people would their own. Perhaps that’s something we all should learn from.

another one from honors. not my best work.

banging conclusion though.

“Sophisticated—God, I'm sophisticated!” (Fitzgerald, 17) In the midst of the dazzling excesses and cultural dynamism of the Roaring Twenties, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a narrative in The Great Gatsby that exceeds expectations to this day. Against a backdrop of culture, jazz, and prosperity, lies a story wherein the class divide, moral decay, and the pursuit of the American dream leads to 3 deaths, each tragic in their own right, all likely avoidable if certain events had never happened.

The social class split is apparent throughout The Great Gatsby. Tom Buchanan, a symbol of the old money in the East Egg, has clear disdain for those in a lower class. This is exemplified in several points throughout the book. One such example is where Tom, in a callous act of rage, breaks Myrtle’s nose, simply for making comments about Daisy. “Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand." (Fitzgerald, 37) Another such example is his treatment of George Wilson, the owner of a garage in the Valley of Ashes. Tom repeatedly uses his wealth and status to tread over George, ranging from having an affair with his wife - “Wilson? He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive.” (Fitzgerald, 26) - to hanging his possessions over George’s head, like the car he told George he’d have for him. “When are you going to sell me that car?.. Works pretty slow, don’t he?... if you feel that way about it, maybe I’d better sell it somewhere else after all… I don’t mean that…” (Fitzgerald, 25) Tom regards George with such disregard, in a relation alike to  parasitism. Tom takes from George, either in emotion or relation, while George can only sit there and take it.

Large moral failures on the part of several characters also contribute to the deaths of Gatsby and the Wilsons. Tom and Daisy’s contribution is extrapolated on by Nick near the end - “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they made…” (Fitzgerald, 179) They did whatever they liked - including Daisy getting away with the hit-and-run - and then left the ashes for someone else. Tom blamed Gatsby, either intentionally lying or from a true belief that he did it, resulting in Gatsby’s murder and George’s suicide. Moral shortcomings also affect our characters in the case of greed. Gatsby climbed his way to the top through both stepping on others and illicit activities. Tom accused Gatsby of being a bootlegger, which he didn’t deny - “I found out what your ‘drug-stores’ were… He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter… What about it?” (Fitzgerald, 133) - and he left people behind throughout the execution of his business endeavors. “I guess your friend Walter Chase wasn’t too proud to come in on it.” “And you left him in the lurch, didn’t you? You let him go to jail for a month over in New Jersey.” (Fitzgerald, 134) Through his greed, and hope to rise to the top, Gatsby did things that most would be ashamed to think about.

The American dream, as portrayed in The Great Gatsby, becomes a destructive force that lures people into a pursuit of unattainable goals. Gatsby’s chase of wealth and status, driven by his love for Daisy, blinds him to the superficial nature of the American dream. Nick, the novel’s narrator, reflects on Gatsby’s, as well as most other characters’, singular focuses. “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” (Fitzgerald, 70) Gatsby’s pursuit of an idealized version of the dream ultimately leads to his demise. Myrtle also falls victim to the dream’s allure. Her affair with Tom is not only driven by passion, but also by the desire to escape the lower class of which she belongs to. “With the influence of the dress her personality had also undergone a change. The intense vitality that had been so remarkable in the garage was converted into impressive hauteur.” (Fitzgerald, 30) She changes from a poor mechanic’s wife to a rich man’s mistress. In disregard to her husband, Myrtle evolves into a different woman entirely to support her illusion of being more than she is.

Three bodies were laid to rest at the end of our tale. One of a man gone mad, one of a woman madly in love, and one of another man who lost his love. If Tom was a respectful man, if Daisy owned up to her errors, if Gatsby was not blinded by ambition, if the world was a better place, the deaths of the Wilsons and of Jay Gatsby could have been avoided. But, even through the mourning of how this 20th century tragedy came to its conclusion, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleberg watch, as another day comes to a close in New York.

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