Here are some tips and trick to learning a language and gaining as much fluency as you can with (supposedly) minimal resources:
– Listen to the news channel in the language you are trying to learn- thus combining your knowledge of events around the word with the practise of learning the language. One such example of an international news station being:– Get into a Spanish television series, or youtuber- this really enhances a more conversational aspect to the language, plus tests listening skills due to the idea youtubers in particular speak much faster than news presenters in general. For Spanish learners:
– Reading news articles, magazines, or even popular books in the language you want to learnwill enhance reading capabilities, as well as enable you to find synonyms and understand a more formal side to the desired language.
-HelloTalk- this is a language learning app much like WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.You create a profile giving your native language, the language you want to learn and your current level. Then create a post asking if anyone would like to practise with you- anyone that does will message you directly. It is incredibly easy and there are many willing people willing and able to help.
As always, more essay-like analysis that was intended to be more like a few sentences…sorry. Only one more section after this chapter- ‘Bones’.
Continuation from previous chapter twenty two analysis. Click here.
~The Analysis (23)~
312- “The smell of his mother’s baking had sneaked up the stairs and into Ray’s room where he and Ruth lay”- ‘sneaked’ creates a tender atmosphere, it didn’t take over the room, only came slowly and subtly into it. Homely atmosphere, as if the pair should feel at home where they are- at home together. Stereotypical mother- baking.
“A bit of moonlight feel across the floor from the window where I had…followed it….Ruth’s bag”- gothic motif- as if it were a supernatural signal, Susie communicating with him, telling him to read the journal. Spooky way to lead Ray to the book, signifies that what the book holds is equally as sinister and mysterious.
“…stared into the throats of the bright yellow flowers” 313- seems to be a recurring personification- describing nouns in the natural world to have throats, and (like the sink hole) perhaps stomachs too- as if they have their own personality, or are a full representation of something else that does (e.g. Susie)
“I knew they were meant to be there, the four of them together, alone” 314- sense of unity which juxtaposes the initial explosion of the family. Susie seems to be loosing her childish desires to be a part of the family, and instead is watching from the outside- accepting the family as a whole without her. Suggests she is growing mentally, even if not able to physically.
314 “The cruelty was in his absence”- emphasises Ruana’s lonliness. She felt his absence was ‘cruel’ suggesting an almost physical pain from the emotion. The fact he was ‘ghost-like’ when he was there suggests a lack of connection between the two. There is no warmth and no emotion, just a suggestion of a being- shows Ruana seems emotionally deprived as well as just lonely.
Significance of the thought of divorce when cutting apples:
Apples and apple blossoms are ideal symbols of love, youth, beauty and happiness- everything Ruana once was but perhaps feels she no longer is- she desires appreciation and presence. She wants a new beginning.
“Her Abigail…her strange Abigail”- 316- nominations become more familiar- shows how the family is changing, becoming closer, more understanding. Throughout the novel there seems to be the message of overcoming the flaws of others, learning to love them (e.g. Jack learning to love Abigail’s weakness). Lynn has learned to love her ‘strange’ daughter. Susie appreciates her grandmother’s flaw as solely a quirk of her personality- “now I saw that drinking was a part of what made her who she was”
“He banged. And he banged and he banged and he banged” 317- repetition (onomatopoeic) emphasises the sheer level of noise- it seems as though the house is the loudest it has been in years- the most alive. The family us regaining life.
“…as if she were standing at the edge of the Pacific”- recurring motif of water and oceans- but this time the character is referred to as being on the edge of the ocean, not within it. Sense of regaining control- she is on the edge of wilderness but not wondering into it. Progress.
Significance of Susie’s room being ‘lavender’ which matches the colour Harvey’s house was repainted after he moved out?- as if Susie is encapsulating him now just as she did his house (in a manner of speaking)?
318 “wildlife photographer, had captured a woman”- strange that Susie would refer to her mother as ‘a’ woman (indefinite article)- shows an appreciation for the side of her mother that she didn’t know, or never got to understand. Shows that she accepts this fact, that she still doesn’t really know her mother.
“Her mother was solid if she was drunk, solid if she was vein”- again, shows an acceptance for the flaws of others. Accepting what she can’t change, and can’t run away from.
“Spotting a man through the window…”‘It’s Ray…'”- shows a definite development- Ray has gone form boy to man, Ruth from a ‘girl haunted’ to a ‘woman’. Emphasises Bildungsroman nature of novel.
Yes, more again. Sorry. Analysis of Sebold’s The Lovely Bones…continuation from previous analytical blogs: see previous here.
~The Analysis (22)~
300 “Unwatched, unloved, unbidden”- almost given as the definition of Harvey. Pitiful impression of the man who killed Susie- reader feels almost guilty for sympathising with him.
“I was in Ruth’s eyes…I was looking…I could feel…I felt”- shows Susie’s childlike excitement at being given life one last time. Her marvelling at the sense shows what she doesn’t have in heaven, and what she can’t do. She is living in heaven (in a form) but isn’t really alive- she can’t live through her senses as they can on earth.
“I smiled at him one-thousand-watted”- shows the energy she is able to radiate on earth- the power she feels.
“…people were throwing rose petals as they saw Ruth Connors”- Symbolism of rose:
“Sometimes cats fall ten flights out of the windows of high rises…”- as if falling from heaven was like a cat falling from a window- vulnerable, able, alive.
305 “I could have left this place to claim another. I could have gone anywhere I wanted to”- saddening prospect- the little girl reminiscing over all misses opportunities like an adult that has never grown up. Similar to the way adults point out the things they never did in their lives when thinking about the past, which make it sadder that Susie never got to miss them, she just didn’t have the choice.
306 “Even at the hottest I could make it, I still felt cold”- indication that she is still not fully with Ray, she is still partially dead.
“I cupped his elbow in my palm”- significant that the first body part Susie touched was Ray’s elbow- the one part of her that gave an indication of her fate.
“…bonfire in the classroom…yelling in the halls as loud as I want”- shows what freedom means to a child like Susie- again references her limited experience
“The dark bright pity of being human” 309- oxymoronic – as if being alive isn’t always better than being dead- it is just as dark as bright.
310 “Look what happens when you dream”- change of tone. Seems direct. As if Sebold is making a statement (declarative) directly to readers.
“That was how it felt to leave earth the second time”- this time Susie’s death of dignified, peaceful, as if she is receiving some type of justice.
Needless to say, here are another fusillade of (over) analysed literary quotes from Sebold’s ‘The Lovely Bones’…
~ The Analysis~
“To run out into the cornfield where my father was, where I was, where she felt suddenly that the heart of her family had moved” pg 143 – ironic that the heart of the family had moved to the place where Susie’s heart had stopped- perhaps metaphorical for ‘the lovely bones’ (i.e. the connections that tie the family together, this is an indication that they were present from very early on in the family’s grieving)
“When Lindsey entered; it was just my father and me” pg 144 – reveals how Susie had not let go of the living world, in fact she still classed her self as part of it, on-par with her living father- as if she was with him in the same (living) state that he was.
“the living can go on to other things” “what about the dead… where do we go”? pg 145- emphasises Susie’s childish selfishness- she cares for the living but more so and firstly about herself. Represents the harsh reality that Susie will never grow up, she will remain in this state whilst the rest of the characters continue to progress (Bildungsroman novel)
“…Len said, smiling guiltily” pg 146- the juxtaposition between the ‘smiling’ (connoting happiness and freedom of spirit) and Len’s ‘guilt’ (suggesting lack of ease and discomfort) evoke a sense of duality about Len- as if he is trapped in the world of innocence in his life as a cop yet desires the freedom to rebel and be naughty. This is similar to Abigail who almost regrets entering the responsibility of motherhood and herself seeks rebellion.
“A strange smile came across my mothers face” pg 147- the sibilance of the ‘strange smile’ is snake-like, perhaps signifying that the idea a mother likes the sound of her daughter’s murder was almost so strange it was threatening. The exhalation of the reader when pronouncing the letter “s” could also mimic the mother’s relief at Len’s lack of censorship over the word ‘murder’
“But that No because vague and cloudy, became air sucked into the intake fan of the humming hydrant” pg 148 – alliteration of “h” makes the reader exhale when reading as if to mimic the sound of the fan beside the characters- evokes a sense of environment for readers.
“149 “bath time, she sang” – until the end of the page it is notable how happy Abigail seems to be in motherhood, juxtaposing her otherwise regretful self- this could show the progression of Abigail’s attitude to motherhood (her love for it lessened with the aging of her girls), or alternatively perhaps she always felt the same element of regret for her former life but simply was always good at hiding it. “Reached her in waves” – emphasises the fluctuating levels at which she grieved for her former self- not always the same.
150 “I can go back to these moments, like them again…”- ironic since she can never relive a moment, only replay it- emphases how she refused to let go of the living world.
“she doled out my clothes piecemeal, not wanting to pressure me” 150 – as if mother and daughter had all the time in the world- when in fact this time was soon to end.
“Once my mother was launched I could take advantage of it” pg 151- verb “launched” makes it sound as if Abigail were a computer program, emphasising how her actions were automatic, not considered, forced and not felt.
“my mysterious mother” 151 – alliteration, monosyllabic lexis – the repetition of the soft “m” sound could represent how Susie could sense an ongoing difference in her mother, the trait she called ‘mysterious’. Long “m” sound acts to lengthen the otherwise snappy pace created by the monosyllabic lexis, to emphasise how Susie found this mother intriguing.
“For both of us, it was about getting lost” 151- idea the child and the mother can both be lost inside their relationships- emphasises how perhaps they never really knew each other at all.
“One of the storied my father read to us, and that all of us were on the ocean “…- here we find the recurring theme and motif of the ocean and waves to represent the vast span of mystery within the family, the distance that parts them but also the fact they share in underlying common ground- metaphorically the ‘ocean’.
152 “Marvellous, dangerous, wild” (Len describing Abigail” – emphasises again Len’s desire to be someone other than the PC cop he is desired to be- he is supposed to dislike danger and fear the wild, to tame it, but he finds her ‘marvellous’
152 “She needed Len to drive the dead daughter out” – prominent plosive use (drive, dead, daughter”- perhaps to give the reader a sense of shock, not only was she cheating on her husband, she was also doing it to forget her dead daughter- double betrayal. Alternatively plosives could suggest her passion, the aggressive extent of her need.
“It was my father who grew towards us as the years went by; it was my mother that grew away” 153- almost as if the parents are doing the development and the growth of the children- role reversal- their lives have literally been turned upside down by Harvey, the dynamics of their relationship destroyed.
“Deaths seemed choreographed” 154- as if the deaths were planned and coordinated, foreseen- hence death is unavoidable- just like if you have been involved in a move in a choreographed dance, when that move comes you are compelled to do it, hence when it is your ‘dance’ of death, it is your turn to complete this also. Makes dying seem more harmonious, almost desirable- you want to be part of the choreography of life.
155 The soles are “like snowflakes”
155 “None of them the same…exactly like the one before”- sparks a mental link to the killings of Harvey- all the girls he have killed are individuals, yet they all share similar traits, all finished in an ungraceful, undignified way.
More perceptive (or quite frankly overly-perceptive, if that is a trait in existence…) interpretations and analysis on Sebold’s THE LOVELY BONES: Chapter 11.
~Chapter 11~ The analysis:
Pg 126 “My brother was like a rock with a sheet pulled over him” – evokes thoughts of connotation of the dead via the reference to the noun “rock” signifying a cold, emotionless state (like one who is dead)- the sheet pulled across his body also mimic the process of concealing he body of those who have recently died (as seen in hospital dramas for example). Luring the reader into feeling a sense of sorrow for Buckley, or worry that he may be next to join Susie.
“My father marvelled at what a sound sleeper he was- just like me” – dark irony, since the dead are often referred to as‘sleeping’, linking Buckley to the state of Susie may be designed to scare the reader and evoke a sense of fear and vulnerability for him. “Even banging pot lids to see if he would wake up” – emphasises the dormant impression of Buckley, alsmost seems dead himself. This implication of danger for Buckley is confirmed within the next few lines “my father checked him, just to make sure” pg 126
“He would find clues…in the green paint coating the shingles, or along the driveway, where two large stones sat, painted white” – repetitive reference and emphasise on the painted nature of the stones lining the outside of Harvey’s house- emphasises a sense of concealment: the paint conceals the surface of the stone just as Harvey’s innocence conceals his guilt. Significance of the emphasise on the white stones:
In colour psychology white is the colour of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn’t stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive.
Hence from this it is could be considered this is almost inviting Jack to ‘fill in the blanks’, as if inside the house were the answers to tarnish and taint the purity Harvey projects.
“I loved the idea that there could be trees in the yard taller and stronger than people” 128 – sense of need for protection, concealment- a barrier to the outside world? Taller could represent her desire for authority and ‘stronger’ her desire for physical or mental strength or ability
“I had made a warm spot on the floor of the garage until I cooled” 128 – horrific imagery, uncomfortable to read- culinary connotations- reference to warmth and cooling as if Susie was Harvey’s prey, waiting for her to reach a desirable temperature. Ungraceful, uncomfortable- emphasises tragedy- young girls would want to die gracefully and loved, yet Susie is in a sack in a garage and alone, cooling quietly.
Repetition of finite verb “Knew” – “I knew the floor plan” “I knew the bathroom” “Knew how in my house…”- sense of subjectivity: did she know because of the mirrored nature of their houses, hence was this foreboding her destiny- the fact that she was born and grew up in that same house, and it was in an almost identical one next door that she died.
“Porcelain was yellow and the tile on the floor was green” 128- odd combination- emphasises eccentric nature
“Doll’s houses” – interesting connotations: Note that the doll house is “perfect”. All the walls are papered, there is carpet (represents the perfect childhood Harey never had), but the dolls in the house, the people, are “stiff” — they don’t seem to belong there- they are unable to enjoy the luxury right before them (sense of missed opportunities, outsiders in luxury, insecurity).
“Not to alter his pattern…set several clocks…when to open the blinds…when to close them…turn lights on…off…” “He kept things to count, and this counting reassured him” 128 – sense of necessity for structure juxtaposes his spontaneous un-structured childhood- or sense of autism- as if everything had to be exact- need for repetition and hatred for change
“He would count them like beads on a rosary” – significance of rosary beads, what are they: (129)
Prayer beads, sometimes called rosary beads, are used in the practice of meditation and prayer.
The meaning of the Rosary is simply a Catholic prayer based upon the Bible that focuses on the events in the life of Jesus and that of Mary the Mother of Jesus.
Emphasises how he felt a sense of tranquillity and calmness from his killings. Juxtaposition to Christianity shows that perhaps Harvey didn’t know what he was doing was wrong
“He liked to hold the leather heel and rub it between his thumb and forefinger- a perfect worry stone” – Definition of a worry stone: Worry stones (palm stones, thumb stones) are smooth, polished gemstones, usually in the shape of an oval with a thumb-sized indentation, used for relaxation or anxiety relief. They are used by holding the stone between the index finger and thumb and gently moving one’s thumb back and forth across the stone. Juxtaposed in every way to show how Harvey in himself was almost the complete opposite of the rest of society – rubber is unpolished, it is tarnished, not gem-stone like
131 “He had killed animals, taking lesser lives…” – links to the Christian belief: Early Christians regarded human beings as greatly superior to all other animals. After all, human beings were made in the image of God, and God chose human form for his earthly life. Furthermore, God clearly decreed that human beings should have power over non-human animals. LINKS TO CONTEXT Christianity is the most adhered to religion in the United States, with 70% of polled American adults identifying themselves as Christian in 2014.
131- “the dog wouldn’t judge from the spot” Juxtaposes symbolism of a dog: In Asian wisdom dogs are symbols of: Good Luck, Loyalty, Obedience and Prosperity. – shows how something was seriously wrong.
135 “My father was slowly fitting something together…….it was in my mothers eyes”- juxtaposition between the vast and in-understandable connotations of the ‘ocean’ within Abigail’s eyes and the knowledge Jack has gained from them- suggests a sense of closeness in their relationship, ironic since the sitation is geared around her closeness with Len.
Recurring motif of candle- particularly 136- religious symbolism:
The candle symbolizes light in the darkness of life especially individual life, illlumination; it is the symbol of holy illumination of the spirit of truth. Lit in times of death, they signify the light in the next world, and they represent Christ as the light.- represents how the truth was right beside him (Harvey)
Significance of Susie : “I blew that lonely, flickering candle out”- after her annoyance at not being able to help her father, not being able to cast clues- as if she had given up on the hope of being found, she was extinguishing the spirit of truth.
This book forms part of my studies for (surprise surprise:) English…hence since I seem to be rebelling again the idea of a theme within this blog, I thought I’d add a bit of analysis within it. Why not. *refrains from using abbreviated hashtags*.
Side note of significance: The recurring theme of rabbits…in terms of symbolism, it generally goes as follows-
Symbolic rabbit meanings deal primarily with abundance, comfort, and vulnerability. Traditionally, rabbits are associated with fertility, sentiment, desire, and procreation. Rabbit meanings are also closely linked to the seasons, the changes of Mother Earth, and specifically Springtime.
In the previous chapter the rabbits become apparent for the second time- they sought out the gloves of Susie’s left by Lindsey. They “investigated” them. This could be Sebold juxtaposing two things: Susie (symbolised by the gloves), and the rabbits. The rabbits (as noted above) are representative of comfort, fertility, desire, procreation- all of the thing Susie can never have and will never be. Thus perhaps the rabbits represent all that Susie can never have, or they may highlight how far from them she is, in both body and spirit. On a literal level, she if far away. And spiritually, she is too, since she is a ghost and they are living- in two different worlds.
Alright…now onwards with chapter seven: things to point out-
“Like everyone else I was trying to protect him (Buckley)”- he is trapped in his youth and is isolated by the lack of knowledge this brings him. The good of others is isolating him. pg 91
“graphic prints meant to stimulate children” – indication into the lack of parenting- pictures replace the attention parents were supposed to give. pg 92
“Lindsey would tell the night that she had to move on”pg 92 – ironic since this was exactly her coping strategy when she lost Susie. As if she had already grieved/ developed a method before even knowing what would happen. Foreboding? (Since Susie acted as the dead knight…and she was the one who actually died.)
“there was a hole…. inside things I didn’t want anyone else to see” pg 93- here develops the recurring motif of a hole, especially for the purpose of hiding things (in Susie’s case it was her personal objects, in Harvey’s, is was his desire (to kill)). It could be giving a false sense of hope: Susie’s hole beneath her bed was where she kept things she wanted no one to see, yet they were found. Is this Sebold suggesting that what was inside Harvey’s hole beneath the ground will too be discovered?
there is the “stained and bloody twig” that almost killed Buckley. It is ironic that something so insignificant and small (not even a branch or a stick, it is a ‘twig’) could (on the juxtaposing side) cause so much damage. Reader can almost imagine the twig in Buckley’s throat- horrific imagery. pg 93
“Painting toenails” “glitter” “seventeen”- lexical field of youth and glamour- juxtaposes the blood and gory nature of what it so come for Buckley. Also juxtaposes the lack of elegance in Susie’s death. pg 93
“A breeze came up, blowing the fringe on my cutoffs against my thighs”- pathetic fallacy- using the weather to express a calm, tranquil mood. Almost synaesthesia- as if the breeze was audible and the fringe tickling her legs was a sense of touch. pg 94
“Swung” “ran” “slid down the banister” “jumped…the fence”- semantic field of heroism. Scene of saviour.
“Buckley was choking. His body bucking”…strange coincidence that his near death experience sounds similar to the name his parents gave him? Hint at the fate of live? pg 94
When Lynn suggests Susie will have a long life, Susie notes “as usual…was wrong”. As if Susie should of known then that she was not to live a full life. As if when Lynn said something it was always wrong, hence she should have expected to die. Suggestion of a series of clues leading up to her death. Fate? pg 94
“Wow, Nate said…marvelling at how over time red blood turned black” – mimics the scene with Harvey holding the knife he used to kill Susie. Foreboding? pg 94
“Crows were lined up, their beaks holding crooked twigs”. Take note of the symbolism of crows: they’re cunning, symbolise death, war, sign of change (e.g. new beginning / impending death. Could it be relevant there is the mention of a “widow” a few lines prior, and a few chapters on Susie’s grandfather joins her in heaven, presumably leaving someone a “widow” on earth? Hence the impending death may seem insignificant to the reader, but when analysed it could be a clue.
DID YOU KNOW THAT NEW TIMES ROMAN IS THE EASIEST AND FASTEST FONT TO READ? ARE YOU AWARE OF THE POWER OF CHEWING GUM FOR BOOSTING CONCENTRATION? HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BOOSTING MEMORY?
Follow these simple tips and others in order to revise ‘smarter, not harder’…a stupid saying which deeply pains me to say (type) the said words but unfortunately it happens to be true.
You (yes, you, my non-existent reader I do(n’t) currently own) may perceive some to be trivial and blatantly obvious but trust me- I myself have just sat 23 consecutive examinations and appear to still be alive and jolly- so my advice, if nothing else, is utterly honest (kind of). So tip number one coming up…*nervous awaiting*
TIP NUMBER ONE– Don’t re-write the book.
Yes, that’s great, you have re-written the entire book…some of which is (optimistically) in your brain but: (1) it took you 3 days to write, (2) you have used 2 of your favourite pens to do it, and (3) your time is actually more efficiently spend just by reading the bloody book.
Just reading the book (or whatever form the information be in) in front of you will save you a SHED LOAD of time. No- the information may not totally go in first time, but think: it takes you a maximum of 5 hours to read the book. It took you 3 days to write it. That is equivalent to 72 hours of non-stop writing. Within those 72 hours you could have read the book a total of just over 14 TIMES!! And by then, believe me, you’ll have nailed it.
I HIGHLY recommend too, reading aloud. Teaching your dog, cat, parrot, mother…whatever. It helps.
TIP NUMBER TWO- POST-ITS
So basically revision cards. Select a very small area- limit yourself to a maximum of 7 words- paraphrase. Then write it. Read through these before bed, over dinner, when you get a second.
Write a question. Test yourself. It’s the only real way to find out what you know, and what you don’t. Moreover DON’T BUY REVISION CARDS!! It is a heck of a lot cheaper to purchase a pack of post-it notes. Trust me.
A handy trick is with the small thin rectangular Post-it Notes. If you fold just the corner of the note down, you will be able to write your question on the visible part of the note, and scribble the answer on the under side of the folded down corner…then you can easily test yourself. Too you can stick these onto A3 paper and make an outrageously marvellous display…(as above).
THE FOLLOWING ARE A LITTLE MORE CREATIVE AND PERHAPS A LITTLE MORE ‘FUN’ (HAHA- FUN. & REVISION. NO.) SO HERE GOES…
TO MAKE YOUR NOTES NEATER- IMAGINE YOU ARE MAKING THEM FOR SOMEONE ELSE
This way neatness is of compulsion, not choice. Hence reading back through the works of art will be all the more enjoyable…and fun.
FAST READING- USE NEW TIMES ROMAN
This saves yet more time, if you are to type out the notes rather than writing them, and using New Times Roman means you are just that liiiiiiiiittle bit faster.
STAY ALERT AND AWAKE- SPRAY AN UNFAMILIAR SCENT
Weird as it may seem- it is scientifically proven to prevent the tugging and tight grips of sleep and drowsiness pulling you to surrender. And that means more juicy info into your expanding brain.
REVISING IN DIFFERENT PLACES- THIS HELPS TO RETAIN KNOWLEDGE AND IMPROVE MEMORY
Avoid sitting in the same spot day-in-day-out. This will bore you, and if your bored, lets face it…your stuffed. So sit outside, stroll the landing. Go to a friends house…or even the dreaded LIBRARY!
FACT: CHEWING GUM ACTUALLY BOOSTS CONCENTRATION
It’s proven, its true, it works. Go to Tescos.
SAY ALL ALOUD
Mentioned earlier..but hearing the words you are trying to learn and going through the motions of speaking them means you are more likely to remember them next time you see them. Science and stuff.
THE HARDEST PART OF REVISION IS STARTING- So get the hell up and do it…QUICK!!
So there you have it, numerous revision tips to aid your quest to success. I hope this has aided my millions of (non-living, non-breathing) readers who take (no) interest in my teachings. *Sigh*. Anyway, so… yeah. Bye.