Thursday, 5 January 2012

Rumpelstiltskin - Synopsis

In order to make himself appear more important, a miller lied and said that his daughter could spin straw into gold. The king heard of this and called for the girl, shut her in a tower room with straw and a spinning wheel, and demanded that she spin the straw into gold by morning, or be executed. She had given up all hope, when a dwarf appeared in the room and spun straw into gold for her in return for her necklace, then again the following night for her ring. On the third night, when she had nothing with which to reward him, the dwarf spun straw into gold for a promise that the girl's first-born child would become his. 

Leisure - Analysis of the Poem


This poem is about our quality of life. The poem tells us that life is rather meaningless if we do not have the "time to see" the things of nature around us like "where the squirrels hide their nuts in grass" or enjoy the "streams full of stars, like stars at night". Hence, our lifestyle is now a "poor life" that is "full of care". The poet shows us all the wonderful things in nature that we are missing out when we live a life that is so "full of care" and worries. Consequently, we have no time for leisure. The title of the poem "Leisure" suggest that we need to take time off to relax and unwind.

A Fighter's Lines - Analysis of the Poem


This poem is about a man who used to serve his country but he is now old, frail and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. However, this old man has not lost his fighting spirit as reflected in the title of the poem, "A Fighter's Lines". Although "body and energy crushed, see and cannot do much", he still fights by voicing out his opinions to the younger generation. he challenges them to come forward and stand up for what is right and truthful amidst "the net of deceit". He also expresses his concern for the future of the country. the man feels that his generation has made a lot of sacrifices to gain independence, freedom and justice. in order to maintain the country's peace and harmony, he calls for the young people to unite, "be brave" and "stand up" to take responsibility for the freedom of the country. In the last stanza, the man is saying that his glory days are over and it is now the younger generation's turn to take the lead. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

He Had Such Quiet Eyes - Analysis of the Poem


This poem is about a lady who falls in love with the wrong man. She is fascinated with his eyes that seem to lure him to give him paradise. The man has a pair of quiet eyes that she does not realise they are not that quiet. As she is ‘charmed’ by the eyes, she does not listen to the advice given by other people who are concerned with her behaviour. In the end, she realises her mistakes and is broken hearted.

In The Midst of Hardship - Analysis of the Poem


This poem tells of the hardship that a family in a village faces after a big flood. The elders return at dawn in soaking-wet clothes. They go straight to the kitchen. They are probably hungry. Their hands and legs are bruised but they do not show any sign of despair or of losing hope. After braving the dreadful flood for the last 24 hours, they still can not find their son’s albino buffalo. Despite all the adversities and suffering, the people in the poem do not complain or lament on their misfortunes. They spend time together, enjoying each other’s company. They are grateful for the fact what they still have instead of what is lost. Life goes on with their daily chores of preparing food and habit of rolling their cigarette leaves. They are still able to joke with one another.

Are You Still Playing Your Flute - Analysis of the Poem


Family commitments
Priorities in life
Neglect of one’s duties

Nature - Analysis of the Poem


The poem tells of the weather conditions in Jamaica although it does not have the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. The weather conditions of golden sunny days and wet rainy days are just as good and are almost equivalent to the four seasons.

Step by Wicked Step - Moral Values

Family is everything

This is the main message in all the five stories from Claudia, Ralph, Colin, Pixie and Robbo. Love is the factor that binds the family together but sometimes the family unit breaks down due to a lack of understanding between parents. Most of the time, children are not prepared for such a situation and this lands them in an awkward and painful situation. It is important to minimize the impact of divorce on children and to make sure they do not feel unwanted or unimportant. Parents must always try to keep the family together despite the breakdown in their relationship.

Step by Wicked Step - Claudia

Claudia is a gentle person. Listening to Richard's sad story, makes her weep. She is loyal to her mother. She tries not to sound too happy when speaking to her father because she does not want to hurt her mother's feeling. She rejects Stella and refuses to enjoy her time with her father out of loyalty to her mother. She knows that her parents break-up is serious even though her mother sounded cheerful.

Step by Wicked Step - Richard Harwick

Richard is a loyal person. He is too loyal to his father that he becomes so angry with his mother for betraying his father's memory by marrying Coldstone. He hates his stepfather and calls him a black bat. He also thinks that his sister is disloyal for getting along with their stepfather. He refuses to listen to his sister's advice to make peace with their stepfather.

Step by Wicked Step - Themes and Settings


Step by Wicked Step - Synopsis

This novel is really five stories within a story that are induced by a story, like a nesting puzzle. So, we have six stories in the book. There may be a lack of a principal plot here but it is of no consequence as the novel's main purpose is to serve as a forum for six various stories of Richard Clayton Harwick, Claudia, Colin, Ralph, Pixie and Robbo.