Personal Response to Brave New World

When I first started reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, I thought that it was pretty interesting and was intrigued by the idea of people being manufactured in factories instead of being born out of their mothers. halfway through the book it got sort of boring and I enjoyed it less and less. When John was introduced, however, it got interesting again and I started to want to actually read it on my own. I liked John because he was “normal” to us, but to the other people in the book he was the savage. I also like Bernard because he had his own thoughts and views on the world and was not just following the hypnopaedia that everyone else was following in a blind trance. He also was not completely like John because he would take Soma if things got too much for him to handle which is more relatable than always takign Soma or never taking Soma. The plot of the book was good and I like the pacing of how fast the story progressed. It started with me thinking Bernard was the main character but ended with me thinking it was John. Maybe it was both I am still pondering that thought. The language used in the book was old-fashioned which made it seem weird because it was written in the 20th century and that was the kidn of language used while the story takes place in the future. The imagery in this novel was pretty easy to picture inside of my own imagination. I could imagine the reservation where John was born and raised and I could imagine the lighthouse that John died in. I could also picture the room in which John, Bernard and the writer guy talked with the Controller. The setting is very different from the one I live in, people have families, people are not created inside of factories, and people are not set to have certain levels of intelligence. The tone that Aldous Huxley seemed to have was that he was poking fun of how he saw the people around him act and how degenerate modern western society is starting to become. Overall it was a nice read and I would reccommend it to other people if they asked for a dystopian novel recommendation.


In the mind opening novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, the un-named Narrator meets the gorilla Ishmael after seeing an ad in the newspaper asking for somebody who wants to save the world. He goes to the place where Ishmael is and they discuss how life came to be. Many different ideas and stories. The main one is the story of the “Takers” and the story of the “Leavers”. The Narrator tells his own story after heaing Ishmael’s stories and then comes to a realization that he had said pretty much the same story that Ishmael told.

“Something occurs to me.” I said.


“It occurs to me that the story I just told is in fact the story the leavers have been enacting here for three million years. The Taker’s story is, ‘The gods made the world for man, but they botched the job, so we had to take matters into our own, more competent hands.’ The Leavers’ story is, ‘The gods made man for the world, the same way they made salmon and sparrows and rabbits for the world; this seems to have worked pretty well so far, so we can take it easy and leave the running of the world to the gods.'”

The Takers are us, the modern humans. The ones who see themselves as the top of the world and will govern it how they see fit. The ones who will conquer everything and anything they want with their technological advancements. The ones who dont need gods anymore and see themselves as becoming gods. The Leavers are the ones who lived in tribes and lived simple lives. They just followed life the same way any other living thing does. Ishmael makes it clear that the Takers will burn the planet and die out with it.


Brave New World IRJE for February 3

In Brave New World, a dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley technology has advanced so much that people are being made instead of being birthed like how they are in real life. Even though the technology has advanced this far, the students touring the factory are still writing on a notebook with pencils.

yet again; how the fertilized ova went back to the incubators; where the Alphas and Betas remained until definitely bottled; while the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons were brought out again, after only thirty-six hours, to under go Bokanovsky’s Process             ‘Bokanovsky’s Process,’ repeated the Director, and the students underlined the words in their little note-books. (p. 3)

I think that they are using note-books instead of some sort of futuristic technological device to take notes because the time when Aldous Huxley was writing the book, note-books were the only thing thought of. nobody at that time even thought about something other than note-books. This stands out to me because of how furturistic everything else is compared to the note-books.


Personal Writing #4

Lately I have been inquiring on the topic of my study habits. I have noticed areas of my daily routine in which I slack on my education. I have been more focused on my physical health rather then my intelligence. I have begun researching ways in which I can study more and learn the concepts better than ever. I have found many helpful works however the one that really stands out is the book 7 habits by Stephen Covey. This book had begun teaching me ways in which I can start increasing my grades and imporve on myself. After completing It I feel more motivated and ready to try harder academically and hopefully see results within my studies.

One of the study habits which has really helped me is the advice to always go for win win situations. This basically means to choose the paths I take where i will most likely succeed no matter what. For example, raising a question in english class. In this situation Mr. Macknight will either appreciate my comment or completely disagree but will appreciate how I participate in his class. This would make me a better student no matter the outcome. On this note, Mr.Macknight if you’re reading this I will try and ask more questions for you baby.


My ideal Utopia would be that there isn’t much law, but people did not have bad intentions either. If everyone could just be nice to each other then not much would have to change in order for things to become very good around the world. Along with greed, people need to stop being so greedy. In this Utopia, Money is not a super big deal. people would just help each other get things done and support one another. of course their would still need to be some form of currency otherwise people would get bored of being the same as everyone else. This Utopia is basically like modern society but people aren’t a bunch of greedy slobs and slackers. Technology would be very advanced as well, so that people can go explore things that havent been explored. School is not mandatory but is very highly recommended and free. Nobody is in poverty or starving in the streets, everything is clean and tidy and we found the cure to cancer. We can also now live on mars and have conquered the sun. We are basically not even human at this point, we took over the sun and now control the galaxy.

Personal writing #3

I dont remember the exact year this was but I was going on a trip to Vancouver with my hockey team for a tournament. This was when the team was really strong and we had our best players so we could definitely win a few of these games. On the ferry ride there we were all running around the boat playing tag or something. We were a big group of kids so it didn’t take long for people to get annoyed with us. In about ten minutes after we started our game someone came on the speaker system and told us to stop, it was quite funny. When we got to Vancouver we all got set up in the hotel. We all went to a Boston’s Pizza for dinner and then went back to the hotel. When we got back to the hotel, it took about 30 minutes before someone on the group-chat had the great idea of ding dong ditching everyone on the 5th floor.  This is a bad thing to do when your a large group of people, very easy to get caught. But we made it work. We were playing in the hallways and causing a ruckus for everyone. The next day in the locker room of the first game the coach yelled at us for being a bunch of annoying little kids.


I have finally finished reading all 340 pages of Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was a good read and an intriguing book to help improve oneself. My favorite part of this book was Stephen R. Covey’s introduction to habit #7, “sharpening the saw”.

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.

“What are you doing?” I ask.

“Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down this tree.”

“You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?”

“Over five hours,” he returns, “And im beat! This is hard work.”

“Well, why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?” you inqure. “I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”

“I dont have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says empathetically. “I’m too busy sawing!”

I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction because it is a good metaphor for what the topic is really about. Sharpening the saw is not about a physical saw, it is about sharpening yourself. It is about sharpening all four dimensions of yourself. Your physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional. Strengthening yourself in these aspects will help make all 6 other habits more effective.


I am still reading Stephen R.Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it has helped me develop some better habits and learn more ways to operate and be a better person and student. The fourth habit he writes about in the book is to think win/win. It is the mindset of trying to achieve something with mutual benefit in all human interactions. He shares a story about how a manager was using a trip to Cancun for the best worker as an incentive to get people to work harder. This tactic was not that effective because it was a win/lose situation. There were employees who would not go to Cancun and one that does and so there are some people who are demotivated. Stephen R.Covey also the goes on to describe each situation.

Win/Win is not a technique; it’s not a total philosophy of human interaction. In fact, it is one of six paradigms of interaction. The alternative paradigms are Win/Lose, Lose/Win, Lose/Lose, Win, and Win/Win or No Deal. (p.206)

Win/Win is obviously the best out of these because both parties are benefiting and we should all try and get Win/Win situations in all aspects of human interaction and the stuff that we do in our daily lives.


Personal Writing 2

It was a cold brisk winter morning and me and the boys were out exploring the forest around my house. We took my dog with us and a few cool sticks we found along the way. It took a few hours but we finally wore ourselves out by running around and chasing each other. We threw sticks for my dog when we were tired and then got back to playing once we were rested enough. We played until the evening and we decided to head back to the house. I stopped to tie my shoes, but my friends did not wait for me and continued to the house. The dog, however, did wait for me. She sat next to me while I was tying my shoes. I stood up after i was done but my friends had already gone inside. I decided to throw a stick for my dog because she sat and waited with me. I threw it pretty far and waited. 5 minutes went by and I could still hear the rustling of the bushes so I stayed there and waited. Another 3 minutes went by before I went into the bushes myself to find my dog. I walked towards the bustling bushes until I saw my dog. She was sitting down over the stick. I called out to her to come with me but she walked the other way. I followed her, still calling her name hoping she would turn around and come towards me so I wouldn’t have to chase her into the forest. We ended up in a clearing with a single willow tree in the center. I saw a stick on the ground in front of me. It looked just like the stick I threw. I looked up and could not see my dog anywhere. I thought it was a cool area so i walked around for a bit before heading towards the center with the willow tree. I could see a swarm of flies hovering around the other side of the tree. It took 3 steps to make it to the other side and what I saw made my stomach turn. I wanted to throw up. What I could see, lying on the ground was my dog, its stomach ripped open and its insides strewn about. I started crying and ran back towards my home. I ran and I ran until I got tired. I ran for 30 minutes before I stopped. When I looked around, I was back at the willow tree. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I took a seat across from my dogs corpse and cried into my knees. I cried for what had to have been 20 minutes. But suddenly I could hear panting, a dog’s panting. I looked up and to my surprise my dog’s corpse was gone. Instead, in its place, was another dog. It could not have been my dog, this dog was standing up on its hind legs, and was staring. Staring at me. I stood up and slowly backed up. “No one will hear your screams.” the thing said softly. “You cant run.” I was stuck,  too afraid to move as the thing walked towards me. drooling from the mouth. It opened its gaping jaws so wide. The inside of its mouth was pitch black, like the night sky.


Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a very good book to help people such as myself improve on themselves and improve their lives and be an all around better person. In this book Stephen R. Covey goes in depth on living with fairness, integrity, honesty and dignity. He shares personal stories and examples that some people can relate to and learn to better themselves. The first story he shares is of him raising one of his sons and trying to figure out what the right way to go about it was.

We stopped trying to kindly, positively manipulate him into an acceptable social mold. Because we saw him as fundamentally adequate and able to cope with life, we stopped protecting him against the ridicule of others.                                                                      He had been nurtured on this protection, so he went through some withdrawal pains, which he expressed and which we accepted, but did not necessarily respond to. “we dont need to protect you,” was the unspoken message. “your fundamentally okay.” (p.20)

Once Stephen R. Covey stopped protecting his son from all the things in life his son began to grow and learn his own personalities and traits which led him from being the small scared shy boy to being a confident young man who started to get a bump up in his report cards and doing sports.

Personal writing

There is a memory engraved in my head since kindergarten. It all started when i hurt myself while playing on the playground. It was a sunny morning in the grey city called surrey, the sun shined through my windows early in the morning and I rose from my bed. It must have been 6 AM and everyone wlse was asleep. I got up slowly and quietly as to try and not wake up my brother who was sound asleep across the room. I cracked open the door and slid out of my room and down the hall to my parents room. I woke up my dad and ran downstairs before he got mad at me and woke everyone else up. He eventually came downstairs and asked why I had woken him up from his slumber. I told him i wanted to go play at the park before we went to school. With a sigh my father made himself a coffee an ate some breakfast before taking me on the short walk to go to the park. Once we arrived, I bolted across the wood chips and onto the red and grey playground. I played for around 30 minutes before tragedy struck. I was on the swings when my dad told me we had to leave, I thought it was a good idea to jump off of the swing but my finger was stuck in the chainlink holding the seat midair. I attempted to launch myself from said seat, and got pulled back and landed face first into the woodchips. The wind was knocked out of me for the first time in my life and I had a twisted finger.

Comparing & contrasting They Shall Not Grow Old

They shall not grow old is a documentary on the First World War. It was directed and produced by one Peter Jackson in 2018. It has footage that has been colourised and interviews of servicemen play over the footage. Some of the servicemen have the same feelings about the war as Baumer and some the same as Krepps. In the documentary it shows both the good and the awful parts in the war. Like in All Quiet on the Western Front, there were times where the soldiers would be fooling around with eachother and having a good time until they had to go over the trench and rush the enemies, that is when the soldiers were filled with fear and anger and they used that to fuel their attacks. In chapter 9 of All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul kills a man with a knife, he sits there beside the dying man for hours, feeling bad and trying to save the man. One of the servicemen in They Shall Not Grow Old describe having the same experience.

IRJE#1 ‘The Great Escape: Tunnel to Freedom’

Mike Meserole’s The Great Escape: Tunnel to Freedom is about the prisoners of Stalag Luft III creating a massive operation to make 3 tunnels under the prison to escape with 200 men. Most of the book is focused on Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Roger Bushell who is known as the “Big X”. The three tunnels were called Tom, Dick, and Harry. they made three tunnels because the first 2 were meant to be found so that the third would succeed. All the prisoners are scavengy and scandolous after being stuck in there for such a long time, even though they are treated really well. When a Luftwaffe general shows up to the camp in his shiny black Czech Tatra. Von Lindeiner whom is the commandant of Stalag Luft III acompanied him and warned not to let the prisoner near his car but he lets the prisoners look. The Prisoners were very quick to steal from it:

“as you wish, Herr General,” said von Lindeiner, “but please make sure the windows and doors are locked.”

The chauffer was no match for the kriegies. One minute he was accepting a cigarette and answering questions from the German speakers. the next minute he was at the back of the car trying to get rid of several peacetime mechanics who had popped the rear hood to inspect the engine. Meanwhile, someone else had jimmied open the right front passenger door and made off with a pair of gloves, flashlight, three road maps, a tool kit, and the backseat cigarette lighter. A military handbook marked “SECRET” also disappeared befoire the door was closed and locked again. (p.98-99)

Unfortunatly the military handbook had no useful information to help out the prisoners. But this quote does show how quick the prisoners are to steal and come up with small little schemes that can help them distract people to steal from them.

Comparison of Krebs and Baumer

Krebs and Baumer were both soldiers in WW1. However they were on opposing forces. Krebs fought for the Americans and Baumer for the Germans. Krebs survived the war and returned home in 1919. Baumer died in 1918. When Krebs got home, he felt distant, like he did not fit in anymore. This is kind of how Baumer felt when he went on leave during the war to visit his family. Disconnected, like they did not belong. I believe that Baumer did not like the combat, he more enjoyed the down time hanging out with his comrades. Krebs really enjoyed the thrill of combat. Krebbs cannot get that thrill in civilian life, but he cant tell that to anyone because that would make him look crazy which distants him even more from the rest of society.

Personal Response to “All Quiet on the Western Front”

All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque. It is about a young man named Paul Bäumer who was swayed along with the rest of his class by the words of his teacher Kanotorek to join the army and fight for the fatherland. His classmates were all seperated except for a few of his friends (leer, Müller, Kropp and a few others). when they arrived, they met Stanislaus Katczinsky who was nicknamed Kat. Kat was an older soldier and was very smart. I didnt dislike or like the book. it was just a book. I also didnt feel anything sadness, happiness, or anger at what was happening. I did however liked the perspectives it gave.

The book helps you understand the perspective of the soldiers who had to fight in WW1 and the conditions they lived in and the effects it had on the soldiers. it also let people from other countries realize that the germans were not the savages that propoganda had written them to be. Erich Remarque was able to grasp the emotions that Paul felt throughout the novel which helped understand even more how the soldiers felt. I live and sleep normally every day and night and could not imagine the pain Paul felt when he could not live the life he lived before the war. In chapter 7 Paul went on leave and visited his hometown where is father, mother and sister live. When he converses with people, it is very hard on him because they keep on asking questions about the war. Paul went on leave to get away from the war for a bit but the people only want to know about the war from him. Paul knows that the people do not mean to be rude or mean but he hates their assumptions about the war. Paul’s dying mother is the one he connects to the most. “My mother is very pale” (p.158) The night before he has to return to the war they stay up together and exchange words of concern and love to eachother. But Paul is glad to be going back to see his comrades.

In chapter 9 Paul and his friends start to question whether the Germans are in the right or wrong. They also make fun of the Kaiser. this shows that they are slowly starting to realize that war is not worth it. Paul goes on patrol and ends up stabbing someone and killing them. He watched the man die, painfully. Paul feels remorse and seeks forgoiveness from the man’s corpse. This is the first person Paul killed a man so close and so personally. “This is the first time i have killed with my hands, whom i can see so close at hand, whose death is my doing.” (p. 221)

My family has had a lot of military connections. My father is in the reserves, my great grandpa was in the navy during WW2, and my great grandpa on my mom’s side died in WW2. I personally do not have any experiences with the military or any combat of any kind, I have not gotten into any  physical altercations or fights ever and dont plan on it. But if there is a time in my life where another war starts I would definetly enlist. to serve my country or die for it would be fun.

The English version of All Quiet on the Western Front uses words of old Enlgish that I usually had to search up. The old fashioned english matched up with the story really well since it was during WW1. Words such as Tommy (a private in the British army), napkin (diaper), and lorries (trucks) were all old fashioned english words that I did not know.

As you get closer to the end of the book all of Paul’s friends start to die off one by one. It was the death of Kat that really dealt the biggest blow to Paul. Once Kat died Paul didnt care much for living. It wasnt until October of 1918 when Paul died. “Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come.” (p. 256)


About me

My name is Dylan Gardner. My mother is Japanese and my Father is Canadian. I was born in Vernon BC and moved to Victoria in 2014. I like to eat and exercise a lot. My hopes this year is for me to get mostly As on my report card. And i expect to at least get a B in English class this year.