characterization IRJE#10

I am reading Percy Jackson and the titans curse by Rick Riordan and I believe that the author uses characterization in a very good way. He portrays the characters in unique ways and he also uses different techniques to give life oot the sevral characetr sin the book. fro exmaple in the part where Percy satrts deabting wehter one of the characters is extremely lucky or unfortunate for being the daughter of a god he still finds compassion in his herat to undertand her and he believes that it is important to find a balance between the good and the evil. Also this si shown in another part when he is becoming hesitant about Ananbeth. This is shown by the following quote

“As anxious as I felt about Annabeth—all I wanted to do was search for her—I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the di Angelos. I remembered what it was like for me when I first learned I was a demigod.” Page 30

This qoute shows how the charavters start to develope an identity for themselves and how they are being constructed upon by the author but it also adds another layer of deepness to the story and to the overall characters. This is because like in this quote the characters have to take choices and some may be better than others but in the end they have to choose between some that might be the least bad. Like Percy that becomes hesitant about Annabeth and when he has to choose between two options later on which would either be saving annabeth or trying to save one of the other characters he has to choose the lesser evil.

IRJE #10

Whilst reasing The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, I was able to identify the way Khaled Hosseini characterizes people in his book. Khaled Hosseini uses events that happen to the character in order to describe the kind of person that they are. We can tell the type of person that they are by reading what the character decides to do in an unfortunate or fortunate event. We are able to tell if they are a strong person or a weak person, an intelligent or unintelligent person. When an event happens to someone, they need to figure out how to comprehend or find the strength to keep on going when something unfortunate happens. Khaled Hosseini uses events to show us how the character reacts to said events.

But before any of us could do say or do a thing, Kamal’s father shoved the barrel in his own mouth. I’ll never forget the echo of that blast. Or the flash of light and the spray of red.

The event that happened to Kamal’s father was very unfortunate. His son had died in his arms. This would be enough to drive anybody to the point of Kamal’s father. Someone else, however, could have chosen differently and continued living on for their son, rather than taking their own life. It is a waste of a bullet and a waste of a person to take his life. The way Khaled Hosseini described the events that happened to Kamal’s father, we can tell that he isnt a super strong man and I am able to picture what he could look like appearance wise just by reading the decisions that he made.


I am reading the novel The Kite Runner from Khaled Hosseini. It tells the story about a young boy named Amir from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul. You can notice really quick what method Khaled Hosseini is using for the character Amir. Amir is represented as a sensitive and intelligent son of a well-to-do businessman, so he grows up with a slight sense of entitlement. His best friend is Hassan, and he has two feelings against Hassan. First being a loyal friend and second being jealous and attacking Hassan whenever he receives Amir‘s father‘s affection. Amir is a closed personality who lives mostly in his thoughts but who feels a lot. His sensitive character makes it easy for the narrator to use the characterization thoughts and feelings. The following quote makes a good example for Amir‘s strong thoughts and feelings.

I watched him fill his glass at the bar and wondered how much time would pass before we talked again the way we just had. Because the truth of it was, I always felt like Baba hated me a little. And why not? After all, I had killed his beloved wife, his beautiful princess, hadn’t I? The least I could have done was to have had the decency to have turned out a little more like him. But I hadn’t turned out like him. Not at all.

This quote shows the characterization thoughts and feelings of the main character Amir really good. The narrator reveals really deep feelings of Amir in this quote. The thoughts and feelings of Amir are revealed by the narrator to the reader. The other characters in the book don‘t get anything to know about the thoughts and feelings from the character, Amir is by himself. Amir‘s desire to win his fathers approval is one of the main points in the novel. He believes he caused the death of Baba‘s wife by his birth. He shows a sad and desperate feelings, because all he wants is for his father to look at him with pride and respect. Amir also thinks like he owes it to his father to turn out like him, but doesn’t even feel like he manages that. I chose this particular quote because they show deep thoughts of Amir. It shows how deep he feels and just wishes for his father’s approval. He questions everything in his own thoughts and the narrator made his feelings really clear.

IRJE #10

In the book Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s way to describe characters is by words. Her favorite method to do it is to describe them honestly and truthfully. She annalizes the character from the very begging of the meeting with a character we have in the book.  Jane Austen is not waiting for us to make an image about them but fully says everything and then shows examples of their behavior throughout the book.

Elinor, this eldest daughter, whose advice was so effectual, possessed a strength of understanding, and coolness of judgement, which qualified her, though only nineteen, to be the counsellor of her mother, and enabled her frequently to counteract, to the advantage of them all, that eagerness of mind in Mrs. Dashwood which must generally have led to imprudence. She had an excellent heart; her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them: it was a knowledge which her mother had yet to learn; and which one of her sisters had resolved never to be taught.

This is one of the examples of Jane Austen’s description of character. It is a straightforward description. The way she puts it makes us think the same about the character as Jane thinks about them. Their behavior in the book is then based on their description. Sometimes the characters in her books look a little cringy and old-fashioned, they always act as she first described them. Elinor in the book is always taken as a cold-hearted person, always the smart one who wants real people and connections which fits her first description we got. It is like a trailer for the character and then we watch them act as they are supposed to. And maybe, sometimes, they outgrow their personalities.

IRJE #10

It is fairly easy to notice the methods Katie Lowe uses to characterize Violet in The Furies. As we have Violet’s point of view, since she starts narrating in the beginning we can notice how the events that happen to Violet in the past clearly have a big impact in her actions and thoughts. Violet’s father and sister died in a car crash where she was present but came out as the only survivor. Her mother never recovered which makes her relationship with Violet a lot more complex, and even if she mostly acts unaffected by it all, it is clear on the way she sees things later in life that it influenced her entire character on many ways. Violet honestly feels like a sad character, she is always just looking for people’s approval, that one of the first things you will notice about her. She cares deeply for her friends but still seems to be difficult for her to trust anyone. Her thoughts and feelings make her seem like such an inofensive character, which makes her actions later in the book surprising and confusing. She gets influenced easily, her actions and thoughts being entirely marked by her relationships, mostly her friends.

“We were from different circles; would pass in corridors without so much as a glance, as though this conversation had never taken place. I see it now, among the girls I teach: the oil-and-water separation of types, hard to define and yet instinctively known. It’s a power one learns as a girl and never forgets: the ability to place one’s peers in their hierarchy with little more than a glance. Impressive, I suppose, in its own, cruel way.”

― Katie Lowe, The Furies

She cared a lot, I suppose it is normal to care about it but it is just that she just went along with whatever her friends did. She, at the same time, cared about the little stuff way too much but sometimes seemed so unaffected by it to the point she only seemed to feel when things reached an extreme. This, is what I would say defines the character of Violet the most, the unfortunate events of her past, the situations these create, and the thoughts that come after them.

Characterization – IRJE #10

In the second chapter of She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick, we are introduced to one of the two protagonists of this story: Molly. The two authors characterize Molly by immediately sharing her circumstances prior to college. We quickly learn that she didn’t have any friends through high school, indicating that she is a rather introverted, anxious but loving character. In the second chapter, authors characterise Molly by how she summarises her high school experience just before leaving for college. In this quote, Molly is getting ready to leave home and her best friend, her mother. The way authors worded this passage reveals just how big of a change this event will be in her (previously unfortunate) social life.

I give her another hug because while I know it’s lame. we’re basically best friends. We’ve never explicitly called each other that, but when you’re this close with someone, it doesn’t need to be said. She’s been my closest friend all through high school. My only friend, if I’m honest.
Now, somehow, I have to say goodbye to her, this person who has been by my side through all of it. It doesn’t feel possible, but if things are going to change this year, I need to let go a little. (p. 21)

Following this quote, we learn that Molly is excited, but extremely nervous to meet new friends at college. We begin to sympathise with her because we know this will be a tough experience, as she’s never really had a friend before. The authors strategically introduced Molly this way at the beginning of the book so that we could really grasp the introverted essence of her character. The phrasing of the passage is also extremely significant, the punctuation used shows just how nervous Molly is for this brand new experience. Both paragraphs end on a slightly different emotion compared to the paragraph leading up to it, which only emphasizes this anxious feeling more. The way that Molly’s situation is immediately revealed helps us fully grasp her character from the very beginning.

Characterization IRJE #10

“They Both Die At The End” by Adam Silvera is a story with just two main characters. Adam has to characterize both characters almost all the time. I feel that both characters are characterized by the method of a situation and events that happen to the character. Mateo is introverted, kind, and gentle, but he wants to be carefree and live his End Day to the fullest. Rufus, a 17 year old Cuban boy, is the complete opposite of Mateo because he rejects social media and prefers to live in the real world. Rufus is brave and bold.

“The number one person I’ll miss the most is Future Mateo, who maybe loosened up and lived.” (p. 9)

“Because I refused to live invincibly on all the days I didn’t get an alert, I wasted all those yesterdays and am completely out of tomorrows.” (p. 10)

When Mateo receives the notification from DeathCast, he laments it. This guilt becomes an inspiration for Mateo’s development into a new, more vibrant human being, which serves as the novel’s main story point. Mateos’s characterization is being changed as the story goes along, as well as Rufus. They develop and explore new emotions and ways to think about life, because of the situation they are living.



The recent book I have been reading is called The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. I had been given this book by a family friend who enjoyed reading these types of books and recommended them for me to try myself. In this book the main character is named Dr. Sheppard who was a friend of Mr. Ackroyd before he died. Dr. Sheppard also has a sister named Caroline who despite his warnings loves to know all of the gossip in their little town. Another important character that will be in this quote in the butler of Mr. Ackroyd whose name is Parker.

It was a quarter past ten as we went up the stairs. I had just reached the top when the telephone rang in the hall below.

“Mrs. Bates,” said Caroline immediately.

“I’m afraid so,” I said ruefully.

I ran down the stairs and took up the receiver.

“What?” I said. “What? Certainly, I’ll come at once.” I ran upstairs, caught up my bag, and stuffed a few extra dressings into it.

“Parker telephoning,” I shouted to Caroline, “from Fernly. They’ve just found Roger Ackroyd murdered!”


I got out the car in next to no time, and drove rapidly to Fernly. Jumping out, I pulled the bell impatiently. There was some delay in answering, and I rang again. Then I heard the rattle of the chain and Parker, his impassivity of countenance quite unmoved, stood in the open doorway. I pushed past him into the hall.

“Where is he?” I demanded sharply.

“I beg your pardon, sir?”

“Your master. Mr. Ackroyd. Don’t stand there staring at me, man. Have you notified the police?”

“The police, sir? Did you say the police?” Parker stared at me as though I were a ghost.

“What’s the matter with you, Parker? If, as you say, your master has been murdered.”

A gasp broke from Parker.

“The master? Murdered? Impossible, sir!”

It was now my turn to stare. (p. 45-46)


This was the exact moment where the book starts to show its real plot and starts to be more interesting. I choose this quote because this was the most exiting part of the book so far and really made me continue to read. This is important because if the book isn’t exiting or intriguing it become more like a chore to read and you won’t enjoy it. This is my first time reading any of Agatha Christies books and so far, im enjoying it.

IRJE #10

“Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood is mainly made of a monologue of the main character. Most parts of the book are only about the main character, so the author’s characterization of her is crucial. As the main character is in the position of a handmaid, who is not allowed to be expressive, her thoughts and feelings compose the characterization. Her thoughts and feelings are revealed from a first-person point of view, and show how she thinks about the system of a dystopian society she lives in.

I wait. I compose myself. My self is a thing I must now compose, as one composes a speech. What I must present is a made thing, not something born.

(pg. 66)

Don’t let the bastards grind you down. I repeat this to myself but it conveys nothing. You might as well say, Don’t let there be air; or Don’t be. I suppose you could say that.

(pg. 291)

Throughout the book, she shows a recessive attitude, yet doesn’t get completely brainwashed. She leaves a comment on the system as if she was accepting it as some kind of logic she should follow in order to survive. This gives the readers a characterization of the main character in depth. The author characterizes the main character as someone clever enough to learn how to survive in the worst situation possible. Her thoughts focus on survival and are careful. The fact that she actually doesn’t follow society with her heart is shown in what words she uses. When she is describing herself, she mentions “a made thing,” implying she is pretending to be a sacred believer. Also, when she describes society and oppressing leaders, she calls them “bastards,” expressing her hidden rage directly. With this characterization, the main character has become a strong-willed survivor.


The book I am reading at the moment is The Furies by Katie Lowe. I was searching for something easy but interesting to read, some kind of mystery or fantasy. The Furies managed to catch my attention and I couldn’t stop reading.

In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead. She’s posed on a swing on her boardings schools property. dressed all in white, with no cause of death. There are a lot of rumors going around but no clues or answers on what happened. But, there are some people that do know, and there is one girl that will never forget. The narrator, who appears to be a grown up now, a teacher, telling the story of what happened to her when she was a teenager, one year ago before the dead of that mysterious dead. The name of our narrator is Violet, who was a new student on Elm Hollow Academy, an all girls boarding school on the outskirts of a sleepy coastal town. This is her fresh start, after a tragic car accident on the past kills her dad and sister. She was desperate to fit in when she arrived to the school, she soon finds herself invited to an advanced study group, led by her peculiar art teacher. There, with three other girls, the five of the dive into the schools long buried grim history and mythology of Greek and Celtic legends, result of the schools founders interest in the occult; the gruesome 17th century witch trials. They girls began to feel more and more drawn to ancient rites and rituals, even if their teacher warned them many times to be careful and that it was just history and mythology. Violets finds her friends taking darker actions and they seem to spiral out of control. She doesnt now she can trust, there are a lot of rumors on the girls but to be honest, you can tell how she wants this power as much as they do.

“Every breath, every moment, possessed with an illusion of glamor, of filthy decadence, purely because it was ours, we two our own radical world, a star collapsing inward and bursting, gorgeous, in the dark.”

Katie Lowe, The Furies

You could notice a desire for more in each of the five girls, they wanted to be noticed, they wanted the power that it gave them, the connection that was made. They were so drawn to the possibility of performing this rituals and of everything going their way, they were out of control. There was a point were they couldn’t stop, after experiencing a ritual one time, they seem to feel like it was the most beautiful thing in the world.


I am currently Berserk, by Kentaro Miura, its very strong and I would reccomend it, my favorite character is guts with the berserker armor, he does not hold back. Its really thoughtful how he wants a good life, but he gets chased everyday, everynight by literal demons of hell that kill everyone he knows.

That thing was too big to be called a sword. Too big, too thick, too heavy, and too rough, it was more like a large hunk of iron

People say this quote about guts sword all the time, and it is a true comment, its more like a raw piece of metal, and guts just carries it like a champ, killing every demon to eventually kill his best friend, Griffith


In Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, book 8 of the story gives us the main characters, Phoebus and Fleur-de-Lys. These two characters are lovers in the book, but Fleur-de-Lys is having some doubt if they are even going to get married, as seen by the quote.

Phoebus. Fleur-de-Lys said abruptly in a whisper. We are to be married in three months.Swear you have never loved any women other than me.

I do swear it, my beautiful angel! Replied Phoebus. His adoring eyes combined with his sincere tone of his voice convinced Fleur-de-Lys. Perhaps he even believed himself in that moment.

This quote really shows the type of person Phoebus is. He is willing to lie straight to his girlfriends face in order to convince her to stay with him, rather than being honest. He is one of the more shady characters in the book, and this quote supports that theory fully. After reading this quote, it made me want to read more to find out if Fleur-de-Lys ever found out about his lie, and what the outcome would have been.


In the first parts of the book, Percy jackson, the titans curse, by Rick Riordan there is a bit of a heavy atmosphere because percy was a little “jealous” of Thalia but he was also somewhat sympathetic. This was shown by onw of the parts of the first chapter that said the following

“Not that I resented Thalia. She was cool. It wasn’t her fault her dad was Zeus and she got all the attention….Still, I didn’t need to run after her to solve every problem. Besides, there wasn’t time. The di Angelos were in danger. They might be long gone by the time I found my friends. I knew monsters. I could handle this myself.”

This part of the book shows how Percy is jealous but at the same time undertsnds what thalia is oging through. He also had in mind the broader mission and the ongoing “war” against the monsters which was the main conflict of the books.


In this powerful novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Amir has broughten in his father to the doctor because he saw that his father’s cold was leading him to coughing up blood. The first doctor told them that there was a suspicious spot on his lung. Amir’s father threw a fit though, when he heard that his doctor was Russian. Amir tried to calm him down by saying that the doctor was an American because he was born in Michigan. His father was not having it and the ended up having to call in a second doctor which Amir’s father approved of. This second doctor was Iranian and Amir’d father approved of him. This second doctor was named Dr. Amani and he discovered that Amir’s father had a terminal cancer.

The next pulmonologist, Dr. Amani, was an Iranian and Baba approved. Dr. Amani, a soft spoken man with a crooked mustache and a mane of gray hair, told us he had reviewed the CAT scan results and that he would have to perform a procedure called a bronchoscopy to get a piece of the lung mass for pathology. He scheduled it for the following week. I thanked him as I helped Baba out of the office, thinking that now I had to live a whole week with this new word, “mass” an even more ominous word than “suspicious.” I wished Soraya were there with me. It turned out that, like Satan, cancer had many names. (p. 164)

The fact that Amir’s father had a type of lung cancer caught my attention because my family has had it’s fair share of lung cancer. My grandfather had passed away from lung cancer when I was younger. Recently, I think it was this year, my uncle also passed away from lung cancer. He had gotten it before this year. Unfortunately I was unable to visit either of them when they were dealing with this because I had school to attend to and they were over in Japan. I dont know exactly what kind of lung cancer but I know they died of a lung cancer. Amir’s father in the book has oat cell carcinoma which is a cancer. Oat cell carcinoma usually starts in the lung before quickly spreading into other parts of the body. In the book, Amir’s father’s cancer spreads to his brain.


She Gets the Girl – IRJE #9

In Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick’s book She Gets the Girl, one of the two main characters Alex is searching for a job. She has just moved to Pittsburgh and had to leave her previous occupation as a bartender in her hometown. Alex’s mother struggles to provide for herself and requests money from her daughter several times a month. After buying all of her school supplies and paying rent, Alex is down to her last few dollars. she sees a flyer advertising a position to work at a food truck, so she takes the opportunity given. Once she reaches the detailed location, she goes on to describe it as a wasteland essentially.

A ginormous, run-down storage facility sits in front of me, with enough rust and broken windows to convince me that no one should actually think their belongings are safe here.

It looks abandoned.

Tumbleweeds of old plastic bottles and snack wrappers roll across the empty parking lot, graffiti lines the garage doors, and an out-of-service train track runs parallel to the building, with overgrown grass and brush covering the metal rails.

Is it abandoned? (p. 124)

Quite honestly I’m not quite sure why this passage stood out to me so much, maybe because it’s a relatable and upsetting feeling? Seeing areas where nature and our environment have been torn apart to put in this industrial work is damaging enough to the Earth. But when these modern developments are made and not being upkept, it seems almost pointless. Why would you build this industrial area in place of a lush and earthy one, only to let trash overtake it? These descriptive passages of the setting that the characters take place in are always my favourite components of books. With this being one of the few that appear in this novel, I feel that it has a very strong effect on how any events in this area will take place.


“Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini is mainly a story about Amir recovering from his childhood. Amir, who was born rich in Afghanistan, faces struggles as the country gets invaded by the Soviets. Even though he could manage to escape to America with his father, his childhood friend Hassan is left in the middle of the war. After many years, Amir finally looks for Hassan in Pakistan ruled by the Taliban. While that, he also finds out that Hassan was his half-brother, and only his son is alive, sold to the Taliban.

“Where is yout slingshot, Hazara?” Assef said, turning the brass knuckles in his hand. “What was it you said? ‘They have to call you One-Eyed Assef.’ ”

(pg. 76)

I blinked the blood from my eyes and saw it was one of the brass balls from the ring in the table base. Sohrab had the slingshot pointed to Assef’s face.

(pg. 304)

When Hassan and Amir were young, Amir left Hassan to get beaten up by Assef as he didn’t have a slingshot. The scene in the present where his son, Sohrab grabs a slingshot to end their family’s fight against Hassan symbolizes how they keep surviving against the invaders. Right at this moment, Amir decides to take Sohrab with him to America to accept him as one of the family, showing him hope without the Taliban.


The book I’m currently reading is called “They both die at the End” by Adam Silvera.  After Mateo and Rufus meet through Last Friend, Mateo, and Rufus decide to go out together for the day. Mateo wants to visit his father, who has been in a coma for two weeks, so Rufus offers to go with him to the hospital. after that Mateo and Rufus went to the cemetery to visit Mateo moms grave. they started telling stories about their experiences and everything they had been through. They talked about if they believe in god and in fate. Rufus claims he doesn’t actually believe in God and that heaven is only a resting place for the dead.  Mateo says he hopes reincarnation is true but that, if people let him, the afterlife is like a theatre where he may witness both his own life and that of others.

“Here we are, two boys sitting in a cementery as it begins drizzling, trading stories in my half- dug grave, as if were not dying today. these moments of forgetting and relief are enough to push me through the rest of my day.” (p. 221-222)

I choose this quote because generally this chapter talks about how we just have one life, and you have to take advantage of it. since these two guys have a death date, they have been regretting about some things that they did, but that is not the point of these situations and they talk how they need to get over it. How life is just a moment and it can end really easily and fast, just in one blink of an eye.


The book I’m reading now is Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Jane Auten is an English writer from the 18th century. She started to write books at a young age and became one of the first and most famous writers in history. People mostly know her by the book Pride and Prejudice which I personally adore. Sense and Sensibility is a story about a family named Dashwoods. The family has three sisters and one mother named Elinor, Marianne, Margaret, and Mrs. Dashwood. Their father (Mr. Dashwood) recently died and they were forced to move from the house where they lived their whole life. Dashwoods found a new town to live and the book describes their life and love affairs.

A gentleman carrying a gun, with two pointers playing round him, was passing up the hill and within a few yards of Marianne, when her accident happened. He put down his gun and ran to her assistance. She had raised herself from the ground, but her foot had been twisted in her fall, and she was scarcely able to stand. The gentleman offered his services; and perceiving that her modesty declined what her situation rendered necessary, took her up in his arms without farther delay, and carried her down the hill. Then passing through the garden, the gate of which had been left open by Margaret, he bore her directly into the house, whither Margaret was just arrived, and quitted not his hold till he had seated her in a chair in the parlour.

This quote is an important twist in the story. It shows the beginning of the relationship between Marianne and Willoughby. Marianne, I fell head over heels with the guy who helped her. He also fell for her and they spend every single minute together after the incident. I chose this quote because it’s cute and there are, to be honest no more interesting quotes yet. I also love the quote because I haven’t found such a peaceful and romantic beginning of a relationship in any other books than in Jane Austen’s.


Jerry Spinelli’s recently published novel “STARGIRL” allows you to envision any perspective on the story. Stargirl enrolled at a new school, and everyone in the building was enraptured by her beauty as soon as she arrived. However you want to put it, she was regarded as breathtakingly stunning. However, there was something peculiar about the tale of a new, attractive girl enrolling in a school. People weren’t expecting her to be awkward and strange, but it turns out she is. She enjoyed singing to people, which the other students found odd. She enjoyed singing and playing the ukulele whenever she felt like it.

” We wanted to define her, to wrap her up as we did each other, but we could not seem to get past “weird” and “strange” and “goofy.” her ways always knocked us off balance. A single word seemed to hover in the cloudless sky over the school: HUH!?” (p.11)

The book introduced me to the idea that in order to be popular, you must be attractive very early on. Being attractive, having great makeup, being athletic, etc., is how they gain fame. Everyone is weird; we just label some behaviours that all humans engage in as “weird” when they may be considered normal. If you are unusual, people will look down on you as a person. Everyone simply overreacts.

The decision that changed my life

I was always scared of being alone or not having an adult with me to rely on. But in July of 2019 (I was twelve y/o), I decided to make my first trip alone and face my fear. I flew to Toronto for a summer camp for a month. I was the youngest student there. The next younger student before was fourteen y/o. But being the youngest one wasn’t a problem at all. Most of the students were aware of me, and they were sympathetic to me and did a lot to make me feel comfortable. At that moment, my English speaking skills weren’t as good, so it was a little hard for me to communicate with English speakers at the beginning. Still, days passed, and I started to feel more comfortable about my English performance, and my English got better every day.

Since I had no family around, I became more independent. I only had myself to rely on, so I started focusing on myself and my needs, and I learned to put myself first. This trip made me feel in love with travelling. That was the trip that—changed my life in too many ways. Now I wouldn’t say I like to stay in the same place the whole time because I seek the feeling of travelling. I enjoy travelling either alone or with people. I love it either way.


There are many themes that are explored in “Stargirl”, including individuality and acceptance. An unconventional high school student named Leo meets Stargirl Caraway and falls in love with her. He must confront his own feelings of conformity and social pressure as he grows fascinated by Stargirl’s unique personality and behavior. I believe that readers of all ages will be captivated by the author’s thoughtful narrative throughout the book.

In the novel, one of the most significant quotes to me was: “She was elusive. She was today and tomorrow. She was the faint scent of a cactus flower, and the flitting shadow of an elf owl. In our minds, we tried to pin her to a corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.” I think this perfectly captures Stargirl’s mysterious and captivating personality. The novel also displays Stargirl’s ability to defy categorization and cannot be easily defined.

It’s clear from this quote that Stargirl has impacted Leo’s life – “She shone around every corner of my day.” This quote shows how brightly and uniquely she illuminates his world. Stargirl shines love and positivity in a dark and oppressive world.

In my opinion, Stargirl should be for anyone who’s ever felt different or had a hard time fitting in. This novel will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page because of its beautiful prose and poignant themes.

IRJE#8 – Kite Runner

Ive recently been reading Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini, It’s about a boy named Amir, and his best friend Hassan in Afghanistan, but they get separated due to the effects of war, and they dont see each other again, until Amir gets a message from someone over the phone, making him want to go back. I want to talk about chapters one to five, were Amir and Hassan are just living their life in Afghanistan as 10 year olds, where they just go day to day as normal kids, learning lessons throughout the days they live, learning about change, growth, and friendship.

That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

Chapter 1, p.1

This quote made me reflect on my past mistakes, or others past mistakes, even if you forget about it, live your day to day not even getting a slight memory of what you did or who you were, the past always comes back to haunt you, that ofcourse if you did something bad or messed up, thats the only way I believe you deserve your mistakes to be shown to you once again, what you would call, karma.


In Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it is one of the more strange novels I have ever read. Hugo puts multiple books in one, but the same characters appear in some of the same books, which can make it confusing at times. In the seventh book, Quasimodo, one of the main characters, was trying to help out some of his friends who are in a band. He noticed they were under-performing, so he decided to head down and help them.

“Go on! Go on, Gabrielle!” he said, “pour all your music into the square. Todays a feast day. Thibauld, don’t be lazy. You’re slowing down! Go, go on! Are you becoming rusty, loafer? That’s it. Quick! Quick! Don’t let the clapper be seen. Make them all deaf like me. That’s it, bravo!”

This quote really shows the true person Quasimodo is. He is a funny guy, as he says, “Make them all deaf like me.” but he is also a very kind, and whole hearted person, as he is helping out his friends, trying to make them all better by motivating them. This scene really helps to develop Quasimodo’s character, and it changes our opinion on him as a reader for good.


Overall reading “Bullet Train” written by Kotaro Isaka. The book is set in Japan, the story is about a group of assassins who find themselves on the same train traveling from Tokyo to Morioka. While each assassins tries to achieve their own missions, they soon discovers that their targets are interconnected and on same train. As the story goes on, assassins realize that they’re trying to achieve the same goal.

“Please, Just Leave My Son Alone”

This might be a simple quote, but it shows the difference of his personality compared to the side he was on the train. While everyone else was thinking about their own benefits, the father was the only one to protect his son from the Prince’s(enemy) plan to kill the boy.


Throughout last week, I have been reading “Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. It’s written as if it was a memoir of a survivor of the Afghanistan war. The beginning of the book focuses on the peaceful childhood of the main character, where everything was without any struggle. As the story goes further, more omens are seen around him. These omens advance into a whole war.

“The shootings and explosions had lasted less than an hour, but they had frightened us badly, because none of us had ever heard gunshots in the streets. They were foreign sounds to us then. The generation of Afghan children whose ears would know nothing but the sounds of bombs and gunfire was not yet born.”

(pg. 36)

The war from a child’s perspective is hard to understand, yet it hints that their peaceful childhood has ended. Furthermore, the narrator mentions the children born in the middle of the war, emphasizing the terror as more children will suffer. Also, this quote works as a turning point in the narrator’s life. Right after this quote, the narrator is forced to grow up and function as one of the adults. He is no longer considered a child as being young does nothing to your survival during the war.

IRJE #8 – Amir’s Short Story

While reading the fourth chapter of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, I came across one of Amir’s struggles: getting people to read his short story. In the novel, Amir presents his short story to his father who quickly disregards it out of fatigue and goes on with his business. However, Amir then states that his Pakistani friend, Rahim Khan, would always “rescue him” as he would always be interested in whatever he does, in which he ends up being the only one who reads his short story.

As always, it was Rahim Khan who rescued me. He held out his hand and favored me with a smile that had nothing feigned about it. “May I have it, Amir jan? I would very much like to read it.” Baba hardly ever used the term of endearment ‘jan’ when he addressed me.

For a long time, I have struggled with my interest in making my own short story as it ends up being either confusing or wordy. Whenever I would look back to one of the short stories in which I attempted to make a decent job, I would cringe at it and disregard it entirely. After reading this quote, I felt that I was in a strange situation, where myself from two years ago would take the role of Amir, and myself from today would take the role of Amir’s father. To 13-year-old me, the short story that I made back then was one of the most impressive things I believed to have ever made, while myself today would disregard it to its sheer immaturity and undeveloped plot.


Over the last month I’ve read the book You’ve reached Sam from Dustin Thao. You’ve reached Sam is a really sad and deep book and tells a very interesting story. The story tells about a high school girl named Julie which is suffering about the recent death of her boyfriend Sam. One day, a week after Sam’s death, Julie decides to try and call Sam just to hear his voice for one last time. And to her surprise, he actually picks up.

“Before he’s completely gone, I reach out to grab a single petal and hold it tight against my chest. But somehow it slips through my fingers and vanishes into the sky. Just like the rest of him.” (page )

I chose this quote because it has a really deep meaning, even if you didn’t read the book. It shows that you can’t keep everything. Even when you are trying, it will go eventually and when you realize it hurts even more. So you can’t try to hold onto everything and have to learn to let go.

Dawn of the Belle Epoque – IRJE #8

Mary McAuliffe’s Dawn of the Belle Epoque is a series of various historical events that occured in France between the late 19th century and the early 20th century that contributed to French society trying to reconstruct itself. The book describes how Paris returned to life through the lenses of numerous artists, novelists, musicians and others. This specific passage is on Claude Debussy, a world famous musician and composer from this time period. He is introduced as a pianist followed by a rather short backstory of his childhood. We learn that he had no formal education but was convinced to try piano by his aunt. In this time you typically followed in your parents’ footsteps, and neither of Debussy’s parents were musicians. And under these circumstances, his dream to become a musician was a very ambitious goal.

He appeared to have sufficient talent that his father, who had planned a career as a seaman for him, “got the idea that I should study just music,” Debussy later remarked, acidly adding, “he being someone who knew nothing about it.” (p. 98)

This passage was stood out to me because of the realization that without this support from his father, one of the most remarkable musicians of our entire world’s history could’ve never pursued music. I grew up playing violin and listening to classical music with my mum and Debussy’s name was near the top of my mental list of “musicians I should know” for when I talked to those music teachers that I wanted to impress. He has written some of the most beautiful classical pieces of his time (and all time, for that matter), and to think that those spectacular works could’ve never been invented if his father had rejected that dream is staggering to me.


In one of the earlier parts of the Fire and Blood by George RR Martin, the main characters are going to face off one of the main antagonists and also the main antagonist has made some great achievemnts. When there is a rebellion against the king Aegon in the blackwater county the king is shocked by ow he could be overthrown. Then the kings advisor tells King Aegon that

“The vilest of men and the wickedest of women likewise may do good from time to time, for love and compassion and pity may be found in even the blackest of hearts.”Fire and Blood page 161

This part of the book shows how people of this lands believe they were created and they say that the gods made them vile cruel and also good. everyone has a part of these chatracteristics in themselves according to the beliefs of these people. All the people has a part of what the gods made them to be and they can be more good than bad or more bad than good.


I am reading the book Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The book was written around 1860 in Russia. Fyodor wrote this after he went through the most challenging two years of his life. His brother and wife died, and he gambled to get money but lost even more and begged his friend to lend him money to return to Russia. The book is about a young man named Rodion Raskolnikov. He is a guy who dropped out of college, is broke and is sick. He was so desperate that he plotted a murder of an old lady. This crime made his mind go crazy and his own thoughts are his punishment.

“A search – there will be a search at once,” he repeated to himself,
hurrying home.
“The brutes! they suspect.” His former terror mastered him completely again. “And what if there has been a search already? What if I find them in my room?”
But here was his room. Nothing and no one in it. No one had peeped in. Even Nastasya had not touched it. But heavens! how could he have left all those things in the hole?
He rushed to the corner, slipped his hand under the paper, pulled the things out and filled his pockets with them. There were eight articles in all: two little boxes with ear-rings or something of the sort, he hardly looked to see; then four small leather cases. There was a chain, too, merely wrapped in newspaper and something else in newspaper, that looked like a decoration. … He put them all in the different pockets of his overcoat, and the remaining pocket of his trousers, trying to conceal them as much as possible.

I used this quote because it shows the state of Raskolnikov’s mind. He was talking outside with his friend but couldn’t concentrate because of the crime he did. He remembered all the jewelry that he took from the old lady and panicked. He runs to his room to stop anyone who would be inside but no one was there. It showed the paranoia that is slowly getting bigger throughout the book. I would say that this paranoia is the worst punishment for him. He is losing his family and friends because he suspects that they suspect him.

It Starts with Us: Colleen Hoover

I’ve recently been reading Colleen Hoover’s It Starts with Us. It Ends With Us, another book I recently read by the same author, has a connection to this one. It’s strange, but also cool, to finish reading a book that you really enjoyed and then start another. Atlas, a homeless teen, served as the spark for everything. While he was staying in an abandoned house next to Lily, the main character, she took care of him. He had to go to Boston a few years after they began to enjoy one another and do all that clichéd stuff. After a few years, Lily moved to Boston to attend university, after she had gotten over Atlas, she then had met Ryle.

 “Maybe the idea of love ending being a negative thing is simply a matter of perspective. Because to me, the idea that a love came to an end means that, at some point, there was love that existed. And there was a time in my life, before you, when I was completely untouched by it.” (p.27)

I enjoy Colleen Hoover’s writing because of the characters’ different points of view and creative solutions to everyday problems. Even though they might not be real individuals, they speak as if they are in a difficult situation and need to figure something out, or they make me feel upset because of something that has happened. I also believe that a book was enjoyable for you to read if it made you feel emotion and made you feel a certain way about the characters.


The new book I’m reading is called Regretting You by Colleen Hoover. After reading the back I know the book is about a girl named Clare and her mother named Morgan. The book tells us that these two never had a good relationship, and after her father died (who was the only person who could keep the family at peace) it’s difficult for the two to get along. Morgan the mother wants her daughter to become successful and to have a proper life whereas the daughter Clara just want her mom to leave her alone. The book is about their relationship. This quote is said by Morgan the mom when she was younger. She is talking about her relationship with her sister:

“It’s a running joke between us that we are so different, if we weren’t sisters, we would hate each other. She’d find me boring and I’d find her annoying, but because we’re sisters, and only twelve months apart, our differences somehow work. We have our moments of tension, but we never let an argument end without a resolution. And the older we get, the less we argue and the more we hang out.” (p. 2)

This is important context because we learn that Morgan the mom has a sister which might become useful in the future. This is also one of the first things we learn about the moms family. I also found it cute how close they are.


I am currently read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I would say it is a fairly known history, we all know the monster from modern adaptations. The book revolves around its creation and Victor, the creator. The book starts with a series of letters of a captain of a ship bound for the North Pole, he writes to his sister back in England the process of his dangerous mission. Until the mission is soon interrupted by seas full of impassable ice and trapped, they encounter Victor Frankenstein, who has been traveling across the ice and is weakened by the cold. He takes him aboard ship, helps nurse him back to health, and hears the fantastic tale of the monster we know, the monster Frankenstein created.

The world was to me a secret which i desired to divine

Victor Frankenstein , p.25

Frankenstein is honestly on of the most interesting characters I have even read about. Since we first encounter him in the book, I just feel drawn to the way he sees life. He is extremely passionate, especially for science of course. We first realize it on the way Capitan Walton describes him in his letters, he says he “appeared to despite himself for being the slave of passion” and we can notice this in Frankenstein’s story later in the book, how passion and curiosity eventually destroyed him. The quote from before is until now of my favorites by him and he said it while talking about his passion for science, he is driven by a desire to discover secrets, which is one of the ways that make him such a secretive character. 


The book I’m currently reading is called “They Both Die At The End” by Adam Silvera. Mateo, after receiving the phone call, started thinking about all the things he has made or accomplished throughout his short life. he thinks about the friends he has which aren’t really many. He just has Linda, she is his best friend. Mateo is desperate because when he receives the phone call his dad wasn’t at home, so he doesn’t know. Mateo is trying to reach his das as soon as possible. Mateos dad was the most important person in the world for him.

“I know its sort of strange, but dad is just as much my best friend as Linda is. I could never admit that out loud without someone making fun of me, I’m sure, but we’ve always had a great relationship. Not perfect, but im sure every two people out there- in my school, in this city , on the other side of the world – struggle with dumb and important things, and the closest pairs just find a way to get over them” (p. 34-35)

For Mateo is relationship with his dad is very important and he wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, he is his support, he is his everything. Mateo finds refuge in Linda and his Dad since they are the only persons who support him and love him for who he really is.


I am currently reading through “Kite runner” a novel written by Khaled Hosseini. I find this novel captivating and interesting as the story is set in Afghanistan which I hardly know anything about. I think the main message of Kite Runner is to take responsibility of our past actions and to ask for forgiveness.

”There is only one sin. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft.”

I like this quotation as it carries a deeper meaning than it seems. For example, one of the more common types of theft is robbery, which involves stealing another’s possession. But dishonestly or betrayal for example, can violate someone else’s trust, dignity and personal rights, Henceforth, every other sin is a variation of theft

Irje 8

In the book “do not sat we have nothing” by Madeleine Thein, the author describes a family, who have fled to Vancouver after the tienanmen massacre. The main character, jiang li ling have lost his father, and is only with her mother. During the first pages of the book, the main character, ling says the following in the memorial of her loss-

And suddenly I was in the car with my father. I heard rain splashing up over the tires and my father, humming. He was so alove, so beloved, that the incomprehensibility of his suicide grieved me all over again. By then, my father had been dead for two decades, and such a pure memory of him had never come back to me. I was thirty-one years old. (p. 4)

This book has made me rethink the relationships with my parents – and how I should be thanking them more for the oppurtunities and support they provide me with. This book is a very good book so far, as I progress through the last parts of the novel. I look forward to seeing what happens next, and to finishing this book.

IRJE#8 – 1984

The book I am going to talk about is called 1984, written by George Orwell in 1949 as a warning against totalitarianism. Is the story of a young man questioning the system that keeps his futuristic but dystopian society afloat, and the chaos that quickly ensues once he gives in to his natural curiosity and desire to be free.   This book contains many very important quotes, but the one that has caught my attention and about which I am going to talk now is:

“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” (p.165)

I have decided to choose this quote because I consider the message it gives to be very relevant and important. From what I interpret in this sentence what it means is that being understood by someone can be more desirable than being loved. I understand this to mean that sometimes, as beings, the only thing we want is to be understood, to feel that someone understands us in this world. And this feeling is more powerful than wanting to be loved.

(IRJE #7)

The book I was reading is called Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, this book is set in a utopia where humans have surrendered control of all governing to a benevolent AI called the Thunderhead. In this book, humanity has overcome natural death. The Thunderhead controls everything except for permanent death, which is doled out by humans called scythes, when they kill someone it is called a gleaning, any other death is simply reversed by the Thunderhead. The scythes are kept in control by an organization called the Scythdom, which has regional levels, and an international level. The people in charge of the regional Scythdom are called High Blade, and the people in charge of the international Scythdom are called Grandslayers. This passage was in reference to a very corrupt scythe who is rising through the ranks and is about to doom the scythdom through his stupid actions.

“The pain of my awareness is unbearable. Because my eyes do not close. Ever. And so all I can do is watch unblinkingly as my beloved humankind slowly weaves the rope it will use to hang itself.”

I chose this quote because it doesn’t just apply to books but also us today. Just look at the policies regarding global warming, or the lack therefore of. We are slowly destroying ourselves from the inside out, and it feels like there’s almost nothing normal people can do.

IRJE #8 – Adrift

Adrift by Paul Griffin is a book about 5 teenagers; Matt, John, Drianna, Jojo and Stef. JoJo and Stef are a married couple from Portugal, and Drianna is Stef’s cousin. They meet both Matt and John on the beach where they are spending their summer vacation. Soon after they all get lost at sea after a search and rescue mission to find Stef, who recklessly went surfing in the middle of a storm after a beach party. This quotation is a conversation between JoJo and Matt after Stef got injured by a wild dolphin on her surfboard, where she broke her legs and arm, and was knocked unconscious.

“We’ll keep her as safe as we can until she gets to the hospital,” I said. I tried not to look out at the horizon. We were the only living things in view.

“you can’t promise me, can you? JoJo said.

The best I could come up with was, “It’ll all work out. You’ll see.” He wasn’t listening anyway. He kissed Stef’s forehead.

“If she hates me after this, I don’t know what I’ll do. Truly without her, I wouldn’t be the same person. I couldn’t possibly be. She defines me.” he said. (pp. 58-59)

I like this scene in the book because prior to this conversation I didn’t read any real emotion from JoJo. He was perceived to be a stereotypical masculine male and he never opened up about how much he loved Stef, but when he says “I wouldn’t be the same person. I couldn’t possibly be. She defines me.” this phrase alone created a whole new interpretation of his personality and made me sympathize for his situation.


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, is a true story novel written about his childhood in his homeland Afghanistan and how he and his father had to immigrate to the U.S. due to terrorism. His mom had died at birth therefore he has a very strong relationship with his father Baba. When they immigrated to the U.S. his father was diagnosed with cancer and had passed away there which was very hard on him.

He asked us to lean in, gave us each a kiss.
“I’ll come back with your morphine and a glass of water, Kaka jan,” Soraya said. “Not tonight,” he said. “There is no pain tonight.”
“Okay,” she said. She pulled up his blanket. We closed the door. Baba never woke up

I had chosen this quotation because It was a reminder that not everything lasts forever and to always spend as much quality time with your loved ones. I love and respect my parents and see them as best friends and don’t want to take my time with them for granted.

Loss and fear, pain and love- IRJE #8

The book I’ve chosen to write about is The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, by Leslye Walton. I’ve reread it multiple times, as it gave me my initial interest in reading. Rereading it years later reminded me of some of its faults, but I enjoy it nonetheless. The novel follows multiple generations of the Roux family, through the eyes of their youngest, Ava Lavender. Living in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, Ava is a decently normal girl; safe for the fact that she was born with feathered wings. The Roux family has extremely bad luck with love, and the women of the Roux family are guarded, especially Vivianne, Ava’s mother. Due to this, Ava is confined to her household, with little to do, and a desire to see the world. This quotation is from an inner monologue in Ava’s teenage years. She ponders on her confinement to her house, and the reason for it.

To put it simply, my mother worried. She worried about our neighbor’s reactions. Would they break me with their disparaging glances, their cruel intolerance? She worried I was just like ever other teenage girl, all tender heart and fragile ego. She was worried I was more myth and figment than flesh and blood. She worried about my calcium levels, my protein levels, even my reading levels. She worried she couldn’t protect me from all of the things that had hurt her: loss and fear, pain and love.

Most especially from love. (p. 156-157)

While there are many quotable moments in the novel, I really enjoy this one, as it demonstrates how trauma can be passed down. The novel details Vivianne’s life leading up to her daughter’s, and that of her mothers leading up to hers. You may need more context, but Ava’s mother is not a bad person, she is just extremely damaged from the relationship with Ava’s absent father. Her experience with love, wound up with her as a teenage mother, almost dying from heartbreak. While the novel may not be perfect, and is filled with semi-complicated prose and magical realism, there are still many things I notice. More notably in terms of generational trauma, and mother-daughter relationships, which are two topics, I am well-versed in.

IRJE #8 – Until We Break

This book tells us the story of a teenager who struggles with many obstacles in her path. The story is about a dark skin girl who dreams of being a famous ballet dancer, but because of the stereotypes and controversy about darker skin, she has a hard time getting accepted by the girls and teachers of some ballet schools since she was young. The struggle got minor as she grew, but it was never over. After the years, she gets close to one of her classmates, Jessica, to the point that they become best friends, but not everything goes as planned. Jessica got into a car accident where she passed away, and Naomi witnessed the exact moment of the tragedy. After this traumatic event, she develops a trauma and some PTSD symptoms m

“The dusk of her hospital room contained only crumpled pillows stained with her bleeding dreams and a soaked floor where all her mourning had spilled from her eyes and onto the crisp white tiles.” (p. 94)

In this passage, Naomi is in a ballet performance. In the middle of the performance, she gets triggered by all the people watching them taking pictures and flashing lights at her, giving her flashbacks of the previous event. Making her panic and fall strongly and injuring her leg, not allowing her to finish the performance and taking her to the hospital.

IRJE #8: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

In Turtles all the Way Down, by John Green, the main character is Aza Holmes—who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as anxiety. Aza’s obsessive compulsive disorder is mainly focused on bacteria. Another character, Davis Pickett, is later introduced into the book. His father mysteriously disappeared, which is the focal point of the story – Aza initially tries to find out what happened to earn the reward but becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to the boy’s father. Aza’s father had recently passed, causing her to feel connected to Davis in a sense where she could relate to what he was feeling. However, just after the news of the millionaire father of Davis going missing, Aza is listening to the radio.

Sometimes you happen across a brilliant run of radio songs, where each time one station goes to commercial, you scan to another that has just started to play a song you love but had almost forgotten about, a song you never would’ve picked but that turns out to be perfect for shouting along to. (p. 77)

This quotation was the one I picked because I found it relatable to life. Sometimes you stick to the things you like, just like picking the songs you know well to listen to. But then occasionally something new comes along and you might hate it, or you might be pleasantly surprised? An example being in school when you are given a task to present something to your class. You might hate even the thought of doing this, but maybe after you do it you realize the opportunity to learn something. Or maybe you end up realizing presenting is not as bad as it seems. Either way, you seize the experience as a chance to grow. Another example would be in English class, we were having to read Brave New World. I found that I hated the book and wanted to just skip it and stop reading. But rather than doing that I took it as an opportunity to grow, and in the end, I did indeed learn something from the book. So, when I read this quotation, I found it to remind me of this; that instead of not enjoying these moments that happen—or instead of just grumbling through it—you can open your mind and maybe you will end up enjoying it, or better yet learning from it.


IRJE #8 Aidan Bisgrove

1984, by George Orwell, is a story of a man questioning the system that keeps his futuristic but dystopian society afloat and the chaos that quickly escalates once he gives in to his curiosity to be free from others’ outrageous rules.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” (p. 123)

This quote from the book explains that the political party or the controllers are trying to make it so they are not able to think for themselves and what they are trying to do is make it so that whatever they say all of these people will copy and follow exactly what they want them to basically make them their slaves and if you disagree with any of this it is punishable by death.

Rose-red Youth and Rose-white Boyhood: IRJE 8

In the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, Basil, a renowned artist, paints a portrait of Dorian Gray. Their friend Lord Henry goes on lecturing Gray about influences and the immorality that comes with them. 

‘….You, Mr Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams, and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame—’

‘Stop!’ faltered Dorian Gray (P. 25)

This exchange between Lord Henry and Dorian Gray portrays the two characters in a contrasting dynamic. Lord Henry is a wise man, who is knowledgeable about life. He notices that for Dorian’s good looks and charms, something had to be exchanged for it. On the other hand, Dorian could not handle the reality check. Lord Henry had touched a nerve that made Gray interrupt his speech. This quotation shows Lord Henry’s ability to provoke Dorian’s and the reader’s view on society and Dorian’s reaction hint to the shameful and troubled inner struggles he faces.

IRJE # 8; Owen Meany

The protagonist in John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, is quite possibly the most compelling character ever written in a novel. From the descriptions of his physical appearance, to his VOICE (his dialogue is always written in caps), to his idiosyncratic sense of logic, and his unshakable resolve –never have I ever wished more to actually meet a character from the pages of a book. Right from the first sentences, in the first chapter, Irving has the reader spellbound by Owen Meany.

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice. Not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God. I am a Christian because of Owen Meany. (p. 1)

John Wheelwright, Owen’s best friend from childhood and narrator of the novel, conveys a fascination with Owen that is infectious to the reader. However, it is not only vivid physical descriptions like, “My grandmother said that Owen resembled an embryonic fox”, or imagining what a “wrecked voice” might sound like, that render Owen such a unique hero. His outrageously huge reactions to situations, and his indomitable tenacity, equally contribute to make Owen Meany a captivating character. 


In Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family, author Amanda Jetté Knox writes about her experiences as a mother of a transgender girl and the wife of a transgender woman. Alexis, her trans daughter, came out to her when she was 11 years old. Even though Amanda tried her best to be a loving and supportive mother, she did make mistakes at first, like questioning the sincerity of Alexis’ gender identity.

“You weren’t trying on dresses or wanting to grow your hair long. You never argued when people referred to you as a boy. Sure you liked a lot of things that are deemed feminine … But you never said anything. You seemed fine.”

“I wasn’t fine, though,” she replied. “Why do you think I never wanted to go to school? Why do you think I had such a hard time making friends after the girls stopped playing with me? I just didn’t know what it was for a while, and I didn’t have the words to tell you two.”

“Ok, but—”

She cut me off. “It’s not a phase, Mom. I know that’s what you’re getting at. It’s not. This is who I am. I already told you. Stop questioning it.” (pp. 74-75)

I’m very grateful to have two supportive parents, just like Amanda and her wife, and to live in such an informed and empathetic decade that they would never accidentally ask hurtful questions like Amanda did back in 2015. They might have been confused at first, but they never questioned if I was really trans or why it took me so long to come out. Instead, they educated themselves by asking me non-invasive questions and by doing their own research to answer their more intrusive inquiries.


In the book 1984,  by George Orwell, Orwell is talking about how humans are not perfect and make mistakes he says

The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one’s love upon other human individuals.          (P. 142).

when reading this I thought about how the quote is suggesting that people cannot be perfect and life involves excepting and acknowledging all the mistakes that you have made, this made me think about how no one can be perfect and how we all have to accept what we do wrong in life. the quote not only mentions that but also talks about how having connections with people and friendships being maintained are also important, lastly, the quote talks about heartbreaks and defeats especially when you have a particularly deep connection with someone,  it also explains how your hardships may affect you by giving your love to someone.




In the book, The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker, a village called Lyrnessus has just been attacked by Greek warriors and Achilles. All the women and children in the village of Lyrnessus went to a tower while the invasion was occurring. They watched as the village fell to the attackers and all the men of Lyrnessus were killed. The village was destroyed, everything stolen or set on fire. The women stayed in the tower until the attackers came for them.

By now, all the women had come to the top of the roof and were huddled together, young girls in particular clinging to their mothers. We could hear laughter as the Greeks crowded up the stairs. Arianna, my cousin on my mother’s side, grasped my arm, saying without words: come. And then she climbed onto the parapet and, at the exact moment they burst onto the roof, threw herself down, her white robe fluttering round her as she fell-like a singed moth. It seemed to be a long time before she hit the ground, though it could only have been seconds. Her cry faded to a stricken silence, in which, slowly, stepping out in front of the other women, I turned to face the men. (P. 15).

I chose this quote because the imagery the author used in describing the fall of the girl was very impactful for me. It created a strong image in my mind that really stood out. The way the moment was written made it short but impactful and really added to the story. Another reason I chose this quote was because it shows the fear the girls were facing in the book. It really showed one of the problems they had in their life. The interesting thing about this problem is that it is still applicable to this day which makes the book even more impactful.

You can be mean but you “Can’t take that away” – IRJE #8

The novel Can’t Take That Away, by Steven Salvatore is about a genderqueer teenager, Carey Parker, who is simply trying to make their way through highschool. At the beginning of each chapter the author states their pronouns, which I found very cool. They love to sing and perform, but because of who they are, they get made fun of, bullied, and lost their self esteem. They get the lead for the school musical, Wicked, playing the role of Elphaba, and unfortunately, that causes them to get bullied even more. But, they have an incredible ally on their side; their English teacher, Mr.Kelly, who also happens to be gay.

“I got you something”. Mr. Kelly pulls out his desk drawer.

“My husband and I were in the West Village last weekend and came across these”. He walks over and places a rainbow velvet pouch on my desk. “The soap shop owner is genderqueer too, and they explained how they made these for other gender queer people to express their gender identity on any given day”.

All I can say is “thank you”.

I chose this particular passage because Carey was so thankful to have someone looking out for them. Not only that, but someone who made their day when they felt down. It’s something I believe we can all relate to, or at least relate to wanting; having someone who cares about you, and gets you through the rough times. Personally, I find it’s crucial, having someone who can relate to you, and build you up, especially when it comes to surviving highschool.