Before I copy and paste our awesome group story into this blog, I want to let you know of some places where you can see samples of critical lenses.
Problems with this essay:
Positive attributes of this essay:
“Literature opens a dark window on the soul, revealing more about what is bad in human nature than what is good.” This statement suggests that literature shows more about the bad aspects of people than the good. This critical lens is invalid because literature shows good and bad sides of human nature about equally, both in terms of people’s personal qualities and in terms of their actions. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, and Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, are two books that illustrate this balance of good and bad.
The characters of To Kill a Mockingbird represent a wide range of human nature. For example, Atticus Finch is a character with very positive qualities; he is a model of courage and integrity, someone willing to a take a stand for what he believes. By contrast, Bob Ewell is evil and violent. He has many of the worst qualities of human nature. Furthermore, most of the other people of Maycomb, Alabama, where the story takes place, show attitudes of bigotry, prejudice, and racism at times.
The plot of To Kill a Mockingbird similarly shows both the dark and the light sides of humanity through people’s actions. On the negative side, people cruelly and unjustly accuse Tom Robinson of rape because he is black. In fact, the townspeople end up practically ignoring the fact that he was "murdered" by a prejudiced guard in the prison who paid no consequences for his brutality. Further in the plot, Bob Ewell curses Atticus and spits in his face for taking a stand with minorities against inequality. Many positive events occur in the text, too. For instance, Atticus risks his own safety to confront a lynch mob outside the jail. And Finch's neighbor, Boo Radley, comes out of hiding to save Atticus’s children when Bob Ewell attacks them as a sort of revenge against their father. Such heroic actions suggest the basic decency of human nature against a background of violence.
The characters of Of Mice and Men also show honorable human attributes as well as the shameful ones. In the relationship between George and Lennie, there are positive qualities of human nature, such as friendship, loyalty, and trust. But Curley, a heartless and selfish troublemaker, shows just how unpleasant people can be when he bullies the people around him.
The plot of Of Mice and Men also demonstrates the two opposing sides of human nature. George protects and cares for his friend Lennie, a mentally challenged man who unknowingly acts childish and simple. At the end of the story, the author reveals that George has to take drastic measures to save Lennie from a terrible fate. Meanwhile, Curley, a brutal man, wants to shoot Lennie down after Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife. It’s interesting that George, out of friendship, chose to sacrifice everything he considered precious, while Curley wanted to kill for simple revenge. These two motives in themselves suggest the range of human nature.
Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men show the great span of human nature. Rather than emphasize the bad, all of history presents a rather balanced view of people, portraying them as anywhere from viscious psychopaths to gentle souls who would give their lives willingly for some deeper value.
Problems with this essay:
Here it is, Folks:
Ying's Point of View
I glanced out the window as our small passenger plane flew over the tall, vast mountains. For the first time I spotted the majestic lake over the wandering mountain peaks. As my twin brother Yang sat motionless beside me, the time dragged as I waited for the plane to descend.
My brother and I had been deemed unfit by society and were banished to this foreign land of Mistopia. Since the day we were born, people would look at us strangely, not knowing our pasty white skin and red glowing eyes were merely a genetic disorder and did not effect who we were on the inside. If only the people who made fun of us knew that we were normal on the inside we could have lived a fulfilling life in a normal society.
The rocky city started to come in to view. The plane began to land and I felt a slight bump as the plane hit the runway. I watched as the dark tinted city passed by my eyes, each building being irreguraly shaped like a circle being drawn by a toddler. With a sudden jolt, the plane stopped waking up Yang in the process.
As we disembarked from the plane, the giant copper gates leading into the mountain opened revealing the strange people who inhabited the city. Through the chaos of the passing villagers, one in particular stood out. A young girl, with very little clothing approached us quickly as the gates closed us into our new lives, here in Mistopia.
“Welcome to Mistopia, I am the official greeter to this dignified metropolis.” She flipped her blonde hair and stared at us expectantly. As Montana walked away, I noticed that my brother Yang followed her hips with his eyes. For some odd reason, I found her amazingly unattractive.
Yang's Point of View
The party had a lot of people in it. Actually, “a lot” is an understatement; there must have been thousands of people. I frantically searched for the hip-swaying Montana, pushing and shoving my way through the crowd. The blaring music was causing the large room to shake, and I was disoriented by the bright, multicolored strobe lights.
I am so glad you asked!!
1. You have done a great job of making sure many of the study topics are listed as comments in the previous blog.
2. I would also study the brush strokes, parts of speech, various types of clauses, and literary terms.
3. Please remember that I am grading your critical lens on the 6 Traits of Writing. Make sure you demonstrate a high SKILL level in each area.
Day 1 Test Format:
Short Answer Question
**You all know that I want a FULL paragraph with real sentences that demonstrate SKILL, not a third grade essay.
Day 2 Test Format
**Critical Lens essay (You will only have 1 period.)
**We need to put together the rest of our story, so let's get on it.
**We should finish up our story and do some editing.
**This is the first part of our test. We will read TWO passages, answer comprehensive questions about them, and answer grammar questions in context of our readings.
Monday (Only 2 days left at this Point!):
**This is the second part of our test, where you write a kick-butt critical lens.