They say life is like a novel with the ending ripped out. For writers, this could not be more true. Every high and every low is etched into the back of our mind. Mistakes may be hard to face, but we can always learn from them. They may even inspire our writing. We take the good times when we can get them, always moving forward. These are harder to hold onto, so we have to work extra hard to save them. We all write our own destiny, but writers may have an advantage because we document everything in any form.
This isn’t really related to the blog, but that doesn’t matter. It’s important. Worth watching. Trust me.
.Tuesday 10th February 2015.
Chapel Hill. Three. Shot. Dead. Muslim.
And the news told us there is no terrorist, no radical, no community was responsible. What would that news report look like? Lets frame this crime differently. Lets frame this crime as Muslims are framed.
‘The deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in Chapel Hill were barely reported, then presented as a dispute over parking spaces. Their killer’s social networking pages alone brimmed with anti-theist content but were still largely overlooked. Three Muslims were assassinated in their homes, yet this would not be classified as terror. Had it not been for social media it’s unlikely it would have been reported at all. The same people who attached ‘Muslim’ to any criminal activity acted out by someone of the faith were now asking whether it was necessary to…
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In the beginning of this first section of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, I immediately noticed its parallels with two other books: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The classic tells the story of Jane Eyre, an orphan taken in by her mother’s family, the Reeds – an uncle, aunt, and three cousins.
Her life is simple and pleasant enough, until her uncle dies. Although Jane’s aunt has promised to take care of her, her aunt treats her as if she is lower than one of the servants.
Jane suffers much the same as Harry Potter does at the hands of the Dursleys – his uncle Vernon, aunt Petunia, and cousin Dudley. Dudley and the Reeds are the poster-children for spoiled brats. But the Dursleys have a reason – if a seemingly trivial one – to be mean to Harry: his magic. The Reeds have no reason to treat Jane the way that they do. If they have a reason, I haven’t read it yet.
Like Dudley, Jane’s cousin John Reed is both entitled and indulged. He can say anything he wants and everyone will believe him. So when he hits Jane and claims that she started the fight, Jane is tied up and locked in an old room.
However, unlike Harry, Jane fights back against what she recognizes as injustice. After she is released from her punishment, she snaps. She whirls on her aunt, all the anger she has stored inside coming out like a flood breaking a dam. Her aunt, Ms. Reed, tries to appease Jane even though she is scared out of her wits. But Jane is not having any of it.
After Jane’s explosion, Ms. Reed decides that this has been the last straw; she can’t take it anymore. She knows Jane wants to go to school more than anything.
Enter Mr. Brocklehurst, the one man admissions office – and principal? – of Lowood School. In the middle of his interview with Jane, Ms. Reed can’t help but warn him of Jane’s character, reminiscent of Ms. Hannigan from Annie: she’s deceitful and ungrateful, among a host of other things. Brocklehurst promises that he will make the teachers aware of this, and Jane is accepted into the school.
At first glance, Lowood isn’t much better than where Jane came from – the food is horrible, for one thing. And the teachers run a tightly scheduled ship, ordering the girls in both lessons and prayer. The school’s mission is to teach the girls how to behave in society, but Brocklehurst also prides on stripping them of all luxury; the girls should only be concerned with serving God. In the midst of all this change, Jane makes two good friends – Hellen Burns, older than her by a few years, and Miss Temple, the school’s superintendent.
Helen is a striking contrast from Jane: when she is punished, she just takes what she gets. When Jane asks why she puts up with it, Helen simply replies that it is God’s will. But honestly, even with that answer, I would still be wondering the same thing as Jane.
Miss Temple is easily the nicest person in the entire school. She cares for Jane and Helen, seeing their worth while others cannot see past their apparent bad behavior. For Jane, she is a positive influence and a close friend.