Book Reviews

Chew on This

Book Review

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Chew on This! is a non-fiction book that exposes the horrible truths of the fast-food industry, was written by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson. Chew on this! introduces the peril that fast-food imposes on the modern world to young adults and children. It gives the history of the industry, the back-story, and examples of real-life situations. It captures the history and future of the fast-food industry that is corrupt beyond imaginable. In Chew on this!, the general theme of the book, as brash as it sounds, is fast-food is bad, and it needs to stop before it takes over the world.

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Man Versus Nature

The Cost for The man’s arrogance


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Now his fate is certain. “The man was shocked. It was as though he had just heard his sentence of death” 

     No man should think they are more powerful than nature. In Jack London’s short story “To Build a Fire,”  the man was trying to challenge the nature and he lost.In the story, below 70 degree Fahrenheit, the man was trying to get to the boys in camp by himself. On his way to the camp, he would have to cross  a small stream and he discovered the nature is more powerful than him. The man fell into water, while he was walking across the stream. In order to keep his body from freezing, he had to build a fire as quickly as possible, except he did not outsmart nature.

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Revenge and Courage

The Madness of Captain Ahab

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Captain Ahab, all of this is madness.  The whale has taken your leg again.  begged Starbuck. Ahab turned away.  Then he spoke. “This hunt was rehearsed by you and me a billion years before this ocean came to be.  Fate cannot be changed!

 

Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville, is an adventure novel set on a whaling ship in the the 19th century. People were trying to obtain whale oil to provide fuel for their lamps, machines and technologies. However, their excessive killing angered the king white whale. On a previous trip to capture the whales, the Captain, Ahab, lost his leg to a white whale, which fueled his desire for revenge and  to kill the white whale. 

     Ahab is willing to risk his his life and his crew’s life to get his revenge. His crew still respected his behavior. In the final chapter, Ahab and his crew are trying to kill the white whale; however, it was the whale who killed Ahab.

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Equality Versus Individualism

The Story of Harrison Bergeron

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Equality and individualism cannot grow in the same garden. In the short story, Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr, shows the battle between equality and individualism. Harrison Bergeron, the main character of the story, represents individualism in the story. The handicapped general, on the opposite side, represents equality.

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Socs Versus Greasers

The Battle between Rich and Poor in The Outsiders

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    The storyline of The Outsiders is driven by Society and Class and focuses on the conflict between the “poor greasers” from the East side and the “rich socs” [The Upper Class Socials] from the West Side. The protagonist, Ponyboy, is constantly threatened by the Socs, because whenever these two sides meet there’s always going to be a conflict.

In Chapter Four, the Socs try to drown Ponyboy because when the Socs came back to the park Ponyboy was talking to the socs’ girlfriends.

I ducked and tried to run for it, but the Soc caught my arm and twisted it behind my back, and shoved my face into the fountain…I’m dying, I thought, and wondered what was happening to Johnny. I couldn’t hold my breath any longer. I fought again desperately but only sucked in water. I’m drowning, I thought, they’ve gone too far . . . A red haze filled my mind and I slowly relaxed.

When all the socs are trying to drown Ponyboy, Johnny pulls out a knife and killed Bob, the boyfriend of  one of the girls Pony and Johnny met at the theater. 

I killed him,” he said slowly. “I killed that boy.” Bob, the handsome Soc, was lying there in the moonlight, doubled up and still. A dark pool was growing from him, spreading slowly over the blue-white cement. I looked at Johnny’s hand. He was clutching his switchblade, and it was dark to the hilt. My stomach gave a violent jump and my blood turned icy.

This conflict between the Greaser and the Socs shows the tension between the rich and the poor in the novel. This is taken to another level when Johnny kills Bob to save Ponyboy from drowning.


Power in "The Chocolate War"

How Archie became a bad leader

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Many people desire power. Some put it into good use and some used it in bad ways. In The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, power is a recurring theme. It is used mostly against the boys who do not have any power.Archie, the leader of the vigils, gained his power furiously, but he puts it into bad use.At the end of chapter 5, Archie, in order to gain leadership and power in the vigils, he assigned a new assignment to the kid, Goober, to take the chairs and desks apart in room 19.

But, he had to draw a white marble from the box first.The box provided the control. After every assignment, it was presented to Archie. If Archie drew a white marble, the assignment stood as ordered. If Archie drew the black marble, it would be necessary for Archie himself to carry out the assignment, to perform the duty he had assigned for others.

In this scene, we learn that Archie desires control and power for the Vigils by giving assignments to the students in the school. Archie uses his power to “encourage(s)” aka:threatens Jerry to sell the chocolates. The Chocolate War shows us power is easily abused in the wrong hands.

 


The Chocolate War

Obedience and Courage

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, is a fiction story that was published in 2003. The book introduces the conflict that high schoolers face with each other at an all-boys religious school. The book draws comparisons between the boys that obey the assignments and the rules of The Virgins and Jerry, who didn’t want to “disturb the universe”.

The intended audience for the book is teenagers. The story is told by switching from the point of view of third person and first person. It is about how the leader of the mysterious Virgins,  assigned Jerry Renault an assignment for not selling the chocolate for ten days, but, Jerry kept refusing to complete the assignment. After this, a lot of people begun to disobey the assignments of the Virgins and not selling the chocolates anymore. At the end, Archie successfully encouraged people to take the chocolates and beat Renault up.

The author kept me interested by showing the readers both sides of the conflict. While reading the book, I reflected about my current school and how different it is from the trinity school. I  enjoyed reading  this book because I like how the characters revenge to each other. This is a new type of book for me to read.

If you like to read books about bullying, then this is a good place to start.