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Sarah P.
High School Teacher and University Student
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Literature
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Question:

Evaluate 'The Outsiders' by S.E. Hinton as a form of Young Adult Literature.

Sarah P.
Answer:

The Outsiders is a coming of age novel in the Young Adult Literature genre, that portrays two weeks in the life of Ponyboy Curtis as he tries to understand the socio-economically divided society in which he lives in. Young Adult Literature is defined by its specific target audience of around 12 to 20 years of age. As well as this, novels in this genre are mostly written from the perspective of a teenager, and focus on real-life problems within society; such as bullying, suicide, and relationships. The Outsiders follows the real-life drama of Ponyboy Curtis as the novel explores the socio-economic divide between ‘the socs’ and ‘the greasers’ in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1965. ‘The socs’ are of a higher class within the society due to their privileged financial position, while the ‘greasers’ only have each other for support; yet it seems that each other is all that they need. A socio-economic divide within a society is a real life problem faced by communities all over the world. The Outsiders gives a very realistic and honest portrayal of what it is like to live on the less privileged side of the spectrum, as well as the unique relationship they have with the higher end of society. The second aspect that classifies The Outsiders as Young Adult Literature is how Hinton has articulated the novel from the perspective of Ponyboy Curtis, a thirteen-year-old boy who is the youngest of three brothers. However, Ponyboy is facing issues not as commonly faced by people of such a young age. His parents died which means that he is being looked after by his older brother, but in some ways still has a responsibility to defend for himself in the culture of gangs and violence he is exposed to each day. Lastly, The Outsiders can be classified as Young Adult Literature, as even though it has the potential to use strong language and be fairly graphic due to the violent nature of the setting in which the novel is based, it has been written in such a way that is appropriate for a slightly younger audience. This can be seen though the lack of swearing or vulgar language used throughout the story. As well as this, even though there are scenes that are violent in nature, Hinton used language that portrayed the seriousness of the situation without being too graphic. For example “I thought dizzily that he was going to knock some of my teeth loose or break my nose”. Even though Ponyboy is in a fight, much more graphic language could have been used to describe the scene if the target audience was of an older age bracket. Many aspects of The Outsiders classify the novel as Young Adult Literature. You can see through the very way it was written that it is targeted for a younger audience, however this does not mean that the novel lacks maturity as it explores very real and eye-opening situations that is still going on in the real world today.

English
TutorMe
Question:

How Characters are Stereotyped Through Their Language in How to talk to girls at parties and The History of little Goody two-shoes

Sarah P.
Answer:

Stereotypes are often used as a shortcut for the reader to understand what the writer is trying to portray. For example, if a character was described to be in rough and dirty clothing, as well as every line of speech having a swear word, you would naturally assume that this character is underprivileged and from a rundown area. However this is a stereotype and not necessarily fact until stated by the author. This is just one example of a stereotype, however there are many others in nearly every piece of writing. In the short story How to talk to girls at parties, I found that the author used the language of the main character in order to stereotype females especially. There are many stereotypes used to make judgments, especially on women. These date back years to when women were not allowed to work, and we subject to being housewives and caring for the children. Even though times have changed considerably, certain stereotypes still prevail. For example, “they know all about everything”. This is a common stereotype that girls know and remember every small detail for each situation, however this could never be true and using the word ‘they’ is generalizing that stereotype to the entire female population. Another time language was used to stereotype was when one of the characters stated: ““I’ll be in the kitchen listening to someone’s mum going on about politics or poetry”. Women often have limitations put on them when it comes to expectations other people have of them. For example, here a woman is being subjected to the idea that all she is capable of talking about is “politics or poetry”. This is especially a stereotype towards the older generation as that is grouping of age is the people the character is talking about. Lastly, the character is talking about the fact the he will “only truly understand other boys”. This is a double-layered stereotype as it is not only insinuating that girls are complicated, but also that boys are more simple and easier to understand. By using the words “only truly understand”, it indicates that girls can only be understood up until a certain point, and after that it is just too messy. Whereas boys are more simple minded and therefore are more likely to be the only ones ever truly understood. In the second short story, The History of little Goody two-shoes, there is again a stereotypical voice towards the female gender. This could be due to the novel being written in a time where equality between men and women was still far out of sight. For example, boys were often kept busier than the girls as they were the main breadwinner in the family, and the one responsible for security. This is shown when the pair of shoes belonged to Tommy the brother, rather than his sister, who only got one shoe. The reasoning for this was “Tommy, who had to go about more than his sister”. This shows how Margery was stereotyped as a girl to be incapable, and therefore inferior to her brother. The pattern continues when a kind stranger helped Margery and Tommy and “The very first thing he did was to order a pair of shoes to be made for Margery. And he offered to take Tommy to London”. This follows the theme of Margery being sidelined due to the stereotype that girls are less capable than boys, or in this case, Margery was seen as less capable than her brother. The stranger was very kind to offer Margery a new pair of shoes to replace the one shoe that she did have, however, Tommy was given the opportunity to go to London and make a life for himself. Both are very kindhearted gestures, except the favor for Tommy was just on a much bigger scale. In both of the short stories, the author used language that was a generalization, assumptions not necessarily fact for every female. However, it is not just the writer who stereotypes. We as the reader immediately make assumptions based on the way in which the author describes a character by either their physical description, their surroundings, their friendship group, or even their language used.

European History
TutorMe
Question:

Explain how Napoleon brought reformation to France, and how this influenced the development of other European countries.

Sarah P.
Answer:

Before and during the French Revolution, France was in a state of chaos. The Feudal System brought such an unequal balance to society that there was huge amounts of tension between the different social classes. As well as this, the power was taken away from the Monarchy, yet the revolutionaries did not know what to do after that. Therefore, when Napoleon arrived and proclaimed himself as Emperor, he brought ground breaking reformation that was able to bring some order and peace back to France. The way in which he achieved this was through the Napoleon Code. This was where he re-wrote the laws so that they were clear and concise, and everyone knew exactly which laws applied to which situations. He also was the first in history to create the notion that each man will be seen as equal before the law. This was completely revolutionary, as the most traditional system of law was that the punishment was dependent on which social class you were born into. Lastly, Napoleon brought in the human right of freedom of religion. This was an amazing leap into the modern day as it was so unusual in those times for people to be allowed to express and practice their own religions. These ideals quickly spread to the surrounding European countries, influencing their social development and setting the standard for what should be implemented. These practices can commonly be seen today throughout most of the Western world. Napoleon showed the rest of Europe how there does not need to be such big divides between social classes, and he brought about a fairness that meant the lower classes were finally starting to be treated as equals.

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