Analysis of the conversation in McGraw’s and Ellis’s articles

McGraw Graphic OrganizerEllis Graphic OrganizerPeter McGraw and Joel Warner, in the article The Humor Code, Entry 6: Can Comedy Bring About Real Political Change?, assert that humor, when used strategically, can greatly improve the society by engaging the public to politics. Iain Ellis, on the other hand, claims that political humor is basically an interplay among politicians, media, and the public. The public have gained great power in shaping the politics, and politicians need to play with humor to promote their positive self-images in different media.

I am interested McGraw’s point that humor can effect real political change. I agree with McGraw because he address some key premises for humor to change the society. He uses Popovic, an example which shows political humor works under optimal condition. Popovic’s jokes fit well with McGraw’s benign violation theory, which states that laughter arises when a joke makes something threatening appears funny, thus alleviating the fear of the audience. “People were afraid, and humor was useful in breaking that fear” (McGraw 148). By joking, Popovic embarrasses the president, and weakens his political power. Still, I wonder if satire that occurs in small country turns out to be more effective because it can spread out quickly over the nation. In this case, the counterargument somewhat makes sense in it addresses that joking in USSR is not effective enough to make big political change.

Works Cited

Ellis, Iain. “Political Humor and Its Diss Contents.” Pop Matters, 14 Oct. 2012, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 150-155.

McGraw, Peter and Joel Warner.Entry 6: Can Comedy Bring About Real Political Change?” Slate, 30 Mar. 2014, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 146-148.


Reflection of writing in this term

In this term, I have achieved multiple skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking. These skills really give me new insights into the realm of college writing. For instance, instead of simply highlighting, I have learned to annotate in an article when I found somewhere interesting. I also gained the ability to raise an intriguing question. Of course, when answering the question, I have known to draw evidence from multiple sources. With the supporting evidence in hand, I can make my passage sensible. I have, too, understood how to ethically cite sources through studying academic integrity. With the rules in mind, I reached a higher level of thinking, that is, summarizing a passage. I have learned that writing a summary requires me to arrange the materials in a brief yet informational fashion. And after making sense of the summary, I started to synthesize the ideas from different writers and put them into a captivating conversation. I also learned to address counterargument to make my idea stronger, and demonstrate this aspect in my presentation. I internalized grammar and style principles, which are important tools in writing and revising my essays. Then, I understood how to strategically analyze how an argument is made. With reflecting skills, I can be aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and work harder in my shortcomings.

This term has its special topic: humor. Reviewing my summary and synthesis paper, I learned how to demonstrate the conversation of different authors about humor’s functions in society. I am pleased to raise an interesting question and invite such many authors to speak for it. This skill is cultivated by studying raising a question and drawing evidence from course readings. The analysis paper also allows me to break down an article and illustrate how each part contributes to the argument. Specifically, when analyzing a comedy, I could apply humor theories, based on my understanding, to address how the comedian makes his or her points. That makes me excited because I can, out of my expectation, tackle the realm of humor with ease. Though most of the assignments are related to humor, the rules that apply to writing are basically the same when I address another discipline. So, I am confident that I can write college-level essays sensibly using the things I learned from the class.

Still, I am concerned about writing in an English convention. I am sure that I do not completely obey that convention when writing, and that makes my essay less understandable. I am also worried about articulating the context or larger conversation. Lacking common background in some fields, I certainly cannot resonate with the readers effectively. Nevertheless, I feel ready for AWP 2B. This class can keep helping me resolving the things I concerned, and proceeds by raising me to a higher level of thinking – argument. This thinking allows me to speak on my own and participate in the larger academic conversation. I feel this step-by-step development of my writing can be really a huge progress in my success in college.

Summaries in Conversation Between Critchley and McGraw & Warner

Simon Critchley illustrates in his article Did You Hear the One About the Philosopher Writing a Book on Humor? that humor can influence people under the “congruence between joke structure and social structure” (Critchley 123). The congruence is necessary for the joke to be funny in the first place. When creating laughter, humor generates an incongruity in the audience’s expectation and reality of an event. This perceptual shift relieves people’s tension. Besides reducing stress, true humor can change the way we think. Like Eddie Waters points out, “It has to liberate the will and the desire and change the situation” (126), Critchley claims from true jokes we can know something socially fixed is absurd and then challenge the status quo. Other jokes, however, merely demand reactions from the viewers and reinforce the consensus. Critchley comments that “such humor does not seek to change the situation, but simply toys with existing social hierarchies in a charming but quite benign fashion” (Critchley 127).

In the passage The Humor Code, Entry 1: What Exactly Makes Something Funny?, Peter McGraw and Joel Warner argue that benign violation theory, which states “humor arises when something seems wrong or threatening, but is simultaneously OK or safe” (McGraw 133), explains the reasons jokes are laughable better than other theories. To prove this claim, McGraw and Warner harness an experiment done by University of Tennessee professors; the result of the experiment presents positive correlation between a joke’s predictability and funniness, contrasting the most popular incongruity theory, which claims negative correlation (133). Also, benign violation theory addresses dirty jokes, tickling, and why some things are not funny. These aspects all matter to the society, but other theories fail to take these humors into account (134). As a result, benign violation theory is more universally applicable.

Although Critchley and McGraw agree humor can change how we think (Critchley 126 & McGraw 133), they distinguish in ways humor makes us laugh. McGraw thinks the “benign violation” makes humor, neither too threatening nor too pointless, worth laughing. On the other hand, Critchley argues it is the “incongruity” between the expectation and the reality that creates tension that is released by laughter. The major difference between these two arguments is due to the authors’ sources of evidence. While Critchley uses social investigation to construct his idea, McGraw employs scientific experiments to manifest his theory, which is more credible in terms of objectivity. Moreover, the evidence McGraw harnesses reputes the incongruity theory supported by Critchley, but Critchley does not well address potential challenge from other humor theorists, so McGraw’s claim appears more valid than Critchley’s.


Work Cited

Critchley, Simon. “Did You Hear the One About the Philosopher Writing a Book on Humour?”Think, vol. 1, no. 2, Autumn 2002, pp. 103-112, in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 122-131.

McGraw, Peter and Joel Warner. “Entry 1: What, Exactly, Makes Something Funny?” Slate,23Mar.2014, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 132-135.



I am grateful for my instructor Dr. Gocsik for facilitating me to understand reading materials and come up with better ideas with writing. I appreciate my mentor Sarah for correcting structural mistakes and give suggestions for refining summary. I also thank my groupmates Flory and Shuli for pointing out minuscule stylistic and grammatical mistakes during group discussion.

Evaluation of Academic Integrity Policy in UCSD


(Image from Academic Integrity Office website, UCSD)

Academic integrity is a concept that guides college students through success in their campus life. The academic integrity policy in UC San Diego, upholding this concept, addresses the major concerns of students’ works and their eligibility. The policy lists some major requirements for the students to complete their scholarship programs.

Working with integrity is, in my perspective, essential for all the learners. “Education happens best when it occurs in an environment that is fair to all” (Gocsik, 26). This principle applies perfectly to all the fields of studies around the world, and it is the academic integrity that brings fairness and honesty to university environments. Under the trustworthy atmosphere, we students can study engagingly, and our teachers can give appropriate helps to correct our mistakes. Besides, we should be aware of the policy because disobeying certain rules will result in penalty. Sanction is clearly what we do not expect to receive. Being accustomed to integrity also benefits us a lot: It bestows the confidence that we can do works on our own and ensures others to measure our abilities accurately.

Of course, potential objections to the policy arise when the workload is too heavy so that students have to disregard academic integrity to accomplish some tasks. Indeed, some smart and intelligent people can even act in an unacceptable way if they are under stress. Nevertheless, we should be responsible for our work completion. Instructors, knowing students can grip the study materials, will not normally assign too many missions to the students, or they will be in trouble. Hence, we ought to manage our schedules and get homework done in a timely manner.

I am concerned about working with integrity because it matters to my academic development. Learning new things is never an easy process, so it is impossible to use deceptive tactics. What I can do is to absorb the knowledge, ask questions, and apply all them to solve real-world issues. In that way, I can achieve my goal of being an expert in specific field. In addition, I would like to keep the moral code. Violating the policy is a contaminator, and it is really bad to do it. Many psychologists have emphasized the effect of cheating on individuals: Once people get rewards from cheating, they want to cheat more. It is better not to stir up the negative loop of cheating.

Sophocles, a renowned Greek philosopher, once said, “I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.” This sentence reminds me again of doing any task with my own effort. Every moment before I start doing something, including writing this essay, it is worthwhile to think about academic integrity.



Work Cited

Gocsik, Karen Marie. “Chapter Four: Writing with Integrity and Excellence.” The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing, UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, p. 26.

Analysis of the sources employed by O’Hara and Khazan in their writings

To persuade others of certain arguments throughout an article, credible evidence is required to support them. Evidence may not come from the writer itself, but is given by the stakeholders who have something agrees with the writer. Both O’Hara and Khazan used this technique to make their claims sound.

In Mary O’Hara’s A Serious Business: What Can Comedy Do?, there were a lot of guests with different occupations that are interested in the issue of humor’s effects on people. Maeve Higgins, a comedian, was the first guest to speak in the conversation. She said, “Laughter is a lubricant and is expected, and it’s really hard not to do it.” This sentence tells the audience to think of humor positively. Then, Jon Ronson, a colleague of Higgins, asserted comedy makes people connected, better their feelings. Peter McGraw & Joel Warmer, in their work The Humor Code: A global search for what makes things funny, explained that ancient Greek scholars contemplated about comedy and set the basis for Western philosophy at the same time. The writer also invited some historical figures to represent humor. “Charles Darwin looked for the seeds of laughter in the joyful cries of tickled chimpanzees. Sigmund Freud sought the underlying motivations behind jokes in the nooks and crannies of our unconscious.” Of course, John Hobbes, a philosopher, was the guest the writer wanted to challenge because he claimed “humor is ostensibly about mocking the weak and exerting superiority,” opposing the writer’s argument, and also the cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems’, which thought humor is a great way for human evolution by letting them not use actual weapons to hit others.

Despite the comedy’s ability to deal with interpersonal relationships, there were certain invited guests who thought humor has social functions. Avner Ziv, a scholar, insisted comedy, along with satire, is potentially useful in reforming society. Negin Farsad furthered the idea by saying humor is a platform for advancing social justice. Josie Long had her own insights when performing her comedy since she believed that comedians have a role to play in articulating and challenging some of the most pressing issues of the day. “Satire is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” This saying is meaningful that it addresses what we concern. Sophie Quirk, on the other hand, proved Long’s point by giving out the fact that comedians are always focusing on social issues and try to resolve them. For instance, John Fugelsang had political comedy be righteous in it delivers the truth to the audience. Stephen K. Amos, on the other hand, told us he does explicit work in affairs that matter to himself to fight against stereotypes. Alfie Moore, also thanked his comedy career in bringing his vocation – policing – to the eyes of the viewers. Liz Carr also entertained a lot of topics and ideas that are related to the disabled to break the barriers with the “normal” people. (In fact, she is also one of them.)

O’Hara invited a few more stakeholders to express their ideas in convincing the readers to take comedy seriously. Sharon Lockyer, a social scientist, examined disabled comedians and observed that comedy industry has made the disabled change from those being mocked to those mocking someone or something else. From the detail inside the field of comedy, there are, to a larger scale, lots of comics who are making a lot of money distribute comedy into diverse ways and forms. Sophie Quirk and Scott Weems made a reprise to this discussion. Quirk claimed that there is more value in humor even it is not linked to serious subject. And Weems, based on relative research studies, discovered that comedy has benefits to people’s health and well-being. Finally, Jamie Masada ended this conversation by saying that comedy can make people’s relationships better, and it has positive effect on resolving social issues, summarizing all the assertions made by various supporting stakeholders.

In Olga Khazan’s The Dark Psychology of Being a Good Comedian, a different argument is held, and there is one recurring guest, psychologist Peter McGraw, that accompanies the writer to come up with the conclusion about the comedians’ psychology. There are also other stakeholders that impacts the writer’s claim. Firstly, Lorne Michaels, a comedian, during the first show after 9/11, expresses his own distress of not wanting to perform in the context of the huge disaster. Gilbert Gottfried, on the other hand, is criticized because of his frivolous joke about the event. The Onion staffers feel hesitant about the risk of publishing humorous news, but after publishing the reports, they are found successful in reliving the terror of readers. This fact reflects McGraw’s theory that comedy is half-dark and half-light. Hobbes and Plato suggested that making fun helps people feel superior to others. People opposing this idea were Kant and later psychologists, who thought humor is a cognitive strategy in mocking others to make oneself feel better. Freud speculated that humor is a component of the id that outcompetes the protesting superego. Daniela S. Hugelshofer held the similar idea by saying humor acts as a buffer against bad emotions. Some other evolutionary psychologists posit that humor can endow males with better fitness in sexual selection. McGraw quoted what Mark Twain said, “The secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow.” and furthered this sentence with evidence from the former part of the article. Warner, McGraw’s co-author, noticed that different geographies have different perspectives about humor; besides that, different times, and even different people have varied thoughts of jokes, thus marking comedians as careful in preparing for what they are going to say.

One of the specific sources that I want to articulate about is Josie Long, who intends to answer the question about whether comedy can change how we feel, what we think or even what we do. In attempting to refute potential misinterpretation of jokes, she said “It’s vital to understand the job comedy can do in actively providing a counterbalance to bigotry and prejudice.” Normally we think comedy can only make us laugh, but Josie Long, being experienced with the humor, has her own credible idea of comedy. The writer incorporates this source in order to proceed and exemplify the discussion of humor’s role in human society after Negin Farsad’s generalization that “comedy provides a platform for advancing social justice”.


Works Cited

O’Hara, Mary. “A serious business: what can comedy do?” Mosaic, 23 Aug. 2016,

Khazan, Olga. “The Dark Psychology of Being a Good Comedian.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 27 Feb. 2014,

The Reason, Process, and Meanings behind Gregor’s Transformation in the Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis presents a story about a man’s alienation from his family: Gregor, working arduously for his family, suddenly turns into a bug, and progressively gets abandoned by his parents and sister. However, beyond this abrupt event, Gregor already is a social “vermin” – justified by his inability to execute individuality; his transformation is, in my opinion, also a gradual process that not only symbolizes the changes in his perspectives toward his surroundings, but also the alteration of his family’s thoughts about himself.

Gregor’s transformation illustrates his problems about general isolation from modern society that put expectations to his hard-working. Long before Gregor turns into a vermin, he has wished to get equally well-treated with his colleagues and family members but fails. As Gregor says, “That’s all I’d have to try with my boss; I’d be fired on the spot. Anyway, who knows if that wouldn’t be a very good thing for me. If I didn’t hold back for my parents’ sake, I would have quit long ago.” (1.5), he is constrained by the working conditions that force him to get up early while seeing other workers enjoying their breakfast. Turning into a giant bug seems a fulfillment of his will to get rid of this job. In addition, he is the only one who can support the family, but after this transformation deprives him of the ability to work, every member attempts to expel him without considering his contribution, further suggesting his verminous position before the metamorphosis really takes place.

The establishing process of transformation stems from Gregor’s tedious lifestyle. Working as a traveling salesman, he can presumably get to know a lot of things from outside world. Instead, he complains that there cannot be long-enduring relationships with other people around this business. Besides, he cannot have the time like his family members to get relaxation from reading newspapers, playing music instruments, etc. Such monotonous life mode makes him distasteful, as depicted after his waking up: “His room, a regular human room, only a little on the small side, lay quiet between the four familiar walls.” (1.2) Though Gregor is familiar with the room, he feels uncomfortable about it, as emphasized by the phrase “regular human room”.

Despite Gregor’s literal transformation, there are more, symbolically, transformations about his entire family. His father most directly shows the outrage toward Gregor, and as he returns to his job, wearing up the clothes, he regains the authority of supporting family and controlling Gregor’s will. His mother, being stunned by the moment as she sees the vermin, feels desperate about her son’s mishap but later turns in to suppress her anxiety. What’s more is about Greta’s transformation: “She had in fact noticed that Gregor needed plenty of room to crawl around in; and on the other hand, as best she could tell, he never used the furniture at all” (2.22). As Greta notices her brother’s needs, she comes to be more decisive in taking care of Gregor, accompanying the decrease of Gregor’s agency. This is even testified later when Gregor scares the boarders away, it is Greta who makes the ultimate decision to get rid of Gregor as the family is dealing with a kitchen bug.

Summing up all the points about the why, how, and what about his transformation, Gregor is unhappy about his situations, living with a verminous lifestyle. The transformation makes him lose respect and the ability to support family, but also changes the entire family’s roles, as exemplified by Greta’s increasing agency of making decisions.

Works Cited

“The Metamorphosis.” by Franz Kafka. Trans. David Wyllie. Sweden: Wisehouse Classics, 2015. Print.


Change and Continuity in Russian Politics and Culture During 1750-1914

During the period from 1750 to 1914, Russia, a land empire in the age of imperialism, sparked a series of political and cultural reformation that enhanced Russia’s power over much of its territory with preservation of some old monarchical rules that were later threatened by Western ideas.

The entire Russian Empire was under the rules of tsars at that time period, with Eastern Orthodoxy as the popular religion that was widely spread and accepted over the territory. But with respect to Western development, Russia faced problems that whether to put liberalism – a branch of enlightenment ideas – into this area. In 1750, Catherine the Great of Russia was at the height of her reign. Although she considered herself an enlightened despot and selectively tried to expose Russia to Western techniques, she was hesitant to let Western advances threaten her power. During this time, Russia was still relying on a method of serfdom that had been present in the country for many previous years. Catherine imposed tighter restrictions on the serf population, extracting labor from the masses and giving them little to no voice in affairs of the State. While she continued the method of serfdom in Russia, her reforms and restrictions on serfdom further exploited the working labor masses of her country which heightened their unrest. Suffered the disadvantages of being neighbors to the rising nations in Europe, Russia had its wins and losses during the era yet managed to retain its power.

In fact, the Russian Empire had turned its attention to the west under the late 17th and early 18th century rule of Peter the Great, but the change in attitude actually happened later. As exemplified by Alexander I, who undertook top-down westernizing reforms, a lot of western industrial technologies and enlightenment ideas were incorporated into this land. In the mid-19th century, due to the modernization efforts, Russia became a huge, diverse realm that was very difficult to rule from a central location, even with the power granted to an absolute tsar. However, later resistance to Alexander I’s bureaucratic reforms initiated the Decembrist revolt, which stiffened Nicholas I’s hostility to Western ideas. His suspicion of Western ideas stalled reform and slowed industrial development. What’s more, since Russia had been continually expanding, there existed some conflicts with regions east or south to Russian Empire. Frequent confrontation gave Russia a shortage of power distributed that kept them from expanding territories.

Rather, Russia got into trouble with powerful England and France, when its formidable army attacked the Ottoman Empire to seize access to warm water ports around the Black Sea. Fearful of an upset in European balance of power, England and France supported the Ottomans in defeating Russian troops in the Crimean War (1853-1856). This defeat clearly showed Russian weakness, and it led Tsar Alexander II to attempt reform by emphasizing industrialization, creating elected district assemblies called Zemstvos. Dissatisfied by Russian Empire’s rules that put itself into danger, a lot of intellectuals began seeking ways to save the whole society. For instance, after Russia’s humiliation in the Crimea, the Slavophile tendency, gave rise to Pan-Slavism, a militant political doctrine advocating unity of all the Slavic peoples, including those living under Austrian and Ottoman rule. Slavophile idea fostered Russophobia that kept Western Europeans from attacking Russian Empire any more.

There were also many people who thought the centralized government as malevolent force that impeded Russia’s economic growth. In 1861, Czar Alexander II reformed Russian society by emancipating the serfs, but the newly freed peasants still had limited mobility. Although the serfs had been freed and given limited rights, they continued to suffer poor working conditions as the majority of the work force in factories. Russia’s instability became apparent when Alexander II was assassinated by one of the many revolutionary groups that were growing rapidly within the country. Some of these revolutionary groups were Marxist, and their influence would eventually take over the country in 1917. However, Russia continued on under absolute rule until then, with an intense state-run industrialization program that did modernize Russia by the end of the 19th century.

Russian Marxists revolutionaries saw capitalism – or the free market – as an economic system that exploited workers and increased the gap between the rich and the poor. They believed that conditions in capitalist countries would eventually become so bad that workers would join together in a Revolution of the Proletariat, and overcome the bourgeoisie, or owners of factories and other means of production. They envisioned a new world after the revolution, one in which social class would disappear because ownership of private property would be banned. According to Marx, communism encourages equality and cooperation, and without property to encourage greed and strife, governments would be unnecessary. His theories eventually took new forms in early 20th century Russia. Nicholas II, the last tsar of the Russian Empire, though not an unsatisfactory emperor, was threatened, and, in 1917, eventually killed by internal ideological conflicts that would later shape Russia’s social and political status with brand new communism ideas that opposed imperial laws.

Biodiversity is in Danger

Nowadays, people have already notice the problems of the environment. Since people waste too many resources, some kinds of creatures have nothing to eat. Thus, how to protect the biosphere is a serious challenge. Without millions of species, the earth would be a dead planet.

So first of all, it is necessary for us to know about a very important term—biodiversity.

Biodiversity means the magnitude of diversity with different species in a specific region. Every creatures in the nature are dependent on each other. Without plants, animals cannot survive. If there are no insects to deliver the pollen, many angiosperm plants could not be reproductive. Also, dead corpses can’t be dissociated without decomposers, and the cycle of substances will not be existing. Inside rain forest, the growth of a tree mainly due to the absorption of nutrients. Some bears even eat leaves, and lichens are placed on their backs. According to the statement above, we can see that one creature could provide a niche for another one.

As different populations live in the same community, they live together in the same condition. Although ecologists discover that different species have some relationships, but these relationships are still mystery. However, currently, scientists find a very important law that when one species disappears in a region, this region would suffer from some changes. For example, there is one species always eats some kinds of animals or plants, if the animals and plants die out across the food chain or food web, the food chain or food web will be totally broken and the numbers of this individual will be diminished. When predators leave a district, the species being predated will reproduce rapidly and overturn the capacity of the ecosystem. Similarly, if one of the symbiotic species disappears, the other species left along would also be influenced.

Biodiversity makes the structure of ecosystem more stable. If one ecosystem could keep its biodiversity, it is tended to be very steady; but if the species changes, the balance of this ecosystem will be disturbed. Moreover, biodiversity is very important for human’s life. For instance, aerobic respiration needs oxygen, and most of the oxygen comes from some species that could proceed photosynthesis. At the same time, because of biodiversity, human beings get their demanding foods, medicines and so on.

Extinction means one species disappears from the Earth. It is a natural process, during the history of geology, there are many catastrophes that account for extinction. Scientists predict that in every million species, there is about one species dies out annually. However recently, the speed of extinction is greater than any other times before. Hence scientists make a hypothesis which states that because of the demands of human being, the destruction of habitat and the land development, the acceleration of extinction is revealed.

The main factor that affects the decrease of the biodiversity is the disappearance of habitats. From 1970 to 1980, in the Amazon rain forest, thousands of hectares of forest are cultivated into meadow, and trees are cut down for the usage of firewood. This forest has nothing functional after several yeas, because the soil of rain forest is not suitable for cultivating crops. However, the cultivation of land makes the habitats disappear, and it is difficult to reconstruct them. And because of that, some animals and plants are threatened to extinction.

Habitat fragmentation means the large area of the habitat is separated into smaller fragments or islands under the human activities. The fragmentation of habitat will bring these consequences: The acceleration of the extinction of local species, the resistance of ecological process, colonization of exotic species, the insidious danger of fire disaster and the change of local climate. As the habitat is separated into smaller and smaller area, the biodiversity of this region will be simpler and simpler. Because when one species moves out from a region, other species that depends on it has no insurance about foods, so the population would decrease. Finally, the biodiversity of this region diminished rapidly. The habitat fragmentation causes geographical isolation, and then is the genetic isolation. Because if the habitat is very tiny, it is difficult for species to find opportunities to reproduce.

The other factor that threaten biodiversity is the habitat degradation. It is majorly due to the environment pollution. Atmospheric pollution will cause many diseases such as the stimulation of noses and eyes. And aquatic pollution could be fatal to species living in water, especially fishes. Since people fertilize so much phosphorous into the soil and give out so much industrial polluted water, a lot of polluted substances are created. When these substances enter rivers, streams, lakes and oceans, the ability of self-cleaning is decreased. And it strongly affects creatures live in water.

Therefore, we can see that any events that influence the ecosystem could bring negative effects, even though it benefits human beings themselves. But as we can see, the results are unexpected, only the protection of biodiversity could keep the earth evergreen forever. In this place, everyone should has the duty to take actions to do something to save the environment, and even save our planet.

Analysis of the Catcher in the Rye

One of the most well-known novels all over the world is called The Catcher in the Rye, which is written by Jerome David Salinger, a famous American author. There is no doubt that this book is extremely attractive because of its distinguishing plot. The story just happened in a high school student named Holden Caulfield. Although the duration of Holden’s experience is only about three days, David Salinger makes a lot of efforts and they make the story seem not so boring. He uses many rhetorical skills to explore the heart inside a teenager. Since the thoughts and experiences of the protagonist, Holden, identify with nearly all the teenagers at that time, this book became very famous among the readers especially young children and teens.

The main plot of the novel is always surrounds Holden. The reason why the plot is majorly about Holden because the author uses first person to tell the story. This method is very appropriate for us to know the feelings of Holden. Furthermore, every things are narrated by him, and these things are truly happened to himself. “I” is one of the words that usually appears in this novel, it will spontaneously brings some amiable sensation, and it is convenient for the author to express Holden’s emotion. It also reduces the distance between the readers and the protagonist and makes the plot more constructive. However, there are also some disadvantages of using the first person. Because of the limits of narrative, these things can only told by “me” that happened to “myself”. If something just happened to others and it is not be experienced by “me”, it may be harder for readers to understand other characters’ feelings about something. In my point of view, readers are more willing to read the innovative first person paragraphs. Hence, there are still more benefits than disadvantages.

Inside the story, there are also many symbols in not only the backgrounds or settings but also in some specific objects. For example, Pencey symbolizes the mainstream culture in the United States. In 1950s, American is in peaceful situation after so many dangers, and many modern productions make people just look like robots, their life is simple but not so colorful. Pencey is also that kind of production. It makes all the students like the same people. However, Holden is the example who is not satisfy with it. (page 4&5, chapter 1) At the beginning of this book, almost everyone in the school is watching the football game with a team called Saxon Hall. But Holden just stands on the top of Thomsen Hill and watches the crowd yelling or cheering. His attitude shows that he is not care about the mainstream culture, and this is one of the reasons why he will be kicked out of the school. On the contrary, New York is the symbol of subcultures. Inside this big city, many new cultures appear in each corners.

Many people might feel very embarrassed because of their individual appearances so does Holden. (page 11, chapter 2) Because of Holden’s half gray hair, he is a bit hesitated because gray hair means oldness. As an teenager, Holden has already know some adults’ principles and he even has some bad habits which are usually adults’, but he is also a bit childish. This maybe also why Holden feels very different from others.

Sally, one of the supporting characters, also is very important in the development of the plot. (page 138, chapter 17) From “She looked terrific.” to “I swear to god I’m crazy, I admit it.” It just seems that they fell in love with each other because Holden uses positive words to describe her. But after Holden offer to take Sally to be hermit. She can’t well understand what Holden means. They quarrel with each other. (page 149, chapter 17) In the end of this chapter, Holden uses some negative words to mock Sally. After all, Holden’s world is full of Sally, but this conflict makes him depressed. In my opinion, maybe their mind is not synchronized enough, and it is hard for them to communicate with each other. However, this thing really changed Holden a lot, and it tells him not to concern about this thing again, it’s no use.

And, as I can know from the book is that Holden is a very dissolute boy. In his own world, the most important thing is not studying. He just hope for the freedom. Though he often say some words that are not appropriate for us to say, this is his personality, this is him. Maybe some guys in the society are not be accepted by us because of their random behaviors, but we couldn’t condemn them. On the contrary, we have duty to protect them, and we need to lead them to a correct way. Also, from the story, Holden is not unconcerned about everyone. He has a little sister Phoebe. From the novel, almost every chapter has a very clear word “Phoebe”. Maybe the birth of this girl brings him many surprises and he treasures the noble possession—the vigorous life. He has the consciousness to take good care of his little sister, and he tries his best to make her happy. (page 220, chapter 25) From “Dear Phoebe” to”Love, Holden” this is a letter written from Holden to Phoebe. Although this letter is very short, only about fifty words, but it is filled with love and nostalgia. The content of this letter is that Holden wants to say goodbye to Phoebe and initiate his journey to the west. “I will give you your Christmas dough back. I didn’t spend much.” From the sentence, Holden offers some gifts to Phoebe and the diction is very friendly. I think it is fortunate of Phoebe that she has a very kind brother who always care about herself. And wherever Holden is, he always brings a lot of warmth to Phoebe. This novel also perfectly explain the emotion between the older brother and the younger sister.

According to the analysis and report I made, the paragraphs are mainly about the background of the author, the structure, the symbols, some details and some of my feelings about the book. During the course of reading, I can not only catch more literary terms but also know about the plot, and a very special teenager who is in old time. In conclusion, though there may be some inappropriate words such as “damn” or “hell”, after I finish reading, I feel that I become a bit more mature than before. And I believe it will encourage me in the rest of my life.