This short story called “Seventh Grade” was very appealing to me. It was because I am in seventh grade right now and also because I have read many other novels by Gary Soto. Gary Soto was born at April 12, 1952. They lived at a city called Frenso in California. His parents and grandparents worked as laborers in agriculture, or farming. Soto’s father died when Soto was only five years old. Gary Soto focused a lot on writing poetry.
This short story called “Seventh Grade” can be connected to me in many ways. First of all, just like the title, I am a student in the seventh grade. I thought that it would talk about adapting to the seventh grade environment and changes during this period, and I was right. Also, the story mentions the main character. Victor Rodriguez, liking another girl named “Teresa.” This can be connected to my life because seventh grade is a time when boys and girls start to like each other, and I also have liked someone else in the past. I know how it feels like, and this story shows another example of this.
Now, I will explain to you about what actually happens in the story. It is the first day of school, and Victor Rodriguez is going into the seventh grade. He decides to take an elective French class. Victor liked a girl named Teresa since long ago. Victor’s first period class was English, and he takes the class with Teresa. In French class, Victor doesn’t understand what the teacher is saying. In conclusion, Victor believes that this year will be great.
The main characters are Victor, Teresa, Mr. Lucas, and Mr. Bueller. Mr. Lucas is the English teacher, and Mr. Bueller is the French teacher. The protagonist is Victor. Victor is the main character, and wants to have a good year. There is no antagonist on this because there really isn’t any character that tries to stop Victor from having a good year. Mr. Bueller might be considered one, because Victor is not good at French, but this is not totally true because Victor not being good at French doesn’t stop him from having a good year because that is what he will learn throughout the year.
This story has an example of symbolism as well. Although it does not state directly that Victor likes Teresa, we can sort of infer that. For example, in Mr. Lucas’s English class, he asks Victor to give a noun, and Victor states Teresa. Also, Victor is very excited that Teresa is his French class, and in math class, Victor looks and ponders about Teresa, because she is not in the class. All these examples allow the reader to have fun reading it, because these examples show that Victor likes Teresa, but does not directly state that point.
Story 2. “The Luckiest Time of All” by Lucille Clifton
Everyone has times that they are happy and sad. There are also times when a person might feel lucky. But some events are happier than others. The short story “The Luckiest Time of All” made me wonder what time I was most happy in my life, and therefore, I decided to read it. There are five authors including Lucille Clifton, Lewis Carroll, Maxine Kumin, E.E. Cummings, and Shel Silverstein. The main author “Lucille Clifton” was born at June 27, 1936, and was raised at a city called Depew in New York. She married Fred James Clifton at 1958. Her poems include “Good Times”, “Good News about the Earth”, “An Ordinary Woman”, “Next: New Poems”, “Quilting: Poems”, and “The Terrible Stories”. She has also written many children’s books including “All Us Come Cross the Water”, “My Friend Jacob”, and the “Three Wishes”.
This story is a very basic story with not that many events. The main connection that I could make is how I sometimes think about my luckiest time. I wonder about whether it is when I got accepted to KIS, or if I found something that I have lost. In this story, the grandma tells about her luckiest time to her granddaughter, and I sometimes think about that too, so this could be connected in this way.
In this story, Mrs. Pickens, a grandmother, tells her great-granddaughter about the time when she met her husband. She and her friend, Ovella Wilson, went to join the Silas Greene, which is something like a circus. Mrs. Pickens and Ovella Wilson came across a dancing dog. The two people played with a dog, then coincidentally Mrs. Pickens threw her lucky black stone at the dog and it hit right to the dog’s nose. The dog became mad and chased Ms. Pickens and Ovella Wilson, but a boy was following them. It was a very fast and famous boy, and he grew up to be Mr. Pickens.
The protagonist of the story is Mrs. Pickens, and her great granddaughter Tee. Mrs. Pickens is the one that is telling the story about meeting Mr. Pickens at the Silas Greene. Tee is a patient kid and enjoys listening to Mrs. Pickens’s story. There isn’t really an antagonist here, because nobody stopped Mrs. Pickens from meeting her husband. Mr. Pickens even helped Mrs. Pickens to find her black stone. To add to this, Mr. Pickens actually found the stone.
The stone symbolizes a good relationship between Mrs. Pickens and his husband. If Mrs. Pickens didn’t throw the stone, or if that stone didn’t hit the dog, the dog wouldn’t have been mad, and Mrs. Pickens wouldn’t have met Mr. Pickens. The stone was an important object that symbolized how the romance started. One thing that I realized from this short story was that a single event could make a miracle in one person’s life.
Story 3. “A Day’s Wait” by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was an author born at July 21, 1889 and died at July 2, 1961. Hemingway was a writer and a journalist. He was Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for “The Old Man and the Sea” and also won the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1954. Hemingway was the first son of his father, Clarence Edmonds “DocEd” Hemingway, and his mother Grace Hall Hemingway. He attended Oak Park and River Forest High School from September 1913 until June 1917. Hemingway’s novels included “The Sun Also Rises”, “To Have and Have Not”, “The Old Man and the Sea”, “The Garden of Eden” and many others.
Among these stories, the short story I read was called “A Day’s Wait”. This story was published at 1933. In this story, a nine-year old boy named Schatz catches the flu. Schatz has a hard time because his temperature rises up to 102 degrees. This can be connected to my life because I have also caught the flu, and I know how painful it is.
The main character of this story is Schatz. When Schatz has the flu, the doctor leaves him three types of medicines, and Schatz’s father gives him the medicines. We can see the deep love between Schatz and his father. When his father checked Schatz’s temperature, it increased up to 102 degrees. Schatz gets worried because he heard that in France, one cannot live with a temperature over 44 degrees. Therefore Schatz’s father explains the difference in scales.
The characters in this short story are Schatz and his father. The protagonist is his father. His father tries to help Schatz by staying near him, giving him medicine, reading books, and also by measuring his temperature. There is no antagonist since nobody is causing Schatz to be sicker than he already is.
An explanation of symbolism can be shown in this story where Schatz’s father helps Schatz. This action symbolizes the true love between the father and his son. Also, because Schatz doesn’t have a mom, his father tries to fill in that spot by giving him the insufficient love that he cannot possibly get.
Story 4. “The Hummingbird that Lived Through Winter” by William Saroyan
William Saroyan was an American dramatist and author that was born at August 31, 1908 at Frenso, California and died at May 18, 1981. Saroyan’s father died when Saroyan was only three years old. Therefore, Saroyan was put in an orphanage in Oakland, California. Saroyan’s novels include “Three times Three”, “Little Children”, “My Name is Saroyan”, “Papa is Crazy”, “Madness in the Family”, “Boys and Girls Together”, “The Human Comedy”, “The Trouble with Tigers”, and “Love”.
Among these, the short story I read was called “The Hummingbird that Lived Through Winter.” This story allowed me to make one connection. This story is about a hummingbird. I like to see birds just like the character in the story. This story made me want to research more about the hummingbird as well.
The main characters in this short story were old Dikran, and the narrator. Old Dikran was a man that was past eighty and was almost blind. One Sunday, the narrator comes back home from Sunday School, and sees old Dikran standing at the middle of a street, trying to distinguish what is in his hand. The narrator tells him that it is a hummingbird, and old Dikran tells the narrator to follow him. Old Dikran takes the narrator to his house, and asks the narrator to put a tablespoon of honey over the gas fire and to pour it into his hand. Then the room became warm. Because of this, the hummingbird that was about to die lived until summer.
The protagonist in the story is old Dikran. He didn’t want the hummingbird to die, and therefore he asks the narrator to put a tablespoon of honey over the gas fire. The narrator can be also a protagonist because he tells old Dikran that the bird is a hummingbird, and also because he did cooperate in making the room warm and saving the hummingbird. The antagonist would be the weather that actually tried to kill the hummingbird. However, the weather lost this, because old Dikran was willing enough to help the hummingbird.
An explanation of symbolism is very evident in this story since old Dikran and the narrator both tries to help the hummingbird. From putting a tablespoon of honey over the gas fire, we can tell their love for the hummingbird. Another thing that it tells the reader is the importance of living organisms. Although the organism was only a single hummingbird, old Dikran tried to save it. I also believe that all living organisms are important, and believe that they should all get the equal amount of respect.
Story 5. “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury was born in a city called Waukegan, Illinois at August 22, 1920. His mother was a Spanish immigrant and his father’s job was an electrician. Bradbury’s grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers. Bradbury enjoyed reading and writing, and spent most of his time in the Carnegie Library in Waukegan. His family moved to Tucson, Arizona during the years 1926 to 1927, and 1932-1933, but then they settled in Los Angeles in 1934, when Bradbury was thirteen years old. In 1938, Bradbury graduated in the Los Angeles High School, but decided to not go to college. Instead, he decided to sell newspapers and continued to go to the Carnegie Library to study. Bradbury’s novels include “The Martian Chronicles”, “Fahrenheit 451”, “Dandelion Wine”, “The Halloween Tree”, and “Farewell Summer”.
Among these novels and short stories, I read the short story called “All Summer in a Day”. This story was about a school in Venus, the second closest planet from the earth. This story can be connected to my ideas because I sometimes imagine life on other planets. I think about how my lifestyle will change, or what kind of difficulties I will have that I don’t have here.
The main character of this story is Margot. The setting of this story is at a school in Venus. It constantly rains at Venus, and the atmosphere is very thick. The people living in Venus can see the sun very rarely, like once in every seven years. Back to Margot, Margot is a seven-year old girl that has moved from Earth to Venus five years before the story takes place. Because she has been at Earth, she knows what the sun looks like, which gets the other children in Venus to be jealous of her. Margot tries to remember the sun by writing a poem that goes like “I think the sun is a flower, that blooms for just one hour”. The students do not believe that Margot wrote this poem, and starts to bully Margot. One boy locks Margot inside the closet. That is when the teacher came, and took the children outside to look at the sun that would come every seven years. The students really enjoy seeing the sun, and forget about Margot. On the contrary, one girl remembered, and took Margot out of the closet, but t was too late. The sun was already gone.
The protagonist is Margot. She tries to remember the sun, and tries to adapt to the environment in Venus. Although it rains so much, she just tries to fit in to this environment. The antagonist is the students at Venus. The students bully Margot, and lock her in a closet. This made Margot to not see the beautiful sun. Now, Margot will have to wait another seven years to see the sun unless she goes back to the Earth.
Symbolism can be slightly shown in this short story. The sun, which is an object that causes this story, symbolizes a dramatic change. Everyone sees the sun, but Margot doesn’t. The sun explains why it was a bad idea that the other children bullied Margot. Bullying itself is bad, but Margot became in a worse situation because she didn’t see the sun that everyone else got to see.