Monday, 15 October 2012

How to conjugate IR verbs in french

This is just a summary on how to conjugate IR verbs in the present tense. All simple and common IR verbs are listed below.

Ir Verbs

The ending are as follows:

Je - is
Nous - issons
Tu - is
Vous - issez
Il - it
Ils - issent

finir – to work
Je finis
Nous finissons
Tu finis
Vous finissez
Il/Elle/on finit
Ils/Elles finissent

choisir – to choose

Je choisis
Nous choisissons
Tu choisis
Vous choisissez
Il/Elle/On choisit
Ils/Elles choisissent

 obéir – to obey
Nous obéissons
Tu obéis
Vous obéissez
Il/Elle/On obéit
Ils/Elles obéissent

to enlarge

to become bigger
to accomplish

to obey
to applaud

to punish
to build

to think, reflect
to choose

to fill
to embellish

to reunite
to invade

to succeed
to finish

to seize

Any questions on the french above, feel free to ask.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Son's Veto by Thomas Hardy analysis

The Son's Veto by Thomas Hardy essay analysis

Essay questions: "Discuss how status influenced the lives of the characters in the story, paying particular attention to the text." 
"Discuss also the relevance of the title."

Thomas Hardy places the social status and subsequent classes at the forefront of his short story, "the Son's Veto". Status and class, and therefore society's perception of one the, shape the plot and more importantly, the character's actions, reactions and thought processes in this short story.

Primarily, Mr Twycott is acutely aware of the implications of a decision and its affects on one's class in relation to society's perception. His proposal to Sophy was not the norm or status quo of the time and thus the text states "Mr Twycott knew perfectly well that he had committed social suicide by the this step..." Mr Twycott's marriage to Sophy was one of controversy since all in the village knew both people; Mr Twycott being a vicar demanding great respect and veneration while in comparison, Sophy was little more than a servant in his house.

Sophy herself is also aware of the social implication of marriage to Mr Twycott and in response to his proposal of marriage, "even if she had wished  to get away from him she hardly dared refuse a parsonage so reverend and august in her eyes." My Twycott's position and place in society and thus in her eyes refers on her ability to refuse.

Previously Sophy was courted by Sam Hobson, a villager with a similar status as herself . Hobson asked Sophy to marry him and her refusal or rather choice to marry Mr Twycott draws conclusion to the fact that Sophy could easily refuse Sam Hobson but due to MY Twycott's status and position, she could not refuse him.

Mr Twycott gives his son, Randolph, the best education money could buy since he realises the importance of education and its relationship with society. Twycott's plans for his son to go the best school, to be ordained are all testament to the fact that Twycott will want his son to be a gentleman and thus amongst the wealthy and important  in the city.

As Randolph's education improves, he is soon able to realise the faults in his mother and in turn looks upon his mother with shame and disgrace since her level of education affects his status amongst society. Sophy's grammar "which did not yet beget a respect for her among the few acquaintances she made" further reinforces Randolph's perception that his mother is to be viewed as uneducated and in retrospect as a person of little use to him in his quest to become respected amongst his peers, due to his mother's lack of friends or connections.

Sam Hobson's re-emergence and subsequent rekindled relationship with Sophy, Randolph's mother strengthens and soon his proposal of marriage to the widow Mrs Twycott becomes all Sophy can think about. Even though Sophy is Randolph's mother and she should hold her own right to make decisions, Randolph being male, well educated and socially important he has to agree whether she can marry Hobson. Randolph's idea of status shapes his decision and his refusal of Sam is directly related to his mother's marriage to a commoner like Hobson would degrade his status in the eyes of "all the gentleman of England."

Randolph's refusal is foreshadowed by the title of the story, "The Son's Veto", in which veto refers to the son's right to refuse his mother as he holds the position of authority and his masculinity is a direct representation of the common law and social interpretation that men are superior to women. The title and this point indicate that status, class and social perception play the single largest factor in shaping each character's motives and decisions.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this short story. Any questions, please leave in the comments section below.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A Horse and Two Goats by R.K.Narayan Analysis

Question: "What do the actions and their words say about their different cultures?"

The most important and apparent theme in this short story is cultural differences and the character's inability to communicate properly shows us that the actions of each character are a direct portrayal of their respective cultures.

Both the american and the old Indian man, Muni, are ethnocentric in their approach to the other, since they have very little knowledge of the foreigner's culture they thus evaluate this person on their own cultures and standards. The language barrier and confusion that arises from the inability to communicate causes the old man to assume the American values history and religion while the American assumes the old man is concerned with monetary values.

The American is fiscally orientated and when he sees the village's statue he immediately wants to buy it for himself, sensing a deal where he could get a bargain. In his trivial attempt to communicate that he wants to buy this statue, the old man thinks he is inquiring about the history of the statue instead. The old man assumes this since that is what most people he has met in his life would ask, that is what their culture dictates. Muni therefore assumes that this is what he wants and when the money is waved around, he then thinks he wants to buy his goats, since the question of anyone wanting to buy a religiously and historically important statue is utterly preposterous.

The ethnocentrism of the story portrays the cultures of the characters effectively and their inability to understand each other allows the reader to see what each character's culture represents by their assumption of the other's motives.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Fools Mate, The two move checkmate

As the name of this checkmate indicates if you're foolish enough to fall for this I'm pretty sure you won't fall for it again any time soon. But just to relive your embarrassment , take a look at this...

Fools mate is the quickest possible checkmate in chess. It can only be performed by black and consists of only two moves on blacks part

Why does it hurt when biting on aluminium foil?

If you've ever had the unpleasant experience of biting on aluminium (or aluminum for our American friends) foil you would perhaps find this post to shed some light on why such a trivial piece of foil can cause such unexpected pain.

Firstly when aluminium comes into contact with a different metal in your mouth, say a filling. The two metals will have different electrochemical potentials which effectively mean they have different numbers of electrons. As we know, charge always spreads equally throughout one object (as the metals are connected) and due to metals being electrically conductive, the electrical charge will flow between the metals. This electric charge is in fact electricity since electricity is simply the flow of electrons. The current generated will flow into the root of the tooth and thus into the nerve.

The body's Central Nervous System is how we are able to sense our surroundings, the CNS operates by the brain perceiving signals sent from sensory neurons (receptors) in the form of electrical impulses. The sensory nerve in the tooth receives and electrical current from the Voltaic Effect which causes the current to be produced by the metals. This electrical charge is also how the nerve sends information when experiencing pain and thus the brain perceives the flow of electrons as such since it is unable to distinguish the difference. 

At least you have now found the reason behind why we experience this painful reaction. And now you know, avoid putting aluminium anywhere near your mouth.

Until next time...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Sandpiper by Ahdaf Soueif analysis

"What role does 'place' play in forming one's identity? How does this affect the narrator in her life?"

The narrator's life and her identity is shaped by this foreign land that she has moved to. Coming from a western world, as a woman, into an Arabic country, there are certain cultural perceptions that will ultimately alter her identity.

The foreignness felt by the narrator is conveyed throughout the story. "My husband translated all this for me and said things to her which I have come to understand meant that tomorrow I would get used to their ways." This quote represents her inability to conform to the cultural and social acceptances.

"If I tried to do the shopping the prices trebled." indicates that even the local merchants tried to take advantage of her 'foreignness' as she was incapable of altering herself to meet their demands or expectations.

Perhaps the most apparent portrayal of the result of the setting on the narrator is the "fading love" experienced between her and her husband. The flashbacks present within the story, "My second summer here was the sixth of our love - and the last of our happiness." allude to the vast differences between their relationship at various times. This foreshadowing as well as an imminent doom, relationship wise, allows the reader to sense the regret and deep emotional state experienced by the narrator.

The narrator was from Europe and her marriage to an Egyptian man has cross-cultural implications. Even though "the inferior status of women" was explained to her, she still went through with this marriage. One could presume that the narrator's ethnocentrism was evident in assuming that her marriage would be more like a western one. "My foreignness, which had been so charming, began to irritate him." indicates that once he had returned home, the narrator's inability to change her to her setting, her 'place' affected their relationship. This is backed by, "He was back home, and he needed someone he could be at home with, at home." indicates that the narrator herself is aware of the implication her inability to conform is having on her relationship.

Lucy, is the daughter she gave birth to yet she refers to Lucy as 'his daughter' indicating that even though they are both her parents; the narrator identifies Lucy as belonging to him since she was born and raised in this foreign land. "My treasure, my trap" allows the reader to notice that the narrator, this woman, wants to escape, to leave, but she is held back by the maternal love she has for her daughter.

The place or setting is the biggest factor in this short story, it is a reason for the couple's fading love and growing estranged. The setting places the narrator in a foreign land, whose cultural values have a negative impact on her causing her to fade from blissful love to saddening regret and hurt. Her identity is altered to that of a foreigner as perceived by those around her and this changes her mind set, perceiving herself differently, as a different person.

I would love to hear how you understood this short story. Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.