Notable Essays on Frost

1. Pablo

  1. b) Compare ways in which Frost presents work in two poems.


In Frost’s poems “Gathering leaves” the poet uses rhetorical question to reveal the fulfility of labour and in “After Apple Picking” rhyme and sensory imagery to reflect the narrator’s imperfect life through the activity and labour as a farmer and a poet. 




Firstly in the poem “gathering leaves” the poet uses a rhetorical question in order to question to what extent labour is necessary and to show the fulfility of labour.  Frost uses this rhetorical question in the middle of the poem to demonstrates the very present theme of work and labour that is in the center of the poem. “And what have I then?” (l.16): The rhetorical question awakes the sense of Pointlessness of his activity. But much more than just questioning what the narrator has from gathering leaves he questions himself on a more philosophical way: what if all result and what we gain from labour is in the end not fulfilling? The narrator here takes the example of gathering leaves: even though it’s the central topic of the poem it is only an example of how one’s activity can be strongly inscribed into the routine; thus, because everyone does it and because it has always been done, individuals gather leaves in their yard. The poem thus evokes and encourages the reader to question himself before doing an activity and not just do it out of pure “routine”. The poem also evokes, through this rhetorical question, the Human condition: Humans are automatically tempted to feel in control in order to feel purposeful; thus, they try to put order on nature by gathering leaves even though these leaves always come back. The narrator elicits an idea of “false productivity” bringing us to the the point where we ask ourselves “why do we gather leaves?”. Moreover at the end of the poem the narrator repeats the word “nothing” multiple times: the strong negation also underlines the idea of the frivolousness of gathering leaves. 


On the other hand, the poem “After Apple Picking” gives a bit of a different image of labour than the poem “gathering leaves”. Here, the poet uses an imperfect rhyme scheme and sensory imagery in order to reflect the narrator’s imperfect life through the activity and labour as a farmer and a poet. Throughout the poem the imperfect rhyme scheme is very present: along with the empty barrel at the beginning of the poem (“And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill” l.3) the poet creates a sense of emptiness; the void of the barrels here represents the narrator’s regrets. The regrets come along the lines of an imperfect rhyme scheme that thus represent an imperfect life. His labour of Apple-picking could here furthermore reflect Frost’s poetic work in the sense of him trying to make the perfect poet but didn’t make it. A perfect harvest is here thus symbol of a perfect poem, whereas he describes a poor harvest. 

Additionally, linking to the empty barrel, the poem is also marked by a lot of sensory imagery once again reminding of the void in the narrator’s life: “And I keep hearing from the cellar bin the rumbling sound of load on load of apples coming in” (l.24-26). These quotes evoke an echo that could symbolize the echo of the narrator’s past: the repetitiveness of his task as a farmer (narrator in this case) or also as poet (Frost) are aroused by the kinesthetic imagery. In the poem “gathering leaves” the poet describes the uselessness of his activity/labour whereas in this poem the narrator describes his life through labour. 


However there are important links between the two poems that need to be elaborated. Firstly both poems put into value the question about the repetitiveness of one’s act and labour: in “After Apple Picking” and through its kinesthetic imagery the narrator describes the repetitiveness of his activity as a farmer, the activity even haunting him in his dreams: “(…)what form my dreaming was about to take (…) my instep arch not only keeps the ache (…)” (l.17,21). In the poem “gathering leaves” the narrator analyzes the contemplation of value of all work asking when the repetitiveness of this useless act is going to stop (“again and again” l.14). The cyclic nature of leaf-fall is represented as the leaves themselves are of little value but the works involved is precious because of the cyclic nature of leaf-fall. While the leaves in this poem could represent the people’s acceptance as you can’t hold on to them (and leaves are not heavy so they fly away easily) and they fade quickly (acceptance loses its ability to make us feel good over time and leaves change colours quickly), the apples in the other poem could represent the fruit of one’s work: a badly written poem would represent a bad harvest.

Furthermore both poems give the reader a different sight of the world: in “After Apple Picking” the narrator looks at the world through ice, the diction of surreal here could represent how you can look at the world differently through poetry: “I am drowsing off” (l.8). In the poem “gathering leaves” the narrator pushes the reader to look at labour differently: he truly invites the reader to look at the relevance of one’s act before accomplishing it by routine giving us a different angle to look at things. 

Lastly you could say that these two poems are “ two matching pieces” from all the works published by Frost. One may even say that they “complement” and complete each other: they evoke different topics, yet they seem to be bringing it back to One and fulfilling some kind of “moral” for the reader. 




Thus the two poems “gathering leaves” and “After Apple Picking” are two poems completing each other amongst Frost’s poems. On one hand “gathering leaves” evokes the repetitiveness and pointlessness of some of our activities and thus of some labour and pushes the reader to elaborate on the true meaning of one’s act before committing it. On the other hand the poem “After Apple Picking” conjures admittedly the repetitiveness but more than that reflects on the narrator’s life and making an allusion between Frost’s poetic work and activity as a farmer. Together the poems form a wholesome exploitation of the theme of labour and work. 


2. Adam (although his thesis statement is non-existant / FRENCHIFIED!)

Compare ways in which Frost presents work in two poems:


Frost lived his life as a farmer, but also as a poet. He had trouble choosing between the two professions that both satisfied him. This affected him very much, and we can feel this in his poems. This is important because it shows the hard work Robert Frost had to complete throughout his life. In fact, he had to wait 40 years before any of his poems were even recognised or appreciated by the public. In truth, this gives Robert Frost a very precise, but constantly evolving, opinion of work. In his poems, Frost oftens questions everything through the form of existential crises. Work is one of these particularly recurring themes, where the necessity, the use of work, and its positive or negative effects are discussed. So, In what ways different ways does Frost present work in his poems.


Firstly, we can see in his poem “Gathering Leaves” that the narrator presents work as obligatory, but unfulfilling with little or no results. In fact, we can see firstly observe this through the form, structure, and rhyme/rhythm of the poem. The ABCB rhyme structure with the shorter sentence (last verse of each stanza) makes the poem seem like a entertaining child’s tale, almost like a story. As well as this the very short stanzas, and the presence of structure contrasts Frost’s usual style of more free flowing verses. In fact, this makes the poem easy to read to easy to follow, as if once again it was addressed to a child. This firstly contrasts the actual information given in the poem which in turns makes work seem silly. As well as this, the idea of simplicity, present in the structure, but also in the vocabulary: “balloons”, “spoons”, “rabbit and deer”, etc”, makes us feel like he is talking to a child. This creates the concept of work as something obligatory, forced upon from the youngest of age. In the poem the author goes even further to describe work as a boring monotonous task. This is firstly observed through the use of comparisons and contrasts. “Bags full of leaves, are light as balloons” is at the same time a simili, a paradoxe, and a contrast between “full” and “light”. This firstly makes this line stand out. Here, the two verses are actually talking about work, and the fruits of work: an extended metaphor present throughout the poem. From this, we can deduce that Frost uses the simile to show how empty the fruits, or results of work are. The use of the paradoxe makes it seem very wise, and the presence of a hyperbole (leaves are not as light as air) makes it stand out even more. All in all, from this one line we can see that the narrator truly considered work as pointless. Furthermore, he goes on to describe what is is like for him “but the mountains i raise elude my embrace”. This seems to contrast the leaves as light as balloons, however here Frost is actually describing the effort this requires, which can be physical or moral. Once again the use of a hyperbole makes it stand out, but also creates a negative connotation. We can therefore see that Frost goes as far to say that not only work is pointless, but it is hard and unfavorable. Finally, Frost highlights the monotony of work, as well as the fact that it never ends. This can be seen when the narrator says “i may load and unload again and again” The repetition of terms and structure creates a strong sense of monotony. As well as this “Load” and “unload” create repetition, almost like a never ending loop, a vicious circle. We can therefore see that in “Gathering Leaves” Robert Frost portrays work as repetitive, never ending, and unfavorable.


However, Frost shows of work as very different in his poem “Mowing”. Here work is described as confusing, possibly in-understandable, but ultimately good. Firstly it is necessary to note the importance given to the scythe. The extended metaphor used on it to symbolise work makes it stand out more. As well as this the personification of it (“my long scythe whispered to the ground”) creates a sense of importance and necessity, as if it is what makes us human. This is further emphasised by the very gentle words used to describe such a dangerous and harsh weapon: “whispered” “love”, etc. This makes the scythe, and in consequence work seem like something, hard and maybe dangerous, but also calming and gentle. The use of this vocabulary makes it seem like it is used to calm someone. This gentleness is contrasted by confusion present throughout the poem. For example in line one we have “never a sound” “but one”. These contrast makes the reader question the niceness of this scythe and takes away attention from its love and glory. In fact, here we felt like work was positive, but the contradictions have made it unclear. This allows Frost to justify why work can sometimes seem so pointless. In fact, the touching aspect of the poem really highlights the reality of the struggle that work is. The use of very formal language, and even allusions to shakespeare shows how confusing this really is. Work is once again described as nice and caring in a very controlled environment, where rules controle work. This once again creates an unclear contrast of work as good, but also annoying. As well as this, the poem is extremely vague in its descriptions, using multiple allusions, once again reinforcing this concept. All of this is used to ultimately lead to two very important points Frost makes. The first is said in line 9: “anything more then the truth would have seemed to weak”. The paradoxe here makes the line stand out. This is helped by the alliteration of “the” which make the line flow very well. In fact, Frost here is leading us up the the climax of his poem. Through this line , longer then the others so it visually stands out, Frost concentrates the most important point of his poem. He once again does this in a confusing and contradictory manner through the paradoxe to really show that this conclusion is hard to find. Idealism in work is in fact an insult to real work. To frost work becomes more then the truth because it is a reality. Secondly, Frost goes on to mention a reward. This is very different to Gathering leaves because here work has a fruit. “and scared a bright green snake”. The potential religious allusion to the bible where the snake symbolises evil and temptation allows the author to give and image of work as salvatory. We can therefore see that in this poem Frost gives an image of work as important and as a savior, but also justifies its difficulty and its seemingly pointlessness through confusion, and misunderstandings. Work is good, although it may not seem like it.


We can therefore see that both poems are therefore very different. However, they do share similarities and shared opinions on work. In both poems, Frost agrees to the necessity of work. This can firstly be observed in Gathering Leaves at the very end where the narrator says “but a crop is a crop”. The presence of repetition of such a banal word reinforces the idea of work as monotonous. This references the rest of the poem and permits there to be a certain continuity in the narrator’s thought process. However, the word “but” also shows that he acknowledges that there is a greater a meaning of his work that he does not understand. This concept is much clearer in Mowing, which is contradictory because mowing is a much more confusing poem. We can therefore see that it is the conclusion Frost wants us to understand and remember. The vivid image of a bright green snake shows the seriousness and importance of work to chase it away (symbolises temptation and evil). Work permits us to rest in peace. We can therefore see, that although both poems give very different visions of work they both conclude on the idea of work as important, although not on the same level of clarity.


In conclusion, Frost presents work as difficult, useless, monotonous and boring with no real purpose in Gathering Leaves. However in both poems he also acknowledges that this opinion he has is particularly harsh and unfair. This acknowledgment is much clearer in Mowing where he justifies the harsh opinion of work by its confusing aspect. The justification of work is also present in Gathering leaves (although much less present). This really shows the questioning and existential crises Robert Frost has gone through on the topic of work. All in all, Frost presents work as necessary for a greater good, whether that may be on earth or not, or whether that may be whilst we are alive, or not…


3. Aidan

(B) Compare ways in which Frost presents work in two poems.

Throughout these two poems, Robert Frost uses the notion of paradoxal uselessness and tiredness inflicted from one’s labor to depict two different points of view regarding two different kinds of work.

Firstly, the concept of paradoxal uselessness is mostly represented in the first poem, Mending Wall, in which the speaker and his neighbour are working together to repair a wall. Although both characters are putting in hard work, the speaker is rather ironically involved as he can’t help but point out the frivolousness of what they are doing. On line 25 it says “My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him” This ironic statement is used by Frost to show the meaninglessness of the separation. It is obvious that his apple trees won’t get across and eat the cones, but through this sardonic phrase, the speaker is somewhat legitimised and reckoned as rightful, whereas on the other hand, the neighbour, being at the other end of this statement, is now regarded as quite foolish and dull, not questioning his own opinions.Another example of this sense of meaninglessness in this same poem is on line 23: “There where it is we do not need the wall”. This outright statement justifies instantly the concept of paradoxal uselessness in this poem; the speaker is working hard to fix this wall but simultaneously is trying to justify the fact that this wall is not needed. It is also notable that, considering the fact that the poem contains 45 lines, this is the central line of the poem! Thus showing the reader how important and central this idea is to the whole poem, and only puts forth even more the notion of paradoxal fruitlessness.

Although this image of worthlessness is predominant in Mending Wall, it is still referenced in After Apple Picking. Only it isn’t the speaker’s work that is considered useless but rather the fruit of his work, quite literally! On lines 32 to 36: “For all That struck the earth […] Went surely to the cider-apple heap As of no worth.” In this scenario the speaker’s labour is fruitless! He condemns the bruised fruit so easily, defining them as worthless. But if the fruit of one’s work is useless, isn’t the work also useless? This is definitely paradoxal as the narrator is working hard, hard work that is not bearing any fruit, yet he keeps on working. Therefore, Robert Frost uses the concept of paradoxal uselessness to question the legitimacy of one’s work, exhorting others to question the same thing.

Secondly, the notion of tiredness is central to the second poem, if anything, the speaker’s hard work in After Apple Picking is defined by the tiredness and drowsiness inflicted upon him. Whereas the first poem was paradoxal due to the juxtaposition of work and uselessness, this poem shows can be described as paradoxal through the fact that the speaker’s hard work is inflicting this high degree of tiredness which can be compared to dearth. Working oneself to death?

This notion of tiredness is mostly depicted through the irregular structure and meter of this poem. On lines 14 to 15: “But I was well Upon my was to sleep before it fell”, Robert Frost very stylishly integrates a double meaning to this situation. The speaker begins by saying that he is “well” but is actually saying that he is “upon [his] way to sleep” Almost as if the speaker is delusional due to his over-tiredness. The strange pause mid sentence created by the enjambment can also represent the speaker’s need for a break, once again due to his hard labour. As stated previously the link between tiredness, sleep and death can be made quite easily. On line 41: “Long sleep, as I describe its coming on”, Frost uses this euphemism “long sleep” to ease the image of death or even regeneration. This image of death underlines the strange consequence of this hard work. Not only has it caused the speaker to be tired, but it might even kill him, creating a sense concrete reality.

The overall rhyme scheme throughout this poem is very unorganised and messy. This unorthodox approach creates of sense of slowness. With words only finding their rhyming pairs several lines later like “bough” (l.5) and “trough” (l.11), the reader is forced into a sense of slowness and drowsiness; it certainly makes the poem a lot slower than if the rhymes would have been consecutive. An interesting point is the fact that the longest gap between two rhyming words is between “heap” and “sleep” : 8 lines! And the word sleep is the last word of the poem. Almost as if the poem is slowing down, until it reaches the end. The end of the day? Of life? Was the hard work really worth such an imposing consequence ?

Therefore, Robert Frost uses the notion of tiredness to depict and question the legitimacy of one’s work if is bound to lead to death.

To conclude, Robert Frost uses the notion of paradoxal uselessness and tiredness inflicted from one’s labour to depict how he regards different kinds of work in different kinds of ways. If the work is useless; Frost won’t be afraid of proclaiming the fact that it is so. If the work is bound to inflict tiredness and death; Frost won’t be afraid to push that image to a darker place, comparing it to life, and questioning the legitimacy of the work, asking if it really is worth your life. It would be interesting to explore the links between this study and another one of Frost’s poem, namely The Wood Pile.


4. Foulques

National Theatre’s “Frankenstein”

Students in 2nde OIB and Terminale International must watch and post their review to Frankenstein below before Thursday, May 7th.

The running time is 2 hours, so you may want to watch it in two parts and take a break in between.

There will be TWO versions posted, one with Benedict Cumberbatch as the “creature,” and the other with Jonny Lee Miller. You can choose whichever version you prefer :

In a review, you may want to comment on the following:

• The form and style of the production • The artistic choices which have been made, including sound, lighting, set and costume design choices • Your own critical appreciation of design elements and performance skills • What you think the creative and production team’s intentions were in staging the production • Significant moments in the production where you notice a specific performance skill being used or think a particular directorial decision has been made • Your own response to the overall effectiveness of the piece as an audience member

Please watch the above videos as an introduction to the idea of “the man-made monster” in literature/culture.

Noughts and Crosses

Please read the Prologue, + Chapters 1,2, 3 using this pdf:

You might prefer to also order the book from the internet and/or buy and listen to the audiobook from an app like audible.

A google forms quiz will be posted on the blog on Thursday, May 7th.


Introduction to the book:

Sephy is a Cross – a member of the ruling class. Callum is a nought – a member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses.

The two have been friends since early childhood. But that’s as far as it can go. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools… Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger…



Comment below: What famous Shakespeare play do you think this book is based on?

Excellent Timed Essays on A Raisin in the Sun

Here is some of the excellent work of your peers! Please comment below to let them know what you appreciate about their work!

1. Capucine

What does Hansberry’s writing make you feel about Walter at this moment in the play?

In Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry uses punctuation, stage directions ,and the diction of dreams to illustrate the complex character of walter in Act 2 scene 1 and how hansberry illustrated his emotions and behaviour very well to touch the audience and create a connection between them.

To begin with, Hansberry uses punctuation to show walter’s attitude and emotions when he talks. An example of this is when walter states “ Oh, Walter! Oh, Walter! [to GEORGE]: How’s your old man making out? I understand you all going to buy that big hotel on the Drive?” This shows that walter is using questions a lot to try to make George angry and invoke a negative emotion. He also uses 2 exclamation marks to emphasis his emotions. The emotion of frustration because he isn’t able to have what George has like a big house, money, and of course the american dream. In addition he also uses repetition of the phrase “oh, Walter!” two times. This shows that he wants to get attention and wants people to look at him and wants to feel cared for in a way and makes the audience feel a sense of pity toward Walter. Another striking example is “ Yeah ̶ well, when you get the time, man. I know you a busy little boy.” This shows that walter is acknowledging how hardworking George is indirectly by trying to mock him by saying he’s a little boy. The pause invoked by a “-” creates a sense of anticipation in the audience wanting to know what he will say. This pause shows that walter is taking a little bit of time to gather his ideas to not make himself acknowledge George and intern to formulate his sentence into a mockery of george. Another example is “ And you ̶ ain’t you bitter, man? Ain’t you just about had it yet? Don’t you see no stars gleaming that you can’t reach out and grab? You happy? ̶ you contented son-of-a-bitch ̶ you happy? You got it made? Bitter? Man, I’m a volcano. Bitter? Here I am a giant ̶ surrounded by ants! Ants who can’t even understand what it is the giant is talking about.”This example shows a lot of emotions exploding out of Walter. By using – and ? he is asking his family and George in addition to the audience to think of where they are right now and how they feel and by saying this everyone understands that he is asking himself these questions to and he is trying to keep himself from exploding and collapsing from all the anger and sadness he has in him. He is using a metaphor to describe himself. He says that he’s like a volcano and a giant. He also compares people around him as ants. This illustrated a deep image and illustrates what he sees and how he perceives the world. He is trying to say that nobody understands him and that nobody wants to try to understand. This in turn creates a sensation of pity and sadness toward him.

In addition, hansberry uses the stage directions to accentuate Walter’s emotions and shows the increase and bubbling up of his emotions. The first example of this is when walter starts to talk to George “[an irritable mimic] (…)[He finds a beer in the refrigerator, wanders over to GEORGE, sipping and wiping his lips with the back of his hand and straddling a chair backwards to talk to the other man.] (…)[Tapping his head and half winking for emphasis.]” This shows that Walter doesn’t like George and feels a grudge toward him. In the first stage direction walter mimics ruth to mock her and to mock geogre too. This shows that he likes to make fun of people and that he is not very nice. The second stage direction shows how selfish he is. He only got a beer for himself and didn’t propose to george if he wanted one.  The action of straddling a chair is very important. Hansberry uses the word straddling to emphasis the way he does it. This shows that he didn’t do it lightly nor elegantly. This word creates a sense of hostility towards George and a feeling of dominance. Another example is “[intently, almost quietly, between the teeth, glaring at the boy]: ” This shows that Walter is trying to hold in his emotions. He isn’t able to do this and explodes releasing all his feeling. George has pushed him to the limit. This is shown when walter glares at George. The word Glaring show how violently he looks at him. He is looking at George with a very angry and frustrated look wanting everything George has. His money and his perfect life and wants to be acknowledged like him and listened to. Lastly, in the end Walter shouts “[violently]: No! ’Cause ain’t nobody with me! Not even my own mother” This illustrated his out cry for attention. The stage direction “violently” shows how angry he is and how done with everything he feels. He uses exclamation marchs to emphasis this reaction and his feeling of being nothing but just a useless child. He feels sad and feels that nobody cares about him. 

Hansberry ,last but not least, uses diction of dreams to illustrate his frustration with them. An example of this is when walter starts talking about his dreams to George “. I mean he thinks big, you know what I mean, I mean for a home, you know? But I think he’s kind of running out of ideas now.(…). Listen, man, I got some plans that could turn this city upside down. I mean I think like he does. Big. Invest big, gamble big, hell, lose big if you have to, you know what I mean. It’s hard to find a man on this whole Southside who understands my kind of thinking ̶ you dig? ” This shows that walter is trying to make his life better with the ideas he has and is trying to make connections to get money to make his dream come true. His dream is to get the american dream the dream that everyone wants. To be rich to have a big house to have a big car.  He uses adjectives like big, hard, and the phrase “turn this city upside down” to emphasis on how immence his ideas are and how amazing he thinks they are. Hansberry uses diction of dreams to show how much Walter want to accomplish this dream of his and to show his determination. He also states that it’s hard to find a man on this whole southside who understands him. This illustrated that he hasn’t found people that believe in him and hasn’t found people that trust him or listen to his big ideas. An other example of diction of dreams is when Walter is frustrated and starts to mock and make fun of Ruth’s dream and George’s too “ I know ain’t nothing in this world as busy as you coloured college boys with your fraternity pins and white shoes…(…)with the books tucked under your arms ̶ going to your ̶ [He mimics the British ‘a’.] ‘clahsses’. And for what? What the hell you learning over there? Filling up your heads ̶ [counting off on his fingers.] ̶ with the sociology and the psychology”. This shows that walter is jealous of not having an education and doesn’t believe in Ruth’s dream of becoming a doctor. He feels frustrated because he knows that Ruth is accomplishing her dream and getting closer while he isn’t getting even and inch closer. He is wondering what they learn and do in college and this shows that deep inside him he wants to attend college to. Deep inside his dream is also to be educated and to learn. He is discrediting both Ruths and George’s dreams to make himself feel more powerful and dominant. In this example of diction of dreams, the dreams of others are used to push down people and make Walter feel big and more important. Another striking example is “ But they teaching you how to be a man? How to take over and run the world? They teaching you how to run a rubber plantation or a steel mill?” This example shows that he insulting George of not being a man but deep inside Walter himself isn’t a man and he feels like a complete failure. He has sacrificed many things to help Ruth go to school and he doesn’t understand why she nor George goes to school if it isnt to learn about making money or becoming a man. He doesn’t see the use in going to school and this shows that he is uneducated and doesn’t understand its importance. He uses question marks to over welm George and make it difficult for him to respond making Walter more dominant. He is asking these questions because he himself want to learn those things. Ruths and George’s dream of being educated and getting a diploma bothers Walter.

In conclusion, Hansberry shows Walters deep emotions by using punctuation, stage directions, and diction of dreams. Hansberry wants to express Walters emotions to create a deeper bond between audience and character. The audience can feel pity, sadness, anger, and fustration through Walter in Act 2 Scene 1. Walter in a way helps the audience release the emotions they have too and through Walters questions the audience and ask themselves and find out if this is the life they want.


2. Thel-Mina

In Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A raisin in the sun, hansberry uses punctuation, repetition and rhetorical questions to illustrate Walter’s overwhelming anger, stage directions to show all the non-verbal language and metaphors to truly explain Walter Lee’s state of mind. Through this scene, Hansberry makes a direct link to the Langston Hugues poem at the beginning of the book and more specifically to the line “Or does it explode?” that here we can assimilate to Walter that needs to tell what he has been holding for so long and truly explodes towards this assimilationist who seems to consider himself above this fight.

First, punctuation, repetition and rhetorical questions demonstrate Walter’s strong resentment and the violence he puts in his speech. Hansberry uses a lot of rhetorical questions and directly attacks George by always implying him into his speech. Walter starts with a simple rhetorical question and then makes a kind of development through his questions. It is also noticeable through the punctuation and the numerous questions marks, which seems unstoppable, the pression he is putting on Georges through his speech :   “And for what? What the hell you learning over there? Filling up your heads ̶ [counting off on his fingers.] ̶ with the sociology and the psychology. But they teaching you how to be a man? How to take over and run the world? They teaching you how to run 35 a rubber plantation or a steel mill?”. It practically seems like leading question but the interlocutor, in this case George, is unable to reply because Walter cannot stop, he needs to tell what he has been holding for so long. Walter also uses repetition and insists on the words “big” when talking about Georges business, and throughout his speech he uses a lot “I” and practically starts every statement with it. He also repeats himself a lot when he goes from a question to another. Here he expresses his state of mind and needs to rely a lot on “I” to make everyone understand his vision of the world. “But I think he’s kind of running out of ideas now. I’d like to talk to him. Listen, man, I got some plans that could turn this city upside down. I mean I think like he does.” This repetition is important and point out what is important in his opinions.  Through this first, we could see the anger Walter has and how attacks George by using his point of view.

Second, the stage directions illustrate the characters state of mind. Firstly, throughout the stage direction it is noticeable that George thinks he is above this argument. For example, in the following example we can see how he doesn’t truly answers to Walter and just pretends “[with boredom]: Yeah ̶ sometimes we’ll have to do that, Walter.”. With this indication “with boredom” we can see George’s hypocrisy and how useless Walter speech is because he does not listen to him and does not care either. Secondly, Ruth’s state of mind is also shown with “[covering her face with humiliation]: Oh, Walter Lee ̶” she is embarrassed by the situation because she knows he is not listening to him and does not care. She truly thinks it is unnecessary. And finally we have Walter, exploding. violently]: No! ’Cause ain’t nobody with me! Not even my own mother!”. The word “violently” perfectly shows his state and how rage is destroying him and how it makes him really violently and awfully toward their guest. It could also be because of George’s way of acting and how he thinks he is just a jealous ignorant. During this paragraph, we have seen how the author indicates the characters state of mind through the stage direction. 

Finally, the metaphors Walter uses illustrate how as a coloured people he feels in his own family and in society. He also expresses his resentment and all the negative feelings he has been holding for too long. “Man, I’m a volcano. Bitter? Here I am a giant ̶ surrounded by ants! Ants who can’t even understand what it is the giant is talking about.” Here, he expresses, how he feels through metaphors. Just like a volcano, he explodes. Then he compares himself to a giant and the others to ants highlighting his loneliness and how he is unable to understand the others, how he feels different, how he feels rejected by the entire society. He feels unable to talk with the others and his only way to do it is to explode. Throughout this metaphor we can see Walter is alone and needs to express himself by exploding. 

To conclude, Hansberry by using punctuation, repetition, rhetorical questions, stage directions and metaphor is able to show the public more than a simple fight. Here, the playwright insists on the pressure Walter is putting on George and how it doesn’t work because he thinks he is above this and how they all feel about it but also, how Walter feels and why needs to do this. Walter has to express himself, he has to explode because he feels like nobody understands him. Walter is truly alone and is unable to hold any longer what he has been expressing for years.


3. Tanguy

In Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry uses rhetorical questions, an excessive use of punctuation, and metaphors (one in particular) to create a feeling of distaste for Walter and his overwhelming tension.

Hansberry uses these rhetorical questions in Walter’s lines especially, and this is done to show Walter’s frustration at for the lack respect he desires from the world. He is angry, he has been for quite some time, and in this passage he is taking it out on George. Here he says “No, he don’t! Excuse me for what? What you always excusing me for!” Walter here is rude to George, and his wife, Ruth, sensing what walter is about to do, decides to step in. This is to show the reader that Walter has been this way for long enough that his family members try to soothe him. Another example,is  when Walter is attempting to ridiculise George: “I see I see you all all the time ̶ with the books tucked under your arms going to your [He mimics the British ‘a’.] ‘clahsses’. And for what? What the hell you learning over there?” This is one of Walter’s biggest moments in which he is very bitter. His anger and his frustration is overflowing. This passage is here to reference the volcano from the original poem by Langston Hughes. Walter actually mentions this very openly in this next example: “you contented son-of-a-bitch you happy? You got it made? Bitter? Man, I’m a volcano. Bitter?” This is a great example due to the fact that it references this poem from which this play’s name came from. Volcanoes tend to erupt from time to time, and this is what Walter has done. This is actually also a great example of metaphors, which is covered later on in this essay. Walter’s questions are not leading. They are however meant to be hurtful, as Walter is trying to get the message across to George that he is not welcome. Walter’s tension is repetitive in this play, and the reader, is getting quite tired of it at this point.

Lorraine Hansberry uses a lot of punctuation, an excessive amount, and this is done to create this image of Walter falling over his own words. Walter is not  thinking anymore, and he is saying the things that come to mind without any real thought. As seen previously in this essay Walter uses many question mark for rhetorical (almost sarcastic) questions. He also uses many exclamation marks: “Oh, Walter! Oh, Walter! [to GEORGE]: How’s your old man making out?” Walter here is trying to be rude on purpose. He is making out as if feeling different emotions, with questions and affirmations. But he is clearly struggling with his emotions. And George and Ruth know this too. There is a paragraph where this is illustrated very well. This is from line 31 to line 37: “I see you all all the time – with […] your arms – going to your – ‘clahsses’. […] your heads – (counting off on his fingers) – with the […]” Walter here is stumbling over each of his words, as if he could not say them all. As if they were overflowing out from him. This passage is ambiguous, and in a way that it shows Walter’s emotions, flitting from thing to thing. Walter is starting to become disliked by the readers / public because of his repetitive whining, and overreactions over things that shouldn’t annoy him, if he was a “man”.

Finally, Hansberry uses metaphors, to illustrate Walter’s state of mind. He is after all, in this scene the most openly angry he’s been so far. Walter’s first metaphor is of himself: “Bitter? Man, I’m a volcano. Bitter?” This is a reference to Langston Hughes’ poem: Harlem. In this poem, he wonders what would happen to a raisin if it were left in the sun for a while. One of his speculations is that it would explode. During the play we realise that each of the characters could be appointed a role from his “speculations”. Walter says he is a volcano, and volcanoes erupt, creating explosions. He is in fact exploding in this scene. The debris is his anger, washing off of him in waves against the whole world around him. If we look even further into this this could even be interpreted as Walter’s acknowledgement of this prolonged metaphor. He is in fact aware that he is “exploding”. This is why this metaphor is so interesting. With its ambiguous meaning, it can be understood in many different ways. The second example is just after this first one: “[…] Bitter? Here I am a giant – surrounded by ants!” Walter here is giving away his vision of himself to us. He believes himself better that those who bring him down, and tells George this to make him understand that he is one of those people. This metaphor is also creating this image of Walter’s ambitions compared to others. His are giant, and others’ are puny. This is his personal opinion, and by bringing himself up, he is insulting the rest of the people, not just George, around him. This is distasteful, and Walter has, in a way, gone too far.


To conclude, Lorraine Hansberry has succeeded in making us experience a feeling of distaste towards Walter because of his repetitive and overwhelming tension. Lorraine Hansberry has done this with the help of multiple language techniques, such as metaphors, punctuation and rhetorical questions. Walter is always talking of his dreams, and here he is complaining from the lack of help from the others, and his overreaction is what makes us feel annoyed with him.

4. Azi

1st Topic: What does Hansberry’s writing make you feel about Walter at this moment in the play?

 A Raisin in the Sun is a play about Walter Lee Younger and his family who live in a small apartment in Chicago and chase after their dreams, written by Lorraine Hansberry.

In her play  A Raisin in the Sun , Lorraine Hansberry uses metaphors, rhetorical questions, vulgar language and diction of anger to illustrate how Walter feels angry, betrayed, out of hope, and under pressure and jealous because of the trouble he is having to reach his dreams.

First, Hansberry uses metaphors to demonstrate how Walter is angry. Walter says « I’m a volcano. », which takes us to the very beginning of the book where we can find a poem about a dream exploding, and this extract could be seen as Walter blowing up after being let down too many times. In addition to this, Walter talks about having great ideas and being ignored: “Here I am a giant — surrounded by ants! Ants who can’t even understand what the giant is talking about!”. This shows how he feels about his dreams being ignored, he thinks that everyone is treating his dreams like fantasies, which makes him rightfully angry. Then, there is a repetition of the word “Bitter”, a word that Walter proceeds to correct saying “Man, I’m a volcano.”, proving his anger, and showing that he knows he is angry. He is conscious that he is angry. 

Secondly, Hansberry uses rhetorical questions to show the fact that Walter feels ultimately betrayed, and out of hope. With the question “Don’t you see no stars gleaming that you can’t reach out and grab?”, Hansberry clearly shows that Walter had hope, and has lost it with the explosion. He feels like his hope of ever being rich is never going to give him anything, and so, during this explosion of his, he ends up letting go of that hope. In another rhetorical question, Walter criticises the fact that George has an education and he doesn’t: “I see you all the time […] going to your “clahsses”. And for what? What the hell you learning over there?”. Hansberry clearly demonstrates that Walter is jealous and betrayed by the fact that he could not get the same type of education or, less precisely, the same type of life. Ruth asks a rhetorical question saying “Ain’t you with nobody?”, yet Walter answers “No! ’Cause ain’t nobody with me! Not even my own mother!”. Walter once again feels excluded and betrayed by everyone in the family for not showing him any support, and he feels especially let down by Mama, who was supposed to be the first one in line to support him. 

Lastly, Hansberry uses diction of anger and vulgar diction to illustrate how Walter is under pressure and jealous, especially of George. He says that George is a “contented son-of-a-bitch” and that he is wearing “fagotty-looking white shoes”. Walter is incredibly bitter that George is eased and has next-to-no problems in life. Hansberry uses diction of anger to reinforce the previously made statement, with words such as “volcano”, “bitterly”, and “violently”. She explicitly points out the fact that Walter is jealous of people who do not struggle, and he is angry at them, keeping in mind that anger is a form of jealousy. 

To conclude, Hansberry uses metaphors, rhetorical questions, vulgar language and diction of anger to illustrate how Walter feels not only angry, but also jealous, left aside, ignored, and like his dreams are being stepped on, and almost mocked by the rest of the Youngers and George. Achieving dreams is a major theme in this play, and here, dreams are what fuel everything, including emotions and the future.

What was the Feudal System and the Norman Conquest?

In this new chapter you will be learning about the Norman Conquest as William, Duke of Normandy, conquered England in 1066 with his victory at the Battle of Hastings.

First watch this video so you remind yourselves how the FEUDAL SYSTEM worked:

Then, use this worksheet and write your response about what the feudal system was in the blog below: What was the Feudal System Homework


Geography Chapter 5: Seas and Oceans

The rise of globalization has witnessed the development of coastal zones around the world because maritime transport is essential for this process. Seas and oceans have become strategic resources and their exploitation can lead to tensions between states.

Download the entire chapter here:

4° Gg Chapter 5

Learn about Ocean zones here:


And Exclusive Economic Zones here:­‐bfZSU

The first assignment can be found here:

4° Geo Chp 5 Intro Exercises

Ancient Rome

The Romans invented myths to explain the foundation of their capital city, Rome. These myths gave Rome a divine origin and linked their history into Greek mythology. These myths were first transmitted orally then from the end of the Republic written down by poets such as Virgil. According to them, Rome was founded in 753 BC.

If you sign on to the Britannia Site with your password you can watch this video about Romulus and Remus, the brothers who founded Rome:


Here is the chapter introduction sheet and the first homework:

6°OIB Chp5 Rome Intro

Rome Myth homework