WoE: Blog Post #2 – Style Analysis

How does Le Guin’s use of literary tools help or hinder the establishment of characters, conflicts, or setting in Chapter 1 of the novel?.

Ursula’s Le Guin’s usage of literary tools helps establish characters in Chapter 1 of the novel, The Wizard of Earthsea, in many ways. Le Guin’s story is unique in the regard that it introduces a whole new setting with new phenomena and new concepts, such as the islands of Gont and Roke. While this creates a sense of awe from the uniqueness of the setting, it also creates a bit of confusion as the reader doesn’t have as many things in the setting to relate to reality. All of this can be overwhelming for the reader, so Le Guin uses literary tools, such as foreshadowing to point the reader in the right direction. Using foreshadowing, Le Guin “spoils” that Duny, the protagonist, will become “both dragonlord and archmage”(1). This points the reader in the right direction by telling how the character will end up at the end of his development, while also leaving the reader with questions by not telling how the character will reach this development, giving the reader a sense of anticipation. Additionally, Le Guin uses figurative language, such as metaphors, to quickly establish Duny’s personality traits and upbringing at the beginning of the novel. By describing Duny as a “thriving weed”, Le Guin quickly establishes Duny’s wild upbringing and his untamed personality, something that can be easy to miss with all the details given about the setting(2). Finally, Le Guin’s usage of an expanded moment helps highlight the pivotal moment in the protagonist’s development when Duny and the goats come “charging down into the village (…) [ with Duny] weeping and bellowing”(3). At a glance, this scene doesn’t seem to have much significance, but through the expanded moment, the reader is able to see the contrasting emotions between Duny and the goats, showing how Duny’s own power leads to him being negatively impacted. To conclude, Le Guin’s usage of literary tools, such as foreshadowing, metaphors, and expanded moments, helps establish characters in Chapter 1 through clearing up areas of confusion, hinting at the main character’s development, and highlighting pivotal moments.

WOE: Blog Post #1 – Anticipation Guide

Of the statements given, the statement I disagree with the most is “light and dark are easy to identify in the world”. Unless this is a scientific question asking about the luminescence of objects, this statement is largely subjective, meaning that  the idea of what is “light” and “dark” strongly depends on whose perspective we are taking. In fact, light and dark are rather difficult to identify once it gets to a certain level. From personal experience, I know that something can be deemed both “light” and “dark”. When I was in elementary, a group of children would constantly single out an individual in a game of tag. From the teacher’s perspective, there was only “light”, a group of young children playing together. From the individual’s perspective, however,  there was only “dark”; he was being singled out and was forced to conform to the group’s atmosphere because of the idea that he must have fun too if “everyone” else was having fun. This shows that the definition of what is “light” and “dark” really depends on the individual’s perspective, not what truly is “light” and “dark, if there even is such a classification. Additionally, even if there was “light” and “dark”, there is no way of knowing which one something is since individuals will always apply their own personal bias to it. To put this into perspective, an individual from a Confucian society and an individual from a Western society will have very different definitions and standards of what is “light” and “dark” in terms of women’s rights.  This proves that what is “light” and “dark” is not universal, so differentiating between the two is not easy. Through acknowledging that “light” and “dark” don’t have one answer and by being impartial, however, we might begin to get as close as possible to what is truly “light” and “dark”.

360° Leader Blog Post

After about a week of being inculcated with John Maxwell’s ideas of a 360° leader, I have chosen six principles that I will be focusing on this year in TALONS.

Lead Up:

Principle 4: Do more than manage – lead!

Personally, I can relate to this. I tend to manage a lot more than I lead, focusing more on the tasks on hand rather than the members on my team who could solve that task. Leaders, on the other hand, think long term and are able to invest power in others. For TALONS this year, I plan to implement this principle by managing my relationships with my leadership event group members more carefully. I feel that having a positive and supporting relationship will allow me to delegate tasks to my team members, especially team members who might be younger or have less experience than me, without having to worry about it, essentially allowing me to lead rather than manage.

Principle 5: Invest in relational chemistry

By definition, this means connecting with my leader, which could be my teachers, but in broader terms, it could mean my peers in TALONS as well. Just by glancing over the questions on the leadership package, I realized that I knew little about my peers outside of TALONS. I didn’t know what they really cared about or what their outside interests were, so I would like to invest in relational chemistry to find out more about my peers. I believe that by knowing more and earning my peers’ trust, I will be able to work together with them effectively. Outside of TALONS, I want to invest in relational chemistry in cadets. As a section commander, it is my duty to give numbers, but I want to do more than what is required to make the life of my 2IC easier. By being as diligent as possible and by not lingering on past sentiments, I will be able to move on and allow my 2IC to be the best he is.

Lead Across:

Principle #5: Expand your inner circle of acquaintances

I chose this principle as from my point of view, I do not think I have an extensive network or a large inner circle of acquaintances. No one can climb Everest alone, and for one to find success, they need to learn to depend on the people around them or their acquaintances. Expanding my inner circle will allow me to depend more on other people and work more efficiently by making up for others’ weaknesses and by having others make up for my weaknesses. I plan to apply this is TALONS through the leadership and cultural events where I will try to get to know people in both grade nine and ten. I can also accomplish this by choosing a mentor I do not know. While there could be a bit of a “getting-to-know” curve at the beginning since I don’t know the person, I will be able to expand my inner circle by fostering a relationship with my mentor.

Principle #2: Put completing fellow leaders ahead of competing with them

I chose this principle because of my tendency to compete with the people around me. While I won’t go out of my way to make people fail or put them behind to lower competition, I usually don’t go out of my way to complete others either. In TALONS this year, I plan to apply this principle by focusing more on the development of the team as whole rather than focusing all my efforts on the individual portion of the team which I am responsible for. I can do this by helping around my leadership event group, especially the nines, and focus on completing them by equipping them with the skills they need to excel at what they do and giving them lots of opportunities to apply their own decision-making skills. Simply put, I will try to hold back and give them more leadership and autonomy rather than just telling them what to do for my individual benefit.

Lead Down:

Principle #2: See everyone as a “10”

I chose this principle because I tend to view people as they currently are instead of seeing them as who they can become. I think this is especially a problem when I am working with people who are younger than me or have a lower rank than me because I am unable to see what they will turn out to be. Due to my skeptical nature, I believe that this is a problem when I try to complete leaders as I cannot see them as a “10”, but only see them as a “2” or what they currently are. In TALONS this year, I want to implement this principle by giving my leadership group members, especially the grade nines, my trust. I will also see them for who they can become and recognizing their potential instead of seeing them for who they currently are.

Principle #3: Develop each committee member as a person

Although I tend to think long-term in my personal development, when it comes to developing other committee members, I tend to think short-term or the individual’s contribution to the group’s tasks in the next week or so. Due to this, I equip more than I develop, giving my committee members the tools necessary to complete the task at hand but contributing little to their personal long-term development. This year, I want to implement this principle by taking on a new long-term perspective on the development of my group members. Although there might be initial mistakes and complications at first, I believe that by not being too directive and giving my committee members space to make mistakes and learn from them, they will develop skills that will be transferable to other work and just their life in general.

By following these principles, I hope not to be a 90° leader nor a 180° leader, but a 360° leader.