Literature- Final work


1) Now that it’s over, what are my first thoughts about this overall year? Are they mostly positive or negative?

1- my first thoughts about this overall year are really positive as I think that we as a class were able to take advantage of our time to learn mostly every class one different poem or story which most of the I found it really interested when we were able to discuss them in class.

2) If positive, what comes to mind specifically? Negative?

2- really, I don’t find nothing negative in the literature classes as I love reading poems and stories all together discussing our opinions and our thoughts about it.

3)What were some of the most interesting discoveries I made while working on Literature? About the subject? About myself? About others?

3- there were not specific discoveries, but i found it interesting when sometimes we found something unusual of supernatural in the poems we read.


4)What were some of my most challenging moments and what made them so?

4-one of the most challenging moments were the term test because I don’t like them as I get nervous. However, in most of the tests I did it well.

What I liked the most about the year was reading the poem of the lost women as I found it really interesting although for many of the class it was really difficult to understand and also Learned a  lot of writing skills which I can apply for many of my writings.


To Da Duh questions

                                             To da duh, in Memoriam


Previewing texts:


1) By looking at the picture, what we predict that the title has two different points which makes us understand, what is the story about. First, when it says “To Da-Duh´´ which is meant is was written for someone. Second the fact that is says “In Memoriam´´ is representing that this person is dead.



What I know What I want to know What I learned
  • we can know through this story that there is a person writing a text to a person who is dead now. The writer does this by doing this a memoriam
  • we wanted to how the the writer was connected to this dead person and also which was the cause of his death.
-we learned that they both have a bond that connected them.

– Also we earned about the lives of both characters.

– Finally, I learned that although they lived in different countries and were raised with other cultures, we can notice that both of them, the grandmother and the writer, have things in common


Pre-reading Vocabulary

  1. Definition: Not letting up or weakening.

-The unrelenting storm continued to destroy the area.

  1. Definition: Causing fear, apprehension, or dread.

-he was considered by many to be a formidable opponent.

  1. Definition: Reprimand or censure.

-The teacher reproved the student because he was cheating.

  1. Definition: eager or quick to argue or fight; aggressively defiant.

-the truculent attitude of farmers to cheaper imports

  1. Definition: Weakened by old age; feeble; infirm.

– an old, decrepit man

  1. Definition: To caution, advise, or counsel against something.

-She admonished them to be careful

  1. Definition: Lasting for an indefinitely long time; enduring.

-the perennial quest for certainty

  1. Definition: Rigorously self-disciplined and severely moral; ascetic; abstinent.

-The room was big, dark, an austere place.

  1. Definition: To draw out or lengthen, especially in time; extend the duration of; prolong.

-A complaint having been made to the emperor that he was needlessly protracting hostilities.

  1. Definition: Something that threatens to cause evil, harm, injury, etc.; a threat.
  • He picked up a menacing looking tool.


Questions for thoughts

  1. As the narrator says it is a memory we know it is in the past.
  2. The setting of the story is in Barbados a tropical island
  3. The woman was enslaved for many years. As she was tired of it she still was proud of what her family and her did.
  4. – Da-duh addresses to the narrator’s mother as “child” as the narrator states that her mother had been reduced to her status as she is shown as a child too. She is Da-duh’s daughter, as she is her mother’s child.
  5. She prefers boys instead of girls, the reason of this is the British colonization.
  6. Da-duh when she first meets with the narrator, she gives her a harsh look and decides to draw back. This ended in a kind of conflict as da- duh claimed to her daughter that her granddaughter has a fierce look so she will not triumph in the future as her sister
  7. At the moment the narrator and her family arrived, the St. Andrews people were shocked and astonished as they have a really different culture. The way they talked and also the way they dressed were totally different from the ways of the people of barbados.
  8. Da-duh response in a badly way as she got mad because she didn’t like the manner in which the St. andrews people praised the american culture that she didn’t like it at all. She got angry as she thought they were too amazed and astounded in the foreign and modern culture of the americans.
  9. The grandmother grip the narrators hands tightly as we can notice that she is afraid and feared the machines. They make her feel unsafe so she didn’t trust them. This makes us the readers to understand that Da-duh didn’t like the fact of modernisation and evolution and also the fact that the machines have been acquired too fast by the society
  10. The narrator regards the cane field as a place of “giant weeds” as she did not appreciated the cane field as her grandmother did.  She thought that that are could be used for other things and didn’t saw the nature that her grandmother see.
  11. Da-duh repeats this phrase as she thinks that in no way living in New York could be better than living in Barbados. As she grew up there and loves the culture, she thinks and tries to convince her granddaughter that Barbados is a better place.
  12. Da-duh does not like New York at all. Although her granddaughters are from that place, she thinks that Barbados will always be a better place to live. However, at the same time she is curious about New York and how is the life there.
  13. The narrator is very dramatic when she describes snow, all because she wants to impress Da-Duh. These two characters are always competing about whose country is better.
  14. The city is Da-Duh great fear.
  15. Because of her view of society she had, which was the one that white people have more privileges and ruled black people.
  16. Da-Duh´s roots come from Barbados and Royal Palm represents how wonderful the island is and is a special place for Barbadians.
  17. Da-duh become angry when the narrator describes the empire state building as the city of New York was seemed to have much more incredible things than she ever expected. Moreover, she also becomes angry as she cannot accept the immensity and greatness of the empire state and how the quality of life have changed so she feels isolated compare to this huge and advanced city.
  18. At first she feels in a way cheerful as she was triumphant. However, then we can get to know that She started feeling more depressed and sad as she recognized that her grandmother was affected by the fact that she won.
  19. The narrator decided to go to live alone as when her grandmother dies she feels responsible and blame herself for her death. She feels sorry for the way she treated Da-duh as when she was able to meet her, they have many fights and discussions so she was not able to know her better and missed her.



Literary focus

1)The process where the personality of a character is revealed by the action she or he takes. In the story indirect characterization is shown in the character Da-Duh throughout her personality.

2)The type of narrator the author uses is 1st person narration. This point of view enhance the story as we can get to understand in a clearer way the bond between both, the writer and her grandmother as we know through the writer thoughts their feelings and their rivalry making us to get involved in the reading.


Critical thinking

In our opinion, It wouldn’t have been good for her. She would felt bad and disappointed. Da-Duh had never visited the city and the tallest thing she had seen, was in the Royal Palm, where she took the narrator. If she had seen the city she would have felt awful.

Billennium questions



  1. Write a detailed synopsis of the story.


The story is set in the distant future as the title suggests. Twenty million people are squashed into a city putting tremendous pressure on space. The city council has restricted the space that an individual can occupy to 4.5 mere  square meters. John Ward and Henry Rossiter are friends who share their tiny living space. They are both employed but find it hard to get by in the crowded city where pedestrian traffic jams can last for days with no one being able to move due to congestion. While knocking about their cubicle, Ward discovers a forgotten room adjacent to their cubicle. They are overwhelmed by this new space, thrilled, as they have never known so much. Together, they buy a Victorian wardrobe which is the only thing of beauty in their drab living area. Soon, Rossiter has the idea of inviting their girlfriends to share the extra room with them. The girls in turn ask their families to move in and take advantage of the space. Ward who had hated the greedy landlords soon becomes a landlord himself, with making money taking precedence over enjoying their new room. In order to make more space, Ward and Rossiter break up the beautiful wardrobe.


  1. Discuss the theme of over-population and the effect it has on both the way of life and quality of life of the inhabitants of the city.

In the society that exists sometime in the future, overpopulation has swelled to the extent that space seems to have shrunk. All available land is utilized to feed the billions and to live on is rationed to the extent that every individual was forced to live in a cubicle of 4.5 cubic meters. Even, if anyone wanted to move to a bigger place, the spare part of the room was given to another person. This, is added to the fact that the capitalist system provoked on the society the necessity to consume. By having more space they would buy more furniture which would occupy more space. This way, under these circumstances, they would live in oppression anyways.


Ward and Rossiter stumble upon an unoccupied room which is like manna from the wilderness. Instead of using it wisely, they invited their girlfriends who bring in their families too. Ward and Rossiter turn into usurious landlords who find that having extra space under their control makes them powerful. It is also a tool to make money. Soon there are so many in that room that they are worse off than when they had not discovered the extra space.


  1. The quest for living space has become an overriding obsession with the people of the city. Discuss this theme in detail. Include in your answer some discussion of the ways in which Ballard makes the quest for space dominate the characters’ lives.


At these imaginary future times, what transformed ordinary people into wealthy society was having land. By having more space, it can be rent and, therefore, be able to make money. However, that money would be useless because, due to the congested streets, people was unable to move to go and spend that money.

Taking this into account, when Ward and Rossiter find the abandoned room, and saw that it was having considerable success, Ward divided to become the landowner so he would gain money. Nevertheless, at some point, there are so many people in that room that they are worse off than when they had not discovered the extra space.   


  1. What sort of relationship does Ballard put forward between the inner world of the individual (as represented by Ward and Rossiter) and the outer world in which they live. In other words, how does Ballard conceptualise the effect of surviving daily life in a hopelessly over-crowded city on the consciousness of the individual as demonstrated by the ways in which Ward and Rossiter manage the gift of space in the secret room they discover?


Rossiter and Ward hate the way they had to live, because the world is overpopulated and they don’t have extra living space. Also the hate of Ward that he has to landlords because they are so used to the society and his ambition of power, he became a landlord, something that he didn’t want.


  1. In the story, Ballard does attempt some sort of explanation of the social, political and economic causes of the extreme over-population that has beset the world. Explain his views as they are presented in the story.

The problem of overpopulation, where the people was having lots of children and also other people wanted to buy a house. An example of this is the law of the government which established that the families with more than 3 children would be given a bigger cubicle to living, this affected the population and then overpopulation affected the place to live.


  1. Do you agree with his argument? Do you think that current population growth projections indicate that we are likely to end up in the situation portrayed in the story?

I don’t agree with this, maybe it could happen  the opposite, people could stop having children because they can’t maintain them or because they don’t want. If this happens it would be a problem to a point where humanity is going to exting.


7.Describe and analyse Ward’s character in some detail. What values does he hold? Why does Ballard make use of this type of character as the main character for this story?

John Ward has a very “old fashioned” mind. He still hasn’t gotten used to the overpopulation so he thinks like us. He hates the society that he lives in and he hates landlords because he thinks they take advantage of people. But Ballard proves to us that we really can’t change the way things are, so Ward ends up becoming a landlord. That’s why Ballard chooses him as a main character, to prove that we will accommodate to survive .


  1. What role does Rossiter play in the story?

The role of Rossiter in this story is

Rossiter is very different from Ward though they are close friends. He is more aggressive in his approach and persuades Ward to let their girlfriends live into the spare room. This is a disastrous move as the girls decide to bring their families into the secret room. Rossiter is not sensitive to beauty and sacrifices the one thing that symbolizes beauty in their lives, the Victorian wardrobe.

  1. Describe the role of the female characters in the story.

After Rossiter convinced Ward to let their girlfriends live with them, the girls took advantage of that situation and brought members of their families into the room. They ended up being six people, “Now they are six beds now in line along the wall”.


  1. Discuss the effects that overpopulation and its attendant ills has had on the nature of family life in relation to Ward’s family as well as Judith and Helen’s family relationships.

In that time and in those circumstances, overpopulation was common in that society. People were trapped in that horrible and hard reality and it was difficult to have that problem solve. “Over a hundred people lived in the top three floors of the old rooming house”, this quote means that there were millions of people and that they lived as they could and where they cold as they didn’t have space. So having a family was just helpful to have more space.


  1. What does the secret room symbolise in the story?

in our opinion, we think that the secret room symbolizes hope as well as freedom and illusion as they are always looking for more and more space, but instead of having the secret room for them, they fulfill the bedroom with victorian furniture and with a lot of people inside of it. The fact that they found the “secret room” which finally was not secret anymore gives an illusion to them that sometime they would break up with that reality but it was not like that.


  1. Why do you think Ward and Rossiter are unable to keep the gift of space to themselves? Is Ballard making a comment on how our inner world ultimately reflects the shape of the external world in which we live?

We believe that they couldn’t keep the gift of space for themselves because they were used to the reality of over population, the reality of not having space for themselves, of being uncomfortable and of not having any kind of privacy and letting go the things you have.


  1. What sort of living arrangement do they eventually end up allowing (and accommodating to) in their secret room?

Rossiter urged ward to let their girlfriends move in, who then, they brought members of their family into the room.  They let too much people live with them in the room with the furniture so they ended up without space.

Discuss Ballard’s style and language in the story? Consider also in what ways it is appropriate to the nature of the story being told.


The author uses third person narrative all throughout the story. Words are chosen to highlight the crammed cubicles in which people live out their lives. There is no privacy or comfort. Describing Ward’s cubicle, the narrator says “partition pressed against his knees and he could hardly move”.


The Berlin Blockade

In the History class, we were told to do a chart and to answer some questions about the Berlin Blockade.

Here is the chart:

This are the questions we were assigned to answer:

  1. What was life like in Berlin in the post-war era?

After the war, Berlin was divided into four zones; American, British, French and Soviet. The city of Berlin was devastated as it lost almost half of its population.
They were really poor and hardly noticed by other countries, they had lost everything.

  1. How did Soviet policy towards Berlin differ from that of the West?

Stalin wanted to keep Germany and the city of Berlin crippled and under his control because he didn’t want any part of Germany to recover so fast. The West had a very different idea in mind as they wanted to bring Germany back to its full potential.

  1. Why was reform of the German currency a key issue for both sides?

It was a key issue for both sides as It was easier to trade between them and because the three zones occupied by the allies united against the fourth zone which was under soviet (communist) control.

  1. Why was the airlift such a major feat?.                   The airlift was such a major feat because It was a smart move of the USA. The airlift proved the rivalry between communism and capitalism wasn’t just a simple fear, simple ideas, it was a big and very important issue. The Soviets and Americans both acted maturely and once the US proved she would not give up, Stalin reopened communications.


  1. In what respect can the USSR and US be responsible for further increasing tensions during the airlift?

USA decided to send supplies to Berlin during the airlift because the USSR, closed the roads and the access the allies had to get to Berlin. At first the US was scared of sending planes into Berlin because they were afraid of the possibility that the Soviets would shoot down the planes. Both countries were very suspicious of each other but, in the end none of them had war intentions.

  1. Why did Stalin eventually agree to talks over the airlift?

    Stalin agreed to talk over the airlift because he saw the strength of the allies. He saw that the allies were not going to give up as he had thought. Also, with the airlift the allies were providing even more help to Berlin that before the blockade so after 11 months of blockade, he reopened communications and the airlift was over.

Who was more to blame for Berlin becoming a major flashpoint in the Cold War, the Soviets or the Americans?

In my opinion, the Americans were more to blame, because Berlin was deep in the soviets’ zone, it was surrounded by communism. The US could have just let Berlin go and focus on another more important thing. However, Truman wanted to make sure everyone knew he was serious about the plans he had against the expansion of communism.