English 10

The Things They Carried – Bobby Jorgenson Character Sketch

In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien depicts contrasting attributes such as courage and fear to reveal the personality of the soldiers and other characters. Bobby Jorgenson is a good example of this. There are many situations that reveal both sides of Bobby’s personality, and reader are easily able to pinpoint them to better understand him as a character, thanks to the author’s way of presenting the characters in a side-by-side view. Bobby is not a very important character in The Things They Carried, but because his personality is fleshed out quickly, we are able to comprehend him and the contrasting moments that create his personality. Continue reading


Memories can be good or bad, but no matter what you can not get rid of them, they are like tattoos, in the way they stay with you forever and after a while the start to slowly fade away, but no matter what they do they stay with you and stain your skin and are permanently encapsulated in your skin, the same way memories always stay with you till you die.

Some people take pride in their tattoos and some people try to hide them as mistakes they made, or memories of a time they pity. It’s the same with memories, some people try to forget them, and erase them from their memory to not scar them even further, while some people will try to embrace them and make peace with them.

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A Farewell To Arms – Catherine Barkley

Ernest Hemingway’s book: “A Farewell to Arms,” tells the story of two people that fall in love during a time of darkness and pain. In this essay, we will be looking a bit closer to the certain aspects and traits of the “hidden protagonist”: Catherine Barkley.

Our hidden protagonist Mrs. Barkley enters the story when Henry is injured in the hospital. Prior to that, no knowledge is mentioned about her so she is a completely new character. I feel as though this is Hemingway’s attempt at trying to get the reader to latch on to the fact that Henry is the story driving leader. When Henry first meets Barkley, he does not show interest in her or any signs of attention. But as we spend more time in the hospital with Henry, we see that he begins to ask other nurses about her. This is the start of Henry’s love for Barkley. Henry starts to build an image in his mind of not only what he sees in Barkley, but what he wants to see. One of Henry’s best friends Rinaldi is a bit of a player and a jock. He sees himself as a lady’s man, a fine piece of art that women should admire and respect. He likes to play tricks and jokes with Henry about his life and about his “English girl” (“Oh I love to tease you, baby. With your priest and your English girl, and really you are just like me underneath.” pg. 143, and the constant use of “baby” at too a mixture of family-like-roles that Rinaldi takes on.

Catherine’s emotions divided up into different parts and are served throughout the story. You almost feel as though each chapter serves a different emotion and not one constant feeling. Catherines comes across as a very difficult person to love. One moment she makes the character comfortable and lovable, then she turns around and questions her judgment and starts to retreat in guilt and confusion. “Do you love me?” sort of questions that appear frequently support this. Catherine is a very quiet, tranquil character. She never makes herself look larger than life. Or goes out of her way to get what she needs. Towards the end of the book, when Barkley is faced with death, the final Barkley emerges like a snake out of its old skin. She accepts her fate and shows Henry what she truly means to her and what their love means. It almost as if the book is an incubator for Barkley and over time it develops and when it ends, it’s healthy and released.

The hospital setting and the other nurses play a role in Barkley’s actions around Henry. We know she is involved in many medical related duties, but what else does she do in this story. Later in the story (about halfway through) she always seems to be in the right place when Henry needs her help. Excluding for when Henry is combat she is there and is always suggesting things for them to do to avoid a situation or problem. This really shows in the chapter close to the end, when they make their trip to Switzerland for a safe haven. Barkley is very calm and helpful in this situation, she could just have been annoying and stressed but I think this is contributing to her personality.

Barkley is crucial to how Henry as a character develops throughout the story.  After reading the story, the character can look at Barkley many different ways.

She is a very dynamic character. She can actually portray as many different characters and personalities. Barkley leads the story as a hidden protagonist.

Hemingway created a character that we were made to believe was the blood and flesh of the story. If we look a little closer we can see that is certainly not the case.


Nick Buckley: Character Sketch

Nick Buckley is a notably unique and unpredictable character in the novel, Peril at End House by Agatha Christie. She is an extremely skilled liar, which allows her to manipulate a genius detective. She is desperate for money, which causes her to make poor decisions. She has an odd relationship with, and perhaps a misunderstanding, of death. Nick’s manipulation and killing demonstrate the tragic effect of desperation and death on a young and ambitious woman; a classic story of the victim becoming the criminal.

Miss Buckley is a skilled manipulator. She fabricates near-death experiences that even a detective believes. Nick lies about everything, from the incidents, to her life being at risk. The only person who sees through her lies is her best friend, Freddie Rice. “[Nick] is the most heaven-sent little liar that ever existed, you know. Amazing—it’s quite a gift.” (105). Although she ultimately fails, Nick’s manipulations almost allow her to get what she so desperately wants, Michael Seton’s fortune.

Nick Buckley is willing to murder and risk her own life to become rich. This demonstrates an absolute desperation for money. Nick murders her cousin, Maggie Buckley as she sees it as a necessary step to inherit Michael Seton’s fortune. Additionally, she poisons herself with cocaine to make her plan even more convincing.

“‘Then comes the sudden and unexpected death of Sir Matthew Seton, and hard upon that the rumours of Michael Seton’s being missing. And straightaway an outrageous plan comes into our young lady’s head. Seton does not know that her name is Magdala also. He only knows her as Nick. His will is clearly quite informal—a mere mention of a name. But in the eyes of the world Seton is her friend! It is with her that his name has been coupled. If she were to claim to be engaged to him, no one would be surprised. But to do that successfully Maggie must be out of the way.’” (513-514).

Unfortunately, Miss Buckley will do anything, including murder, to resolve this hunger for money.

Nick has a very odd relationship with death, which foreshadows her insensitivity to murdering Maggie Buckley. She shows no emotion when briefly mentions the tragic death of her brother when she was sixteen, which was only three years ago. As well, her mother, Amy Vyse’s death when she was a baby, her father’s death from pneumonia, and finally, her grandfather’s death, which occurred but six years ago. Nick appears not to be affected from these deaths, although this is soon revealed not to be the case.

“‘First my grandfather died—just six years ago, and then my brother. That just about put the lid on the financial position. […] Gerald was killed in a motor accident just three years ago and the place [End House] came to me.’” (131-132).

Nick has experienced great loss in her lifetime and, although unfortunate, her reaction to this, is numbness to death. This numbness gives her the emotional freedom, as she will experience no guilt, to kill.

Nick Buckley is ultimately exposed as the true criminal in this heartbreaking story. Although, she most likely did not have the opportunity to resolve her decisions with herself before her death, at least her crimes are explained. Miss Buckley became a twisted character due to the many deaths of close family members. She causes the death of Maggie Buckley and, ultimately, of herself. Nick is a tragic story; a young woman who was truly hurt by the deaths of her family members. Unfortunately, she never had the opportunity to recover from her losses, which is why I believe that, although it may not appear so, Nick Buckley is one of the victims of this story. She is a victim of loss.

The Spy

  June 28, 1914, London   Mr. Hobbins is sitting in a cafe on Lancaster Avenue in London talking to himself.  He has just came back from Africa and is hungry for entertainment. He opens the Daily Mirror and reads: … Continue reading

Mary Anne Bell

Mary Anne Bell is one of the many complicated characters in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. She has a variety of characteristics, though three true traits are evident. Bell is deceptive, never really showing her true colours: tampering, … Continue reading

Frederica Rice in Peril at End House

Frederica Rice (Freddie) is often overlooked in the book by Agatha Christie, Peril at End House, but she plays a key role in solving the mystery. Freddie is overall very timid and fragile, though directly honest and does not hide … Continue reading

Tim O’brien’s Storytelling.

This is a very different way of approaching a storytelling, the way Tim O’Brien tells the different experiences from soldiers, to show the horrors of war and its effect on people. For example, Jimmy Cross felt guilty for the death … Continue reading

Dr. Jekyll vs Dr. Hyde: The Comparison

At first glance, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde seem to be different adaptations of a common storyline: a character warped by evil and clouded by his own selfishness. While both … Continue reading

Jungle Fever

Mary Anne Bell is the most significant female character in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. This makes her particularly memorable, and of interest to female readers. Her descent into madness represents the fragility and superficial nature of relationships, … Continue reading

The character of Nick Buckley in “Peril at End House”.

Magdala “Nick” Buckley, to this writer, has to be one of the main characters,  if not the main character in the novel. This is because of the events that transpired from Nick Buckley’s character and personality. As we see in … Continue reading