Tag Archives: literary devices

A Tale of Two People

this is a poem I wrote some time ago for TPS English 3, and because I’m in the mood to post something random, I’m posting this. =P It’s actually very pathetic; keep in mind I wrote about one-and-a-half years ago.  And I’m not going to bother editing it in any way, so don’t judge the punctuation or anything.

Once in a land that was hilly

Lived a fellow who thought himself dandy

Folks considered him silly

Because he ate so much candy

And he often would sing ‘pick-a-dilly!’

Whenever the brandy was handy.


Not far away, in the same land

Ventured a girl who was buff

She hated to be still and be fanned

But people just thought she was rough

Said she: “You folks are so weak and so bland

But I know that I’m made of stern stuff.”


On a day that was real sweet and shady

The dandy decided to tease

He saw the brave girl and said: “Lady!

Just give me a kiss, if you please!”

She screeched: “I’ll punch you o’er to Haiti!

I’ll lop off your head, you big sleaze!”


He laughed a great “hee!” and laughed a great “ha!”

She scowled: “I’ll turn you to ice

And put you where you’ll never thaw.”

“Oh, gee,” mocked he, “that’s not very nice.”

“I’ll grind you like meat that is raw!”,

She quipped, with a look that would shrivel lice.


He had fair warning and did not heed

And that’s when she got out her mace

He was so scared that he started to plead,

“Now, keep that thing out of my face!”

The poor fellow shook like a reed

She paused: “Well, I might offer grace.”


She cleared her throat: “Say you’re sorry.”

At him, the girl stared with a glare:

“And don’t take it back on-the-morry!”

He nodded his head and ran like a hare

Then he took off in his Ferrari

And the girl rode away on her mare.


Story Analysis- Mr. Midshipman Horblower

as you may have surmised from the J15 assignment, i have a great fondness for the Horatio Hornblower book series. this story analysis is not too different from my last description of Hornblower’s story, except that this one only covers the first book, is much more detailed, and of course, is more left-brain oriented. 



Title: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower.

Author: C.S. Forester.

Genre: Historical Fiction.

Audience: Any literate person.


Horatio Hornblower: An introverted, 17-year-old youth who has had a lonely childhood, Hornblower seeks a living as an officer in the British Royal Navy. He knows little of the occupation he has chosen, but his keen mathematical mind, quick learning abilities, and a good education have given him an advantage. He has no friends and very little money. He is constantly plagued by self-doubt, fear, depression, and loneliness. Despite his obvious lack of self-worth, he has a reckless courage and determination. He is tall, skinny, pitifully uncoordinated, and has dark eyes.

John Simpson: A swarthy, good-looking senior midshipman, Simpson is the official bully of the Justinian. He is not very intelligent, especially mathematically, and he holds grudges against anyone who is smarter than himself. He harbors a lot of anger, and takes it out by making the lives of the other midshipmen miserable. Due to his tyranny, he has no friends, although he does have cronies who carry out his sadistic bidding.

Sir Edward Pellew: The captain of the Indefatigable, Pellew is bold, intelligent, and becomes a sort of mentor to young Hornblower. The middle-aged captain is renowned and respected for his bravery and success, and he leads his crew with confidence. He occasionally has an outburst of anger and impatience, but is mostly level-headed and never acts in rashness.

The Duchess of Wharfedale: Although at first posing as a Duchess, and referred to as such, she is actually an actress by the name of Katherine Cobham. Under the guise of the Duchess, she has an uncivilized accent, is not particularly smart, and has a strange sense of humor. As herself, however, she is bright, charming, and brave. She is middle-aged and has bold blue eyes and a faded beauty.

Point of View

Third person; mainly told from Hornblower’s perspective, but sometimes from the perspective of someone who is observing him.


The time is 1793, just before the start of the Napoleonic Wars.  The location changes between various ships, including a battleship, a brig, a privateer, and a sloop; but the most prominent ship is a British frigate named the Indefatigable. Some time is also spent in a Spanish prison.

Plot Outline

As an inexperienced midshipman in His Majesty’s Royal Navy, Horatio Hornblower has much to learn. His limited nautical vernacular makes it difficult for him to assimilate, but his limited social skills are even worse. Faced with Spanish and French who would imprison him, bullying senior officers, and personal failure, he meets adventures and misadventures at every turn. Then, of course, there is his inescapable seasickness which he becomes regrettably infamous for. Through his determination, bravery, and self-sacrifice, he must prove to his peers and senior officers that he is made of mettle worth reckoning with. Most importantly, however, he must prove this to himself.


Man vs. self: Hornblower’s self-doubt and lack of self-esteem is crippling, and he must fight to overcome it to become a successful officer. His lack of coordination and natural skill also presents obstacles.

Man vs. man: When he first becomes a midshipman, Hornblower is mercilessly teased by the other midshipmen, particularly a bully named Simpson. They make fun of his inexperience, his shyness, his seasickness, and even his lonely childhood.

Man vs. man: Hornblower and the crew of his ships are often in battle with the French or Spanish.

Man vs. environment: Living at sea, one of Hornblower’s most constant battles is with the elements of nature. Gales, waves, running aground, and worst of all, fire are feared on the wooden ships. Also, as he is particularly prone to seasickness, simply being at sea causes  problems for Hornblower.


Although it is often difficult to do what is morally right, being honorable, courageous, and self-sacrificing will always benefit you in the end. Sometimes that benefit is through recognition, promotion, respect, etc., but sometimes it is simply through the satisfaction and self-worth that comes with knowing you did the right thing.

Literary Devices

Allusion: “So might Daniel have looked about him at the lions when he first entered their den.”

Flashback: “It was like the games Hornblower had played as a lonely little boy, when he had sat in the empty pig-trough and pretended he was cast away in an open boat.”

Personification: “… hope reasserted itself…”

Simile: “The British seamen were yelling like madmen.”


I personally enjoy this book because Horatio Hornblower is very relatable. I also find the nautical vocabulary and naval history vastly interesting. C.S. Forester writes with a style that is both intellectual and understandable.

J16-Writing Tips


despite the fact that i am a poor writer myself, i now have to give 5 tips to other writers! each of these tips is something that i’ve learned through personal experience– and i have by no means become a master at them. Here’s to all writers (including myself) getting even better at writing!


Tip 1: Use a wide variety of literary devices.
This first tip is one that I myself often forget. While it isn’t too difficult to utilize one or two literary devices that you are familiar with, it can be a challenge to remember that the metaphor is not the only device out there. Or maybe your preferred literary device is personification, in which case you might want to try using more metaphors. Or maybe you don’t use literary devices at all, in which case you need to get started!

Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass.” –Anton Chekhov.

Tip 2: Learn from your writing.
Your own writing can teach you a lot of things. It can teach you about yourself—your abilities, your faults, and your perspective on the world. Take advantage of that, and explore what depths of understanding your writing has in store for you.

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought. This in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.“– Norbet Platt.

Tip 3: Read, read, and read some more.
What better way to improve your writing than to read the works of others? You can learn what styles you like best and get ideas for how you want to write—you can also learn how not to write. From prolific novel masterpieces to simple short stories to children’s literature, reading is a way to ignite the imagination, find motivation, and transport yourself to another world.

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.“– E.B. White.

Tip 4: Have no fear.
If you want to write that 50,000 word novel, then dive right in. If you have a thrilling tale to tell—let ‘em rip! If you’ve been holding back, now is the time to let go. Push all inhibitions aside and pour your soul out. Your writing is your own—don’t let fear or doubt dictate what you can and can’t do.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” — E.L. Doctorow.

Tip 5: Just keep writing, just keep writing…
Writer’s block: a writer’s worst nightmare. Whether novice or veteran, writers of all ages must find ways to fight this terrible foe. My best remedy is to simply start writing. Now, that might not sound like much of a solution, but it is. When you feel like you can’t go on and the words just won’t come, write about anything that comes to mind. You might not start off in the direction you want to go, but if you don’t get started in the first place, you won’t get anywhere at all.

Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. You can sit and look at a page for a long time and nothing will happen. Start writing and it will.” — Louis L’Amour.