The Element of Hierarchy in Genesis 1-3

This week of English I had to explain the element of hierarchy in Genesis 1-3. I had to keep in mind Adam’s relation to God, Eve’s relation to Adam and God, and the Serpent’s relation to Adam, Eve, and God. Before diving in, hierarchy means in short: the system in which peoples or groups are ranked one above the other which is determined from status or authority.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. After He created all the animals of the world; and on the sixth day of creation, He created man, from His own image. This all occurred in seven days. Clearly, this shows that God is the highest power in the universe; He is above all of His creation. He is on top of the hierarchy.

Adam, as I stated above, was created in God’s own image, on the sixth day of creation. God put Adam above all the animals. Later on, God stated that it was not good for Adam to be alone, thus he created a woman, who was called Eve, to be Adam’s companion. Adam and Eve were allowed to eat the fruit of every tree, except for a single certain tree. This particular tree had the power to give the knowledge of good and evil.

The Serpent in Genesis 1-3, was the most scheming and crafty of the animals of God’s creation. In short, the Serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. After Eve consumed the fruit she persuaded Adam to do the same. This brought forth the beginning of original sin. God punished Adam and Eve and cursed the Serpent after all had been done.

Thus the hierarchy remained similar after Adam and Eve’s disobedience, yet it was different. God was above everything and everyone, man was above all the animals. But instead of men and women being placed as equals, instead women were placed below men. Hence this was the element of hierarchy in Genesis 1-3.

How Important Are the Words “So What?” In an Autobiography?

When writing an autobiography or any book in general one of the most important things that must be done is keeping the readers interested. You must write things that will interest the reader, not just the things that interest you, to have a successful book. Throughout this year of English I have read many autobiographies, all of which were different in their own unique way. Sadly most of these autobiographies were not very successful in keeping “me”, the reader interested. Some were definitely worse at this than others. An example of an autobiography that kept me interested mostly throughout the whole book was Sergei Kourdakov’s autobiography The Persecutor. Because a lot of autobiographies I have read so far did not do a very great job at keeping the readers interested, how much better would these autobiographies be if the authors simply asked themselves the question “so what?” On this note how important really are the words, “so what” in an autobiography?

Like I mentioned above, the most important thing when writing a successful autobiography is keeping the readers interested. Most of the time when authors write autobiographies they usually write about things that interested them from their life, instead of writing about things that would interest the reader from the author’s life. The way to prevent this common mistake when writing an autobiography is by asking the simple “so what,” throughout the writing of the book. This question would enable the writer to think like the reader, or understand how the reader would feel while reading the autobiography.

In my opinion an autobiography would be much better if the author asked the question, “so what.” By keeping in mind the perspective of the reader by asking this question, an author would be able to write about details that actually interest the reader, instead of just interesting the author. The question “so what,” also helps the author grasp what is relevant, or not relevant for the narrative; also this question most likely will help the author write a more clear cut, organized, and entertaining autobiography, while still being relevant to the readers.

To answer the final question: how important are the words “so what?” In an autobiography? These two words are very important in an autobiography. This relates to the point above; to write a good autobiography the author must keep in mind if the writing is actually interesting or relevant to the reader.

In conclusion, writing an autobiography is a complex task, if I was ever to go through with it the thing I would keep in mind is the perspective of the readers, through the question, “so what?” Keeping the interest of the reader is one of the most important things when writing any kind of book, and this goes much with autobiographies. The question, “so what?” It itself is very Important when writing an autobiography and should not be neglected, or forgotten, if you were to write a successful autobiography.

What was Equiano’s Attitude Regarding His Life in the British Navy?

During the past while I have read quite a few slave narratives, or autobiographies of people who were slaves, but the narrative of Olaudah Equinao(1745-1797), is unique compared to the other narratives. The reason why his narrative was unique was due to the fact that he was the slave of a British navy lieutenant, and grew up in the navy. Usually the other individuals who wrote slave narratives were slaves on plantations. But what was Equiano’s attitude regarding his life in the British Navy?

Equiano was born in a small African village; his father was the chief of the village, which meant his early life was pleasant. He had a relatively large family, with six siblings, which included five brothers and one sister. Sadly this life did not last long for him; when he was eleven he and his sister were kidnapped, while their parents were away. He and his sister were separated, and he was taken and sold to several places. Finally he was taken to America, and was sold there, but this did not last long, and he was sold again this time to a British navy lieutenant.

When Equiano first entered life in the navy, he was terrified. He was scared of the ships, the sailors who were Europeans(who he thought at first were bad spirits), and the weapons on board the ship. He even thought that the sailors would sacrifice him, or eat him! But eventually over time he adjusted, and even began to enjoy the life of being a sailor; and even made friends with some of the sailors. This adjustment especially occurred when he began understanding English, which helped him understand what was going on, not having a barrier in life, and also this helped him not feel so terrified anymore.

Equiano’s attitude regarding his life in the British Navy, really relates to how he adjusted to that life. At first he was scared of everyone and everything but soon enough he adjusted and became accustomed to it. His attitude towards this life was mostly one of excitement. He was excited for life, especially with the idea that he may even fight in a battle. He also became relatively close with his master.

So far reading the narrative or autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, I have noticed many differences compared to other slave narratives, which has made it feel in my opinion a quite unique read. One of the most important aspects of Equiano’s life which is different compared to other individuals who were slaves was the fact that he was the slave of a British navy lieutenant meaning that he lived in the navy, which is pretty different. His attitude towards his life at the time was mostly one of excitement, which was what I discussed in this essay. 

What I Must Do in My Note-Taking to Describe What is Going on Around Me

For the past months I have been reading and studying autobiographies; also I have been learning how to write one. Because I have been learning how to write an autobiography, I have learned about how to properly write, and how not to write an autobiography. The way to properly write an autobiography is through note taking, which ensures that you have descriptions on what is going around you. But what must I do with my note-taking to properly describe what is going on around me?

Note-taking is very important when writing an autobiography, and there are many options on the way you write notes. The most effective option when taking notes in my opinion, which I may do when I write my own autobiography, is journaling. With journaling you don’t have to write everything down every single day, instead you could write every few days on the important things of your week so far. Or you could instead only record the most important events in your life.

For me personally I would most likely keep a journal every few days or whenever I feel it is important to do so. I have tried journaling every single day, and that did not work well for me. I lost motivation each day, and soon lost interest in it altogether. But some individuals may really enjoy journaling every single day, and find it very effective, so truly the way one journal is up to them. With that fact in mind that I would use a journal to keep track of my life, here are some things I must do with my note-taking.

The first thing I would do is keep my notes in chronological order. This is very important, you do not want to have an autobiography that is disjointed, or has a very disorganized chronology. The second thing I would do is not waste my time on trivial details, or avoid writing down things that are not very important; of course this is hard to prevent but still it is important in my opinion. The third and final thing I would do is try to take notes as soon as possible if something important happens in my life, so my retelling will be as accurate as possible.

Therefore, when I am taking notes for a future autobiography I will be using a journal. But with the notes itself I will make sure that my notes will be in chronological order, not be full of trivial details, and finally to ensure my retelling of an event is accurate. 

Has Any Event in My Life Had the Same Impact That Learning How to Read Had on Douglass’s Life?

Frederick Douglass(1817-1895), was a famous abolitionist and writer. During his childhood he lived on plantations as a slave. One of the most impactful moments in his life was learning to read. Most slaves were illiterate due to the fact that slave owners believed that an educated slave would cause trouble. Douglass fortunately at the time he learned to read lived with a kind mistress. Before getting into more of this story, has any event in my life had the same impact that learning how to read had on Douglass’s life?

Like I mentioned above Douglass at one point in his life had a kind mistress who was decent. This mistress actually was the one who began teaching him to read, she taught him until her husband found out. After this she stopped teaching Douglass, but that did not stop him from learning to read on his own. He also got help from white children during that time; he copied letters and other written works which was how he learned to write. Learning to read and write changed his life. Because he was able to read he became discontented, just like how slave owners worried. Now he craved freedom, and to be out of slavery.

As you can probably tell Douglass learning to read was a life changing moment in his life; but has any event in my life had the same impact like the impact of Douglass learning to read? Well there actually have been a few moments in my life that had a pretty big impact on my life; but the one I will be writing about in my opinion is the one that changed my life the most. This event was about learning to read. You must be thinking, why was reading so impactful? A lot of people know how to read. Well I learned to read a little older than other people, I was almost eight years old. When I was learning to read it didn’t make any sense, the letters looked like confusing symbols that were stuck together. I was frustrated, and annoyed, I didn’t see there was any point to it. But one day reading made sense. Instead of words looking like symbols stuck together, they looked like words; words that I spoke every single day. After that I took off, before my parents and myself knew it I was reading large novels in a matter of two days. I couldn’t stop reading, I loved it and it made sense.

But the long term impact of this was the fact that I was able to do most of my school on my own, before being able to read my mother had to read things for me. Life in general became easier, I was far more independent. Also learning to read helped me learn to write which is a very important skill in my life. This is why learning to read was very impactful to me, like it was to Douglass.

As a Writer of an Autobiography About Life in the Woods, Would You Spend More Pages Describing an Ant War or Loons? Why?

Well from reading the title above you must be quite confused, I mean an ant war and loons? It doesn’t make much sense. To explain this, for the past few weeks I have been reading the autobiography Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, which has been a very confusing and absurd read. The autobiography itself is about Thoreau’s life in the “woods,” or “outside of society,” on Walden pond. But most of the book contains very cringe worthy descriptions on random things, and unusual points that contradict each other. One part of the book in particular contained descriptions on two groups of ants who were fighting each other, hence the ant war. A little later on in the book you will find another set of descriptions, this time on loons. With this being said, would I spend more pages describing an ant war or loons?

Even though an ant war and loons would be an absurd and ridiculous way to fill some pages of your autobiography, because it has nothing to do with your life whatsoever, this actually gave a bit of a break in the book Walden. Before these topics were mentioned in the book, the book was full of unusual points that made little sense, making it irritating to read. But the pages and descriptions of an ant war and loons were not the worst to read, definitely better than some of the things I have read so far in the book. 

But would I spend pages of my autobiography on an ant war or loons? No, absolutely not. This sort of topic has no use to me, and I have little interest in it. Also I believe most people would think similarly on the matter. There is no need in my opinion. But because this is not a proper answer to the question above, I will state this, I would only supply a page at the maximum on these topics. I believe a page would satisfy enough descriptions to properly describe these events without overly boring the reader. With that being stated I would say that I would spend a little more book space on the topic of loons, just because they interest me a tad more. 

In conclusion, my answer to the matter of would I spend more pages on an ant war or loons, is that I would never mention either in my autobiography; but if I was forced to do so I would supply a small bit more book space on the topic of loons. This is an example of why reading Walden has been an adventure to read. If only Thoreau had described or written about topics that actually made sense, or made an understandable point, instead of writing about topics like ants and loons, Walden may have been a readable autobiography that made sense.

How Important is it For a Person to Summarize His Philosophy of Life in an Early Chapter of an Autobiography?

One of the most important aspects of an autobiography is the fact that you are able to share your views, beliefs, and even your philosophy of life. Every single person in this world has a different way of life; this is because everyone has different opinions on how one should live life, and how they themselves should live life. Usually a person’s philosophy of life is influenced by their personal beliefs. Because every single person has a different philosophy of life, if you read more than one autobiography you will notice that each and every autobiography is unique from one another because autobiographies are about a person’s life. So personally I believe that it is important for a person when writing an autobiography to share and summarize his/her philosophy of life. But how important is it for someone writing an autobiography to summarize their philosophy of life in an early chapter of their autobiography?

Before answering the main question I must answer another question: why should you add a summary of your philosophy of life in your autobiography in the first place? Well there are many different reasons why you should do this, but the first of which in my opinion is the fact that your readers would most likely be interested or want to know your personal beliefs. Also most readers would most likely want to know about what has kept you moving forward in life, aka your philosophy of life. If you didn’t add your personal beliefs or your philosophy of life in your autobiography, your autobiography sadly would most likely not be an intriguing one. Also you do not need to fill in chapters of your autobiography on your philosophy of life or personal beliefs, you can do this, but it might be even better to share small amounts of this throughout your autobiography. An important thing to remember though is the fact that your philosophy of life may change throughout your life, either slightly or drastically, so make sure to add all of the phases of your philosophy of life chronologically.

So it is pretty clear that it is pretty important to add a summary of your philosophy of life in your autobiography, but where should you add this in your autobiography? Early in the book? Or further into the book? Well I think this depends on the person who is writing the autobiography. But for me personally I would begin to add my philosophy of life in an early chapter. Also like I noted above you should keep in mind that your philosophy of life may change overtime, so make sure to add the changes of your philosophy of life throughout your autobiography.

In conclusion, it is important to add a summary of your philosophy of life in your autobiography, because your philosophy of life did play an important role in your life. But another question to ask is, is it important to include this summary in an early chapter of your autobiography? In my opinion the answer is yes. Even when you are young you still have a philosophy of life one way or another, even though it is still developing, hence why it is important to include it.

Would Walden Have Been a Better Book if Thoreau had Supplied More Background Information on His Life

Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, has been one of the most confusing autobiographies I have ever read. I have read more than quite a few autobiographies during this school year; some were incredibly intriguing and interesting, others were works of literary art, and some were downright confusing. But Walden, by far, has been the most confusing autobiography I have read so far. To begin with Thoreau constantly contradicts himself in the autobiography. If he makes a point in the book probably somewhere in the chapter he will contradict that point. This is incredibly irritating to read, and also very confusing. Also Walden is not exactly a traditional autobiography, it does not really contain details on Thoreau’s background, it only contains details on his life when he lived on Walden pond which was a pretty short period of time in his life. But if Thoreau had supplied more background information on his life in the book, would his book have been a better autobiography?

To make this answer for the question above short: no, Walden would have not been a better book if Thoreau had supplied more background information on his life. Why do I think this? First of all Walden is not a traditional autobiography. What I mean by a traditional autobiography is that, a traditional autobiography contains the story of a person’s life from day one, to the time that the person is writing the autobiography, which is usually the end of a person’s life. Walden, on the other hand is an autobiography that documents Thoreau’s life on Walden pond, which is a pretty short period of Thoreau’s life, only around two years. Thoreau only wrote his autobiography to share about his life on Walden pond, not to share the rest of his life story.

Also to note, Thoreau did a pretty confusing job on recounting his life on Walden pond. He didn’t provide a whole lot of information on his life on Walden pond, and instead mainly wrote about unrelated points that contradicted each other. Overall the message Thoreau wanted to convey was very unclear in Walden. So if Thoreau had included some background information on his life, I would assume that the book would probably be just as confusing, from what I have read so far.

In conclusion, the book Walden, would not have been a better book if Thoreau had supplied some background information on his life. The reason(s) why I believe this is because the book itself is just about Thoreau’s life on Walden pond(the title clearly states this), and not about his entire life story. Another reason why I believe the book would not be any better is the fact that Thoreau writes in a confusing style, which in short means that no matter how much background information he included, the book would most likely be still confusing. Hence these are the reasons why I believe the book would not be any better if Thoreau had included some background information on his life.

Was Thoreau Dependent on the Division of Labor While He was Living on Walden Pond

Henry David Thoreau(1817-1862), was a 19th century American philosopher and writer. His best known written work was his autobiography titled, Walden. Which was about his life when he “cut,” himself off from society; living a lifestyle independent from the division of labor(this only lasted for about two years). The way that Thoreau “cuts,” himself off from society was living in the woods surrounded by nature, by a pond. Even though he wanted to live independent from the division of labor he still was rather dependent on it, for these reasons which I will list below.

The first reason was the fact that Thoreau didn’t even own the property he resided on, it was actually a friend’s property, making him a squatter. Basically meaning he had depended on someone else to provide the land he would reside in. Even though he built the “hut,” that he lived in he still bought all the materials for the hut. Another thing to note was the fact that he had bought tools and supplies for this “experiment,’ to survive, meaning that again Thoreau had depended on someone, who was able to make those supplies or tools, to sell them to him. 

For food Thoreau decided to plant food on the property, but instead of getting dirty and planting his food all on his own he actually hired people to do some of the work for him. So long to cutting yourself off from society I guess. But to justify it he made it seem that he had done the work, which did not work well for him. On the note of being separate from society Thoreau was most definitely not completely cut off from society, he actually interacted and spent time with friends in town during this time, he even did this more than once during the week. Eventually a little after two years of living this way, twenty six months to be exact, Thoreau rather gave up and returned back to society. He began working for his family’s pencil business, which he did for the rest of his life, meaning that he relied on the division of labor for the rest of his life. He never returned back to the life of being separate from society ever again.

In short, Thoreau was very much dependent on the division of labor when he lived on Walden Pond, he actually depended on the division of labor his entire life. Even though throughout the book Thoreau constantly contradicts what he states he wants to do with what he actually does, his autobiography did very well. Because of how many times Thoreau contradicts himself I have a difficult time reading his book seriously, which makes it pretty difficult for me to understand why people liked this book so much. But with that being said these are the main reasons why Thoreau was dependent on the division of labor like everyone else.

How Could I Adopt Northup’s Technique of Using Contrasts

This week I finished the autobiography of Solomon Northup, which is titled 12 Years a Slave. This autobiography was mostly about Northup’s life as a slave for twelve years, after being kidnapped as a free black man. Northup before he had become a slave was a freeman in New York, and he had lived with his family. When he was kidnapped it took twelve years of toil and pain until he was rescued and set free. The autobiography itself that Northup wrote contains many contrasts, so many that it would probably take me months to note each one. Northup contrasted many things including, people, situations, etc. So how could I myself adopt Northup’s technique of using contrasts?

Before getting into this, why would I use contrasts in the first place? Contrasts are a pretty powerful literary tool, and in my opinion makes a narrative more interesting. Also in my life so far there have been quite a few instances that are worth contrasting to each other. For example maybe a contrast between two different people I know who played a role in my life, either negatively or positively. Basically I would use a contrast to make my autobiography more interesting.

Because I have now explained why I would use contrasts in my autobiography, here is an example of one of Northup’s powerful contrast’s. In Northup’s life as a slave he was owned by a few people. His first owner, named Ford was a just owner, who treated his slaves well. Northup’s last owner, named Epps, was the exact opposite of Ford. Epp’s was a terrible person who treated slaves as if they were less than animals. He was especially cruel to a slave named Patsey. Northup quite a few times in his autobiography contrasted cruel slave owners with just slave owners who treated their slaves well. He used Ford as an example of a just slave owner and Epps as an example of a cruel and evil slave owner. Even though this is only one example of Northup’s use of contrasts, I believe that this gets the point across that Northup’s autobiography was full of them.

So now, how could I adopt Northup’s technique of using contrasts? Well that is a pretty simple answer. The way I would adopt this method is by comparing situations, people, etc to each other. Of course I would have to find situations or people that are the opposite from other situations or people, but overall in my opinion it is not that difficult to adopt Northup’s method of using contrasts.

12 Years a Slave was one of the most interesting and insightful autobiographies I have read during this school year. The autobiography itself gave a great portrayal on slavery, and the evils of it. This was thanks to Northup’s powerful use of words, and literary devices including contrasts, which was the main topic of this essay. Overall I highly recommend reading this autobiography, for both educational and enjoyment purposes.