More Literature Analysis of a Knight of the White Cross

In my last essay I talked about the setting and style of the book assigned for English, so today I’ll be writing about the character development and plot.

 

The Plot development of A Knight of the White Cross, by G.A. Henty

As I said in my last essay, most of Henty’s books pretty much all have the same base story. A handsome, strong, young man rises in fame and fortune and becomes a hero to the country. They normally end up with the fella’ marrying a gal that he rescued from some terrible thing. In A Knight of the White Cross, a young man named Gervaise joins the Order of St. John, in the magnificent city of Rhodes. He has a good thinking head, as well as being a great warrior at a young age (due to the training he received ever since he was a small child). He is a Page to the Grand Master for 3 years, before becoming a professed knight. Soon after, he was sent on a galley with a bunch of other knights. They encountered 5 or 6 pirate ships that they eventually captured with the help of two other galleys that were also on patrol. While out on the ocean, Gervaise showed himself worthy of being dubbed a real Knight upon their return. In later events, Gervaise did lots of things that earned him great renown including capturing 13 pirate ships and destroying 10 more with only one galley. He was a favorite with the Grand Master and all his fellow knights. He took part in the defense of Rhodes during the famous siege of Rhodes. In the end of the book, he marries a girl from Genoa and lives happily ever after.

Character Development

Really the only characters that develop enough to mention are Gervaise, his best friend Ralph Harcourt, and Lady Claudia (the girl he marries). Gervaise starts out being a 13-year-old boy, working as Page to the Grand master of the Order of St. John. Later on, he becomes a professed knight, then a real knight, the captain of a galley (at the age of 17), a slave (he got captured, but then escapes), and then finally a married man. Sir Ralph Harcourt starts out as a professed knight and becomes a real knight at the same time as Gervaise. He is 1st mate to Gervaise on his galley, and eventually, gets awarded with the command of his own galley. Lady Claudia is first introduced in the book as a serious 14-year-old girl. She isn’t talked about a lot since she lives in a whole different country than Gervaise, but she’s talked about enough to know that as she became a woman, she was the beauty of Genoa, and refused many offers for her hand in marriage. When Gervaise asks her to marry him, she accepts and becomes his wife.

 

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The Digestive System

So what would happen if you were a piece of food, and you got chewed up and swallowed?  Where would you go?  Well, first off, you would be in the person’s mouth.  You would get chewed up into a slimy, pasty, mass that would be swallowed.  Then, you go down this long tube called the Esophagus.  After going through the esophagus, you would find yourself in the digestive tract, which, essentially, is all of the organs that help digest food.  Now you are in the stomach. The stomach pours out all of this acid stuff that breaks down food even more.  by this time, the food is just molecules!  After being in the stomach for a few hours, you’d go through an opening called the Pyloric Sphincter.  It gauges how much food goes through it.This way, not too much food, and not too little food goes into the small intestine.  The small intestine is a long, winding, tube that the food molecules go through that absorbs the nutrients from the food.  Small intestines are more than 20 feet long!  Now you travel to the liver, which separates the good stuff from the waste and gross stuff.  It takes the vitamins from the food and puts them in your blood to help your body be healthy.  The Liver makes this stuff called bile also. It flows through the small intestine while you are in it, and helps break down fat and stuff.  The gallbladder keeps all of the extra bile that isn’t being used.  The pancreas is very important also. It makes a liquid that helps break protein and carbohydrates down even further.  Now, you are in the large intestine.  After going through there, you would land in the colon. It is basically the place where the waste separates into solid and liquid.  After that, the solid exits through the rectum. I think that I don’t need to explain that any further. 🙂

So, what is Photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis (photo-sin-thu-sis) is a process that plants use to make themselves food, and make us oxygen. It is a complicated name for a complicated process, so I’ll try to break it down for you.  Basically, the sun hits the plant or tree, and the plant uses some of that energy to turn water and carbon dioxide into a thing that it can “eat” and grow with.  What’s left over is a bunch of oxygen! God was a great engineer when he made the earth, because with all of the plants in the world converting yucky carbon-dioxide (what comes our of our mouth when we breath out) into wonderful, pure, oxygen, we never run out of air to breath!

 

Cinder Cone and Shield Volcanoes

Today I’m going to be telling you about two different types of volcanoes. There are four major kinds; Cinder Cone, Composite, Shield, and Lava Dome, but today I am just going to be telling you about  Cinder cones and Shields. First we will look at Cinder Cones.

Cinder cone volcanoes kind of look like a big pile of sand with a huge hole dug in the middle.  But really, they spew out chunks of lava that break apart and form a ton of cinders.  It kind of gradually builds the volcano up. Here is a picture of a Cinder Cone Volcano.

Image result for cinder cone volcano
Cinder Cone Volcano

Shield volcanoes have lava that is very liquidy, so it flows faster.  Also, there isn’t very much ash and rock in  a shield volcano.  In general, they don’t get super duper tall (the tallest is only 14,177′ above sea level).  Despite not being the tallest volcanoes out there, shield volcanoes are super, super wide (some as much 60 miles wide).

 

A Shield Volcano

 

In Which the Sheriff of Nottingham Becomes an Outlaw

The Sheriff of Nottingham was at his wits end.   That merry knave, Robin Hood, had not been brought to justice.  Prince John (who had declared himself king in King Richard’s absence) was getting more and more eager to get Robin Hood out of his way too.  You see, Robin and his merry men set the people of England against the false king.  Prince John, of course, did not like this. One day, he called the Sheriff to come to London-town to have a meeting with him.  The sheriff eagerly prepared to leave immediately, which he did.  It was a sight to see.  The cowardly sheriff, knowing that he would have to go through Sherwood Forest to get to London-Town brought all of the retainers in Nottingham. They all amounted to about 80-armed men all decked out in their best attire. As for Robin Hood, two of his men had been in Nottingham when the word came that Prince John summoned the Sheriff, and he was to be traveling to London-Town with all the armed men in Nottingham.  They straightway returned to Sherwood and brought the news to Robin.

As soon as Robin heard what was to take place, he brought his horn to his lips and blew three loud, clear, sweet notes.  At this, his men all gathered ’round him, some coming out of the forest, some from different paths leading into the clearing.  He stood up and began giving instructions. “Six men will come with me, to meet that knave of a sheriff, and the rest of you will cut off his retainers and wagons.  Will Scarlet, Little John, Friar Tuck, Allan A Dale, David of Doncaster, and Midge the Miller’s son will come with me, and Will Stutely, you will lead the rest.”  Ten men were also set out in the forest to keep an eye on the roads to see when the Sheriff arrived.

All this was done, so Robin’s men waited.  The next morning, bright and early, Will Stutely and Robin Hood were woken, and told that the men stationed in the forest had caught sight of the sheriff and his procession.  Robin blew his horn, and all the men were up in a heartbeat, gathering around him.  He reminded them of their orders and they all went off to do them.  Robin and his six men ran and hid in the bushes on the side of the road.  Will Stutley and his men (there was about 75 of them) did the same, hiding along in the bushes every few yards for half of a mile or so. When the Sheriff’s caravan got to where Will and his men were, all of the men stuck their quarterstaffs out in the horse’s way, and tripped them.  Then all of the men rushed out into the road and pulled the Sheriff’s retainers off their horses.  This would not normally have worked, but all of the retainers were paying attention to the Sheriff, who was riding in front. Robin had stepped out, and grabbed the bridle of the sheriff’s horse. It was a sight to see. More than 80 men all being pulled off their horses, and their swords being grabbed and thrown into the bushes.  Robin Hood and his six men grabbed the bridles of the Sheriff’s horse, and started leading them into Sherwood.  The Sheriff started yelling at his retainers telling them to come and capture Robin Hood. When he looked backwards, where they were supposed to be, he saw a scene of utter chaos. Seventy men in Lincoln green were pulling his retainers off their horses while they were kicking and trying to get to their swords.

Soon, Robin’s men had gotten control and disarmed all of the sheriff’s retainers.  Robin yelled for them to stay there, and he led the Sheriff and a few of his men into the forest, and into him and his men’s camp.  Then he said, “My dear sheriff, I have a deal to make with you. You pick two of your best Yeomen, and my man Little John and I will have a little competition with them. Whoever can split a twig the width of my thumb from 70 paces away with a grey goose shaft, I will give a good stout ewe bow, with gold engraving, and 12 good arrows to match.”  The Sheriff decided that he would make another part of the deal too. “If you and your little john beat my men, then I will come and join your band of merry men, with all of these retainers with me. But, if I win, you will become my page, for life.” Robin thought for a while, and then decided that it would be worth it. “My answer is yes, sheriff!”  The targets were set up, and the sheriff picked his men.  The first was the popular young Sir Eldred of the Moor, and the second was old Sir Alfred of Yorkton. They were both very well-known archers in England.  It was decided that Sir Eldred would go first, then Little John, then Sir Alfred, and then finally, Robin Hood.  Each man would have two shots at the two targets, and whichever team split the stick, would be the winner.

Up Sir Eldred stepped, brought up his bow, fitted one of his arrows, and aimed. Wizzz, the arrow shot from the bow, and flew toward the stick. The young man’s arrow missed the mark by a barley straw’s width. He fitted his second arrow, and this time, the arrow nicked the stick. It was not split though, so Little John took his turn.  Both of Little John’s arrows hit the stick, and stuck in it, but neither went all the way through, to split it.  Sir Alfred was up next.  The Sheriff was sitting on the edge of his seat, as was Robin, because both of their futures were at stake. Now, Sir Alfred stepped up with is bow.  He aimed his first arrow, and let fly. This one would have went straight through the stick, but a little gust of wind caught it and blew it off of course, and it landed on the ground a ways away. The second arrow, however, hit the stick straight in the middle and went all the way. It didn’t split the stick all the way though!  Robin Hood let out a sigh of relief, and stepped up to the mark. He let his first arrow go, and it flew straight and true, straight to the stick. The same thing happened with his arrow though. It went all the way through, but didn’t split the stick all the way. He drew a deep breath, and aimed his second arrow.  It flew whizzing toward the stick. Pffttts! It went straight through, and split the stick all the way!  A great shout came out of the throats of all of Robin Hood’s merry men. The sheriff of Nottingham couldn’t believe it. He was absolutely sure that his men could shoot better than Robin Hood and Little John. He was now Robin’s man, along with all of the retainers that he had brought with him.  Since he wasn’t a sheriff anymore, he took the name of Richard of Nottingham instead. He actually learned to like the life of Robin and his band, carefree, and adventurous.  Robin even helped teach him not to be so cowardly.

Thus concludes my tale of how the Sheriff of Nottingham became an outlaw.

 

Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering deals with the design, maintenance, and construction of things like bridges, roads, overpasses, dams, canals, skyscrapers, etc.  Civil engineers are extremely crucial for keeping us safe. They research, test, and design the structures to be at the maximum safety level for us.  For instance, with skyscrapers, if you don’t design them right, they will sway in the wind, and be dangerous.  With bridges, if you don’t give them enough support, they can totally start like bouncing up and down almost like waves. If you watch the video down below, you will see what I mean!  To become a Civil Engineer, you have to go to college and earn your Bachelors degree in civil engineering. If you’re interested in becoming an engineer, then you are going to want to take your STEM classes (science, technology, engineering, and math). 

Thanks for reading my essay!

Burj Khalifa.jpg
Burj Kalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world.  It is in the UAE.

 

A Roman Aqueduct that was built more than 2,000 years ago.

 

 

 

 

Saxon Culture

3/23/2017
Teacher: Bradley Fish Jr.

In my 7th grade English class, I have been reading a book called Wulf the Saxon, by G.A. Henty. It’s all about the Norman invasion of England. This week for my writing assignment, I need to write about the culture of the Anglo-Saxon people.

The Anglo-Saxon people started out as a bunch of Germanic tribes that settled in the part of Europe that is now England.  The tribes eventually united and grew into a country with a King, and different Earldoms and Earls ruling over them.  In each earldom, there were the people that lived in them that were free men that were farmers, or some other occupation such as a metal worker or something like that.

There were not a lot of trained, paid soldiers, so when a  war started, all the farmers and people were called from their homes, farms, and businesses to fight. This made them weaker than their opponents because their men would leave to get back to their farms and occupations as soon as their required time in service was up.  This left the king relatively helpless at times because he had practically no army.

The Saxons were pagan, believing in what seems like thousands of different gods, but eventually, some catholic missionaries came and converted most of England.  King Alfred helped spread the popularity of Catholicism also.  The Saxons had cities and villages and monasteries and convents and everything.

Over time, England began to adopt more and more civilized ideas and things, to become one of the most powerful country’s in Europe.