Hamlet: The establisment of an opening


The first act of Hamlet is an establishment of what will come to pass. A story of grim darkness. How is this set? With the establishment of the mood of the room.  With the first act starting at midnight on the castle walls it sets the mood for the rest of the play.

In the start of the play Barando challenges  Francisco by boldly stating “Who’s there?” in the cold night. This challenge is made to establish a tense feeling around the castle making the guards seem on edge during the night watch in case any invaders or assassins sneak in at night.

But consindering the time in which Shakespeare lived in without the convenience of scenelights and filming cameras, he can’t set the scene with visuals alone. To set the scene he makes the characters comment on their surroundings, such as Barnardo commenting that “Tis now struck twelwe” and Francisco saying “tis bitter cold. With these lines Shakespeare establishes the surroundings efficiently with the resources he had available.


An Introduction to Me

The name’s Gard Leira, a professional lazy person with an interest in English.  I chose to study English culture and literature in order to gain a greater understanding of the literary works of old and the cultures that encompasses the English speaking world.

My expectations to this subject is a greater understanding of analysing and understanding literary texts with the context from when and where the story was written. As for why is to fully understand the magnitude a story will have in context. I’m pretty sure opponents of the apartheid regime wouldn’t be popular in the government considering the fact that they referred to them as traitors. Stories written during that time about racial inequality would be more controversial then than now with open racism against colored in SA on the decline.

I simply wish to be exposed to universal classics of literature during the semester.

My favorite book is “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  Why it is my favorite is that it kicked off my interest of fantasy and sci-fi, in other words worlds alternate form our own in culture and history. Tolkien took great care to create these races from real world myth. In fact the fictional launguage of Elvish has connections to Polish, Latin, Finnish, and Welsh. And that’s just  That is why it’s my favorite series. Because Tolkien took time to think of his world. Introduce new elements few if not none have managed to replicate. That is why Lord of the Rings is my favorite. As for my favorite book in the series. It would be “Return of the king”. It offers a satisfying conclusion on the whole series and ends character journeys by letting it end on a high note.

Gran Torino – A lesson in family


The movie Gran Torino directed and starring Clint Eastwood, is a movie set in modern day Detroit with the character Walter Kowalski, a grumpy stubborn senior who is refusing to move away from his home in the suburban area of Detroit despite the fact that the neighbourhood is not the one he knew.  There are many themes throughout the movie such as Redemption, Racism, Culture, Entitlement, and Death. But today I want to focus on the theme of family.

During the film we get to see Walt’s family. His son, his wife, and his two spoiled children. His family being distant due to the son being distant already with Walt. The wife clearly dosen’t like him and looks at him as nothing more than a jewellery box that has an open date. The daughter entitled and bratty eyes Walt’s belongings like a vulture before he eventually kicks the bucket. The grandson… well he’s not really in focus during this movie.

All in all. Walt has a dysfunctional family that couldn’t give a rat’s ass if he died. So little do they care that they feel like interacting with him is a chore. They also are blantantly oblivious to when to bring up subjects as seen on Walt’s birthday when they talk about putting him in a home. Pretty sure any father wouldn’t take kindly to their child pushing to put you in a home on their birthday. They could have brought this up at any different times. But that’s impossible. Because outside of family gatherings, they don’t interact with him giving them no chances to tell him at a more appropriate time. They expect that he will take this revelation on his birthday of all times.

Suffice to say, Walt doesn’t take kindly to his son’s suggestion, and kicks him out. He’s sitting on his porch, chugging down beer while looking around the neighbourhood with bitterness. That is until one of the more important characters in the movie Sue, invites him over. Reluctant at first, he eventually comes over, and discovers he has more in common with them than his own family. This is not something Walt expected to say the least. They are respectful and traditional, and they take great pride in that. So much so that they force Thao another main character to help Walt out much to his dismay.

Now let’s talk about Thao. He’s a well-mannered, and insecure Hmong teenager that has his antagonistic cousin try to push him into a life of crime. He stays out of it for the most part until he was pushed far enough that he tried to steal a car. And whose car was that? Walt. To say the relationship is not off to a good start is an understatement.

But Walt takes a liking to the well mannered Asian. He tries to toughen him up by egging him on to try and invite the girl he likes out. Their relationships develop. Walt lets him borrow his tools. He helps him out with work. And he even let’s Thao use his Gran Torino! Something that is of high value to Walt. Why does he do that? Because Thao is special to him.

Walt did something with Thao that he didn’t do with his son. Bond with him. See his perspective. Make him understand him. That’s what Thao is to Walt. Something he should have done. A right to a wrong. A son. But not only did Walt find a son. Walt also found a community amongst the Hmong. He starts out rejecting their gifts, but eventually he relents and lets them stay.

In conclusion. While we can’t decide who we are born to, we can decide who’s family.  For example longtime friend can be seen as an uncle in some cultures. A teacher can be a strong encouraging parent.

It isn’t blood that’s important, but rather the people around you.


Girls Rising. The movie that promotes change.

Heard of this movie? Girls rising. It’s a documentary showcasing eight different stories about girls from the young age of 8-12 in different parts of the world. Those include: Haiti, Egypt, Afghanistan and Nepal. All of the girls in these movies are real, and their accounts of injustice, also very real.

In the movie it is mentioned that there are 33 million fewer girls enrolled in school than boys. This is due to the unjust systems that are installed in different countries. Where boys have more of a chance to get further in school than girls. They are left behind at home to cook, clean and reproduce. Or even worse. Sold into slavery.

Ever heard the term Kamlari? I doubt it. Kamlari girls could be compared to children sold into slavery. Young girls at the tender age of six is being sold off to slavery. To be fair to the parent in this case some must do this since they can’t provide for the child in question. However, that doesn’t excuse the fact that they sent their child away to provide for themselves.

This practice is in effect Nepal, even though it’s been outlawed by the government in 2004. The local authorities may know about a few kamlaris but they don’t bother with it.  There are still thousands of girls that have been former kamlaris and there are still kamlaris even today. One of those former kamlaris was Suma which was featured as a story in this very film.

Suma was only 6 when her parents shipped her away as a kamlari to different masters. In total she was at three different houses with three different masters. She was uneducated and only did labour at the master’s house. However, at the third house a woman showed up. She demanded that Suma be set free and returned to the parent. The master naturally refused. But that woman was persistent. She came by again and again with the same demand until finally the demands were met. Suma was returned to her parents and she continued her education.

That woman was with the NYO. The Nepal Youth Organization. Their main objective is to rescue kamlaris from their slavery and then help them with their education. Their cause has helped many and will help many more. Suma is along with them and is adding her voice alongside others that demand freedom of the Kamlaris.

Slavery still exists. You may avert your eyes from it, but you can’t deny it. Children are still in chains and people are focusing their attention on their own affairs. Shall we just turn a blind eye to other people’s problems and just focus on surviving our own? Some do, others don’t. And those who don’t are the ones solving problems that not even the government will pick up on.



The movie «Girl Rising»

Elimination of Poverty. A Complicated problem with too many easy solutions.

The words above are simple right? Elimination of extreme poverty. Today most people live quite comfortably. With access to a job, home, food and so on. But as always there is a bad side to the good. People live day by day without getting the basic needs and are not able to get a job. You mind must have immediately switched to Africa, but the problem isn’t only there. It’s global.

In the US, In Indonesia, In Brazil and practically every country on the planet there are people who barely scrape by the basic needs a Human requires. This is Poverty. Not being able to get the bacic thing we take for granted now like food, shelter and safety.

So, what can we do? The obvious thing we can do I share the wealth right? Well you don’t want to give away the money you have don’t ya? So why don’t just give away old clothes that no longer serves any purpose as compensation. You help a poor soul and can feel pat yourself on the back about it. Well I got news for you. Giving away things hurts the local economy. If a person has the items they desire acquired without purchasing from local businesses, there will be no money going around in the economy. This happened in Kenya with the Texture industry taking heavy hits when a lot of clothes were given away. This cost people jobs in the industry therefore making the problem worse. Good intentions, bad execution.

Okay, so we should just give the government money to fix the problems of poverty right? Well there’s a problem with that solution. Once you give them the money, what control do you have once you’ve given them the money? This is what happened in Ethiopia. Perhaps the most well-known scam on the globe that the dictator is pulling. Around 30 billion dollars have been given and the world has yet to see an improvement of the famines and drought relief in the country.

So… can we solve it? Yes, but there is too little time spent on thinking of solutions.  Just throwing money at the problem will not solve anything. Neither will giving away stuff that will only hurt the local economy.  The only way we can guarantee that something will be done is to organize the money gathering. By buying supplies that help the local populace, like food and water. By doing this a child for example can have more time to go to school instead of providing for the family.

In conclusion. Poverty isn’t just something concentrated in Africa. But it’s the most widespread there. With good solutions we can fix the problems and poverty will be exterminated. But with corruption and misused resources, a problem can be become bigger. It may be slow, but change will happen. Because when times moves forward, so does the progress to change.


Sources: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/06/second-hand-clothing-donations-kenya