Browsing Tag:

family

  • Book Review

    Grapes of Wrath: A Book Review

    In the book Grapes of Wrath, published by John Steinbeck in 1939, a family is forced to move out of their homeland and migrate towards plentiful land. The Dust Bowl posed a great threat not only to this family but all farmers and their loved ones. One important underlying message in the book is the importance of the women in a household. Ma Joad in the story is seen throughout the book as a hero and a mentor.

    First off, she is very welcoming, through allowing strangers (including homeless men) to sit down and share a meal with her. On the journey there, she puts on a fire, makes food, and sacrifices her food in order to give to the poor, hungry children around the camp. (SPOILER) She also keeps quiet when crossing the border to California in order to trick the guards into letting them through because the grandmother was sick when in reality she was dead the entire time. Ma was lying next to a corpse all night! While many believe that the man is the real center of the family, Ma Joad is able to break these types of gender roles and assumptions. Not only is she extremely confident, decisive, and friendly, but she also serves as the literal backbone and center of the family, supporting them throughout the entire experience.

    The book even mentioned her as the “citadel of the family”. She nurtures her daughter, Rose of Sharon, through the course of her pregnancy, while also managing to keep her impulsive and aggressive son, Tom Joad, in the right state of mind. Ma Joad is able to represent all women across the world. She is able to depict the idea that a family would not survive without a woman; a woman is just as important as the male in a household. A woman like her must be able to carry not only physical things but emotional things on her shoulder as well. She is an excellent representation of how women are capable of withstanding hardships and gain strength throughout the way!

  • Movie Review, Movies

    The Incredibles II Movie Review

    The Incredibles II Movie Review by Jana

    The Incredibles II is finally back after a fourteen year wait! I’m going to be talking about my general thoughts on the movie, and give it a score out of ten. Keep in mind this review contains spoilers for The Incredibles and The Incredibles II.

    –SPOILERS AHEAD–

    WHY I LIKED THE FIRST MOVIE
    The thing I loved about the first movie was the politicized nature of the supers, and the way the movie subverted common superhero tropes. I think it’s fair to say that The Incredibles subverted tropes similar to the way Watchmen had subversive politicized superhero tropes, but certainly not to the same extent as Watchmen. Instead of existing in a society that fully embraced them, the heros in The Incredibles faced backlash for civilian casualties / property damage they caused while performing saves. Another thing I loved about the first movie was the excellent score, which I’m happy to report is not absent in The Incredibles II.

    THE VILLAIN PROBLEM IN THE INCREDIBLES II
    The second movie had an interesting villain who I would have loved to have been more fleshed out. Evelyn/ Screenslaver is a fascinating character whose motivations felt poorly explained and even lacking in important details in her big villain monologue to Elastigirl.

    Her distrust of supers goes back to her father’s love of them, and his reluctance to use the family’s safe room while they were getting robbed. He instead opted to try and use his direct line to supers who arrived too late, and he was thus killed for his over reliance on supers. Evelyn’s father was shown to be an important political figure to supers and advocated for their rights.

    Basically, Evelyn dislikes the way the general public overly relies on the actions of the supers and wants the public to go back to distrusting them. Also, her hatred of supers ties into the way she uses them to try and give the supers a bad name: screens. Her villain identity is called Screenslaver, and she used screens to hypnotize people into following her orders. Screenslaver delivers a monologue regarding the way people are overly reliant on technology, and seems to make this point very well by demonstrating her ability to hypnotize anyone looking at a screen. She fashions screens into goggles for the supers, and forces them to act in a way that makes the general public distrust them.

    This is such a fascinating character with commentary about people’s reliance on technology, and I would have liked it if we got more backstory and explanation about this character. It’s worth acknowledging that she might have gotten more fleshed out in scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut.

    THE FAMILY FOCUS
    Like the first movie, The Incredibles II was as much about superheros as it was about the Parr family dynamic. I loved the way Bob and Violet’s father / daughter relationship evolved, and gave Bob room to make mistakes as a parent. Additionally, Helen’s move to front and center superhero for a short period of the movie was excellent. Bob’s jealousy when Helen was selected to carry out a mission instead of him wasn’t condemned or painted as a negative aspect of Bob’s character. Rather, his jealousy was understandable, and he made a visibly painful effort to demonstrate his happiness for her success.

    This tied into how he grew as a parent for all of his children. While Helen was out on the mission, he had be the sole caregiver for his children, something he clearly wasn’t used to. His jealousy seemed to make him resent this work at first, but as he got better at these parental duties, he began to enjoy carrying them out more. His frustration over not being able to understand Dash’s homework led to him pulling an all nighter to learn the math so he could help his son do well on the test. His comically botched plan to save Violet’s relationship with her love interest backfired and led to a heartfelt apology where he admitted to some degree of fault for the relationship’s undoing. As a quick aside, the way the family weaponized Jack Jack’s powers was hilarious; holding Jack Jack like a gun and saying, “pew pew” to make lasers shoot out of his eyes was comedy gold. Another brilliant moment I enjoyed was at the very end of the movie when Evelyn/ Screenslaver was arrested. Violent makes the comment, “Yeah but she’s rich, so she’ll probably get away with a slap on the wrist.”

    Overall, I’d give The Incredibles II a 7/10 simply due to how enjoyable it was, but wish it could have offered a more fleshed out villain.

    Catch a sneak peek here:

    https://youtu.be/i5qOzqD9Rms

  • Articles, Fun, Portfolio, Tips, Travel

    10 Activities to Do This Summer with Your Family

    Ideas for Summertime Adventures with Family

    Summer is the time for unwinding and relaxing. We all love summer because it means no school and no responsibilities for a few months. However, sometimes we may wonder what we can do with all of this time that we now have on our hands. One of the best things you can do this summer is to spend time not only with your friends but also with your family. Here are some activities you can suggest to your family that you can do together this summer. You will have fun and bond with those you love.

    1. Go hiking – This is a fun way to get out of the house and explore nature. You can unplug for a little while and see beautiful sights that you wouldn’t see every day.
    2. Go kayaking – Kayaking is another excellent way to get out into nature. It can be relaxing at times and other times it can be scary and exciting.
    3. Visit your favorite amusement park – Everyone loves amusement parks. It is one of the best places to go as a family.
    4. Go fishing – Warm summer days are the best and most enjoyable times to go fishing with the family.
    5. Visit a museum – Museums aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but, if they are, then going to a museum is the perfect family-friendly activity for the summer. It can be especially fun if you have younger siblings to take with you.
    6. Go on a short road trip – Summertime is the time to get out of the house and explore. Whether it is as far as your backyard or to the beach 6 hours away, getting out and going to places you haven’t been before will create lasting memories.
    7. Go camping – If camping is something you like doing, then summer is the time to do it and enjoy the beauty of nature while doing something you wouldn’t usually do.
    8. Watch a movie at a drive-in movie theater – Whether you are going with family or friends, everyone loves drive-in theaters during the summer. It isn’t expensive and is fun for everyone.
    9. Go swimming – This is the most obvious one, but you can go swimming in more than just a pool. You can go to a river, a lake, or even a waterfall. Everyone loves swimming because it is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.
    10. Make s’mores by an outdoor fire – Whatever you decide to do with your summer day, the best way to end it is by a fireside with hot s’mores and friends and family by your side.