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Dana Dayan

on 30 November 2012

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The Portable Phonograph The End Walter Van Tilburg Clark The purpose of this story is to tell people that despite tragedy, humanity will persevere. Purpose of Story: The story starts out with the setting described as post-war like. The characters are then introduced as four men huddled around a fire in an underground dugout. The main character is Doctor Jenkins, who is in charge of the underground dugout. His character is full of personality and knowledge. The other character is a musician, who is very ill. The other two characters are minor in the story.They all occupy themselves through book readings and they endure a time of devastation by entertaining one another. Dr. Jenkins has a phonograph which he brings out every week and it was one of his last items he treasured. Dr. Jenkins is nervous and suspicious because the musician was acting very rudely when listening to the music. The musician has a cough and when the all of the men left, Dr. Jenkins still heard the coughing noise outside. He hid his phonograph and other items safely in to the ground and then he went to bed with a pipe in his hand facing towards the entrance. Summary: Main Fiction Elements: The theme statement of the short story The Portable Phonograph is that don't take life for granted, meaning that every day of each second of life is very important. Theme: By: Amrit Bisla
Amanda Cruz
Dana Dayan Subthemes: - You don't know what you have until you lose it and its out of site and gone in your life .
- Everything you have in life is precious love it no matter what love all the things you own. Vocabulary: •Remnant: remaining like a fragment or scrap (pg.177)
•Undulation: a wavy form or outline (pg. 177)
•Peat: high organic material; cut and dried for use of fuel (pg. 178)
•Niche: a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing (pg.178)
•Acrid: irritating to the eyes, nose, etc. (pg.178)
•Rheumatism: any disorder of the extremities or back, characterized by pain and stiffness. (pg 179) Allusions: •William Shakespeare •Moby Dick
•The Divine Comedy •The Bible (all allusions are on page 179) Walter Van Tilburg Clark - Born on August 3, 1909
- Died on November 10, 1971
- oldest out of four children
- He experienced four wars during his lifetime. Author Information: Setting and Atmosphere: The setting of the story was in an underground dugout. No one else was alive in the world when the story took place except for the four men in the story. They were together through the lonely times. The atmosphere in the story was lonely since the men were all alone in a deserted area with no one except them. “The air was still and cold, and in it settled the mute darkness and greater cold of night.”(pg. 177) Main Fiction Elements: Other Fiction Elements: Point of View: The point of view of the story is in objective third person point of view. Symbol: The symbol of the story was the music and the phonograph . The phonograph symbolizes for humanity for the men after the war. The music symbolized the hope music gave them and connection they had towards each other. (continued) Conflict: The conflict in the story is man against environment and man against man. "There, pausing often to stare at the canvas and listen, he dug earth from the wall and disclosed the piece of board. Behind this, there was a deep hole in the wall into which he put the phonograph."(pg.183) Personal Evaluation: Amrit Personal Evaluation: Amanda Personal Evaluation: Dana I thought the story was interesting because it was set in a post-apocalyptic setting. This showed how the characters were dealing with the situation and how they tried to think positive by entertaining one another. I thought the story lacked details and traits of the other characters but it did show how the protagonist went from being careful about his books and music to being afraid that someone would steal them. The story told us how he was a dynamic character. My personal evaluation on the Portable Phonograph was that I liked some parts of the short story better than others. For example, I liked the strong moral of the story what it had to say, value and love everything you have in life and sometimes you might protect something so much that you forget to appreciate it and love it . You forget the reason why it even made you happy. I enjoyed how the author made the phonograph and music a big part of the story towards the characters. It built a strong part in the story. Something I did not enjoy is that in the story they focus more on the main character Dr. Jenkins I would have liked to know at least a bit more about the other characters and a bit more on Dr. Jenkins past life since they do not focus as much on those parts. I also did not like the fact how the author made the story setting in which the characters were set on earth after the war like they were the only ones left. But all in all i though it was a eye opening story with positive moral views and had a very unique type of setting . I think that the story was interesting. I think that it lacked details about all of the characters. I would have liked to know more about the other characters and what their purpose was in the story. I think the setting is interesting because it was described as post-war like. The story gave us a description on how the setting and atmosphere was like when all of the wars occurred way back then.
Overall, the Portable Phonograph was an interesting story.
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