Essay

Collaborative Activity - Define Hope


mikesperry79 Threads: 2
Posts: 9
Author: Mike Sperry I am struggling this semester in my English Comp class, and I desperately need a good grade on this paper. I just found this site, so this is my first post.Prompt: Break up into groups of five and define hope. Then, define hope with a series of extended examples drawn from films your group members have seen, with each of you developing an illustrative paragraph based on a different film. When everyone in the group has read each paragraph, work together to formulate a thesis that asserts the vital importance of the quality your examples have defined. Finally, write suitable opening and closing paragraphs for the essay and arrange the body paragraphs in a logical order, adding transitions where necessary.Films That Define HopeHope is defined as a feeling that events will turn out for the best, or what is wanted can be had. Someone who has hope will usually continue hoping, although the present gives them no reasons to believe in a good outcome. It is a matter of someone's faith, will, and strength to continue. Occasionally, a film comes along that is profound enough to convey hope in such a way that goes beyond simple definition. These unique films are a window into the soul that are capable of transferring emotions off the screen and into our hearts, thereby defining hope in a way that words never could.Hope can be an elusive and fleeting thing. It is something to be chased and kept close to your heart during times of trial or trauma; hope is what keeps us alive. Hope transcends all boundaries. It is always there, but sometimes one must search for it, or fight to hold on to it. The film The Pursuit of Happyness is a very good example of how hope shows up during these times of need. In this film, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is a salesman who is heavily invested in an expensive product that he is unable to sell, which ultimately leaves the Gardner family financially devastated. After losing everything, Chris Gardner and his son are left to fend for themselves on the streets of San Francisco. However, Gardner's luck finally changes when he beats out nineteen other applicants for an internship at a prominent investment company. This was the saving grace for the Gardner family because it allowed them to live a successful and financially comfortable life. Had Gardener given up hope, his family would still have nothing. It was hope that enabled them survive homelessness, hunger, fear, and just plain loneliness. Without hope there is no life.Shawshank Redemption is a film that captures the human condition of hope, and touches the soul in a way that only a great film can. It portrays the true definition of hope as a promise that a positive outlook can propel you to a better tomorrow, regardless of current circumstances or unforeseen tragedy. It is a film about a young banker named Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in Shawshank Prison for a brutal double homicide he did not commit. Once inside the prison walls, he is befriended by another inmate, Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freemen), who tries to help Andy adjust to life behind bars. In Shawshank Prison, tragedy is reality, despondency is daily life, and eventually despair becomes a well known friend. Red calls this being institutionalized and goes on to say, "The walls begin as something you hate. As the years go by you get used to them, until finally you depend on them." Andy is faced with despair and tragedy time and time again; he his demoralized, stripped of dignity, and robbed of pride. Despite all of this, hope is the one thing Andy never loses, and it is that hope that becomes the key to his salvation. Andy's inspirational outlook eventually spreads hope to other inmates including Red, who ultimately comes to realize one important thing: "Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free."Cast Away is another excellent example of how a film can define hope. In this film, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a FedEx systems analyst who travels the world trying to fix productivity issues within the company. On Christmas Eve, Chuck is unexpectedly called away on a business assignment. Before Chuck gets on the plane, he gives his girlfriend, Kelly (Helen Hunt), a small Christmas present, and promises her, "I'll be right back." While flying through a storm, his plane veers off course and crashes into the Pacific Ocean. Chuck, the only survivor, finds himself washed up on an uninhabited island with nothing but plane wreckage, FedEx packages, and a deflated life raft. In order to survive, Chuck has to learn to make fire, find food, and find shelter from the occasional storm. The only thing keeping Chuck alive is the hope that one day soon he will be rescued and reunited with Kelly. Day in and day out, Chuck looks at the only piece of memorabilia he still has; a locket with a picture of Kelly in it. This locket gives Chuck the strength to build a raft, stock it with provisions, and use it to find his way back to civilization. Chuck heads out into the ocean and is eventually spotted by a passing cargo ship. However, being rescued turns out to be a bittersweet experience when he finds out that Kelly has married and has a daughter. Chuck, still refusing to give up hope, realizes the life he had before the plane crash is over, and he drives off with the hope of starting a new one.Hope is something that is held onto when it seems there is nothing else left. Hope is not something to lose sight of, but very often during times of trial it seems to disappear. In the film "Hope Floats," Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) is humiliated on national television by her husband and best friend when they admit they are in love and having an affair. Left to raise her daughter alone after an ugly divorce, Birdee returns home to live with her mother. However, this is not easy. Since all of Smithville has seen the television show, she is constantly faced with ridicule. Just when things could not get any worse, her mother passes away. Birdee is constantly faced with everyday trials that make functioning almost impossible and hope seem far out of sight. However, in the end hope prevails, and Birdee is able to move forward with her life. As Birdie so colorfully puts it, "Just give hope a chance to float up and it will." If she had not held onto the hope of getting through these difficult times, neither she nor her daughter would have made it.I Can Do Bad All By Myself is a film about a selfish young woman, April (Taraji P. Henson), who struggles with alcoholism. After her mother suddenly dies, April is the only one left to care for her niece and two nephews. Also, April reluctantly takes in a

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Columbian immigrant named Sandino (Adam Rodriguez) after the church asked her to do so. April is shown struggling throughout the film; she was rude towards everyone for no apparent reason. Sandino realized April was a better person than she was allowing herself to be, so he took her to church and tried to make her recognize that she deserves more out of life. After her married boyfriend tried to rape her niece, she began to realize that she needs to start taking care of herself and her family. Throughout this amazing story, April changes from a selfish person, to a person filled with hope and a passion for life. In the beginning, she tells her niece that she cannot keep them, but in the end she joyfully changes her mind. April also marries the love of her life, Sandino. April's life did a complete one eighty. This amazing film shows that the human spirit is capable of anything as long as there is hope.Hope is not something you can see or reach out and touch; it is something that you have to feel inside. These five films radiate hope off the screen, and go far beyond simple definition by allowing the viewer to actually experience hope for themselves. Hope can be a very hard to define with words alone. However, in today's society we are able to turn to films when a simple definition will not suffice, and these films can give us a little bit of inspiration when we need it the most. These excellent films combine story, visual images, sound, and music in a way which no other medium is capable of, thereby allowing the viewer to share the emotional experiences of the characters. In the end we realize that hope is the essential driving force of the human spirit, and it allows each and every one of us strive for a better tomorrow.Works CitedCast Away. Dir. Robert Zemeckis. Perf. Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt. 20th Century Fox, 2000. DVD.Hope Floats. Dir. Forest Whitaker. Perf. Sandra Bullock. 20th Century Fox, 1998. DVD.I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Dir. Tyler Perry. Perf. Teraji P. Henson, Adam Rodriguez. Lionsgate, Tyler Perry Studios, 2009. Film.The Pursuit of Happyness. Dir. Gabriel Muccino. Perf. Will Smith. Columbia Pictures, 2006. DVD.Shawshank Redemption. Dir. Frank Darabont. Perf. Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman. Columbia Pictures, 1994. DVD. Notoman Threads: 20
Posts: 437
Author: Noto Wow! What an assignment. Are these the paragraphs that you have combined from different authors? You all have done a great job of piecing together a cohesive essay. Feel free to take or leave my suggestions--they are just the musing of a high school age punk. Hope is defined as a feeling that events will turn out for the best, or what is wanted can be had.
You don't need the comma here. Our minds are trained to use a comma before a words likeand, or, [i]andbut[/i], but you only need the comma if that second part can function as a complete sentence (an independent clause). "What is wanted can be had," is a little confusing ... so many verbs! Try rewording it to something like: desires are obtainable. the present gives them no reasonsI'd go with "no reason." When you don't have something, it sounds right to my ear to keep the thing that you don't have singular. She doesn't have a cat. She doesn't have cats. Subtle difference. I know, I am being picky here. Occasionally, a film comes along that is profound enough to convey hope in such a way that goes beyond simple definition.You guys are using a lot of passive, "to be" verbs--things like "is," "are," "was." Punch up the writing a little by letting some of the verbs be more active. You could rewrite this sentence to say something like: Occasionally, a film profoundly conveys hope in a manner that surpasses simple definition. These unique films are a window into the soul that are capable of transferring emotions off the screen and into our hearts, thereby defining hope in a way that words never could.This is another example where the verbs could take on a more active role. These unique films serve as a window to the soul capable of transferring emotions from the screen into our hearts; they define hope where words alone fail.I don't have the time to do a line-by-line commentary before I must go to bed, but allow me to make a couple more quick comments.I feel like the first part of the second paragraph belongs someplace else. It take quite a while to get to the analysis of the movie. Perhaps a smoother transition here would let the reader know right away what the paragraph will be about. Think of the topic sentence in each paragraph as acting like a mini-thesis statement in its own right. Let the first sentence transition and introduce the new paragraph. This was the saving grace for the Gardner family because it allowed them to live a successful and financially comfortable life.To be more accurate to the film, I'd omit the word "family" here because his wife, (mother of his son? I can't remember if they were married) leaves him before this time. Yes, family can be defined in many different ways including a single father with a son, but because the family unit is larger at one point during the movie, I'd just say, "the saving grace for Gardner and his son." Picky, I know. Man, I can be tough to be around. Shawshank Redemption is a film that captures the human condition of hope, and touches the soul in a way that only a great film can.Again, no comma.At one point, you all put the title of the movie into quotation marks. Keep it consistent throughout your paper. I know that the formatting here doesn't allow you to cut and paste and maintain things like italics, but I wanted to point out that the movie titles should all be in italics. There are other places where you need to watch the consistency too (Oh! The joys of group work!). The paragraphs skip from present tense to past tense (sometimes in the same paragraph). I would assume when talking about movies in this manner, you would use the "literary present"--you would talk in the present tense even if something happened in the past. Instead of "Sandino realized April was a better person than she was allowing herself to be," it would be "Sandino realizes April is a better person than she allows herself to be."

Good luck with it! It sounds like a fun, but tedious, assignment.

OP mikesperry79 Threads: 2
Posts: 9
Author: Mike Sperry Notoman,This site is awesome! All I can think about is how much better my grade would be if I found this site at the beginning of the semester instead of half way through. Thanks for all the suggestions, and feel free to keep them coming if you have more! I assure you, our group will appreciate it tremendously!In the second paragraph, would you just leave the first two sentences out?Thanks again,

Mike




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