Bilenum Questions

Last class, in literature, we read a story called Bilenum written by, J. G Ballard. After analyzing the story together our teacher Pato, ask us to answer some questions in groups.  I’ve worked with Marcos Okecki and Ramiro Aizpiri.

This are our questions:

1.Write a detailed synopsis of the story.

The story is about Ward who lives in an overpopulated world. He lived in a cubicle in the staircase. His cubicle was the biggest one and everyone told him that he was very lucky. Moreover, at having this bigger espace he can have more privacy than the others. However, when anyone walked up or down the stairs he would hear it, this wouldn’t let him sleep. One day, an inspector came to his cubicle and told him that as his cubicle was too big he had to pay double rent or shared the room. As he didn’t like the idea, he moved into a poorer neighborhood with his friend Rossiter. As soon as they got into the cubicle, Ward was angry. He hit the panel strongly and it fell off. In addition, as they noticed that the room was very big, they invite two friends to live with them. They separated the room in partitions. Finally, they invited more people, nevertheless, they ended as when they started, with very little space.

2. Discuss the theme of over-population and the effect it has on both the way of life and quality of life of the inhabitants of the city.

The everyday life of people is terrible, people can’t even visit their parents from their houses because of the pedestrian jum. Just by going to work, because there are so many people trying to move they get bruises. On their houses they have no privacy, they either have to share a minuscules rooms with a lot of people or be alone in an trifling cubicle. However the only solution for their limited space was by having at least three children.

3. The quest for living space has become an overriding obsession with the people of the city. Discuss this theme in detail. Include in your answer some discussion of the ways in which Ballard makes the quest for space dominate the characters’ lives.

In this story, space is very important because it means power. People that have money can buy land, construct a building, divide it in cubicles and rent them for people to live there. The owners of the building are usually the ones who look after the cubicles and check they have the correct size which was established by the government. So, they look forward on negotiating with the people living in the cubicles, as happened with Ward and his cubicle in the staircase.

4. What sort of relationship does Ballard put forward between the inner world of the individual (as represented by Ward and Rossiter) and the outer world in which they live. In other words, how does Ballard conceptualise the effect of surviving daily life in a hopelessly over-crowded city on the consciousness of the individual as demonstrated by the ways in which Ward and Rossiter manage the gift of space in the secret room they discover?

Rossiter and Ward criticize the way the government managed the main conflict of the society. They were living in a over crowded city, which the problem was overpopulation. The most of the times, when they wanted to go for a walk, the streets have a pedestrian jam. The government tried to solve the conflict by reducing the size of the cubicles, so as a consequence, they can be more cubicles available for the citizens who did not have a place to live in. At doing this method, the government was not solving the problem as they have more kids and more population, so they finally ended up in the same place. Ward and Rossiter went to live together so that they could share a bigger cubicle and have more space to live.

5. In the story, Ballard does attempt some sort of explanation of the social, political and economic causes of the extreme over-population that has beset the world. Explain his views as they are presented in the story.

The causes of extreme population is that as people aren’t comfortable with having such limited space given by the government they have more child’s so as the government would provide more space. Nevertheless as people are always having more an more childs government provides them less space per person. This makes the world more overcrowded and it never gets to an end.

6. Do you agree with his argument? Do you think that current population growth projections indicate that we are likely to end up in the situation portrayed in the story?

We don’t think that in a future there will be people living in cubicles. However, maybe it would happen the opposite. In europe, young people which can have kids will not have because maybe they can’t maintain them or they just don’t want to have children. So this will be a problem because there it will be a lot of elder people who doesn’t work because they are old and there it will be few young people to work and maintain the country.

7. Describe and analyse Ward’s character in some detail. What values does he hold? Why does Ballard make use of this type of character as the main character for this story?

Ward is used as the main character because as he has a bigger room than others he has a sort of advantage over the rest of the people who have a smaller cubicle. Later in the story Ward has to decide between keeping the staircase cubicle and paying double or sharing it with someone else. The second option wasn’t the best one because the cubicle would be smaller than normal cubicles shared by two people.

8. What role does Rossiter play in the story?

Rossiter´s role in the story, is to be friend with Ward and he is the one who started collecting money from people that wanted to live in their big room. Moreover he represents capitalism as he cares the most about money they than spending time with his friends or having more than three meters.

9.Describe the role of the female characters in the story.

The role of the female that the story present is not a positive one. In the story, Rossiter convinced Ward to let the girls live with them, they took advantage of that situation and brought members of their families into the room too. The female characters took advantage from him.

10.Discuss the effects that overpopulation and its attendant ills has had on the nature of family life in relation to Ward’s family as well as Judith and Helen’s family relationships.

What the effect of overpopulation has had on the nature of family is that the overpopulation was caused by how families wanted to have some more space that they decide to have kids which contribute with this.

11.What does the secret room symbolise in the story?

We think that the secret room symbolizes hope. It also symbolizes freedom. Because they are looking for more space, but instead of having space, they fill the bedroom with victorian furniture (that symbolize overpopulation).

12. Why do you think Ward and Rossiter are unable to keep the gift of space to themselves? Is Ballard making a comment on how our inner world ultimately reflects the shape of the external world in which we live?

The protagonist of the story, Ward and Rossiter, are unable to keep the gift of space to themselves because they were used to live in a small places. So when they found a big place, they started putting big instead of enjoying their space. They also invited people to live with them so as a consecuente, they reduce the space that they had.

13.What sort of living arrangement do they eventually end up allowing (and accommodating to) in their secret room?

At the end of the story, there were seven people living in the secret room, and they divided that room in seven parts so all the people have their own “room”. At the end, they end up living in a smaller place than the cubicles

14.Discuss Ballard’s style and language in the story? Consider also in what ways it is appropriate to the nature of the story being told.

Ballard uses different techniques of speech to emphasize his point of overpopulation. He uses hyperbaton and oxymoron to make the reader understand how he feels towards the society in his time and he wants to prove a point. The story also names the word “cubicle”, by doing this it emphasizes that we as a society are destined to live in a place meant to be in an office


Description of a place- Iglesia del Pilar

Description of a Touristic Place

In our language class, we learned how to write a description of a place. After this we wrote in pairs a description of a touristic place. I worked with Ramiro Aizpiri and we wrote a description of the Iglesia del Pilar. Then, with our literature teacher we wrote a poem about that touristic place we have choosen.

This is our work:

Iglesia del Pilar

One of the most important and well-known churches in Argentina, is the “Iglesia del Pilar”, which is situated in Buenos Aires, Recoleta. This glamorous church has a beautiful infrastructure and surroundings which attracts many tourists from other nations. It’s very frecuente that not only tourists but also local people visit this marvelous church.

The enchanting church is surrounded by a huge park known as “Plaza Francia” which is very well known in Buenos Aires as it also surrounds the Recoleta Cemetery . This park is full of exotic flowers and tall trees. At the entrance of the church there is a huge black gate which leads to the huge white building where people can assist to mass and pray. Furthermore, if we look to the left we see find the immense bell tower which can easily be seen in the distance.  

Moreover, on the inside the church has a very cozy atmosphere. We can find a lot brown wooden benches, and huge white columns all along the aisle. Beside, in the center, we can see charming golden decorations of which the figure of jesus stands out. It’s comfortable atmosphere is what attracts people and makes them want to visit the church frequently.

In conclusion the “Iglesia del Pilar” is one of the most visited churches in Buenos Aires not only because of its incredible infrastructure but also for its  beautiful surroundings. We can firmly assure that t if you travel to Buenos Aires, you cannot miss the opportunity of visiting this church.


Iglesia de Pilar

White as the snow, bright as the sun

the marvelous Del pilar church stands on

so special, so calm

that when you enter you feel warm


At the moment you enter

you feel like home

you purify yourself

you feel god


A place to show yourself,

somewhere to cry

to show your problems

without being judge.



Heart and Mind-By Edith Sitwell

In our Literature class, we read a poem called «Heart and Mind» which is a poem we will be tested on in our International exam, the IGCSE. After reading and analyisng it all together our teacher, Pato, gave us an esay question and told us to write an essay about it.

Here’s my essay:

Essay Question: «The poem extends the argument that the heart and the mind are irrevocably different. Comment closely on this»

         Heart and mind, by Edith Sitwell, is a brilliantly crafted poem that deals with two binary opposites which are the heart and the mind. These are portrayed by three different narrators. The writer uses three narrators through all the poem, to convey the disparity between this two. In spite of the variety of point of views, they all end up giving the same message, which is that if in relationship there’s only passion and no love, it won’t succeed at all.

         To begin with, in the first stanza the writer uses a Lion as the first narrator of the poem. Through this fierce animal, he introduces his focal point which is that if there’s only passion and no love in a relationship it won’t succeed. The lion tries to demonstrate the Lioness the importance of heart when it comes to a relationship by referring to the passing of time, by bringing back the “amber dust” skin the lioness used to have. Furthermore, he also uses the word “remember” to bring back the memories of their glorious days of brightness and passion which now, are over. The king of the jungle, emphasises on the fact of the aging and the loss of beauty, because as they become old, they start losing their elegance and youthfulness.  That’s why he points that, when you get old, the passion is lost, so if there’s no love from the heart but only physical and passional love, the relationship will end. By highlighting this he gives us the message that if they lose passion, they still can be one when they die, but only if love is of the heart and the mind, not only physical.

          Moreover, in the second and the third stanza, the narrator is switched into a skeleton. He emphasizes the fact that time is running out and that nothing is eternal. He uses the expression of “mourning heat of the sun” to express the fact that everything will die even nature dies in every autumn and winter. He points out that time will finish for all of us and in spite of the fact that passion had put you together with someone in the past, if there’s no love at all, now when the passion it’s finish the relationship will not survive. But if there’s love the relationship will still be one even after death. The skeleton also takes into account that passion is stronger than mind that’s why when we are in love sometimes we don’t take good decisions because “the mind is but a foolish wind” and if love is not present, this decisions will affect our future.

          Furthermore, in the fourth and last stanza the narrator changes to a sun which is talking to the moon. As we had developed in the other three stanzas the Sun is trying to emphasize the importance of the two concepts sticking together and also to show the huge difference between them. The sun tells the moon which is represent as a”lonely white crone” that life is not forever and the love of the mind and passion it’s not enough at all. He also points out that the two concepts should stick together in spite of the fact that never until time is finish “the fire of the heart and the fire of the mind be one” as they are irrevocably different.

          All in all, in this extract you can clearly see a contrast between love of mind which is based in passion, and the love of the heart, which is based in feelings and emotions. To convey this the author uses three narrators which clearly portrait the benefits that loving from the heart gives to you and also points out the fact that when love from the heart and from the mind are stick together, they are stronger. To sum up, it gives us the readers a very clear message which is that is that you need more than passion for a relationship to succeed.

Literature- Analysis paragraph 1 & 2 Sredni Vashtar

Last class, our teacher Dani, diveded us on groups of , 4/5 people each,  and gave each group a different task. I worked with Gonzalo Irazusta, Oliverio Llobet, Marcos Okecki and Ramiro Aizpiri. We had to make a full analisis of paragraph 1 and 2 of the story we had read called «Sredni Vashtar».

This is our analysis:

Paragraph 1 & 2:

“Conradin was ten years old, and the doctor had pronounced his professional opinion that the boy would not live another five years. The doctor was silky and effete, and counted for little, but his opinion was endorsed by Mrs. de Ropp, who counted for nearly everything. Mrs. De Ropp was Conradin’s cousin and guardian, and in his eyes she represented those three-fifths of the world that are necessary and disagreeable and real; the other two-fifths, in perpetual antagonism to the foregoing, were summed up in himself and his imagination. One of these days Conradin supposed he would succumb to the mastering pressure of wearisome necessary things—such as illnesses and coddling restrictions and drawn-out dullness. Without his imagination, which was rampant under the spur of loneliness, he would have succumbed long ago.


Mrs. de Ropp would never, in her honestest moments, have confessed to herself that she disliked Conradin, though she might have been dimly aware that thwarting him «for his good» was a duty which she did not find particularly irksome. Conradin hated her with a desperate sincerity which he was perfectly able to mask. Such few pleasures as he could contrive for himself gained an added relish from the likelihood that they would be displeasing to his guardian, and from the realm of his imagination she was locked out–an unclean thing, which should find no entrance.”


Paragraph 1:

  • Description of the paragraph, what is happening: this paragraph is the first of the story. It introduces us that the story is about a boy, named Coradin, who’s 10 years old and that has only 5 years of life due to an illness. He has a cousin called Mrs De Ropp, who’s in charge of him, as it is written in the story, she’s his “guardian”. It’s shown that he hated her a lot and he didn’t want to be with her.



  • Element of Instability: in this first paragraph an element of instability is shown. it  is Conradin’s cousin, Mrs De Ropp. We can say this because Conradin really hated  her, to the point he wanted her to be dead. We can see this through this quotation that is present in the first paragraph, “but his opinion was endorsed by Mrs. de Ropp, who counted for nearly everything. Mrs. De Ropp was Conradin’s cousin and guardian, and in his eyes she represented those three-fifths of the world that are necessary and disagreeable and real”. How much he disliked this woman ?? and it’s also shown that his thoughts are influenced by her. Analyse evidence further. Which words are key? Why? What effect?




  • Imagination: in this paragraph we can see that imagination is an essential point in this story because, the protagonist, is a very imaginative boy and many of the decisions he takes are influenced by his imagination. Here is a quote where we can see that imagination will be present in the story, “Without his imagination, which was rampant under the spur of loneliness, he would have succumbed long ago” Here we can see that imagination is very important because without his imagination Conradin would have “succumbed”, which means die, a long time ago. His imagination is the one who keeps him alive.  check repetition




  • Third person limited: we can see that this paragraph is written in thirdfirst person limited. We need the story to be aligned with limited in conradin because we need to see his point of view, what he thinks. If the story wasn’t wouldn’t be limited to Conradin’s thoughts we wouldn’t know his feelings towards Mrs De Ropp, we wouldn’t know that he hates her so much and without this in the story there it wouldn’t be any tension. Also, we couldn’t see how imaginative he is and imagination is an essential element very important fact in the story.


Paragraph 2:

  • Repression: we can see repression of feelings all throughout. “ Mrs De Ropp would never, in her honestest moments, have confessed to herself that she dislike Conradine” In this quotation we can see how Mrs De Ropp represses her hate for Conradine because it wasn’t well seen to hate your nephew. She kept her feeling in the “Sheed” of her mind where unclean and old stuff you don’t want people to see are repressed.


  • Imagination In the second paragraph we can see how far Conradin’s hate for Ropp increases along the story. Also he thinks that Mrs de Ropp hates him as much as he does. This is because she is bad tempered with him and the boy takes it to one extentd in which he believes she hates him.



  • What is happening in the paragraph: In the second paragraph of the story expresses talks about the hate between Conradin and Mrs. De Ropp, both imagine that the other person hate him. We are not sure about this but we imagine it.



A view from the bridge (in process)

Pato, our literature teacher gave us a task. The task consisted on searching on internet some questions that she copy on the black board before start reading our new book The view form the bridge.

Here are the questions and the answers:

– Important facts about Arthur Miller

  •  His parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland.
  •  He began writing plays when he was a student in the university of Michigan
  • His writing was influence because he lived in both wars.
  • He had Italian friends and co- workers
  • He wrote many plays most of them were set in America


– When was it written?

The book was written  in  1955 and published on September 29th 1955.

– Historical and social context

The play was inspired by his Italian friends who told him stories about Italian immigrants who were betrayed when they tried to go illegally to USA to find a job and a better life, some of them escaped from the mob and other from the poverty WW2 had brought to Italy.



Rite of Passege- Tyres

In the literature class, we have read a story called “Tyres” by Adam Thorpe. After reading it, our teacher Pato asked us to analize the Rite of Passage in the story. It was in pairs, I worked with Trinidad Porretti.  Here is our work;

1- The unattainable object of desire;

In this story, the unattainable object of desire of Raoul is the girl, Cécile Viala. He watched her pass by the road near his house, every morning and evening, and he fell in love with her, however, he was afraid of talking to her.

2- Trespassing;

We can see trespassing in this story when the narrator shaves the rubber of the Gestapo’s officer car’s tyre inner tube with a small steel file, which means he damaged the tyre. This was against his father, who told him not to interfere with the clients, less with the German’s, and less with their cars.

3- There should be a dare;

There is a dare in the story when Raoul damages the Gestapo’s car’s tyre, like trespassing, knowing that his father told him never to repair his clients cars wrong in purpose, and not to interfere with the German’s.

4- The mischief should be owned up;

The narrator doesn’t confess he was guilty for the accident, and doesn’t act in a mature way because after the death of Cécile, he never recovered, he never moved on. He never fell in love again. He spent the rest of his life lonely with his father, and on the annivesary of her death he always took her flowers, and changed them for new ones if they were too old.

5- There should be an act of attonement;

There is an act of attonement in this story because Raoul finally accepts the responsability, he accepted he was guilty for the death of Cécile. However, he doesn´t say sorry nor act in a mature way after her death.

Essay in Pairs- Literature

The last day before the winter holidays, in pairs, we developed an essay on Love III or » The prison» . I was with Anouk. We choose to talk about «The Prison».

This is our essay:

“Comment closely on how the protagonist of The Prison cannot escape from his ‘destiny’”

In the story “The Prison” the protagonist, Tony/Tommy, can’t escape from his destiny on account that he follows the theory of determinism.

On the one hand,, through the theory of determinism we can see how Tony/Tommy couldn’t take his own decisions, he couldn’t act upon his thoughts. He was always doubting about if what he thought was right. Moreover, he was locked in the past, he couldn’t forget what he had done wrong before. He considered that destiny was metaphorically written, that he couldn’t get away from it. This is demonstrated when he beats off to Texas, to avoid marrying Rosa, nevertheless, when he comes back, he marries her anyway. All in all, he couldn’t control his actions and thoughts in his own life. Additionally, there are numerous quotations that demonstrate this. “…When he came back everybody said it was for Rosa and the candy store, and it was all arranged again and he, without saying no, was in it”; this quotation shows, in despite of the fact that he went as far away as he could to dodge marrying Rosa Agnello, he came back and he faced what was supposed to be, his DESTINY. “…but Rosa wouldn’t let up screaming , and later her father came in shouting that he was a criminal and chopped the machine apart with a plumber’s hammer” This quote represents that, nonetheless he took his own decision, he didn’t know it was illegal and after a while what he had done was ruined. This also expresses that his actions seemed to be written, he had a prison in his mind and he can’t express his ideas. But, when he did, everything went wrong, exhibiting his destiny.

In conclusion, the protagonist of The Prison, cannot escape from his destiny. Despite of the fact that he tried to change that situation, he always ended up being a miserable person with a tragic and gloomy life, his DESTINY.


Song- Lady Mary Wroth

Last friday in literature, Pato posted a task in the blog for us to answer. We had to see a video, analize the poem Song by Lady Mary Wroth, and answer some questions.

Here is the video we have to see:

And this are my answers of the questions that Pato posted in her blog:

1-How is the voice?

Throughout this poem i can identify that the voice is the woman

2- Write a summary of each stanza

Stanza 1:

In the first stanza we can see that the writer, Lady Mary Wroth, makes a comparison between children and men. In the poem is also present imageries, auditory and visual. Moreover, we can see in the first line a metaphor: “love a child is ever crying”

Stanza 2:

In this stanza we can see how Lady Mary Wroth, explains that men are liars and cheaters that can not be trusted.

Stanza 3:

In this third stanza, the writter, in a sarcastic tone, shows that if you let them gain you you, as a woman, will fail.

Stanza 4:

In stanza four, the author is saying that man always succeed, they put you up a fight, and thay always have to win. This is how they are and they will never please woman. They love you and buy you gifts but when you ask them a favour they don’t do it.

Stanza 5:

In this last stanza, Wroth, uses metaphors that compare men with animals, and show that their ways are difficult to change but not impossible.

3- What is the theme? And the tone?

The themes in the story are: Love between men and woman. Men actions

The tone in the story is advising, warning and confident.

4- Find at least 3 literary devices and explain them.

  1. Personification: In the poem “Song” in the first stanza we can see personification through this first line: “Love a child is ever crying” This line shows us that in the poem Love will be personified as a child.
  2. Simile: In the poem we can see a simile in the last stanza through the last line that says: “ Nor seek him so given to flying”. This simile says that you have to leave love alone just as you would leave an argument child alone.
  3. Visual image: In the poem we can also find a visual image in the last stanza in the word “flying”. This word gives you a visual image that you have to let love go away and fly, that you have to let love go and continue.

5- In your opinion which is the most powerful line?

In my opinion the most power line is the one that says “What he promise, he breaks it” because this line says that love breaks every promise but in my opinion that is a particular case because they are Many types of love and not all Love break promises so i think that’s why for me is the most powerful, because in my opinion is not true in all the cases.

6- Do you agree with the speaker? Give reasons

I do not agree at all because i think that not all men are like that, they are Mens like that but not all. They are a lot if Honest and good men. I think her was a particular case.