This is the end…

This is the end, that is the first line in the famous song ”The End” by The Doors. This is a fitting song for our last and final class of English.

We have covered a great distance since we started. We have read lots of texts: dozens of short stories,  and written many essays and stories using a broad variety of techniques.

We have studied rhetoric and speeches by important historical figures, read poetry, and excerpts by some of the best authors who have ever lived.

We have discussed major ethical and political issues of our time. Everything from the environment, adoption, artificial intelligence, computer games, robotics and differences and similarities between British, American, and Swedish political systems.

We have argued. We have analyzed. We have tried to understand scientific, as well as everyday questions. All this we have done and more.

So this is the way this course ends not with ”a bang”, nor with ”a whimper”, this is just the way it ends. 🙂

The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot

Mistah Kurtz – he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other kingdom
Remember us – if at all – not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer –

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of this tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

Questions to discuss

1. Who are the hollow men? What could Eliot have meant by that expression?

2. How do you read this poem? What does it tell you?


From Enlightenment to modernism and Beyond

We saw in Robinson Crusoe a story of a man pitted against the elements. A man who could use his reason to shape the world to his fashion. To plan carefully, execute based on what you know, and evaluate to improve your practices – these are some of the hallmarks of a conduct based on reason.

In the late 1800s, the turn of the century and the early 1900s we started to see an increasing scepticism and a disenchantment with reason as a solution to man’s problems.

Further down the road there has been talk of intuition, emotional intelligence or lateral thinking – a new kind of reason that might serve us better.

Spoken word


  1. Analyses

Write a reaction or response to two of the five poems above. What does it make you think of, feel or see in your mind’s eye?

2. Writing

Write a haiku. Five syllables in first line, seven in second, five in third.

Example 1

Autumn moonlight—

a worm digs silently

into the chestnut.

Example 2

Lightning flash—

what I thought were faces

are plumes of pampas grass.



Post or you will be considered absent. 🙂

Guns, Germs and Steel

A Pulitzer prize winning book. Sold in over 3 million copies. Hailed as a brilliant book by the likes of Bill Gates: Like a lot of people, I was blown away by Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel. I had never read anything that explained so much about human history”.

Lets see an episode and discuss the theories? Hopefully the documentary will fill us with questions and new ideas! 🙂

The Constitution and its critics

In film and in popular culture the constitution is often cited as a basis for fairness and good.

Noam Chomsky, important intellectual and critic, has a logt of criticism of the constitution. He cites fs: James Madison, one of the persons who wrote the constitution as saying the following:

Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority [of the poor].

See this clip:

Task 1

What does Chomsky say that is most interesting, in your judgement? (What does the expression ”minority of the opulent” mean?).

Task 2

Choose one of the tasks. In pairs answer either of the questions below:

  1. What are the Checks and balances? Why do they exist?
  2. What is the most important thing in Declaration of Independence, according to your own judgement?
  3. What kind of rights are safeguarded in the amendments to the constituion? Are they listed in order of importance, do you think? Or is something odd with the order? How would you change the amendments? (Focus on the first 10).


Note pronunciation of executive, legislative and  judicial.