The SOAPSTone of the Week: 09/07-09/14

To whom it may concern, SOAPSTone is, as defined by the Collegeboard, “a method for dissecting the work of professional writers.”  Arguably the “main point” of AP English language, SOAPSTone is something I’ll be using a lot this year, ergo I decided to implement SOAPSTone into my blog.

Unfortunately, I’m not talking about this kind of soapstone; kitchen decor will simply have to wait.

It’s basically a universal truth that every AP English Language student, in his or her pursuit of knowledge, needs to learn how to apply SOAPSTone.

This week, I want to talk about speaker, the first “S” in SOAPSTone.  The identity of a speaker can greatly affect a text even if they are talking about a common subject.  Last Thursday, America celebrated the 13th anniversary of 9/11.  For anyone out there that doesn’t really know what 9/11 is, it refers to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by hijacked planes on September 11, 2001, resulting in the loss of over 3,000 lives.  Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, destroying them both; another plane crashed into the Pentagon, center of US Department of Defense, and another, presumably headed to Washington D.C., crashed into a field in Pennsylvania thanks to a valiant attempt to revolt against the hijackers. To describe it in such brevity really doesn’t do 9/11 justice; I encourage you, yes you reader, to read more about it.  I actually didn’t know what 9/11 was about until 7th grade, when my history teacher showed us a video on 9/11, which I will provide a link to at the end of this post.  It’s a bit embarrassing that I didn’t know what it was for so long, but I don’t think there was a better time to learn about 9/11.  How exactly would one tell an elementary school student about 9/11 without planting inside of him or her seeds of doubt and fear? I don’t advocate coddling children but children must be given a reasonable amount of time to be children, to laugh, to dream, to believe in “happily ever afters”.  Who are we to douse their halcyon, carefree days with the cold water that is reality?

Many of my teachers that Thursday recounted their own experiences on that day.  The pervading emotion throughout all their tellings was shock: they couldn’t really believe that such a thing was really happening.  It must have been so horrifying, that it transcended reality and seemed surreal I suppose; I don’t remember 9/11.


A favorite movie of mine addresses 9/11, but from an interesting perspective; My Name Is Khan, a Bollywood movie, discusses the post-9/11 prejudice aimed towards Muslims in America.  The movie tracks the life of Risvan Khan, an autistic Muslim Indian-American, whose life is greatly affected in the aftermath of 9/11.

download (3)

This movie stood out to me among the equally beautiful movies that my AP European History teacher showed my class the last few days of school because of how the a whole group of people’s lives were impacted by this tragic event.  A scene that stood out to me was when Mandira, the female lead of the movie, watches 9/11 on TV, stunned, not knowing yet how much her life would change in the years to come.  When we think about 9/11, we might think of the lives lost that day, the wars we fought that we arguably were propelled to enter because of 9/11, soldiers that had to leave home, and how America had to strengthen security measures, but we don’t think much about how it affected American citizens, how some people have to think so much about how they present themselves to people out of fear that they may be scorned by society and or even deny their religion because they know it is not safe to express their faith as a result of 9/11.  Who someone is will guide him or her in his or her choices and reactions.  Because he was a Muslim, Khan was personally affected by 9/11, whereas I wasn’t as affected by it.

Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”:

The other movies that my AP European History teacher showed my class were Invictus and Once Brothers.  Both are about sports within historical contexts, and I recommend both to anyone; they are really good movies.

Kudos to my history teachers in this post; you all have taught me so well and opened my eyes to so much, I can’t thank you enough.

The SOAPSTone of the Week: 09/07-09/14

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