The Sea of Adventure
Alina Afghan | Class IV | KG-IIPECHS, Karachi
Author: Enid Blyton
Phillip, Dinah, Lucy, Ann and Jack along with their best friend Bill are tracking down a dangerous gang of smugglers.
The smugglers come to know about Bill. He comes to know that he is going to be kidnapped, so he disguises himself as an ornithologist (a lover of birds) and takes his four friends with him to a lonely bird island to hide.
But one night, when everyone is asleep, Bill is kidnapped by smugglers. Later, Phillip, Dinah, Lucy, Ann and Jack find that their boat is smashed and they are trapped in the island.
They make efforts to get a boat in order to rescue Bill from smugglers. They somehow manage to get a boat and reach the smugglers' lair. Exercising lot of caution, they rescue Bill from the enemy lair. Smugglers come to know about them as they are escaping. However, narrowly evading gun shots and sea planes, they get home safely.
They live happily ever after, but having all kinds of new adventures.
The Merchant of Venice
Khadija Gohar | VIII J | Beaconhouse Senior Girls Branch, Rawalpindi
Merchant of Venice is a very famous play by Sir William Shakespeare, and is recommended for anyone who likes to read, particularly Shakespeare himself or work that was written during his era.
The book is about love, betrayal, prejudice, money and religious acceptance. It is a very good portrayal of the 16th century social norms and carries a lot of symbolism and quite revolutionary ideas.
The book is very short, the language is beautiful and it’s fairly easy to read. However, if you’re not a book aficionado, and you don’t particularly enjoy the language and/or writing from Shakespeare’s time, this book might not be the place to start.
Ironically, the main character is not Antonio, the merchant of Venice; it is Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. There is no way one would consider Shylock a nice fellow as he is a nasty and greedy moneylender.
The plot of the play is a set of complex and interwoven actions, which I enjoyed. The play actually begins in Bassanio’s desire to win the hand of Portia, the rich and beautiful young heiress, and in Antonio’s hatred of Jews and money-lenders.
Shylock hates Antonio because of his attitude towards him, so he extracts a contract according to which if Antonio were not to repay his debt on the designated day, Shylock would get a pound of Antonio’s flesh.
A third plot line is a love affair between Lorenzo, a friend of Bassanio, and Jessica, Shylock’s daughter. They both have no problem in religious acceptance but the problem is Shylock. In the end, of course, Bassanio wins Portia, Lorenzo and Jessica escape, but Antonio can’t pay his debt on time and Shylock demands his pound of flesh in the court of law.
In the courtroom Portia gives her famous “quality of mercy” speech, for the defense of Antonio against Shylock, one of the well-known Shakespeare speeches which are often excerpted.
The Merchant of Venice is a wonderful read. It is touching, insightful and fascinating; just a delightful read.
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