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A cozy little stop where, technology in language arts, history and geography, meld together for Room 301 students at Deer Park.

by michael g teacher: Mr. D

Title: 81-82--- Compare and Contrast (10/01/08)
Description: Please compare and contrast two famous people in your essay using the following format:

Topic 1
Topic 2
Both topics

Make sure to use proper grade 8 essay formatting.

Due: Oct. 3rd 3:30pm, email or hardcopy

Article posted April 14, 2009 at 01:36 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 2432


   The movie Blood Diamond and the book Chanda’s Secret have a lot in common. The first and most obvious is that both use Africa as the setting and the setting plays an important role in the plot. Almost acting as its own character the climate, poverty and political unrest of Africa are central themes to both stories.  There are three main themes with Africa as the setting that I would like to discuss.

    First, The political unrest in Africa is key to both plots. In Blood Diamond there is the RUF. The RUF is a bunch of power hungry and desperate people that want to be respected and govern the country and enjoy the power. The R.U.F goes from village to village-killing people and recruiting child soldiers. When the R.U.F came to Solomon’s village they took his son, Dia. In Chanda’s Secret political unrest is demonstrated by the governments inability to do much about the AIDS epidemic. For example, when Chanda went to the hospital, there was almost a two day wait for anyone to see her mother.

  Second, the value of human life and the amount of death in both stories is painful to imagine. Tens of thousands of people die in both stories, death becomes commonplace. Danny Archer in Blood Diamond said “ Out here people kill each other as a way of life”. Danny Archer thought he was going to leave Solomon and his son, and cash in the diamond and keep it for himself.  Solomon and Chanda live when there is chaos and death all around them. In Chandra’s Secret Ms. Tafa said, “ Aids is a way of life. It is normal out here”.    Although once Chanda’s mom died, it left Chanda in charge and left her with a lot more responsibility. Chanda felt ashamed about her mother dieing of AIDS. Death and despair play key roles in both these stories. There is so much death at times there seems not to be much value in human life.

  Third the amount of poverty and how it affects people is key to both Africa and these stories. Solomon had to make some tough choices, he had to pick whether he would risk his future for the diamond. The money the diamond represented would be worth risking his life to bring his family together. In Chanda’s Secret her best friend Ester had to be a prostitute because she needed the money. Ester wasn’t proud of what she was doing, but she said, “ I am not proud, but this is how I will make my money, it is the only way. Poverty affected central characters  that shaped the plot of both stories.

   In both Chandra’s Secret and Blood Diamond western standards were irrelevant. In Chanda’s Secret, millions were dying of AIDS. One might argue that this might not of happened if it was a Western country. In Blood Diamond, there are several references to T.I.A (This is Africa). Danny talked about that Africa had its own set of rules and way of living, very different from western standards.

  Both Solomon and Chanda had some key character traits in common. Perhaps most important they both put their family first- above all else. In Solomon’s case, he fought through the R.U.F,  he walked hundreds of miles, and he went to jail. All to find his son and unite his family. Chanda, tried so hard to help her mom get better, she did everything around the house, sacrifice her own happiness so her mom could stay in bed.





  Blood Diamond and Chandra’s Secret had many things in common there is also some significant contrasts between the two stories. 

  Both stories have a lot of death in them. The contrast is the solutions to stop those deaths are extremely different. In Chanda’s Secret the outbreak of HIV leads to Aids and many deaths. The solution or cure for AIDS would be a medical breakthrough, better education and improved health care. In Blood Diamond, the solution to stop the violence and death is very different. First, Africa has to make more trade restrictions on Diamonds. Secondly, they must shut down the black market, which means diamonds can’t be smuggled. And third, the western world must stop buying conflict diamonds, which fuel the R.U.F. So both stories have a lot of death and central parts of the plot, but there is a significant difference n the solutions that could stop the deaths.

    There is a significant contrast between how the characters in Blood Diamond and Chandra’s Secret related to each other. In Blood Diamond, the key characters seem to use each other, the journalist Maddie Bowen is using Danny for information, Danny is using the journalist for access. Danny is using Solomon for help to find the diamond. The Colonel is using Danny to help find the diamond. These characters are using each other to get to achieve their goals. In Chanda’s Secret the key characters are trying to help each other out. Ms. Tafa suggested and drove Chanda’s mom to the doctor. Chanda helped Ester by keeping her secret. Esther took Iris to the park for Sara’s funeral. They seem to support each other from the beginning. In Blood Diamond the characters support each other at the end but relationships were formed only because they needed each other.

    Getting Aids and being recruited for the R.U.F are both things people don’t see in their worst nightmares. But in Chanda’s Secret and Blood Diamond it isn’t  uncommon. In Chanda’s Secret there was the constant fear of getting AIDS. AIDS was not only deadly, it was a type of shame you were stuck with forever. In Chanda’s village once you were diagnosed with AIDS, you and your family were shunned from everyone. No one wanted to talk to you, they thought you weren’t worth anything. In Blood Diamond, once you were recruited into the R.U.F you gained power and prestige from your peers. Once Dia got taken away, he got running water, satellite T.V, and all the food he wanted. So the price for getting AIDS was high for the victims, contrasted with the R.U.F from Blood Diamond, who held some power and influence.

  Blood Diamond and Chanda’s Secrets are both touching stories that describe life in Africa. Thery are powerful stories with many simmilaritys and differences.









Article posted April 14, 2009 at 01:36 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 2432

Article posted April 9, 2009 at 12:25 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 212

To start off there are many similarities between blood diamond and Chanda’s Secret, although there are also many differences. For instance in Chandas secret there is AIDS, poverty, prostitutes and diamond mining. There is all of that in Blood diamond, but blood diamond shows a different side of Africa. In Blood diamond there is much war and evil within the government and the rebel groups, in Chandas secret there is no mention of a revolution or of a war.

In chandas secret, the city chanda lives in is built around the diamond mine and the money it makes. The hotel that Esther works at is where the rich business men stay and the small huts is where the local people live. This is the same in the movie blood diamond, Solomon Vandi works at the local hotel for a while, transporting the business people’s luggage and the local people live in the slums and huts right next to the hotel in Sierre Leone.

Globalisation is very important in both of the stories. For example, the villagers are caught by the rebels, the villagers fight and mine for the rebels, the rebels sell the diamonds the villagers mine, and then the rebels use that money to buy weapons to make a stronger army with more villagers. It is an endless circle of illegal exports, without globalisation none of this would have been possible. In Chandas secret there is no war but there is globalisation in the businesses like the coffin seller and the diamond mine owned by foreign white businessmen.

Article posted April 9, 2009 at 12:25 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 212

Article posted October 20, 2008 at 04:06 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 382

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are screenplay writers and directors with similar types of film ideas, but different practical methods and opinions.  While both are strongly fiction and action/adventure based, their presentation methods are quite different.  Surprisingly, with this being the case, the two have successfully collaborated on several projects, and, when both understood, one will learn to appreciate each style of screenplay organization.


George Walton Lucas Jr. was born on May 14th, 1944, making him sixty-four years old.  He is one the world’s most successful independent filmmakers, being the creator of the extraordinarily popular Star Wars movies. This “space opera”, box office hit places third on the highest grossing movie series’ of all time with a total income of $4.26 billion, which places only shallowly behind the Harry Potter and James Bond series’. His first feature length film, THX 1138, won first prize at a student film festival, and the opportunity to a scholarship from Warner Brothers Production Company to witness the making of Finian’s Rainbow, in 1968.  Lucas’s educational career involves a filmmaking degree from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.  Examples or George Lucas’s other film work are The Land Before Time, Howard the Duck, Captain EO, and Willow.  He is mainly known for successful abstract science-fiction stories, as the above information suggests.


Sixty-one year old independent filmmaker Steven Allan Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946.  He is amounted to a net worth of $3.1 billion by Forbes magazine, stated to be the most powerful and influential filmmaker in history by the Premiere magazine, one of the top one-hundred people of the nineteenth century by the Time magazine, and the most influential person of his generation by the Life magazine. He specializes in various Action Movie Genres, mainly science-fiction as seen in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park, and some practical fiction, such as the 1975 film, Jaws. Spielberg was educated at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and graduated with a degree in filmmaking. His modern work has involved historical issues including the Holocaust, slavery, terrorism and war.  Other Spielberg filmography includes Fire Flight, Amblin, Duel, Back to the Future, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Steven Spielberg is much respected worldwide for a variety of works.


The differences between these two respected filmmakers are difficult to observe with one viewing of their work as they are generalized and often subconsciously observed. First of all, the specifics of their education and interest are very similar. They attended the same university and both are popular for action/adventure movies.  When one compares the most famous work of each, Lucas’ being Star Wars and Spielberg’s being E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, they find the specifics they focus on to be identical.  Both films star extra terrestrials, both are action/adventure movies, and both did incredibly well in the box office.  The main difference is the setting, as Star Wars takes place in “a galaxy far, far away…” while E.T. takes place on earth.  Steven Spielberg’s work is less fantasy-like and more practical based, while Lucas likes to defy limits and take characters wherever viewers are entertained.  In other comparisons, both are independent filmmakers and work for their own production companies, both integrate very high quality special effects, and both incorporate orchestral scores in their work.  George Lucas is almost three years older than Spielberg, and Steven has acted in films while Lucas has not.  Their strategies were combined when the two filmographers successfully collaborated on Indiana Jones, a movie saga starring Harrison ford. With each technique the two incorporate, each filmmaker is respectable as a decent entertainer.


The facts described imply many assumptions.  One of these is that the success of Lucas and Spielberg were based on a variety of factors, which is very accurate.  Becoming successful at the entertainment business takes skill, luck, economic knowledge, and experience.  The success of these two filmmakers is the result of these factors stylized with both of their unique presentation methods.

Article posted October 20, 2008 at 04:06 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 382

Article posted October 3, 2008 at 01:00 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 194

Daniel Craig V.S Sean Connery:

Daniel Craig and Sean Connery are both well know actors who found fame and fortune by starring in the James Bond series. Sean Connery first starred in the first James Bond movie called Dr. No. Daniel Craig became well-know and famous for starring in the popular movie Casino Royale. Both went on to making more movies.

Sean Connery was born on April 25, 1930 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is ranked #14 of top 100 movies stars of all time. Connery found fame and fortune as the sophisticated James Bond. After doing six Bond films, and made over $50 million, he wanted to break free, and do his own thing. He then went on to making many more movies. In his life time he has won an Oscar, and twenty-four awards. Sean Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and is now one of the most respected actors ever.

Daniel Craig was born on March 2, 1968 in Cheshire, England. Daniel Craig is one of British’s most famous faces who was waiting tables as a struggling teenage actor, hoping to get his

“Big Break.” Soon enough at age 24 he got his “Big Break” and was offered the role of Sgt. Bortha in 1992. He has won 10 awards. He is a major fan of Sean Connery, and looks up to him. Daniel Craig has moved on to make many more movies, for many more years.

Sean Connery and Daniel Craig both are know for starring in the James Bond series, and for committing their life to acting, and making everything they did perfect. They are both fans of each other. They share the interest of having the James Bond series, as their favourite movie series. Both still have lots of energy to do many things, and keep on making money.

Overall Daniel Craig and Sean Connery are respect actors, who take passion in what they do. They put all their energy into acting. They were born in the United Kingdom, and are know for starring in the James Bond Series. Craig and Connery have lots in common, and are 2 great actors, that are amusing to watch.

Article posted October 3, 2008 at 01:00 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 194

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