beastyblogg

A twelve year old shares his finished writing assignments with the world.

Month: July, 2013

Literary Analysis: “The Bracelet” by Yoshiko Uchida

Ruri is a young Japanese girl who learns a life lesson while being faced with extreme hardships.  This story takes place during World War II in California, U.S.A., between the years of 1939 and 1945.  ( At that time, The U.S. built internment camps because they feared Japanese spies were giving U.S. enemies top-secret information about the war.)

One day Ruri is at home when tall soldiers carrying guns pound on the front door.  Ruri’s mother answers the door.  The soldiers tell Ruri’s family that they are being sent to an interment camp.  Ruri feels sad and hopeless.  Ruri tries to stay calm but she is overwhelmed by the thought of leaving home and never coming back.

Ruri’s neighbors soon find out where her family is headed and they each say their goodbyes.  Ruri’s best friend shows up at the front door and gives Ruri a bracelet.  She tells Ruri that the bracelet is a way to never forget her.  Ruri promises her friend that she will never take it off.  When Ruri is on her way to the internment camp, she loses the bracelet.  She is grief-stricken and feels very guilty that she loses the bracelet.  Ruri fears she will forget about her friend without the bracelet.

Ruri asks her mother to help her find the bracelet.  After hours of searching, Ruri gives up.  Her mother tells her that she should not panic and feel bad.  Ruri’s mother tells Ruri that she does not need any object to remember her best friend because she will always remember her friend in her heart.  Ruri listens very carefully to the advice and quickly cheers up and forgets all about the bracelet, but not about her friend.

Even though Ruri goes through traumatic times in her life, she learns what is really important to her.  She learns to stay strong, to stay positive, and not to be afraid during tough times.

The Megalodon

For centuries, people have looked into the dark oceans and wondered if an enormous monster lurks beneath. During the Cenozoic Era, the largest and most ominous predator known to man roamed Earth’s oceans for eighteen million years. Carcharodon Megalodon (known simply as Megalodon) is believed to be the ancient ancestor of the modern day Great White shark, one of the most feared predators known to mankind.  Megalodon was estimated to be four times the size of the Great White (Carcharadon Carcharis).

            But what proof do we have that this creature ever existed?  Surprisingly, evidence of Megalodon’s existence lies not in our oceans but on land.  Huge fossilized teeth have been recovered from places once covered by water on the continents of North America, Europe, South America, and South Africa.[i]  Fossil sites in North America include coastal locations in Florida, Maryland, and North Carolina.  This fossil evidence indicates that Megalodon lived between two and twenty million years ago.  Its extinction is estimated to have occurred near the end of the Pliocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era.[ii]

            The Megalodon was massive, even at birth, having a length ranging from seven to ten feet and a weight of about five hundred pounds.[iii]  Juvenile Megalodon had at least two hundred seventy-six teeth arranged in at least six rows.[iv]  Each individual tooth measured 5-10 inches tall.[v]

         The adult Megalodon was even more colossal, growing to an average length of sixty to ninety feet and a weight of fifty to seventy tons.[vi]  The largest Megalodon that ever lived was estimated to weigh 206,000 pounds. It could also grow to a width of thirty feet. Megalodon had over 200 vertebrae, each measuring seven inches in diameter.2  Its lifespan is believed to have been eighty to one hundred years.

Although the existence of the Megalodon inspires fear in humans, researchers believe that its diet consisted of large marine mammals such as the blue or sperm whale. In order to maintain its tremendous size, it was necessary for Megalodon to consume up to 2,500 pounds of food per day.3   Megalodon is believed to have been capable of eating anything and everything in the world’s oceans.[vii]

Megalodon was perhaps the most fearsome predator ever to have lived.  Although our knowledge of its existence is limited, fossil evidence has provided scientists insight into its possible habitat, physical characteristics, longevity, and diet.


[i]           Everhart, Mike. Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep.

            Washington D.C.: National Geographic, 2007. Print.

[ii]           Arnold, Caroline. Giant Shark Megalodon, Prehistoric Super Predator. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. Print.

[iii]          Bradley, Timothy. Paleo Sharks: Survival of the Strongest.

New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1996. Print.

[iv]          “Megalodon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived!” Florida Museum of

Natural History Ichthyology Department. Web.

<http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/fossils/megalodon.html>

[v]           Strauss, Bob. “Megalodon Facts.” About.com Guide. Web.

<http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/otherprehistoriclife/a/megalodon-facts.htm>

[vi]          Gavira Guerrero, Angeles; Frances, Peter; Palmer, Douglas. Prehistoric Life. New York: DK Publishing, 2009.  Print.

7           “Megalodon – Shark Glossary.” Enchanted Learning. Web. 1996-2010. <www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/glossary/megalodon.shtml>