Voltaire, whose real name is François-Marie Arouet said, "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game," on which my quote is based. Voltaire, a French writer, historian, and philosopher during the Enlightenment Period, is known for supporting freedom of religion and speech, and separation of church and state. He is also known as one of the greatest thinkers of his time, who helped to revolutionize the modern world through his willingness to share his beliefs formed from the knowledge gained from his many professions.
A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, is a classical novel that perfectly illustrates my motto because it shows how two boys, Gene and Finny, use their strengths and handle their weaknesses in order to deal with the challenges of war and growing up. Brinker and Leper teamed up (only because of Leper`s insanity) in an attempt to destroy Gene and Finny's innocence. Despite this, Gene and Finny did not give up. Additionally, Finny spent most of the book boasting that war would be his ticket to becoming a great hero. Gene knew Finny would become a hero and that Gene would die in the war. Eventually Brinker and Leper caught on to his bluffs. Finny knew he was going to lose and was starting to get worried, so Gene kind of defeat Finny to receive his cards and profits (his innocence) in order to win the game against Brinker and Leper. Unfortunately, the mind game is still going on today as some people are trying to maintain their innocence while being attacked by maturity due to the status quo created by the internet, war caused by terrorists, and mad men.
Colonel Sir Archibald David Stirling DSO OBE was the maverick bon vivant from an aristocratic family, who was in trouble in the British Army for drinking and gambling. During World War II while in a hospital after a parachuting accident, Stirling had an idea to mechanize the nature of war by creating a small group of highly trained soldiers that could surprise the enemy and inflict greater damage than an entire battalion. When he got out, David thought his idea to the chain of commands was mostly not going to work. While on crutches, he climbed a fence, ran from the guards, until he found Claude Auchinleck, who improved his plan. He picked a bunch of soldiers who Stirling thought were unorthodox and independent, most of whom were misfits like himself, to join the Special Air Service. In order to get supplies, they stole from a camp used by the New Zealand Army. The Special Air Service in World War II had to deal with a couple of failed operations, the death of Jock Lewes (an important figure in the SAS), the Commando Order (the Nazi order to kill all commandos in Europe and Africa if they are captured or if they surrender), and the capture of David Stirling. Despite these setbacks, they still continued. They are around today, but they are not a group of misfits anymore because of the Special Air Service. Despite the challenges, David Stirling`s charisma, ingenuity, cunningness, ability to take risks, determination, and willingness to break the rules, to create the first modern day special force and change the way we fight in war forever. He was later knighted by the Queen of England in 1990 for his war efforts.
Mae was what you would call an ingénue, a fresh, skillful, naive, trustworthy, inexperience young woman, who has lack of worldliness and sometimes a lack of common sense like in the movies where the girl is having her first day of school. Unfortunately, Mae is brainwashed by social media and her friends, and became, as New York Times put it, " a high school mean girl" this is because she became petty and selfish. The only things she cares about are getting the highest ratings and being popular to impress and get the approval of the Wise Man and of others. Also, she does whatever it takes to win the Wise Man`s approval even if it means bringing others down, to force Mercer into accepting the Circle`s ways, betraying Ty/Kalden, spending way too much time on the internet, and live-streaming her whole life on her internet. Eventually, she might also betray Annie, because Annie is feeling less faithful to the Circle. If you have ever seen a television show where one friend betrays another for popularity, you can predict that Mae and Annie`s friend may not last might longer.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a fictional character played by Mark Harmon from the show, NCIS. GIbbs is a former U.S. Marine sniper, who is in charge of a NCIS Major Case Response Team in Washington D.C. He is no-nonsense, disciplined, serious, logical, wise, harsh, sarcastic, mysterious, and likes things done right and as fast as possible. He sometimes reveals that he is also brave, caring, lovable, has a good sense of humor, and is an amazing sniper. These traits make him feared and respected to people who do not know him, and a good leader, friend, and a father figure to the people who know him well. Under Gibbs`s leadership, his team has become a legend and he has become a legend since almost every federal agent knows who he is and people tell rumors about him and his love life. Lastly, Leroy Gibbs always does what is best for his team even though it is not best for him. This is another example of why he is a good leader who has helped to make his team successful in solving cases.
The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell, is my favorite short story. It is about Sanger Rainsford, a big game hunter who previously fought in World War I, is hunted by a Russian aristocrat and big game hunter named General Zaroff, an expert hunter and tracker. Zaroff forces Rainsford to be his quarry because Rainsford refuses to hunt humans with him, thinking it is inhumane. Zaroff likes Rainsford because he is impressed by Rainsford's hunting skills and is reminded by Zaroff of his younger self. Even though it looks like General Zaroff was going to win, because he sees Rainsford hiding in the tree and tracks him extremely well, Rainsford is able to win using ingenuity to make traps as he has learned about while fighting in the Great War in order to win the game. Rainsford says "he had never slept in a better bed," which you can infer to mean that Rainsford had won the game and that Zaroff lost and was fed to his own dogs.
The Princess Bride is a romantic and comedic adventure book read to a sick boy in Chicago by his grandfather. The book's story is set in the Renaissance Era in the made-up country of Florin. The hero, Westley, is a farm boy who is captured and later becomes Dread Pirate Roberts. Westley is suave, charming, brave, and optimistic. He proves to his love, Buttercup, through a confrontation with a trio of bandits that helped that he is a strong, smart, skilled swordsmen. With the help of two of the bandits, Fezzik and Inigo Montoya, Westley rescues his love from the Crown Prince Humperdinck, who tries to force Buttercup to marry him. In the end, Westley and Buttercup are reunited, because they have true love, reinforcing the film's main theme, "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."
The Colditz Cock was a glider built by British prisoners of war for an escape attempt from Oflag IV-C (Colditz Castle), high security, Nazi prisoner of war camp for POW officers viewed as dangerous due to security and escape risks. Tony Rolt, who had the idea for the glider, noticed that the roof line of the church was hidden from the German`s view and thought that it would make a good launch pad. Rolt was aided by Bill Goldfinch and Jack Best in building a false wall and build an alarm system, keeping a lookout, and building the lightweight, two-seater, high-wing, monoplane. The monoplane was designed with the help of C.H. Latimer-Needham's book, Aircraft Design. It was built with stuff they managed to find, along with the help of Colditz inmate, Lorne Welch, a British engineer and pilot. They planned to use the glider to deliver a message to the approaching American Army if the SS ordered the massacre of the prisoners. The glider was never needed or used since the Americans liberated the camp before the glider was complete. Nevertheless, the men used their skills and made a functional glider out of stuff they managed to collect, making this one of the greatest prison escape attempts in history. Additionally, a replica of the glider was commissioned by Channel 4 and built by Southdown Aviation Ltd. at Lasham Airfield. The gliders were successfully flown by John Lee and Jack Best. Veterans who worked on the original more than 55 years earlier watched along side Bill Goldfinch.
Sidney George Reilly, commonly known as the "Ace of Spies", was a secret agent working for the British Secret Service Bureau, the predecessor to MI6. His origins are unclear, because Reilly has told various versions of his origins, including him being raised in Ireland, Russia, or Odessa in Ukraine and under different names, and various ways explaining how he ended up in London. There are details that they do know. He changed his name to Sidney George Reilly. He was an agent for the United Kingdom and an alleged double agent for Germany, Japan, and Russia. He served in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps during World War I. Reilly states that earned and lost several fortunes in his lifetime and had many wives and mistresses. He also claims to have helped with an assassination attempt against Vladimir Lenin, seduced the wife of a Russian minister, disguised as a German officer and attended a German Army High Command meeting, saved British diplomats in Brazil, and other schemes that led him to be considered 20 Century`s first "super-spy". His spy skills also were shown in a television miniseries and in books about him as well as helping to inspire the fictional spy: James Bond.
Sir Douglas Mawson was an Australian geologist, Antarctic explorer, and academic who led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) to King George V Land and Adelie Land. Unfortunately, while his team, The Far Eastern Party made up of Xavier Mertz, Lieutenant Belgrave Ninnis, and Mawson were crossing the Ninnis Glacier, when Ninnis fell into a crevasse and his body weight most likely breached a snow bridge, covering the crevasse causing their six best dogs, most of the rations, their tents, and other essentials to fall in with him. The only things they found were one dead dog and an injured dog below which was 165 feet from them. They were forced feed the rest of their sled dogs to the others dogs and to themselves, which give them the condition: Hypervitaminosis A. This is when you have too much vitamin A. Moreover, both of their physical health started to decline, especially Mertz, who had more Vitamin A than Mawson. This helped to cause Mertz to have diarrhea, madness, seizures, and eventually death. Then Mawson went on a trip to return to the Main Base where he fell into a crevasse, got out, and eventually returned to base to find the ship he was supposed to go back to Australia on had left a few hours ago. So, the six men who stayed behind to look for him and he had to ride a year before the ship could come back. After, the expedition he encouraged the Australian government to farther explore Antarctica and was given the Founder`s Gold Medal and David Livingstone Centenary Medal due to his research in Antarctica which can only be done by his interest in Antarctica and his inability to give up.