I enjoyed both short stories, as they are heartwarming, and make you reflect upon your actions. The Christmas theme in "Christmas: Storms and Sunshine" made the story more appealing, and relatable, as many people have to deal with unwanted friends and family during the holidays. The main characters judged each other too quickly, and made enemies even though they barely knew each other. Most teenagers do this too often, and they can learn from the outcomes the story had. This story had a lot of great details, and teaches a lesson most everyone should follow. At first, "What Men Live By" seemed long, boring, and without a point. But as the story progressed, the characters became more interesting, and had more depth than just surface characters. The fight between Matryona and Simon was intense, and I could feel the anger Matryona felt. This short story was also suspensful, as you didn't find out about Michael until the end. The lessons learned by Michael were inspiring, and often forgotten by many people.
The Victorian Era began on June 20th, 1837, when Queen Victoria started her reign. This is my favorite past era, as the architecture built during this time is extraordinary, and cannot be compared with the modern buildings you see today. The literature written during this time period was interesting, and had complex characters. They depicted the life of the poor and the rich, and left nothing out. The morals the women had during this time period were a lot more strict, and women were respectful and classy, unlike most women today. Less people were unfaithful to their spouses, as this betrayal was frowned upon. Even though the poor and rich class had a large gap between them, I would much rather live in the Victorian Era than the Contemporary Era.

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