10H – 29 August 2013 – Heat Day 4

Hello scholars! It was such a treat to meet some of your parents last night. You may not know how lucky you are to have those folks on your team, cheering you on as you try out the challenges of sophomore year…but you are lucky.

Homework, first. You got a copy of Of Mice and Men today. I’m asking you to read Chapter 1 for tomorrow. In your journal, identify any communion and/or biblical resonance you find. Please specifically look at these excerpts: OMM Chapter 1 Biblical Resonance.

As for the rest of class, today we talked through Foster’s Chapter 2 and Chapter 7. First we identified the “what” of his argument. Then we talked about examples of communion and biblical allusions in other books and movies we’ve read/seen.

Your examples were fabulous! It was super fun to hear/think about communion scenes in movies I haven’t even seen.

1st hour did a great job with Harry Potter and Indiana Jones in terms of communion, too…wow.

And 7th hour was out of control awesome.  That was like the “funnest” discussion I’ve had in a long, long time.  Way to go, kiddos!

As for the nutshells, I’m going to go back over what we talked about here for those who missed it, and as a good record of our work. Chapter 2 suggests that anytime characters sit down to eat a meal together, it’s a communion–or says something about the state of communion (intimacy) in their relationship. What they eat or don’t eat, whether or not the meal is interrupted, who they eat with–all these things are signals to us as readers about the tenor and quality of the relationship. And it doesn’t even have to be food. Alcohol, drugs, or other consumption work just as well symbolically (though of course they are more scandalous to read about).

In Chapter 7, Foster suggests that authors borrow from the Bible in 9 ways:

  1. Motifs
  2. Themes
  3. Characters
  4. Plots
  5. Titles
  6. Situations
  7. Quotations
  8. To make IRONIC statements
  9. Names

But he posits we do not have to be biblical scholars to identify these nine things in what we read. Instead, we can apply the “resonance test”–when a symbol or a character or a title seems to have more weight than it ought to if the text wasn’t leaning on something else, then it’s probably an allusion.

Of course what he doesn’t mention is

  • Authors borrow these same nine things from Greek Mythology (Ch. 9), Fairy Tales Ch. 8), and Shakespeare (Ch 6) too–so you might find “resonance” but have a hard time identifying its origins.
  • You can be a “biblical scholar” of sorts in one simple trimester! –take Bible as Literature here at CHS and learn the basics of Bible stories to help you read other Western literature. 🙂
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