Today we’ll start with presentations from Foster groups, but the rest of the day is for reading. Instead of doing the regular Socratic Seminar lab book entry for Chapters 6 & 7, I want you to try something different:
- Use sticky notes to identify five passages that seem particularly meaningful/dense.
- Choose ONE of the five passages and write an analysis explaining what the text means, HOW YOU KNOW that’s what it means (which may require additional supporting evidence from other places in the book ) AND an explanation of why it’s important.
In terms of Foster chapters, today is COMPLICATED, so the notes I took/created based on the presentations in the two classes are LLLLLOOOOONNNNGGGG. Sorry. But here you go. There is a movie clip at the end to make it all better (though only minute 1:07-1:32 really applies).
About Christ Figures
Any character that meets 2-3 of the following criteria is probably a Christ figure:
- crucified or wounded in the hands, feet, side and/or head
- in agony
- good with children
- good with loaves, fishes, water, wine
- thirty-three years of age when last seen
- employed as a carpenter
- known to use humble modes of transportation, feet or donkeys preferred
- believed to have walked on water
- often portrayed with arms outstretched
- known to have spent time alone in the wilderness
- believed to have had a confrontation with the devil, possibly tempted
- last seen in the company of theives
- creator of aphorisms (wise sayings) and parables (metaphorical stories with one central message)
- died/buried and rises on the third day (death could be metaphorical
- had disciples, twelve at first, though not all of them were equally devoted
- very forgiving
- wants to redeem an unworthy world/person
The question is, once you’ve FOUND a Christ figure, what does s/he represent? Typically, writers use Christ figures to symbolize or underscore
…Though some folks use Christ figures ironically (but we’ll get to that in the spring).
There are two main messages
- Literal ghosts and vampires and zombies in LITERATURE are never ONLY about ghosts and vampires. They always have a metaphorical value, as Anna Kendrick’s character points out about zombies in the clip below (minute 1:07-1:32).
- Ghosts and vampires and zombies don’t always have to appear as visibly ghosty, vampirey or zombie-esque. As Foster says “you don’t need fangs and a cape to be a vampire.” Metaphorically being a vampire counts.
So how do we know when someone/thing is a vampire? The original story goes something like this
- An older figure, representing corrupt, outworn values
- A young, preferably virginal female
- A stripping away of the girls youth, virtue, or energy in order to continue the lifeforce of the old man
- The ultimate death or destruction of the young woman
Which means when we see…
- a “consuming” spirit or “vampiric personality”
- a society or a convention or value that eats away at or uses up certain groups of people or types of people
- someone grows in strength by weakening someone else
- exploitation–using other people to get what they want, denying that someone else has the right to exist, putting their desires (especially uglier ones) above the needs of another person, etc
…we’re probably looking at a vampire story of some kind. Examples that come to mind of these metaphorical “vampires?”
- President Snow in Hunger Games
- Walter Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird
- The father in I Hunt Killers
- Society/government in many dystopias (Hunger Games, Matched, Uglies/Pretties, etc)
- The King Katsa meets in Graceling
- Grima Wormtongue/Saruman to Theoden in Lord of the Rings
Remember that only minute 1:07-1:32 applies to anything here, though she’s looking for the metaphorical value of zombies…
[To Bella, after they both see a movie] I don’t know why you want to sit through all those zombies eating people and no hot guys kissing anybody. It’s gross… Like, why are there that many zombie movies anyway? ‘Cause if it’s supposed to, like, draw a parallel about leprosy, my cousin had leprosy, ok it’s not funny, you know? And, like, is it supposed to be a metaphor for consumerism? Because don’t be so pleased with your own, like, self-referential cleverness? Like, some girls like to shop. Not all girls, apparently. Although I was surprised you even called at all. Like, your depression thing, I get it. I’m totally, totally worried. But after a while, it’s like, you’re still bumming and I’m going through stuff too. And Mike said he just want to be friends. It’s hard…
(she doesn’t recognize a zombie when she sees one standing next to her, poor lass)