Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I didn't get much sleep last night, so if this is incomprehensible, please forgive me...

1. How important is theme in what you write? Does a great piece of literature need to express an idea? Explain your thoughts on the matter using examples from things you've read. In your response, address the opposing viewpoint. (Write at least 100 words.)

I think that it is important for writing to express an idea or message, otherwise there was no point in the writing in the first place. However, I don't exactly agree that theme is as important as most English teachers seem to think. It reminds me of the Billy Collins poem about analyzing poetry, how it need not be beaten with a pipe in order to get meaning to fall out. I feel like most of the time finding a theme is a major task when it shouldn't have to be. One of the cool things I think about themes is that everyone can get something different out of the same novel/play/whatever. I can see why teachers believe that finding a universal theme in everything that we read is the most important thing we will ever do (besides learn how to write a 5-paragraph essay, get into college, and read every book in existence), but I honestly cannot figure out why they think we have to analyze every word to suck out as much meaning as possible.

2. What might be a theme that you'd consider communicating through your play. It could be a theme about something that concerns you (think back to what you wrote in your first blog), a theme about something you see socially or politically. It could be a theme about anything else. Write about that theme and why it is important to you? (Write at least 100 words).

I know that it seems cliché, that every girl that debates for Edina becomes very very feminist, but the direction the women's rights movement is taking in the US is bothering me. I know that guys wouldn't be so defensive about it if they knew it wasn't true. I am very interested in the math and science fields, and the lack of girls in the field can be very intimidating to some girls. I think that the school system does a terrible job of exposing everyone equally to every subject. Traditionally, girls are supposed to be interested in "proper" things like literature, fashion, cooking and sewing, etc., while the men are interested in less "proper" things (which I think are the most fun), like sports, video games, science experiments that explode, and trig proofs that take eight sheets of paper. Everyone is required to take electives in middle school, but most people by high school don't have any room for electives anymore. I bet that if students were required to take more technology and science related electives, instead of just a discouraging science course that includes more note-taking and theory than the amazing labs and demos, more women would pursue the field. In a play, I think the theme of a woman looking for rights/a place in the world has much potential.

3. What is one conflict you write about in your play. Generate some ideas for conflicts you could write about. This may or may not be connected to potential themes. (Write at least 75 words)

In keeping with the theme, I think one conflict I could include would be a person vs. society conflict. Having a strong woman who is looking to break free from society's traditions would fit the mold exactly. She could also be involved in a person vs. self conflict, because she has to decide to either do what she feels is right or conform to previously established standards. A feminist character lends herself easily to many types of conflicts.

5 comments:

Maitland said...

In the sixth grade we read Tuck Everlasting for school. Frrst off, this was irritating because I had already read it in the third grade. And in addition to this, we analyzed EVERY SINGLE word! We spent about a week talking about the importance of the number three. Ahhhhhhhh! I hate when teachers do this. But apart from that, discussing themes of books is one of my favorite things to do. Haha. I'm a weird mix of the "proper" and "improper" interests. I hate proofs, but I also hate sewing. I love litereature (and fashion, I must admit) but I also really like science. I <3 strong women!

Maitland said...

J'aime beaucoup ta réponse!Les jeunes femmes de notre monde doivent apercevoir qu'elles peuvent devenir les mathmaticiens ou scientists. Et aussi, je voudrais lire tout les livres du monde.

MSDhoni said...

Finally, someone else who believes that women are being ousted out of the fields of science and math although we should be dominating it. We managed to somehow stay in the same role of housekeeping and sewing. I want to be an engineer and it's amazingly dominated by men, which really bothers me. PS - I heard you were in AP Comp. Sci. which I want to take next year, but again it's dominated by guys. Your ideas for conflict will for sure be amazing if you write it, so do it!!

Dustin A said...

I like those comments about feminism, although I do think the movement sometimes tends to blow things out of proportion. For example, I think fancy science demos would attract boys to science just the same as girls, and all that theory stuff is the actual nuts and bolts of science that scientists need. No reason to distort science in order to draw people to it. That being said, go women scientists!

Dustin A said...

You could for sure make a cool play about a strong woman trying to beat society. Especially if you set it in the past, when anti-women attitudes were more blatant. That'd be my suggestion.