M for Metaphor
In my work helping academy students with their regular English assignments, I have one student whose class is reading V for Vendetta
. I'm having a good time discussing it with her, although I began rereading it last night & stayed up too late as a result.
In addition to it being a great text, we had one of those moments I love: when the student has misunderstood the work, I explain it, and the student genuinely understands it in a new and better way.
In this case, at issue was V's long speech over the airwaves in part 2. My student didn't understand its pervasive metaphor: V is speaking to the public like a boss unhappy with employees, but the "job" that the public has been slacking off on is that of being responsible human beings. As we spoke, the student came to understand some parts of the speech that she hadn't before & really seemed to appreciate the coolness of the whole underlying-metaphor approach.
I also got an even better appreciation of how Moore and Lloyd use words and pictures together in a way unique to the medium. For instance, when V says that we have been given numerous opportunities for advanacement but have turned them down, he stands in front of a statue of the Buddha, indicating what he means by a promotion. I pointed out that these juxtapositions allow the rteader to draw hir own conclusions, in turn reducing the preachiness quotient.
One of my students doing reading & writing for me decided that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
wasn't as interesting as he expected, while another liked it & is going on to Through the Looking Glass
. For the former, I'm starting a program I thought of for another student his age: we'll go through some Norse myths (<a href="http://www.gutenberg.org/files/37488/37488-h/37488-h.htm
, by Foster and Cummings</a>), then some Coyote stories, then Michael Chabon's Summerland
. The student even likes baseball; I don't so much, but I loved the novel anyway & am enjoying rereading it. I'm not sure how much we should go into fairy literature before the novel; I usually start a fairy unit with A Midsummer Night's Dream
, but I don't think this student would be up for that. I may dig further for poetry in addition to what I have & use, or I may sink to using Puck's speech from No Fear Shakespeare (The horror!).. I love how syncretistic Summerland
Status: Skyping from home for work today, later