Love between two people, a necessary confrontation with the outside world ?
11 Octobre 2011
Tuesday, 11th October, we all worked on Romeo and Juliet, the play by Shakespeare.
We will look at Romeo and Juliet. At first, individually we do a summary of the work of Shakespeare.Then, there is provided a photo story for exposing our summary of Romeo and Juliet.
script of Act II scene II:
19 Octobre 2011
The balcony scene
Can be found, the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet, in many works. Indeed, it is found by exemple in Cyrano de Bergerac: The balcony scene in Cyrano de Bergerac, is in the middle of Act III and the center of the room. Christian has just failed in his declaration of love to the young woman.
Cyrano then offers to help by blowing the good replicas. And soon, so that the scheme works, Cyrano is forced to say the words himself, by pretending to be Christian. The darkness and foliage make it invisible and can finally unleash his feelings without fear of being mocked "a boost": Cyrano pretends to be another, but has never been sincere and emotion wins.
Can be found, the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet, in many works. Indeed, it is found by exemple in "Gnomeo and Juliet" by Kelly Asburry. This scene is shown here in outline like that of Shakespeare. However, tyrades change, and certain shares are slightly modified as we watch the next video.
Work on the balcony scene:
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13 Novembre 2011
November, Tuesday 8th, we studied the differences and the similitaries between these two famous love stories, the old one Romeo and Juliet, and the more recent one West Side Story (WSS). In fact, we rappidly found that WSS has quite the same "story" as Romeo and Juliet.
Let's discover the characters.
Romeo, who is a Montaigue, could be Tony, the american guy from the Jets who loves Maria, a spanish young girl belonging to the Sharks and who could be Juliet. We can also compare Mercutio, Romeo's best friend, to Riff who is logicly Tony's best friend. Moreover, Maria has a brother called Bernardo and Juliet a cousin named Tybalt; they both supposed to be married with anoter man : Chino for Maria, Paris for Juliet. The priest who married Shakespear's lovers and send a message to Romeo is a little bit like Anita who brings a message to Tony. In plus, she is Maria's best friend and try to bring peace, like Juliet's nurse who helps the two lovers. To finish, the man who expelled Romeo is the prince, that's why he could be the New York police in WSS. However it's not really finish ! We could have a more global look on these two stories.
First, the setting and the plot.
For Romeo and Juliet, it takes place in Verona in the Middle Ages and there are two groups : the Montaigue versus the Capulet. These two families are ennemies, it exists a rivality between them. For WSS, the movie takes place in a poor district of New York, in the 1950's where there are two gangs : the Jets against the Sharks. The reasons for their hatred are their origins and lands, which makes the viewer thinks about the racism question.
Second, the lovers.
In Romeo and Juliet, they both are Italian, whereas in WSS one is American and the other one is Puerto Rican. Morever, Tony and Maria are older than their ancestors. In fact, Romeo is 15 years old, Juliet almost 13, while Tony is already 20 years old and Maria 17. The two Shakespear's lovers met at a party at the Capulet's house, which quiet similar with the New Yorkers who met at a ball.
Finally, the action.
In the Romeo and Juliet story, Mercutio is first killed by Tybalt, then it's Tybalt who is killed by Romeo in an act of revenge. After these two death of secondary characters, Romea die by taking poison after seeing Juliet's body, that's why Juliet killed herself too with a knife, while seeing the Romeo's lying body. In WSS, there are only three death, which is different from the "original" love stroy. Indeed, Riff is killed by Bernardo, which is quite the same problem as in Shakespear. In consequence, Bernardo is killed by Tony and after that, Tony is killed by Chino. On the whole, these two stories have almost the same structure and many similitaries between the characters. It's an evidence of the Shakespear's power ! This author inspires other authors or fiction directors.
West Side Story
The story is inspired by Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. In New York in the 1950s, two rival street gangs, the Jets (Americans of Polish descent) and the Sharks (Puerto Rican immigrants), are the law in the district of West Side. They cause and the opportunity to compete. Tony, former leader of the Jets and now behind, and Maria, the sister of Sharks leader, fall in love, but the couple must suffer the opposing forces of their respective clans.
19 Novembre 2011
November, Tuesday 15th, we continued to compare the two love stories. However we particularly work on "the balcony scene".
- They say seven times "good night"
- It takes palce at night because night keep their secret, it's a time where you can dream and you can believe your dream will come true.
- She doesn't want Tony to see her father because she knows he won't like him.
- They know they are different from the rest of the world : "They are not one of us"
- The symbol of the balcony : it is both part of her intimicy, but also outside her world, the world she rejects.
- Tony is more excited than Maria. She seems to be more sensible.
- There is a change in roles : at the beginning Maria calms him down, at the end it's Tony who says "shh". They are aware of the danger.
- They didn't kiss.
- They sing together.
- Maria sees Tony first.
- Tony steps on the balcony, that's why they are on an equal feeting.
- The balcony is an emergency staircase which looks like a jail, maybe it symbolizes the prison in which their social background had put them.
Then, we compared the two stories in general.
The common themes are :
- the idea of two "star-crossed lovers"
- the fact that their love is impossible
- yet, they challenge their families or gang to love each other. They betray their origins
- they were in a world apart, for example the orchade for Romeo and Juliet. Whereas for Tony and Maria, they had the impress that it could exist "somewhere" : "It's not us, it's everything around us", said Maria. She means the problem comes from the other who are hateful.
Romeo and Juliet, just like Tony and Maria, symbolize the perfect love, the ideal love, which can't exist in a world ful of hatred.
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Here, a summary of this part of the story : The main characters are two lovers, Harriet and David, who met at an office party for the end of the year. People were dancing while the two characters were looking at each other, thinking about who they were. After, they came out from the danceroom and went to an office where they stayed for the night. First they talked, sometimes kissed and felt asleep. At the end of this extract, they both knew they would get married at spring.
Now a little description of these two characters, made by quotations from the text :
- pastel blur
- seemed a girl merged with
- flowery dress,
- curly dark hair
- blue eyes, soft but
- healthy young woman,
- profession : sales
- grey blue eyes
-not someone solidly planted
- slight young man
- looked younger than he was
- round, candid face
- soft brown hair
- profession : architect
Moreover, other peoples see them as conservatives, old-fashionned, abscolescent, timid and hard to please : THEY ARE DIFFERENT.
After the reading of this part of the novel, we studied different front covers trying to find the integral story and who could be the fifth child ...
1) We can see a pram, the mother is "motherly" holding her children.
The pram takes all the place and hide a mystery, as if the child was special.
It also seems to be a "baby factory", there is no joy, like in a nightmare.
2) We now see a pair of shoes belonging to a young child, maybe 1 or 2 years old.Will he die ? Is it a metaphore meaning he doesn't feet anything, which means that he is different ?
3) A baby's chair is showing from above, and there is a raise a light which suggests something magic. It could also suggest bad things, devil, gap between society.
4) It's a typical vistorian house surrounded by trees which is mysterious.
5) Here we see a child locked behind a window, aged of 6 or 7 years old, and so much sad. He seems to want to go out but maybe his parents sid something to him. He looks sick and aware of secret he can't tell. That's why he also looks older than he is.
6) The child looks here devilish, there are the color of the devil and a strong feeling of agressivity.
7) We are now sure that this child is different, he looks dangerous, like he was a beast. The shadow and the fire bring an impresson of danger, stronger because of the fact wa can't see his face.
29 Novembre 2011
England in the 70s
The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979
It was the decade of the Space Hopper, the Ford Cortina, Raleigh Chopper bikes, the record player and cassette recorder.
It was a decade of strikes - postal workers, miners and dustmen. It ended with the 'winter of discontent' in 1979 when ITV went off the air for five months. A three-day week was imposed during February 1972 to save on electricity at the start of the miners strike.
During the summer of 1976 the weather turned so dry that water supplies reached critical low levels.
In 1977, the whole nation celebrated the Queen's Silver Jubilee with street parties.
64% of homes had a washing machine
1974 - First domestic microwave cooker was sold
1978 - VHS video recorder went on sale
1979 - Sony began selling the Walkman personal stereo
People could now watch television programmes in colour. Three stations had began broadcasting in colour between 1967 and 1969.
1971 - 91% of families had a TV
1972 - Newsround started
In 1971 Britain went decimal. Before this there was 12d in a shilling, and 20 shillings in a pound.
Find out more about old money
1971 - Population of Britain = 54 million
Platform shoes and flared trousers.
In the early 1970s hot pants for women were popular.
Barbie, Sindy and Action Man dolls became very popular.
The first big new sound of the 1970s was “Glam Rock”, the main figures of this were David Bowie, Elton John and of course Gary Glitter. In the bleak political backdrop, these larger that life British bands and characters brought a welcome relief with their platform boots, sequins, nail varnish and colourful hair.
The punk movement of the late 1970s began in England. Great British bands of this scene were The Sex Pistols and The Clash. The Punk style was Mohicans, bondage clothes, safety pins, piercings and bovver boots.
The era of global travel began in 1970 when the first Pan Am Boeing 747 jet landed at Heathrow. Air travel became cheaper and now it is easy to take a holiday in almost any part of the world.
After years of trials, the fastest passenger aeroplane in the world called Concorde, came into service in 1976. It was built by Britain and France. It could fly at about 2,100 kilometres per hour.
Popular cars were the Aston Martin, Triumph TR7, two door Capri and MGB GT (1978)
Coal / Electricity
Many coal mines closed because the need for coal in Britain was no longer as great as it had once been. Electricity was now generated by power stations burning oil or gas from the North Sea or in some cases by the use of nuclear energy.
|1971||Digital watch||George Theiss / Willy Crabtree|
|1972||The word processor|
|1975||Digital camera||Steven Sasson / Kodak|
|1979||Post-it notes||Spencer Silver / 3M|
|1979||Walkman (personal tape music player)||Akio Morita|
30 Novembre 2011
Tuesday, 29th we continued to study the Fifth Child, we had some comprehension questions. Here, the answers. (go and read the script posted last time)
§1 : The main characters are shy, unfashionable, conservatives ... Yet, they considered they are themselves, ordinary people. They don't need to change.
§2 : Elements evoking life in 60's are : "small band", "pounding rythm ... shook", "dressed up, dramatic, bizarre, full of colour", "noisy", "bobbing up and down on revolving" which refers to the born of rock. It's the descrition of an extravagant society. The narrator describe the scene as if he were at the party, the technique she use is a travelling of the scene, which is a technique from the cinema to reveal the scene porgressively. Then, she stops on Harriet and David and zooms on them. Harriet and David had a negative opinion of the others, for them, they faces are "distorted", songs become "screams and grimaces", all is a "forced hecticity". They despise, or scorn, the others.
§3 : During Harriet's description, the narrator's tone is very ironic. He finishes it saying she is better "at home, in a garden", he compares her to a flower with her "flowery dress", but not a a beautiful one, a dry one, as the "case of dried grasses and leaves". Indeed, she looks like an "impressionist picture, or a trick photo", like something not good in a party. She is only here, but "merged in her surrounding". On the whole, she is compared to someone who is easily forgotten, nobody notices she.
§4 : In and after David's description we can find quotations that say they were bound to fall in love : "Both had found who the other was" with the repetition of "both" in many sentences, "she knew his look of watchful apartness mirrored her own" ... They understood each other at first sight.
§5-6 : We learn that David had "one long and difficult affair with a girl" and that he stayed "reluctantly" with that girl who was "all he did not want in a girl". Harriet is a virgin, and actually as David, doesn't like sleeping around. Both jock about the attraction between opposite. To summary, they are looking for true love and, according to them, it's difficult to find it in a party like that : They have an ideal vision of love.
§ 7 : This paragraph is a revolving passage ! In fact, the two lovers, stand at the same moment and leave quietly the party. They first go in an office, then in David's flat. There, they start talking, sometimes kissing and fall peacefully asleep, hand to hand, side to side. They have decided to get marry at spring ! "Why wait ?"
As Romeo and Juliet, and Maria and Tony, the main characters met at a party, fall in love at first sight, and are differents from the others and the outside world. "They were made for each other", that's why they decid to get marry !
the fifth Child 007.jpg
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December, Tuesday 6th, we worked on a second extract of the story.
We had to do a webquest again. Here it is the answer of the questions.
The scene takes place around "the" big table, which the center of the house, in the dinning-room. The characters in this scene are Dorothy : Harriet's mother, Alix : Harriet's sister, and Harriet, David and Ben. It's the evening and they try to feed the baby. The main issue of the discussion is "What is he ?".
AT THE KITCHEN TABLE
In this part, Ben is the main character because he is the only child and he is the subject of the conversation. Moreover he is also the center of this conversation because "he emptied it [the baby bottle] in a moment and then roared", all adults are amazed, surprised and frightened, thinking Ben is different. So, "what is he?", but nobody knows, only the silence answers to that. In fact, while he is having his baby bottle Ben is like a beast, a monster : "knees up in his stomach", "clenched and enclenched", "roared", "supporting it with his to fists" ... To conclude, Ben is compared to a "Neanderthal baby", a prehistoric person from the era where human beings looked like animals.
AT THE DOCTOR'S
First, the doctor thinks Ben id brest-fed, but he's not. Moreover he is particularly impressed by harriet's bruised nipples and shocked by the important of the bruise. However he says nothing about Ben, he thinks about a baby blues from Harriet and tries to come her down saying the fact of not loving her baby is usual. In fact, the desperate mother calls her baby "the nasty little brute" and feels really guilty. The doctor tries to sofen her feelings saying it happens. Ben continues to surprise them, during the appointement, he tries to get himself on all fours.
Here, we discover a woman sensible although she doesn't like her baby, but who really try to love him and take care of him because she feels guilty.
In the last passage, the atmosphere is joyful, there are children everywhere, playing around ... However, after meeting Ben, the family changes her way of live ... Before, all was normal, they had parties, came for summer ... Yet, the baby become the center of the attention and Paul will not be the happy baby he was ...
So, tuesday 13th we corrected this test and learnt that Harriet and David will buy the house they wanted to have, smaler and more normal, and life could go on, as Ben has left his family.
Mrs Ricard lend me the novel so I'm about to read it during the hollidays because whereas I find the story difficult and sad, I'm touched by Harriet and wanna dicover she at all.
We also, thought about Harriet and David's love story which was wonderful at the beginning, with their will to be happy, to have a huge family in a isolated house ... And which finally turn dark because of the Fifth Child's birth. Moreover, although they tried to live far from the outside world, Ben's problems have brought the outside world in this heaven. In fact, the opposition between Harriet, who try to fight for her child though she doesn't really love him, and the rest of the family has brought difficulties in the family. Love ... is sometimes so much hard too keep alive ...
That's why, we said that sometimes these beautiful "love at first sight' we found in books is not as good as it seems to be. Now the question is : "If Romeo and Juliet had lived, do you think their love story would have ended as David and Harriet's one ?".
During the 2nd Hour, Maïlis made an oral presentation of Pride and Prejudice, an english novel written by Jane Austen. It's a special and complicated love story between so many persons. Indeed it talks about a family with five beautiful daughters who search true love ! Click here if you want to read a little summary of it.
We reacted on our probematic and said that it's not exactly a confrontation with the outside world because it's more a duel between the two lovers who don't seem to be made for each other. Darcy is prideful and wealthier than Elisabeth who thinks she is not feet for him, which makes she having prejudices.
However, at the beginning, the problem is that lovers, whatever it's Jane and Bingley or Elisabeth and Darcy, are not from the same social class. Darcy is wealthier than Elisabeth who thinks she is not feet for him.
Le 22 Janvier 2012
The two last tuesday I worked on a Nadine Gordimer's short story about love and segregation. We first proposed definitions for some words talking about segregation and so on.
Apartheid : separation system between black and white people in the society of South Africa till the end of the 60's.
Privilege : superiority of a social class and its rights.
Deprivation : when the governement takes away lands, propriety ... to Black People.
Segregation : general word for "apartheid", separation between different people, ethnies, religions ...
Integration : opposite of segregation.
Taboo : a subject you mustn't talk about.
Prejudice : a premade idea of something.
Tolerance : accept all differences.
If you wanna feel a little bit in the segregation atmosphere ... Try to go in the this link :
After that, we read the story and found it so sad ... because segreagation ... because of the end.
Here a little book report about it.
Title : Country Lovers
Author : Nadin Gordimer
Date of publication : 1980
Setting : a farm in South Africa during Apartheid
Characters : Character's description : Thebedi, a black girl who works in a farm ; Paulus, a white man who is the farmer's son ; Njabulo, a black man who becomes Thebedi's husband and also work in the farm.
Summary of the plot and personnal opinion :
Do you believe in a love that could overcome segregation ? If you want to find an answer, you should read this short story. The beginning is oh-so-beautiful, love overcomes segregation but will they keep overcoming it ?
As we have already said, it's a romance between Thebedi and Paulus, that was supposed to stay hidden because of the Apartheid. They were friends when they were only children. Paulus talked about life in city and Thebedi was quietly listening, asking questions, learning how was the world around. And with adolescence came love ... Hidden love ... near the river-bed, meeting while the sun set ... However, one day a baby, beautiful, cute, but colored arrives and life changes ...
Personnally, this story was a revelation, a punch in the face, a discovery of what segregation could do. It remembers me all problems we actually have between differents people, because of their color or their origin. That's why I found this short story effective cause actual ! However, I would have hoped that the end could be better. Yet, it's reality and one day you have to face it ! Moreover, the author's style is special. In fact, she uses many descriptions, which is not usual in a short story, whereas it wasn't a problem for me beaucse I found them such poetical.
I do recommand you this book because it's a really interesting short story that you will read fastly but intensivly ! It's concentration of emotions and reflexions which are not going to leave you the same as before the reading ... What is this awful end ? What is the baby's problem ? Don't be shy ! Face segregation !
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