Writing Strategies II, Session #7: November 12th, 2010

In today’s session:

  1. Student presentations on the following topics:
    1. Story structure
    2. Character study
    3. Theme: how we treat other people
    4. Theme: curiosity
  2. Some comments or questions raised about the presentations:
    • Why does the Christian church say magic is bad?
    • Digory is a protagonist, but doesn’t he also do some things which cause problems for himself and the other protagonists?
    • Why is Aslan “kind”? What does he value?
    • Why do Polly and Digory and Uncle Andrew change?
      • Because they recognize that there is a higher power than themselves.
      • For Digory, that is first his mother, then Aslan (Aslan and Aslan’s wish is more important than Digory’s mother; Digory accepts this).
      • For Polly, she also realizes that Aslan and what he represents is more important than her own desires or fears.
      • Uncle Andrew does not understand what Aslan is but he realizes that Aslan’s power is much greater than his own and that he cannot compete against it. He is devastated by the unforeseen consequences of his actions and his interest in magic. He gives it up and becomes a more humble person.
      • Queen Jadis understands what Aslan is, but she rejects him. She never changes. She chooses power rather than accept Aslan’s superiority, even though it means death not life.
    • The Golden Rule is “Do as you would be done by”: do to others as you would have them do to you. This is aChristian precept, but it is also found in many other cultures and religions. That is why it is called the “Golden” rule. It is a moral principle.
    • Aslan uses magic. So what is the difference between Aslan’s magic and the magic of Jadis and Uncle Andrew?
    • Values. C.S. Lewis understood that values are very important. Science without clear moral values can become a terrible evil.
    • Two important values expressed in C.S. Lewis’ books are
      • recognition of and love (respect) for life
      • recognition of and love (respect) for God, the Creator of all things.
  3. Study Guide, Chapters 6-7, questions 1-5. We checked the answers to these questions.
  4. Homework.  For November 26th.
    1. Read chapters 8 and 9.
    2. Answer the study guide questions for chapters 8 and 9.
    3. Choose a book to read from the list of English children’s books which I gave out in class today (the list is also on the class blog). The books listed (with 2 exceptions) are books that C.S. Lewis had read.
      1. tell me the title as soon as possible and by Nov. 26th at the latest.
      2. You will make an oral and written report about this book on December 17th.
      3. You can read the book in English or in Japanese.
      4. Your oral report can be in English or in Japanese. (Reports in English will get up to 10% more points).
      5. You can choose a book not on the list, for example a book by one of the others listed. If you choose a book not on the list, please ask me first.
      6. You can choose a book by an author not on the list, but please check with me first.

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