Dow English

Take an interest in the future. You will spend the rest of your life there.

THE CONCEPT OF IDENTITY


  • What is Identity?
    • Self-Concept: Does who one thinks s/he is reflect her/his identity?
      • Ozymandias [Common Lit + questions/discussion]
      • “Self-Concept” by Saul McLeod [Common Lit + questions/discussion]
    • “The Things They Carried”
      • Focus: How does the author reveal the characters’ identity through what the soldiers carry?
      • Distinction between personal identity and social identity.

THE EFFECTS OF CULTURE AND SOCIETY ON IDENTITY


  • Culture vs society
    • Cultural traditions and their effect on personal identity. [The effect acceptance, rejection of traditions has on personal identity]
      • Discuss cultural traditions
        • “Tears of Autumn”
          • What tradition is Hana following? How does she feel about it? How does it affect her sense of identity?
        • “Fish Cheeks” [Common Lit + questions/discussion]
    • Society
      • The difference between society and culture
      • Rejection/acceptance of society’s expectations as a path toward identity
      • The House on Mango Street *
        • Focus:
          • How Esperanza sees herself [self-concept] and how she thinks others see her
          • How Esperanza both grapples to understand who she is and struggles to form a strong sense of identity
          • The factors Esperanza considers when trying to define her identity, including race, family, males, sexual identity
          • The internal and external conflicts that impact her identity
          • Male vs females in the society
        • Relate Esperanza to the characters in Tears of Autumn and Fish Cheeks in terms of cultural expectations on the characters.
        • Stream of consciousness, extended monologue, flashback, symbolism, imagery, metaphor, simile

IDENTITY CRISIS


How is identity affected when one does not feel like he belongs? How does a sense of family help to strengthen identity?

  • “No Man is an Island” [Common Lit questions + discussion]
  • “Blue Winds Dancing”
    • Protagonist/antagonist
    • Imagery – how the author uses imagery to evoke the narrator’s attitude toward the two cultures. [White and Wisconsin Chippewa
    • Symbolism of blue winds and how blue winds relate to the narrator’s personal identity
    • Respond to questions.
    • Focus: How does the narrator’s conflict with a culture he’s not familiar with affect his personal identity. How does his relationship with his Native American culture help define his identity?
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople
    • Background information about New Zealand’s indigenous people, the Maori [“Intolerance Toward the Maori”]
    • Haiku
    • Focus:
      • How does not belonging, not having a family negatively impact identity, and how does a sense of belonging help form a healthy identity?
      • Symbolism: Ricky’s clothing and haikus as reflections of his identity.
      • Make connections with the effects of culture and society on identity

FAMILY, COMMUNITY, AND IDENTITY


  • Introduce concepts of memoir and autobiography
  • “What Your Most Vivid Memories Say About You” [personal identity] [Common Lit questions + discussion]
  • The Color of Water *
    • Background information about Orthodox Judaism that is pertinent to the novel
    • Background information about Jim Crow laws
    • Focus on:
      • How do James and Ruth both grapple to understand who they are and struggle to form a strong sense of identity?
      • What factors do Ruth and James consider when trying to define their identity, including race, family, politics, and religion?
      • How do internal and external conflicts impact characters’ identity?
      • How does the societal conflict between races and religions in the south where Ruth grew up and the impact of widespread prejudicial hatred on Ruth and others affect their sense of identity?
      • How does the past impact one’s present identity?
      • Overlaps with The House on Mango Street (cultural/societal expectations) and The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (sense of family or lack of sense of family helping to form identity)

CONFORMITY'S EFFECT ON IDENTITY


  • Discuss the concept of conformity
  • “Why Do People Follow the Crowd?” [Common Lit questions + discussion]
  • “The Effect of Others” [Common Lit questions + discussion]
  • Examples of extreme conformity: 1984 and Brave New World
    • 1984 summary video
    • 1984 Two Minutes of Hate excerpt
    • Provide an introduction to Brave New World, especially focusing on how embryos are manipulated and Soma’s purpose.
    • Brave New World Featurette
  • “On the Rainy River”
    • Background on the draft for the Viet Nam War and why so many young men did not want to go and on the consequences for not going.
    • The main character’s initial sense of self-identity and how it relates to getting his draft number called up.
    • Imagery that depicts the narrator’s view about the war and how this view relates to his identity.
    • The internal and external conflicts that impact his sense of personal identity and social identity.
    • Analysis of whether or not the narrator gives up his sense of personal identity in favor of conformity/social identity

THE HERO'S JOURNEY: SEEKING PERSONAL IDENTITY


  • “Give It Up!”
  • Introduce the concept of the Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell
  • Catch Me If You Can
    • Mention this is a true story.
    • Focus:
      • How is Frank Abagnale’s identity defined and altered throughout the story [personal identity vs social identity]?
      • How does Frank Abagnale’s relationship with each of his parents influence his decision to become a con artist? Does being a con artist reveal his personal identity? His social identity?
      • Chart his hero’s journey. In the end, what is his reward as it pertains to his identity?
  • The Alchemist
    • Define fable
      • “The Viper and the Farmer” (fable) [Common Lit]
    • Discuss Magical Realism
    • Discuss Santiago’s concept of Personal Legend and how it relates to both search for personal identity and the hero’s journey.
    • Chart Santiago’s hero’s journey. In the end, what is his reward as it pertains to his identity? How is this identity different from Frank Abagnale’s

Info for SHANNON DOW'S CLASS:


CONTACT INFO:

dow@foothills2020.org

cell: 

[Honestly, my cell service at home sucks. Sometimes I don't get a message until days after it was sent, so emailing is by far a more reliable way to contact me quickly.]


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