Friday, July 19, 2013

Watching for themes

Authors want their readers to interpret a text and find something meaningful to take away, a life-lesson.  Being a Language Arts teacher, I can guide my class into analyzing plots, characters, settings, to identify themes about life.  When I show even a clip of a movie in my classroom, I want students to figure out a deeper message. Teaching has made me look for themes in every movie, tv show, song, play, commercial, anything with a plot.

Going to the movies nowadays has been a little eye-opening, especially when it costs almost $50 for 1.5 hours of entertainment.

Monsters U: Memorable characters and interesting concept. However, I walked away with the message that it's okay to get expelled from college?? And that college is all about fraternities and sororities? I hope they make a third in the series about how making kids laugh is better than making them scared. Grade: C

Turbo: Hmm.. Some foreign substance has to get into your system to make you go fast.. not quite the message I was hoping for. But, they did show a great scene demonstrating brotherly-love, and the themes of don't give up and be proud of who you are came through. Grade: B

Whatever the story, it feels like a better use of time to find a deeper meaning, and discuss.  Bury "boys will be boys."


  1. Man, I have a hard time watching a movie without analyzing it. It's like second nature to me. And then you try to talk to people about what you see and it's like, "It's just entertainment." But a lot of times they don't get that there are messages hidden in entertainment that are used to modify our behaviors/values/etc. I talk about this all the time, but Twilight. One of the main themes here is that a woman can't live a happy life without a man. Bella has almost zero independence. But it's disguised in vampires and "eternal love" and young girls read this and of course it affects their thinking. How can it not?

    1. "Entertainment" is an indicator of our societal beliefs. I remember one of my professors banning all things Disney because of all the female oppressive issues. But, I can't stay away from the mainstream!