Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Character Pop Songs Assignment

I used to blog, and blog often. Has not been the case since I found out I can just tweet my thoughts and people would respond more. But this is gonna be over 140 characters so...gotta blog it.

In my English classes at the high school I have assigned students to relate the lyrics of a pop song to one of the characters in the book they are currently reading.

I've decided to write on   Lesley Gore's 1963 classic "You Don't Own Me" as it relates to "Tris" from the Divergent Series. Now granted I haven't finished the series...and I may have skipped the first book and watched the movie instead...but I'm getting this. So here are the lyrics:



You don't own me
I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me
Don't say I can't go with other boys

And don't tell me what to do
And don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you,
Don't put me on display 'cause

You don't own me
Don't try to change me in any way
You don't own me
Don't tie me down 'cause I'd never stay

I don't tell you what to say
I don't tell you what to do
So, just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you

I'm young and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want,
To say and do whatever I please


And don't tell me what to do
Oh, don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you,
Don't put me on display

I don't tell you what to say,
Oh, don't tell you what to do
So, just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you

I'm young and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want






So how does this relate to our friend "Tris?" 
Well, Tris as you may know, is a Divergent. This means that in her dystopian world setting, she doesn't fit into one of the 4 or 5 class molds that people have to choose from. So as this novel borrows a "Girl Power Killing People" page from the Hunger Games series, we have ourselves a super butt kicking female protagonist who desires to challenge authority whenever possible. When she is faced with the decision of which faction to join, she is supposed to choose "abnegation" (as per her family's tradition) but instead decides to break free and go with the more dangerous "Dauntless" class. "You don't own me I'm not just one of your many toys" says the song. She felt like a toy because she felt used by the government and the system that placed people where it felt they should be, instead of where they felt they belonged.
             Whereas Dauntless is the faction whose main responsibility is to defend the civilization from dangers without the gates...it would seem to be the obvious male job (as per historic norms) but in this case the girls are taken just as easily as the boys. "You don't own me, Don't say I can't go with other boys."  The original song is talking about being treated as property by overly possessive guys. I feel like this relates to Tris as she balances her relationship with authority. In Dauntless we see her fighting back against other Dauntless recruits, but later we see her rebel as a Divergent against all factions and a government who attempts to control those within the faction. 
              In the second book, there are multiple occasions where Tris' boyfriend/love interest, Tobias (Four), asks her to NOT engage in certain activities. By my count he's asked her 3 separate times to stay back when a dangerous mission or opportunity presents itself. ALL 3 times she's...well...I don't want to say disobeyed because she's under no obligation to "obey" the man...but she has gone against his wishes and put herself in danger. "You don't own me, Don't try to change me in any way, You don't own me, Don't tie me down 'cause I'd never stay." That's right, she'd never stay. She always does her own thing, and it frustrates Tobias. In this case Tobias represents the old way of thinking in a male dominated society. However, the great thing about dystopian novels, is that you can throw out any sense of normal historical social structures and make up your own norm.
                Really that's the point of dystopian novels though isn't it? You come up with this wildly outrageous society with weird rules that we would find archaic or unfair and then use that vehicle to point out flaws in our own society. I believe that Hunger Games portrays a strong message about class warfare in America, while the Divergent books are trying to discuss breaking the roles we find ourselves molding to because of past traditions. 
             "I'm young and I love to be young, I'm free and I love to be free, To live my life the way I want,
To say and do whatever I please."  Tris is young, and she enjoys her youth. She's free because she is divergent and doesn't have to be shackled down to any faction. She declares that she is living her life the way that she wants in every action that she takes...she does and says whatever she pleases.  The author, in my opinion, is trying to send the message to Young Adults everywhere that they are not stuck in the path that their parents or tradition has set for them. If a boy wants to be a cheerleader, awesome. If a girl wants to join the military, super. The roles that have been defined for so many for so long are starting to blur...and our Divergent minds, much like Tris' are keeping us open to the options that we desire. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jane Eyre Girl...hahaha

video

I found these clips from the 1944 Jane Eyre hilarious...so I spliced em together. Enjoy "Stupid Girl."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Manos