Saturday, February 13, 2016

Reading Period 18: Feb 12-18: Finland, Sweden, Norway

Albert Camus
Long Read:

The Stranger by Albert Camus, Part 1

Short Read:

"A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen, full play. (The audiobook is also in the public domain and free to listen.)

Note: This week the short read is at least as long as the long read. Because The Stranger is so short, reading half of it should not take you very long. Because "A Doll's House" is such an important piece of literature and so frequently shows up on AP tests (and in quiz bowl!), and because we haven't read much drama this year, I decided to assign the whole thing. Enjoy!

Poem:

"Raudan Synty (The Origin of Iron)" by Veera Voima



This is a rune song from the Kalevala, which is the national saga of Finland, a collection of oral histories, folk tales and mythologies pieced together into one epic poem of fifty songs in the 19th century. If you go to the YouTube page for this song, you can see the English translation and the original Finnish version, in the description of the video.

Creative Assignment:

By John Bauer  
Trolltunga is a massive shard of rock jutting out of a mountain 700 meters above a frosty lake in Norway. It is on many "Places to See Before You Die" lists, although an 4 hour hike (one way) is required to reach it. Kjeragbolten is a massive boulder stuck in a cravasse in the Kjerag mountain, left there by a glacier. Create Trolltunga or Kjeragbolten in Minecraft or by using the free basic version of Terragen 3 or the personal learning edition of Vue.

OR

Watch this movie version of Ibsen's "A Doll's House" with Anthony Hopkins as Torvald Helmer. Now cast the movie in modern day actors and actresses. Try to imagine a modern setting that would make the play work. Who would make a good Torvald and who would play Nora? Can the play work in 2016, given the changes in male and female roles we've experienced since Victorian times? Do the speeches ring true or even possible nowadays? Keep in mind that Ibsen did not mean this to be a feminist play, or for Nora to be some kind of feminist superhero. For him, her role as a human being was more important than her gender.
Cast the five main characters with contemporary actors:
Torvald Helmer
Nora Helmer
Doctor Rank
Mrs Linde
Nils Krogstad
Tell where the action would take place -- what city, what kind of house, what demographic, etc. How old would the characters be?

Writing Assignment:

What do you think will happen after the ending of "A Doll's House"? Will Nora really leave, and take on all the societal blame of being an outcast in her world? Will Torvald really let her go? Think about the fact that Nora isn't the only one in the "doll's house" and Torvald is not the one moving the pieces around -- maybe he's just another doll. Can he have a realization about the "wonderful thing" that Nora references? Answer this questions as completely as you can, with quotes from the play to back up your ideas, in 200 words.

OR

Camus was French but he's from Algiers, a city in Africa. Carthage, Rome, Vandals, and Muslims have all ruled the region now known as Algeria at different points in history. Study the history of Algeria and write 200 words on what you find, giving a summary of the history of this region up through the French occupation (through about 1870.)  Make sure you cite your sources and include any quotations in quotation marks.

Quiz

1. Where is Mersault living when he hears of his mother's death?
2. Describe in one word Mersault's conversation with the caretaker.
3. What does Mersault notice about his mother's friends?
4. During the funeral procession, what does the man from the undertaker ask Mersault about his mother, and what does he answer?
Algiers
5. How old is your mother? (Don't ask! If you don't know for sure, admit it.)
6. What does Mersault do all day on Sunday, after the funeral of his mother.
7. What does Salamano say to explain his anger at his dog?
8. What does the neighbor Raymond ask Meursault to do for him? He asks for two different things -- give either one.
9. What is Salamano's reaction when the dog disappears?
10. What is Mersault's opinion of Paris?
11. What punishment was Raymond given by the police for battering his girlfriend?
12. What is the result of the first interaction that Raymond, Meursault and Masson have with the two Arabs?
13. What is the result of Mersault's second interaction with the Arab who has a knife, when he meets him again on the beach?

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