ERRATUM: please take the following correction about Queen Victoria in the message published on March 5th:
The population of the Empire amounted to 400 million in 1901 whereas the world population stood at 1.63 billion, so Britain ruled about 25% of the world, it's just amazing!.
LE DS DU LUNDI 15 MAI SUR LA FIN DU TRAVAIL FAIT SUR LE TEXTE "WAS" NE PRENDRA QUE 30 MINUTES.
POUR LA SUITE DU COURS,
VEUILLEZ APPORTER (POUR VALIDATION) LES DOCUMENTS PERSONNELS CHOISIS EN LIEN AVEC LES DEUX PREMIERS THEMES ETUDIES
PS: liste pour l'oral à imprimer, compléter (doc personnel à identifier = un titre, un auteur, une source, une date) et à me faire signer à partir du 15/5. Je la ferai ensuite signer par la direction du lycée et je vous la remettrai en main propre. Cliquez ci-dessous.
Suite et fin Travail n°1 "Summit Meeting":
To conclude, Adams says «It’s a good day to die», at first sight, it is a theatrical attitude as if he was going to stage his own death. But, when we know the end of the passage, it's ambiguous because we can think that Adams is speaking about the fact that he wants to kill Steve. Besides, he looks at him, as if to confirm he is the target.
TRAVAIL N°2 (PAULINE):
The antithesis between "forever" and "never" lines 27 and 28 could mean at first sight that Adams is a determined lover, he will still love his wife whatever it takes. It could also mean that he wants to join Karen even in death, which is a clear reference to classic tragedy, such as Romeo and Juliet by W. Shakespeare. This kind of determination gives the impression that Adams is a man that never goes back on his words and builds a picture of him being a possessive lover, not a romantic one. But once the reader knows the text, "never" could mean that Steve will never survive or that Adams will never have any regrets. This antithesis here is a clever way to make the reader understand that Adam's excessive passion and feelings towards Karen is a dangerous combination that could lead to lethal violence.
Steve's name being repeated four times could be seen as the typical obsession of the jealous husband but it also a progressive shift of the narrative focus : Steve is replacing Adams in his "family life" and in the story. But it echoes Adams’s determination, and his clear identification of his target.
After Karen’s death, Adams went in the streets because he was lost, desperate and heartbroken. I think that wandering around like a ghost might be a way to think about what had just happened to you. The problem here is that even if Adams is supposed to be broken inside, there is no visible pain which can seem a bit weird for the reader. This lack of pain is only here to show that Adams' anger is stronger than his own deep sadness, and to paint a picture of the cold blooded killer planning his revenge.
"This" line 43 could mean "committing suicide" but it is ambiguous, vague and uncertain, it could also mean anything, including killing Steve.
Adams’s attitude line 43 seems to be normal, as Adams is still on the ledge of the Skyscraper and still in danger, Steve's job isn't finished yet as he needs to check if Adams is still on the ledge. The verb "knew" line 43 confirms the fact that Adams is just a predator waiting for his prey to come closer to strike it deadly. Plus, everything is going according to plan because Adams knew Steve personally.
"Is that so?" could be seen as an ironic sentence and as a response to Steve's joke. Adams finds him not very professional and as he is in need of help (on his psychological state); he isn't in a laughing mood. The problem is that in fact, Adams is asking Steve how he could possibly take care of him in such circumstances and "blaming" Steve for not being able to take care of an endangered person, maybe with an implicit reference to Karen, who died because of Steven.
At the end, Adams being weird and “dizzy” can be seen at first as a way to imply he has changed his mind about committing suicide and that he won't kill himself anymore and "dizzy" could mean that he is scared to fall from the skyscraper. In fact, Adams is faking; he is just dragging Steve into his deadly trap: pushing him from the ledge and finally, avenging Karen's death.
DS LE 17/5 sur les travaux 1 & 2 d'après "Summit Meeting". Prochain cours mardi 16/5.
Summit meeting N°1
The text called « Summit Meeting » is a passage from a novel entitled Man with a Problem by Donald Honig, which was published in 1958. The scene takes place in America in the twentieth century, and the main characters are Adams, Karen and Steve. Karen is Adams’wife; she killed herself because Steve, her secret lover, told her that it was over between them. Then, Adams pretends that he wants to commit suicide but in fact, he wants to kill Steve in order to revenge Karen and himself. I want to show, that concerning Adams' intentions, there is a lot of ambiguity.
First, line 4 and line 36, when the narrator says that Adams is “studying [Steve’s] face”, it can seem meaningless in the first place, as an insignificant detail but this expression is in fact very meaningful, in the sense that Adams recognizes Steve, because he has already seen him (l.36). The target is identified.
Secondly, line 10 “it’s my nature to do spectacular things” means at first sight that his suicide is going to be spectacular. On second thought, it means that a spectacular crime is about to be committed.
Thirdly, the expression “sense of humor” line 11 could mean that this is a joke and he is not really depressed. But on the other hand, maybe the joke is on Steve...
Then, line 15 the image of smoke being “snapped” by the wind , may be meaningless or irrelevant , but it might just as well be a metaphor of the last breath, the last moment of pleasure in Steve's life. It also represents fatality, fate strikes when you least expect it and there is nothing you can do about it.
KENZA (à compléter)
Last part : Solomon's reaction(s)
When Jordan breaks the news to his friend Solomon, naturally Solomon is first very happy and excited for his friend because he has found a new girlfriend.
Then, the first question that Solomon asks is if she's a “sista”. When he discovers that she's not black, he drops his voice, as if it was a shame or a secret. He keeps asking her origins by listing them, from the most colored to the least colored: he wants to know if she's “Puerto Rican”, Italian, Jewish, and he ends with white as if white was the last possibility, the worst possible option.
When he understands that she's white, he's shocked because for him it's impossible for her to be white: he even thinks that his friend is making fun of him, or that he is lying.
This text illustrates the notion “Idea of Progress” because it's the story of a black man who dates a white girl, and this is a real breakthrough for the American society. Indeed, years before it was impossible to consider that because mentalities were different. But the truth is that perhaps some limits still exist: Solomon is shocked in front of this news; he acts as if it was a shame. Solomon also asks Jordan if he's going public with his new girlfriend, the idea is that the relation must be secret, nobody must know. So, it shows that limits still exist, people –including black people- don’t easily accept interracial couples.
Arthur & Cindy
A) Jordan is perfectly integrated in the American society. Indeed, he owns a Malcolm X picture. MX was a violent activist. 30 years ago, Jordan wouldn't have been allowed to do this. In 1998, when the scene takes place, nobody cares anymore. He's free to expose his admiration for such a controversial figure as MX, he can freely expose his admiration for MX without having trouble with the police. Jordan is a normal person.
The fact he has an “office wall” shows that he has important responsibilities, he has a good education. In the 1960s, it was the contrary. Black people’s access to higher education was very difficult, to say the least.
Then we learn he can “dog out […] white people” He treats them roughly. Again, such a thing would have been impossible in the 1960s. In fact, the contrary was much more likely.
It’s also important to notice he works “with” white people, it is different to « working FOR them ». There is no racially-based hierarchy. They work together, with each other, on an equal footing.
B) However, being 100% integrated doesn't really help him to live with the fact Kimberly is white. When he talks about her for the first time, he “leaves out the race part” it’s very clear. Indeed, Jordan knows it is going to cause problems. It is best for him not to mention it, at the same time, he is showing a touch of shame, maybe.
When he says « she is not a sista » it just means that she is not black. She does not belong to « the family » or to the « community », but it doesn't mean that she's white. It's vague, evasive; and when Solomon asks him if she is Puerto Rican or Italian, he keeps answering by “shaking his head” three times. It shows that he can't say the words « She is white ». This could be a psychological problem, a deep trauma. A psychiatrist could help him.
At the end, he says he “might be attracted to another race or color”. The fact that Jordan is using « might » is a way to question his relationship, to put some distance between him and K, to take a step back, as if he was not so sure anymore.
ANNONCE: DS NOTION 4 "LOCATIONS & FORMS OF POWER" / "THE POWER OF LANGUAGE"
Notes du 19/4, fin du travail sur la dernière notion ("groupe 3")
Can we say that we are living in a world that looks like Orwell's world, concerning the place of language in our society?
1) politically correct = Newspeak?
a) No : it doesn't aim at limiting freedom speech
b) Yes, a little: the principle is the same, negativity is limited, sometimes limited (give examples)
2) the characteristics of SMS language, or "texting" language: abbreviations and limited number of words = just like Newspeak ...
3) the number of hours dedicated to French language lessons in French schools = constant decrease since 1968. (the equivalent of two years lost!) Reasons = budget cuts only? Maybe not...
4) something similar in the USA = the Ebonics controversy of 1996 : California educational authorities tried to impose Black slang ("ebonics") as the official language in schools, for all subjects (history, science, etc).
Consequences on those children if project accepted = ? ? ?
Imagine Martin Luther King saying "Yo', I be Martin Luther King, man, and I has a dream!" = catastrophic image!
Locations and Forms of Power, the power of Language.
The power of Divine language
In religion, divine language has power, what God says becomes real immediately. For instance in the Bible, in the First Book of Moses called "Genesis", we read “God said 'let there be light', and there was light". Every word he says creates the thing which is associated with the word. Indeed if he wants something, he says a word and he has this thing. Naming is creating. It's even more explicit in the New Testament in "The Book of John", the Bible says: "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." Actually the power of God and the power of Language are the same thing. In fact it's a word which created the world. Besides we can notice that things without words to name them don't even exist for people because we cannot imagine them in our mind. It's a little bit the same with people whose name we don't know, they just don't exist for us. Without a name, there is no real existence. The same thing happens when some parents give their baby a name before his birth as if by naming him, they created him.The baby exists in their mind before his birth. We also observed the first page of the Vatican website and we saw that when a new cardinal is needed , the Pope "creates" him, it's the official vocabulary.Whereas when a new prime minister is needed in Britain, the queen justs names someone, there is no "creation".So it's as if the pope had the same power as God. (Pierre)
The power of scientfic language
The first image shows a sumo-fighter who represents science and a skinny midget who represents superstition. The midget tries to push the sumo but it's clearly in vain. It is symbolic, it means that science is superior to superstition and superstition is no match for science, science is like an unbreakable wall, unmoving and huge. The second image is a justification of this affirmation; it shows a child with his father in the foreground, with a volcano erupting in the background. The father is explaining to his son why the eruption is happening and he gives him two different explanations, one is scientific, rigorous and precise where one fact is explained by one technical word based on geological science, the other is superstitious, vague based on religious theories.
The last document explains the role of science which is to "give names to the secrets of nature" (quote from the novel Frankenstein), when a discovery or breakthrough is made a name is given to it because naming is equal to understanding. When you name a thing it means that you know and understand what it is, and when you understand something you master it. In science, naming is understanding, naming is controlling. (Jérome)
The relation between language and political power.
The number one objective of politicians is to convince people/voters with speeches, press conferences, meetings... They try to use the right words at the right time, for example in times of crisis (an economic crisis like in 2008, a political crisis or a terrorist attack), the goal of politicians is to reassure the population, otherwise the population will be angry, scared, disappointed. People want politicians to talk to them !
Let's take the case of 'Parliement'. Parliament is the place where the laws are voted, it's the legislative branch of power. But the name itself means that the one and only role/task of members of parliament is to talk. In the same way in the english language the word 'act' is synonymous with the word 'law', but a law is just a text. So speaking is the principal action of politicians, and for them, speaking is a form of acting, a form of action. (Adrien)
When we worked on the notion "the idea of progress", we studied a text from a contemporary novel, it's a conversation between two black men, Jordan and his friend Solomon. The scene takes place in a party in America nowadays. Jordan is having a conversation with Salomon his friend, about his new girlfriend, and the particularity is that Jordan's girlfriend has not the same origins as Jordan. She is white whereas Jordan is black,as we said.
In America, we know that interracial couples where illegal before 1967, so the existence of Jordan and his girlfriend Kimberley as a couple shows there is progress in the American society. Interracial couples are more and more accepted but this conversation will show it's still a taboo subject nowadays. Progress has been made, but the question is to know if this progress is quite complete or incomplete.
I will first explain the history of the relationship between black and white people in America.
America became free from England on july 4th 1776 but for blacks it made no difference, blacks were slaves before and after 1776. In 1863, president Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation act, more or less 4 million black slaves became free, but around 10 years later, segregation laws were voted in the south of America, slaves were free but not equal. They had to wait until 1963 with Martin Luther King and his famous « I have a dream » speech which pushed president Johnson to abolish segregation in 1964 /1965. For example, medicine was desegregated in 1964, in 1967 the first black person became member of the Supreme Court, and the Court decided to legalize marriage between black and white people, as I said in my introduction.
Emeline, Sarah, Maximillian