"At the Station House" part 2
There's a difference between the three boys and Richard. First of all, the three boys are legally guilty. They really did the robbery while Richard didn’t; he's innocent in this affair. The second difference is that the boys know that the policemen are prejudiced against black people, whereas Richard isn't aware of the policemen's prejudices. Morally speaking, the boys are not innocent either.
That's why they think at line 33, that confirming Richard's innocence would be useless since the policemen have already made up their mind about them.
The policemen don’t even ask any questions to the three boys and Richard, which is against the normal procedure at a police station. They are supposed to give the "You have the right to remain silent" speech, and ask questions to the suspect, who should be presumed innocent. But they don’t because, as we said, they have already made up their mind. They have the conviction that Richard and the three boys are guilty so they don't even bother asking to confirm anything. Because for them, being black is a form of guilt.
At line 26, the narrator is using "white men" instead of "white policemen". There are two possible meanings for that. The first one is that the narrator might have wanted to show that the policemen aren’t acting as policemen. They're not fair with the three boys and Richard because they're black, and they aren't supposed to act this way as policemen. So it shows that the policemen aren't professional, they aren't separating their personal convictions from their professional convictions. The second meaning of this could be that the narrator wanted to highlight the fact that being white in America gives you some kind of authority. In America, during that era (the period when the book was written), white people didn't need to be policemen to show authority and to tell black people what to say or what to do. It's just that during this era, being white gave you the power of authority.
At line 42, the reader understands the shopkeeper happens to be racist too. So he accuses the three boys and Richard of being involved even though he knows Richard wasn't. When Richard defends himself, the shopkeeper doesn't accuse him of lying. Accusing Richard of lying would mean that the victim gives importance to the truth; it would mean that he truly believes Richard was there during the robbery. On the contrary, if the shopkeeper doesn’t accuse Richard of being a liar, it’s because he couldn’t care less for the truth; all that matters is to send another black boy in jail.
At line 43, the use of "the eyes of the white men watching" is there to insist on the intense glare of the policemen and to insist on the fact that they are judging and accusing the boys through their look.
To conclude, Richard is more likely to be killed than the three other boys because he's the one who's defending himself, who speaks up for his freedom. By doing this, he's showing opposition to the policemen and he's defying them. He's challenging the police system and also the American society system, that’s why he is more dangerous than the other boys who accept everything. Signing the “confession” would reinforce the system according to which (selon lequel) being black is a crime in itself.
Shelby, with Mathilde and Inès.
“AT THE STATION HOUSE”
In the beginning, we learn that Richard, the main character has been imprisoned and his girlfriend Elizabeth has come to visit him and sees he has been beaten. The second part of the text is a flashback which explains to us why and how he ended up in this situation.
He was into the subway station, going back home when he saw two black boys running to escape policemen after robbing a store. The policemen didn't make the difference between Richard and the thieves due to the fact that they were all coloured. At the station, Richard refuses to sign a confession after being recognized guilty by the owner of the shop. As he refuses to cooperate, the policemen beat him.
The word « innocence » is often used to talk about a child, he is naive and innocent: he doesn't know anything about life and especially the bad aspects of life. The other meaning of the word « innocence » is when you're accused of a crime you didn't commit, when you didn't do anything.
The fact that the narrator says that Richard will have a « lawyer » and a « trial » implies that he is going to be offered a fair judgment, as it is supposed to be in a big democratic country like the USA.
The prison’s name is “The Tombs”, the guard beat Richard and threatened him to death. It shows that as the name says, this prison is a deadly place ; he is not going to survive it in both physical and psychological ways. It contrasts with the fact that he's supposed to have a fair judgment and that everything is going to be fine, because with the name « The Tombs » we understand that it's not. No matter what's going to happen, it's not going to be okay and Elizabeth understands that when her heart “turns over”.
In the same way, Richard doesn’t have the chance to choose his lawyer as it is says line 3-4: « someone had already assigned him a lawyer ». He can't even decide who is going to defend him. He's a total victim because not only has he been arrested for a crime he didn't commit not only is he victim of prejudices because of his skin colour, he can't choose his lawyer so he's totally powerless upon his judgment and upon his future.
Likewise, the expression: « the state, or the prison or someone » shows they are innocent because they don't even know how the judiciary system works. They never needed to because they never did anything wrong, they have never been arrested. As they don't know how all of this works, they don't know how to react and how to defend themselves. They're just like innocent children in front of the bad aspects of life they never knew.
Here we are in an internal focalization: the narrator knows what Elizabeth and Richard think and know, and especially here, what they don't know. It’s the case with the expression « A prison »line 1. It shows too that they don't know precisely in which prison he is going to be put in jail, the effect would be different with “the prison”. Once again they don't know anything about this whole system.
Line 14, Richard is « half awake »; he is still in his dreams, he isn't connected to reality and he's still a child. He's back in his childhood innocence and doesn't see all the bad aspects of life. He doesn't know anything about it. But line 15, , he is « full awake » because he starts seeing the trouble in which he is and so, starts seeing reality. Those expressions are like a metaphor, when he is still in his dreams, he is still in his innocence, but when he wakes up, the reality starts to come out and his innocence goes away with it.
Richard still believes in the honesty of the judiciary system because he is convinced that the owner can't recognize him as/since/given that he wasn't there. He doesn't have any doubt about it: « the man could not say that he had been there if he had never seen him before ». So, for Richard it is evident that everything is going to be fine. He doesn't think about the eventuality of corruption. Once again, he is naive and innocent.
When at the end of the text, Richard thinks: « I wish to God they had killed [the white man] » we can see that he starts thinking like a criminal. He has completely lost his innocence; the system had taken / robbed it from him.
The expression line 44: « he was lost » explains to us that he feels desperate in front of what is going to happen to him: the prison, the violence and probably, death.
It also means that he feels and is alone, nobody can help him, and he is trapped in this situation which is going to lead him to death.
Finally, it means that he has definitely lost his innocence and that there's no going back.
Leina, with Coralie, Sophie & Gaetan
Corrigé Tom Sawyer, deuxième partie, envoyé par moi-même. A RECOPIER.
The Sunday-school teacher is the one responsible for religious education; in other words, he teaches kids how “to do right and be good”, to respect the values imposed by religion, and maybe also, the values imposed by society. The most significant adjectives that he uses are “good”, “straight”, “right” and “clean”. You are “good” if you are “clean” in a moral way, if your attitude is beyond reproach, impeccable, if you follow the same line as everyone else, if go “straight” without deviating.
Mr. Walters motivates them by given them the chance to be offered (de se voir offrir) a Doré Bible if they can memorize two thousand verses of the Bible.
The reference to the only boy who memorized so many verses and who became mentally retarded after that is very ironic, it shows this method makes students stupid.
Tom’s attitude confirms this judgment. He cheats not only because he is lazy but also because the objective of 2,000 verses is too much, as the judge implies line 37. The teacher’s methods produce results that are contrary to his intended results, that is why they are bad methods. On the one hand, they become stupid instead of becoming more intelligent and on the other hand, they don’t elevate their moral values, they end up less virtuous than they were.
The verb “pay” in the beginning is used in such a way that we feel like it could have been used by the teacher himself. Therefore, one may argue that he is the one teaching them the importance of money, and that everything can be bought, whereas generally, religion insists on such values as generosity and sharing.
Mr. Walters wants to “exhibit a prodigy”, just as Tom “exhibited” his toys and candy. They both have the same mindset/mentality, they both like “glory and éclat”.
In the same way, when the superintendent Walters forces himself to show some “effusion”, it is just as insincere as Tom’s attitude with Becky in the beginning line 20.
To conclude, it is not very surprising that Mr. Walters’ methods produces children who think and act like him. Like teacher, like pupil!
DS "Tom Sawyer" part 1 = sybthèse du cours + expression libre en rapport avec le texte.
Given that I still haven't received anything about "Tom Sawyer, Part 1" and that there is a test Wednesday, here is a little personal correction for your preparation of the test. Of course, it's MY correction so you may want to complete with the personal remarks you made during the successive preparations.
In the beginning, Tom decides to trade (exchange) some of his toys and objects for tickets of different colors, hoping that he will get enough tickets from his friends in order to receive a Bible from Mr. Walters. Line 1, the verb “exhibited” is interesting because it reveals Tom might be excessively proud of his little insignificant possessions, they make him feel important, in a sense he is a bit shallow and superficial. In the same time, it may also mean he is clever because he manages to give these objects more value than they have, and to convince his friends to accept the trade. Here the lexical field of business and commerce is used a lot by the narrator, the idea is to show that Tom is buying his prize, what he does has nothing to do with deserving (mériter) or “winning”, line 6, in fact it’s also worse than buying, it’s cheating. The notion of corruption is implicit but very present.
Tom’s motivations have nothing to do with the satisfaction of possessing a Bible, all he wants is “the glory and the éclat that came with it”, line 10. Obviously, this boy needs to be the center of attention, to be in the spotlight.
When Becky walks in, Tom falls in love with her at first sight. The problem, in a way, is that he starts “showing off”, he starts acting, that is to say he starts behaving in a way that is not natural, which is confirmed by the word “art”, as in “artificial”. Even when it comes down to love (when love is concerned), Tom is not totally honest.
Then line 27, the verb “demanded” suggests Tom is really convinced that he truly deserves the Bible, he is authoritarian and persuaded of his superiority. Again, maybe it’s just that he is a very good actor, even if the end of the passage will not confirm this idea, as we shall see.
The fact the narrator calls Tom “the new hero” line 29 is totally ironic in the sense that there is nothing heroic in what he has done, on the contrary. At the end, his incapacity to answer properly is a form of justice, or maybe it’s just the moral of the story: crime doesn’t pay!
In this poem there are stressed and unstressed syllables. Stressed syllables are symbolized by an X contrary to unstressed syllables which are symbolized by an O. When you put O and X together it forms an iambic meter, this iambic meter is almost everywhere in the poem so it creates a constant regular rhythm.
There are 3 exceptions in this poem: firstly the adjective “happy” in the title attracts the attention of the readers because the accentuation is the contrary of the iambic meter, secondly the fact that at verses 2 and 3 the words "He who" are repeated and stressed accentuates the power of this man and the fact that he is unique, finally the expression "Not Heaven" does not respect the iambic structure, so it insists on the fact heaven has no power and it makes the message not only more visible but also more audible.
Aminata (with Inès & Shelby)
Rappel DS "Happy the Man" jeudi 5/10
In this poem there is a very simple rhyme structure: aa/bb, it means it is simple to be happy.
Moreover, there are very soft sounds which remind us of serenity, security, calm etc…
There are other rhymes in this poem and they can be found inside the lines, they are not only at the end. Again, it suggests pleasure and the happiness are inside our heart, our mind and our soul.
Sometimes, the poem is not only composed of pleasant sounds, in verses 6 and 7 there are 3 strong consonants: [ p ], [ st ], and [ f ]. This passage is about the past, heaven and fate. As they are negative notions, it’s more logic for the poet to describe these notions with unpleasant and aggressive sounds. There is one exception: the past. This time, the superiority of the past is illustrated with the strong letter [p].
Coralie (with Leina and Gaetan)
Travail 6 en attente d'ici lundi 2/10 au soir au plus tard. Pour rappel, DS travaux 1 à 6 jeudi 5/10
Concerning the form of the poem, we observe a large number of commas. Commas make the rhythm slow down. So we feel the rhythm is calm and relaxed. It gives a sensation of peace. It's a reference to “secure within”. If the poem explains what makes “the man” happy, it’s a brief poem because he needs only a few things to be happy so it's very simple, everybody can do it easily.
There are long lines and short lines it's a symbol of life's ups and down (= The alternation of long lines and short lines is a symbol of life's ups and down.)
There are two common points between the three longest lines. The first thing in common is the expression "I have" which means that you are the master of your life and nobody has to tell you how to live your life. The verb “I have” is combined with “had”, “possessed” and “lived”. The poet insists on the fact that he lived a rich (au sens figuré) life. The second common point is that the three lines are like conclusions, there I a full stop at the end of the lines. It’s interesting because as we know, the conclusion of a message is always the most important.
Yasmine (with Sophie)
In the last two verses, “Heaven” represents God, God does not have the power to change the past, it’s a parallel with the fact that fate, or destiny, doesn’t have the power to decide our future. The poet has the power to write his own life ,we can say he is the master of himself. So if God does not have any power we can say fate and God are nothing.
The position of “not Heaven” makes a stronger effect because the negation is not placed before the verb but at the beginning of the verse before Heaven, so that’s more visible, it allows the poet to insist on the negation of God’s power.
In the same way (de même) the repetition of “has been” gives the impression of a powerful past because it’s as if the past continued forever, if the expression is repeated, it’s to make the reader understand that the past doesn’t disappear.
The second "has been" can be replaced by “is” and “will be”.
For the poet, even you are happy just for an hour, that’s enough because this hour continues in your mind, maybe that is the reason why he says” my hour” and not “my hours”.
Finally, the words “own” and “mine” are the echoes of “my". They belong to lexical field of possession to show again that the poet is the master of his existence.
Diego (with Angèle & Floriane)
First, in verse 3, we can see that the man feels "secure within" himself because as he explains at the end of verse 4, he has been living a good life so he's not scared of tomorrow. Indeed, he thinks he has nothing to lose. He had a beautiful life so even if something bad and terrible happens tomorrow, he won't have any regrets. Actually, it gives him peace of mind and serenity.
We can also see that in verse 4, the happiness of "today" will help the man to face the sorrow that he might experience "tomorrow".
Then, in verse 5, the poet uses the figure of speech (= the literary device) of the metaphor because he compares his feelings to the weather. For exemple the rain represents his sadness and the sunshine his happiness. He explains with verses 5 and 6 that the joy he has been living is here today, will be here tomorrow and will always be here no matter how hard life could get (= whatever the circumstances). The reference to fate is a reference to death which is inevitable but he laughs in the face of it, destiny doesn't matter to him because fate isn't revelant from his point of view; in fact he couldn't care less about it. Normally fate is the book of your life and it's written in advance, you don't have a choice. On the contrary, in this poem, fate is powerless because you choose your destiny.
Inès (with Mathilde & Shelby)
Travail N°3 attendu de la part de Diego / Floriane / Angèle avant lundi soir.