Mighty Red Pen

September 26, 2011

There’s a party goin’ on right here

Filed under: Lit review,Perilous punctuation,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 6:42 pm
Tags: , ,

Well, hello there! Did everyone have an enjoyable National Punctuation Day on Saturday?

Saturday also marked the start of Banned Books Week, and I’m honoring the week by reading Lord of the Flies, a book I haven’t read since I was in high school.  I quizzed Mister MRP (an English teacher) about the value of teaching this book to our high school students nowadays. Among other things, he said it’s an appealing book for teachers because the symbolism is so accessible to students. What do you think? Is there still a place for this book in the current high school curriculum?

I don’t often re-read books because there are so many great ones I can barely find the time to read once, let alone twice. But I was compelled to read Lord of the Flies after reading Stephen King’s foreword to the most recent edition.

“Imagine my surprise (shock might be closer) when, half a century after that visit to the Bookmobile parked in the dusty dooryard of the Methodist Corners School, I downloaded the audio version of Lord of the Flies and heard William Golding articulating, in the charmingly casual introduction to his brilliant reading, exactly what had been troubling me. ‘One day I was sitting one side of the fireplace, and my wife was sitting on the other, and I suddenly said to her, “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to write a story about some boys on an island, showing how they would really behave, being boys and not little saints as they usually are in children’s books.” And she said, “That’s a first-class idea! You write it!” So I went ahead and wrote it.’

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Bonus MRP moment: September 27 is MRP’s fifth blogoversary! Show some birthday love and please vote for MRP in the Grammar.net Best Grammar Blog of 2011 contest!

1 Comment »

  1. Mr. MRP is correct. The symbolism is not only accessible, but it smacks kids right in the face. My lowest learners get that light bulb look when they realize that colors have meanings. I cannot think of a better book for teaching symbolism. It is also engaging because the students really get into the story when Simon gets it. They also start the story laughing at Piggy, but then feeling bad about that when he’s dead. There are few books that are this much fun to teach to low level students. I have never taught it to upper level students, but I would guess that it would be fun on different levels.

    Comment by Mark Alford — October 4, 2011 @ 2:31 pm | Reply


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