- Watch and Discuss the Movie “Smoke Signals”
Read this introduction to the film
Answer the following questions as you watch the movie At least three sentences per question. Hand write these so that you can submit them in class on Friday
- After Arnold saves Thomas from the fire, Grandma Builds-the-Fire says to him, “You saved Thomas. You did a good thing,” and Arnold replies, “I didn’t mean to.” Why does Arnold respond in this way?
- Near the beginning of the film, Thomas says, “You know, there are some children who aren’t really children at all. They’re just pillars of flame that burn everything they touch. And there are some children who are just pillars of ash, that fall apart if you touch ’em. Me and Victor—we were children born of flame and ash.” What does Thomas mean by this? What images of fire and ash appear in this film?
- Thomas is a story teller whom others do not always appreciate. Victor is a warrior at war with himself. How do these characters say about the place of Native Americans in modern culture?
What does being an Indian mean to Victor and Thomas? Give examples from the film.
- Thomas’ monologue at the end of the film is adapted from “Forgiving Our Fathers,” a poem by Dick Lourie, a non-Native author. The film’s version of the poem is given below. How does this poem work as a conclusion to the film?
- How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often or forever? Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all? Do we forgive our fathers for marrying or not marrying our mothers? For divorcing or not divorcing our mothers? And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness? Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning? For shutting doors? For speaking through walls, or never speaking, or never being silent? Do we forgive our fathers in our age or in theirs? Or in their deaths? Saying it to them or not saying it? If we forgive our fathers, what is left?
- Read Stockton’s – The lady or the tiger
- Fill out a plot worksheet
HOMEWORK: Answer the following questions. Type them in a word document with a proper heading.
Type a one paragraph reaction to the story, answering the following questions within the paragraph:
- What do you think the princess chose, the lady, or the tiger? Why?
- What would you choose and why?
- How do you feel about this story and its cliff-hanger ending? Why do you think the author did not tell you what happened at the end of the story?
1 Animism: a belief of every objects in this world are alive.
Animism is a important belief for native American.
2 Archetype: the original source where an idea of a character or the idea itself come from.
The archetype of this character is from a really old story.
3 Creation myth: a fake story which uses to explain the starting point of this world.
We also have a creation myth in China.
4 Culture group: a group of people who shares same traditions with each other.
We are in the same culture group, that means we share the same culture.
5 Fetish: in love with an object.
His fetish to her as huge as the whole world.
6 Folktale: a story pass through time among people.
Little start is a Chinese folktale.
7 Hero/Heroine: these characters who has a strong inside or power, and works for justice.
He was one of the most famous super hero in the world before he uses drag.
8 Legend: famous story. Sometimes is not 100% true.
The legend of Jeff is the most popular book right now.
9 Memorate: To remember something.
This story is use to memorate our hero Frank.
10 Myth：fake story mostly about things which are not even exist in real world.
“Nv Wa made human” is the most famous myth in China.
11 Narrative: the way you tell your story.
Narrative is not a easy thing to do, and you need to know several skills in order to learn it.
12 Oral tradition: a type of tradition which survives based on speaking.
Native American has diverse oral traditions in their culture.
13 Oratory: powerful&strong words which make people believe in you.
Coyote conquered the heart of mole by his great oratory.
14 Prayer: one way of people try to connect with God by telling their wishes.
Prayer was a glorious job only for shaman in some African tribe.
15 Ritual: a religious process.
The Spring Festival was a ritual-like thing in China, but now it is more like a holiday.
16 Shaman: a religious person who can deal with spiritual stuff.
I learned the word “shaman” from a video game.
17 Song: a few words go out with a rhythm.
This song represents his love to her.
18 Story teller: the guy who tells story.
Oliver is a dramatic story teller, and he has a attractive voice.
19 Trickster: a bad character who likes to play trick.
Coyote is a really common trickster character in native American culture.
20 Vision quest: the illusion which creates by drag.(in order to see their god )
vision quest will happen after you use drag.
Animism: a theory that people think there’s spirit inside everything.
Animism was popular in Native American population.
Archetype: a thing that can most likely represent other similar things.
Joker is an archetype for lots of evil and scary things.
Creation myth: means myth that talks about how world was made or created.
Creation myth was very popular in Native American culture.
Culture group: group formed by people share the same culture.
There is a huge culture group in china.
Fetish: something that was treated same as god.
There are always a fetish in some religious place for people to admire.
Folk tale: a kind of story from people’s telling
My grandma told me lots of folktale when I was young.
Hero: people that do heroic things.
Children’s first hero are always their dads.
Legend: a thing or people that do tremendous thing and be remembered by human.
Chamberlin was a legend of basketball.
Memorate: means remember something and celebrate for it.
Chinese people always memorate Nian in spring festival.
Myth: a kind of story that talks about unreal thing.
Chinese traditional myth was told by old people.
Narrative: means tells a story.
Old people can always narratives stories vividly.
Oral tradition: story that was told to people. Couldn’t be written down.
Native American culture were all oral tradition.
Oratory: means speak or give a speech in public.
Sometimes people with confidence can do oratory really good.
Prayer: means people who pray to god or pray for something.
There are lots of prayers in church.
Ritual: like something do in usual
Christian people go to church on every Friday is like a ritual thing.
Shaman: people that can communicate with god and devil, and can heal other people.
Shaman has really high position in ritual countryside.
Song: a piece of music that was singing by people
People with good singing skill can sing good song.
Story teller: means people who tells story.
You need to speak loud and be confident to be a story teller.
Trickster: somebody who always lie
That boy is a famous trickster in his school.
Vision quest: means has an incredibly sight.
What makes a good story-teller
Through the presentation, I found that I have some problems. Like nervous, grammar. Here are something I wanna to tell.
First, the story-teller must have the experience of life. Life is really important people. Like pleasure, anger sorrow and joy. If the teller is difficult to assumed, toughed or awed. It can reflect that the person does not have many experiences in his or her life and no “love”. The love not only love, it is more like sincerity. For example, when a boy want to attract girl’s attention who he likes, maybe a silent person suddenly change more words. He usually tells a story to the girl vividly. Even though the boy may not talks very well, but it can reflect that he has “love” in his heart.
In my opinion, the emotion is important than skills, the story-teller must have have story in his or her heart. At least the storytelling is the most fascinating, isn’t it.