Image by Zulfa Nazer
 

Week 5:  The Terminator

September 21 through 27

This week we will be watching the movie The Terminator.  

Here are some questions to consider this week:

  1. Butterfly effect: How one thing changes many

  2. The physical appearance of characters changing due to time travel

  3. Mechanism of Time Travel: How it works and why does the author use it?

  4. What is the societal “problem”  and how does it relate to time travel?

  5. Time loop and how that works with destiny and relationships

You can consider any of these ideas in your responses.

Assignments:


Blog/Vlog due by Friday at midnight

Microtheme for this unit is due by Sunday, October 25  by midnight.

Week 6:  Kindred by Octavia Butler

September 28 through October 4

This week we will be reading the book Kindred by Octavia Butler.  Here are some questions to consider while reading and responding with your blog/vlog:

  1. How would you classify this book? Is it science fiction? Mystery? Fantasy? Plain old fiction?

  2. One of the “rules” of time travel is that you shouldn’t try to change history. . .yet, by stepping in and saving Rufus’ life time after time, was Dana changing history? Or was that the history it was supposed to be? How much did the time travel hurt your brain?

  3. Were the portrayals of slaves in this book different from others you’ve read about? How so? How were they the same? Did she help break stereotypes? Did anyone resist going into those roles forced upon them? Did you see a difference between the actions of the men and women who were slaves? And between the members of the owner’s family? Between Kevin and Dana?

  4. Did Dana accomplish her hope of “civilizing” Rufus? Did she make a difference in his life and in the life of the slaves?

  5. Were the dates of Dana’s time travel significant. . .her birthday, June 9 July 4 for her last. . .

  6. What are the benefits of learning about our individual and our collective pasts? Is it important to know? What difference can it make in our lives today?

  7. Both Kevin and Dana know that they can't change history: "We're in the middle of history. We surely can't change it." (page100); and "It's over . . . There's nothing you can do to change any of it now." (page 264). What, then, are the purposes of Dana' s travels back to the antebellum South? Why must you, the reader, experience this journey with Dana?

  8. "The ease. Us, the children . . . I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery." This is said by Dana to Kevin when they have returned to the present and are discussing their experience in the antebellum South. To what extent, if any, do you believe racial oppression exists today?

  9. When Dana and Kevin return from the past together, she thinks to herself: "I felt as though I were losing my place here in my own time. Rufus's time was a sharper, stronger reality." (page191) Why would the twentieth century seem less vivid to Dana than the past?

  10. Kevin is stranded in the past five years, while Dana is there for almost one. Is there a reason why Butler felt Kevin needed to stay in the past so much longer? How have their experiences affected their relationship to each other and to the world around them?

  11.  A common trend in the time-travels of science fiction assumes that one should not tamper with the past, lest s/he disrupts the present. Butler's characters obviously ignore this theory and continue to invade each other's lives. How does this influence the movement of the narrative? How does this convolute the idea of 'cause and effect'?

  12. How does time travel function differently in The Terminator and Kindred?

  13. What are some of the ethical dilemmas/considerations that time travel brings up in both The Terminator and Kindred?  How does the genre of science fiction allow us to consider these ethical dilemmas and perhaps address issues within our own society?


Assignments:


Blog/Vlog due by Friday at midnight

Microtheme for this unit is due by Sunday, October 25  by midnight.

Week 7: Terminator Genisys

October 5 through 11

This week we will be watching the movie Terminator Genisys. In the latest installment of The Terminator franchise, we again meet with Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor.  How does this new rendition of The Terminator compare to the first? How has technology developed since the first movie came out changed the narrative? Can you imagine what this movie would look like 20 years in the future?  You can use any of these ideas or others you have in your responses.

Assignments:


Blog/Vlog due by Friday at midnight

Microtheme for this unit is due by Sunday, October 25  by midnight.

Week 8: The Langoliers by Stephen KIng

October 12 through 18

This week we will be reading the novella The Langoliers by Stephen King.  Here are some ideas to consider in your response:

  • What ethical dilemmas do we find in the book?

  • How does time travel and its repercussions differ in The Langoliers compared to Kindred or The Terminator(s)?

  • How does the device of time travel allow us to look at social issues in our world in a different way depending upon the author's focus? 

Assignments:


Blog/Vlog due by Friday at midnight

Microtheme for this unit is due by Sunday, October 25  by midnight.

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