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Dr. Heidegger's Experiment

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
Nathaniel Hawthorne Educational Application of PowerPoint Using this presentation This presentation is designed to strengthen and synthesize students’ understanding of the American Gothic style. My goal for the American Literature course is that students will be able to identify American literary styles by reading and recognizing certain traits that are common to those styles. This lesson draws on the students’ recent instruction on the 6 traits of the American Gothic style. It also is to be used after they have read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment.” The story is a basic gothic allegory about whether or not we learn from our past. This presentation is designed to interact with the students by first prompting them for their examples, responses, and ideas about each trait, and then following that up with some minor instruction and discussion about how and why that particular trait is effective. This presentation follows the basic techniques of why PowerPoint is a positive addition to the educational format. It is somewhat visually engaging and requires students to access their prior knowledge to make sense of a relatively complex topic. The slides are basically topical and do not appear to be too busy with information. The slides are designed as talking points (with a few busier slides that discuss quoted material). Therefore, this presentation should be used as a discussion guide. It transitions through the information at a self-guided pace so that proper attention can be given to subjects at the teacher’s discretion. How this presentation will increase student learning This presentation offers guided learning through difficult concepts. It utilizes several of Marzano’s time and research tested strategies for increasing student learning. First of all, the concept of literary styles can be baffling. I have structured my lessons and my course goals to be based on Marzano’s number one strategy: identifying similarities and differences. By showing students that literature can by broken down into trait groups just like music or other more authentic examples, students will understand that these literary “traits” are like musical instruments used by authors for a desired “effect.” The presentation also utilizes several other Marzano strategies. There are many “non-linguistic” representations sprinkled throughout. They help students visualize the story’s various themes, images, etc. The presentation itself can be considered a non-linguistic representation in that it takes the concept of American Gothic and breaks it down into a graphic-organizer like table of traits and examples. The students used a similar organizer as they read the story to record their observations on each trait. In addition, the presentation lays out objectives for the lesson so that students know what they are supposed to learn. They are to continue familiarizing themselves with the traits as they analyze the traits’ effects and what they bring to the story. It also summarizes the information at the end to remind them what they have been told throughout the lesson. Finally, the lesson ends with a synthesizing activity modeled as a “ticket out the door.” This will be a short answer question that asks the students to use their new knowledge about the story to answer a life-connected question. This way they can interact with the story in a meaningful way. Their decisions will no doubt be influenced by the story’s themes and the effects of the gothic traits. In conclusion, this presentation is designed to enhance student learning. It utilizes several research tested strategies in a playful, entertaining PowerPoint presentation. I feel that this presentation is more interactive and helpful than a generic lesson. I feel that it also synthesizes information that students may have had trouble understanding during individual practice. A quiz or short follow up assessment would be a logical next step to see if they can recognize what trait is being used when given a passage from the text.

2 n old friend Deeply allegorical writer.
Hawthorne wrote about many Gothic themes.

3 allegory a symbolic story.
serves as a disguised representation of meanings other than those on the surface. characters often have no individual personality. Characters emboys moral qualities/abstractions.

4 Consider This When Reading Literature
Literature is like music There are certain established techniques the artist uses to reach the desired effect.

5 Gothicism a Literary Style with specific characteristics and elements

6 Six Traits of Gothicism
1. Gothic Architecture 2. Dark Colors/Imagery 3. Supernatural

7 Six Traits of Gothicism
4. The Dark Side of the Individual 5. Mental/Emotional Anguish 6. Allegory/Symbolism How do these traits work in a story?

8 Objectives 1. Share and discuss your examples
2. Analyze each trait’s effectiveness 3. Discover what these traits bring to a story.

9 Architecture Student responses:

10 Architecture Creepy laboratory (many quotes about it)
“Dr. Heidegger's study must have been a very curious place. It was a dim, old-fashioned chamber, festooned with cobwebs, and besprinkled with antique dust” What does this do for the story? This gives us a setting and helps establish mood, much like Poe does in “The Raven”

11 Dark Imagery Student responses:

12 Dark Imagery Some items carry dark imagery. The book Black ebony table
Red rose (black and red again) This is another technique where Hawthorne loads up the “architecture” with dark things. Thus, we are being bombarded by dark things to continue setting the mood.

13 Dark Imagery "My dear widow, you are charming!" cried Colonel Killigrew, whose eyes had been fixed upon her face…like darkness from the crimson daybreak.” (p. 378) “Their eyes grew clear and bright; a dark shade deepened among their silvery locks: (p. 379) How is Hawthorne using this trait? I know there is a lot to read on this slide, but in this case, I want to draw attention to Hawthorne’s use of the word “dark” to set a tone. These dark references appear very close together in the text?

14 Supernatural Student responses

15 Supernatural Magical water Mysterious mirror The folio (book of magic)
What do these things do for the story? Break down mental barriers. Allows reader to be suspend disbelief. This is no ordinary experiment.

16 Dark Side of the Individual
Student responses

17 Dark Side of the Individual
Mr. Gascoigne was a ruined politician, a man of evil fame Fighting guests (“Hands on throats”) What do these things do for the story? How might this trait be working differently than the previous 3? These first 3 traits work to set a tone, mood, or feeling in the story. That way, Hawthorne can use the other three to develop his themes and challenge the reader to interpret his/her own meaning.

18 Mental/Emotional Anguish
Student responses

19 Mental/Emotional Anguish
Loss and gain (and loss) of youth. Hawthorne loved this one! What’s different about what we gain from examples of this trait? Again deeper themes are being developed. Dr. H has lost his bride to his failures, now he suspects that perhaps one can go back to their youth with the wisdom he has acquired. This is shown to be another failure by watching his guests make the same mistakes over again.

20 Theme Complicated themes are being revealed:
Impossibility of earthly perfection Loss of innocence Can’t have youth and wisdom (Zack R) I want to break from the analysis of the traits to discuss how the traits are helping us arrive at the story’s themes. As we view the characters’ dark sides and see their anguish, we are prompted to consider the impossibility of a perfect situation and how wisdom comes at the price of innocence and vice/versa. Zack R is a student of mine who, before even reading the story, discussed this idea in our warm-up on Wednesday. He will be pleased to see that he picked on a central theme without even knowing it.

21 Mental/Emotional Anguish
Another theme of this story is that a person’s character, once developed does not change over time, and when faced with conflict and adversity, his/her true character becomes boldly evident. -

22 Allegory/Symbolism Student responses

23 Allegory/Symbols The Mirror = Failure The Rose =
Bride, Youth and natural balance, wisdom of age, the inevitability of death. Allegory is a style where an author uses symbols to add depth to a story. Allegorical symbols strengthen developing themes and involve the reader with a text. Mirror - Dwelling place of Dr. Heidegger’s deceased patients,” represents failure, both of the doctor and in general. Rose - Remembrance of lessons learned in youth, Dr. H treasures it

24 Allegory The bride’s portrait = Failure, mistakes of youth
The magic book = ??? (strong forces, moral stability) Dr. H says (“For my own part, having had much trouble in growing old, I am in no hurry to grow young again.”)

25 Allegory Dr. Heidegger = God figure? The Guests =
Lust, Greed, Vanity, Lies, Anti-Progress

26 Other symbols The butterfly The skeleton The fountain of youth
The table Minor symbols or foreshadowing devices.

27 In summary The traits help: Create a mood/atmosphere
Develop (darker) themes Challenge the reader to interpret meaning

28 Two Questions: 1. Was it real or a delusion? 2. What is more valuable:
"Life is about having fun and having fun now" or live a quiet life, analyzing and correcting mistakes, with the aim to reach calm and happy life when you are old. This one is for a closure activity; a “ticket-out-the-door” if you will.

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