Teaching Dark Lord

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Wed May 15 13:04:04 EDT 2002

Some of Jackie's answers deserve very brief comments.  I'll see how brief I can

> Also, I did not show them that I was disappointed, nor say anything
> negative about their reactions.  I reassured them that the book could be

I didn't think you were showing your disappointment in that way, I was just
thinking of your student's feeling guilty at not liking either DL or LotR

In response to Robyn, I think that accepting differing opinions from students in
class doesn't give them the idea that they are right.  With luck it will teach
them to accept differing ideas from their own students...  Yes, you should
challenge them a bit, but I think it's better to challenge with "But what
about..." than "That's wrong!"

> Derk's a realistic round, adult character who makes mistakes and
> experiences marital problems that are very true to life.  This is a
> pretty unusual thing in a novel for adolescents (even if there are round

I agree.  This is one of the things that makes it difficult (for me) to
categorise DL by age group.  If I want to assign an age group to the intended
readers of a book, I normally start with the age group of the main characters.
I think that DL is aimed at Blade's age group (others disagree!) but it is a bit
more complicated.

> Really, go read Mr Was, and I honestly think you'll get a big laugh out
> of that.

I'd never even heard of Hautman until I looked up Mr Was on Bookfinder :-(

Perhaps I need an education ;-)

> And one last answer:  snakes are often associated with evil, deceit,
> temptation and so on.  You know, the snake tempting Eve and so on.  So I
> think that dwj kind of keeps us off balance there; we aren't sure what to
> think of Querida... come to think of it, she is deceitful!  HMM  more to
> think about...

1.  No, I wasn't asking, I was suggesting it could be discussed in class!

2.  Yes, but _why_ are snakes associated with evil in these contexts?  What is
it about snakes that thay have wriggled their way into the evil imagery of so
many traditions?  (This is a serious question that I couldn't begin to answer!)

Oh, and on the subject of Querida, if she is of marsh-folk ancestry, why does
she like hot, _dry_ conditions so much?  (OK, DL was written before we found out
that Querida comes from the Marsh folk - and possibly before DWJ found out too.)

> Thank you all for your comments so far!   They will be helpful when I
> tackle the class again tomorrow.

Have fun!


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