This week in class we finished watching The Importance of Being Earnest. It warmed my heart when some of you clapped at the end! That is seriously one of my favorite things to watch. Thank you for coming to the Reader’s Theater so we could all enjoy reading it together.
I think there is only one of you who hasn’t finished watching the movie The Picture of Dorian Gray. I really need you to watch it by Friday.
As far as Dorian Gray goes, I think it is the most Christ honoring work of literature we have studied so far this year. I had 15 minutes at the end of the movie to talk a little bit, and what is on my heart for Dorian Gray is the concept of having an image that you could look at and see all your sins.
How would you feel, if there was some way you could look at your life and see what Christ sees? Would that change the way you live? Would you make less excuses for bad choices? Would you try to do more good deeds? Would you try to hide it from other people? Would it make a good cardboard testimony?
And yet the Bible says that when we are in Christ, God looks at us and sees the image of Christ!
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
The Lord changes us into a masterpiece, a work of art. We are His work of art. And He cleanses us from all sin.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
We are in the process of being transformed. The paintings of our lives are not finished. We start our walk with God with the baggage of Dorian Gray, but each day the Lord transforms it the other way, until it looks more and more like Jesus.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
Like I mentioned in class.In the end, the aestheticism and pleasure seeking of Lord Henry fails Dorian. The Buddhism promoted by Basil can’t save him. Buddhism is a reaction against aestheticism of Lord Henry. It teaches:
“The basis of Buddhism is a doctrine known as the Four Noble Truths. The First Truth is that all life is suffering, pain, and misery. The Second Truth is that this suffering is caused by selfish craving and personal desire. The Third Truth is that this selfish craving can be overcome. The Fourth Truth is that the way to overcome this misery is through the Eightfold Path.”
BUT, the Eightfold Path can’t save you either. It believes in Karma, that actions have consequences you can’t escape. And all you can do is be perfect in conduct, word, and thought. The goal isn’t forgiveness it is a better shot in reincarnation. It is an endless cycle of imperfection and striving against natural sinful desires-chasing your tail.
The only hope we have in the world is the cross. It not only gives us complete forgiveness, but hope for real change through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit.
In the film you see the street preacher saying, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:38. This is what Dorian needed to hear, a message to repent! To call on Jesus for help. And in the end of the movie, that is just what we see Dorian doing. He cried out to God for forgiveness.
The last scene is terrifying, and yet truly beautiful. You are shocked and appalled and at the same time moved with emotional sympathy. I love this movie.
I also, want to point out how all through the movie Lord Henry’s casual remarks seem so easy and impressive. But his philosophy is destructive. He is like the devil–smooth and deadly. Be careful when you hear people who appear so sophisticated and classy spouting words that contradict your upbringing. Trust what your parents and youth pastor’s taught you. Don’t let the devil plant seeds of unbelief and rebellion in your hearts.
Some of you will go to college and some professor will overwhelm you with charm, cynicism and lies. Be on your guard. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and lead you into truth. He was faithful to me.
This week, I want to give you assignments that will be due the first Friday we come back from break. That gives you two school weeks to work on them, but if you procrastinate, you may have to work during your break.
Morrissey Unit — Poetry of Music Project
Because we have been doing a unit on Oscar Wilde, I want to spend a few weeks on (IMO) the best song writer and poetic soul alive today–Morrissey. Morrissey is a HUGE Oscar Wilde fan, as you can tell by the picture above. He has a picture of Oscar Wilde on his shirt. In fact, I read that The Importance of Being Earnest is so important to him that he listens to the audio version almost every day.
Morrissey is a voracious reader. If I started reading right now, and I never stopped until I died in old age, I still couldn’t read as many classic books as he has read. His mom was a librarian. This is why he is so profound. Not only has he read many wonderful works of literature, he understands and evaluates them brilliantly. In fact, if I have a book I like, I can go to a certain website and read what he thinks of it! I love that!!! For example, he says that Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre can make him cry.
There are entire massive websites devoted to Morrissey’s quotes about famous poems and novels. In fact, he often alludes to famous lines in his songs.”Learn to love me, assemble the ways…” from his song, “Shoplifters of the World” is an allusion to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous Sonnet 43, where she says, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
Like I told you earlier this year, this man is “my poet.” Pray for him– you can pray for his recurrent bouts of throat cancer, and to draw close to Jesus. ❤
Here he is holding a copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Since we are studying Oscar Wilde this month I was planning on studying the poetic music of Oscar Wilde’s biggest fan. So I wanted to give you a whole unit on one artist. I am going to give you a selection of 6 songs, and I want you to pick 3 songs to analyze. This will take us to the end of the semester. Your first song analysis is due this Friday.
If you need extra credit before the end of the semester, do 4 songs instead of three.
Next month will be totally Christian–I want to highlight the songs from Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and do the same thing, give them several songs to pick from for analysis.
Remember: I am giving you six songs, but you only need to do three. One is due THIS Friday. This unit will finish out our semester. If you want extra credit to bump up your grade do four. 😀
For your songs, click on the link an scroll to the bottom–Poetry of Music Project
Oscar Wilde Projects
Pick one 🙂
Option 1-Paint a poster sized picture that captures the story of Dorian Gray. You can have an image with two faces, find some way to depict the sins either with language or symbols. (Individual Project)
Option 2- Draw a poster sized picture that depicts an important scene in Dorian Gray. (Individual Project)
Option 3-Make a video of a 3-5 minute scene from The Importance of Being Earnest. I want to see the dialogue delivered smoothly and humorously. Make me laugh. You will need at least 1-3 other people from class. Upload this video to YouTube (as unlisted for your privacy) and send me the link by the Friday we come back to class. (Group Project)
Option 4-Write a poem from the perspective of Dorian Gray at the end of the story. After he is desperate to be free from the picture. 14-20 lines minimum requirement (Individual Project)
Option 5-Make a video of dolls or stuffed animals speaking the lines and acting out the scenes of The Importance of Being Earnest. I ONLY want to hear Wilde’s script. Don’t wing it. Upload the video to YouTube (as unlisted for your privacy) and send me the link by the Friday we come back to class. This video project you can do alone or with a partner. But YOU don’t have to be on film. 🙂 –If you need to see an example of what I am talking about google “Happy Family Show.” My kids love this, but yeah . . . LOL (Possibly and Individual Project, but Possibly a Group and Couple Project).
Oscar Wilde Essay
Pick one essay option, and get thinking and get writing 😀 Your rough draft is due Friday.
Option 1–LOVE ESSAY
How does Oscar Wilde make fun of love in The Importance of Being Earnest? Pick 3-4 key quotes to focus on. And write about how they develop the general theme about the frivolity of affection and marriage in Victorian society.
Option 2-Sin Essay
Write an essay about how what the Bible teaches about sin relates to the movie The Picture of Dorian Gray. Please explore how The Picture of Dorian Gray also deals with the concept of sin. Discuss the role of Dorian’s picture, as a symbol of shame.
Both essays must be 4-6 pages, properly formatted, MLA, typed double-spaced with a proper heading. I want to grade this one on structure. I am looking for a solid 5-6 paragraph format.
In order to help you set up your essay, please take the week to print and fill out this worksheet, and turn it in on Friday with a typed rough draft.
- Pick an essay and begin to fill out this chart above, using quotes and details from the book/movie.
- Finish chart
- Begin looking at the Poetry of Music Unit –Morrissey Unit (scroll to the bottom Week 14-16
- Start typing your rough draft–make sure you have good topic sentences for each paragraph and a thesis statement as the LAST SENTENCE of your first paragraph. Format
- Pick first song for Poetry of Music unit
- Finish writing your rough draft
- Type up your first poetry of Music Analysis