Thursday, September 13, 2012

Scribe Period 5- 9/13/12

Scribe for September 13, 2012-Period 5

Today in class we had a "fish bowl" discussion about "This way to the gas chamber." We started off by talking about the author's background:

  • Borowski was arrested as a political dissident during WWII
  • He committed suicide after the war was over
Our discussion about the story went like this:
  • Why were there so many German words in the story?
    • The words stand out and make the story real
    • Just like in "Gentleman of Rio en Medio," the words relate to the setting and the people in the story
    • If you translate the German words to English, they are "harsh words" (according to Rebecca)
  • In the story, it was mentioned that by not telling the prisoners what was going to happen, they were acting in a charity
Smith joined in the discussion to inform us that Borowski was using "juxtaposition." She then explained that juxtaposition is when a writer pairs two things against each other to compare and contrast them. Borowski uses juxtaposition to contrast the beautiful nature to the harshness of the train.
  • Someone also mentioned the irony in this story
    • The train station/ramp is referenced as cheerful; however, sending people to die or to become prisoners is not cheerful
  • Is the narrator pro-Nazi?
    • He is positioned in the middle of pro-Nazi and anti-Nazi
    • He says that the SS officers aren't nice, but he doesn't say that the prisoners are poor, helpless people
Smith brings up another point that the story is kind if told through three classes:
  • The prisoners-lower class
  • The laborers/working group (they get more food and water than the prisoners, and are "lucky" enough to go to the ramp)-middle class
  • The SS officers-upper class
  • What did Borowski mean by the water would be "paid for by the people that have not yet arrived"
    • He could mean that it would be paid for with the prisoners' possessions-gold, etc.
    • Or it could be paid for by the water that the prisoners will not get
After we discussed "This way to the gas chamber," Smith told us to google the lyrics to "Rise Today." We watched the video for "Rise Today," as well.
Link to rise today lyrics:
Link to rise today video:

  • Study SAT lesson 2 words-quiz and activities due tomorrow!
  • Memoir 3-due Monday

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