In “February 18, 1943,” Hans & Sophie Scholl revolt against Hitler’s government, though they’re caught and later killed for this. In class, we identified the action words that describe their revolt, and discussed what these action words implied about the Scholls’ character and spirit. According to this poem, how would you describe the character, personality, and/or spirit of their revolt? In other words, what feelings or purposes motivated them to do what they did, in spite of great danger? Discuss at least four separate points in your answer.
When we read “Africa,” by Maya Angelou, we discussed the impact of the white colonizers on the Africans’ quality of life and personality. According to this poem, in what way(s) did the violence of colonization change Africa, both her living situation & character? Name at least four ways that Africa and her people were changed.
Alternatively, you could produce your project on the theme of “Africa”: In what way(s) are those affected by violence, both the victim and the oppressor, changed because of it? Name at least four ways that either the victim or the oppressor is affected.
Consider the four characters in “A Wall of Fire Rising”: Based on their personality & actions in the story, in what way(s) do human beings commonly respond to enduring pain, including but not limited to poverty? Note that you could also do a project comparing the response to pain described in Africa with Guy’s response described in “A Wall of Fire Rising.”
Based on the people described in “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” in what way(s) do human beings commonly feel about death, or react to it? How do the four groups of men described in the poem exemplify this common reaction?
You could also do your project on the theme of “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”: contrast Thomas’s rational view of death with his emotional reaction to it; what prompts that emotional reaction, and what effect does it have on him?
“The Star” pictures a lively, pure world destroyed in an instant, in order to provide the Star of Bethlehem. In light of this, how does “The Star” suggest we should characterize God? What is He like? If you want, you can compare & contrast the view of “The Star” with the traditional Christian view on God’s role in causing pain, as a devotional.
Both “The Star” and “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” pictures people responding to pain. According to one, or both, of these stories, in what way(s) do we naturally respond to pain, our own or somebody else’s?
If you’re interested in just writing on “Omelas,” you could tackle this prompt: Based on the story, identify two or three possible responses to pain. Compare these responses: How each way of reacting to pain similar and different, and what are the pros and cons of each reaction to pain? Specifically consider how our own lives and situation, as well as the lives of others, will change depending on how we respond to pain.
Interested in doing a devotional or a research paper? Those topics are sometimes more difficult to come up with; try using one of these prompts:
Devotional: In what way(s) does Thomas’s view of death affirm our view of death, and our view of life here on earth, as believers? In what way(s) does his view contradict ours? Compare & contrast Thomas’s view of death with our own, in order to encourage your fellow believers to adopt an honest, but biblical and obedient, view of our life and death.
Research paper: As you know, Hans & Sophie Scholl, described in the poem “February 18, 1942,” were real people. Research the Scholls, then compare the real people to the people described in the poem. In what way(s) are they similar in terms of their character, personality, and motivations? Are they different at all? Given these similarities, what were the people in the poem trying to accomplish with their actions?
Research paper: Research examples of modern day slavery and oppression, then compare these to “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.” How are the people that are enslaved and mistreated in real life similar to the child? How are our responses similar to the people who live in Omelas? You could also research responses to modern day slavery; in what way(s) can we “walk away” from the slavery, refusing to participate in it as the people who walk away from Omelas refuse to participate in abusing the child?