April 16

Let’s revisit revenge vs. justice for a few minutes . . .

Click on the link to listen to the story that appeared this morning on NPR. For context, this story is referencing the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater on the opening night of The Dark Knight Rises. The shooter entered the back of the theater in the dark and began shooting during a particularly noisy scene in the beginning of the movie. It took several seconds for most people to realize that it wasn’t movie noise that they heard. The theater was located very near the Aurora Police station and police were on the scene quickly enough to apprehend the shooter and prevent the death toll from rising even higher. Unlike most mass shootings, the Colorado case is rare because the shooter was caught:

Movie Theater Shooting and the Death Penalty

Though we’ve started short stories, a student introduced a really great idea to me the other day (thanks, Shawn), and it is an awesome follow-up to talking about Hamlet and “Stone Mattress” in the context of assigning blame and taking responsibilities for certain actions.

You will be assigned to one of three groups today. Click on the link below to read the story associated with your group. After you read your story, there is a short survey that follows. Answer the survey and watch for results to come up on the screen.

Story #1

Story #2

Story #3

After you take the survey you will read “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury.

Themes of revenge, justice and the assignment of blame are also evident in this fascinating science fiction short story. Look for elements of science fiction as well.

A Sound of Thunder

At the end of the file, there are five questions. Answer three of them by submitting a comment through the blog. Feel free to discuss the questions with others in the class who have also completed the story.

“A Sound of Thunder” was published nearly ten years before the landmark introduction of chaos theory in weather patterns. As part of the theory, the scientist suggested that tiny actions, such as a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world, can create a domino effect of disturbances in the weather that ultimately leads to hurricanes in other parts of the world. In the beginning, his theory seemed rather laughable, but subsequent research showed that yes, indeed, very small changes can lead to catastrophic events in chaotic systems. Though Bradbury’s “Butterfly Effect” was more about the death of an individual in a species, it is also about how small changes in our decisions, choices and actions can lead to dramatically different outcomes. His story is less about time travel and more about an individual’s power to impact the world.

If you finish early, here are some other links.

The first is a lecture on the story:

The next is a short movie based on the story:

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22 Responses to April 16

  1. Elijah says:

    1) the story takes place, first in 2055 and a time travel company, then back In time when dinosaurs lived.
    2) if they go off there is no way to tell what they might effect, such as Eckels when he steps off and accidentally kills a butterfly.
    3) someone else won the presidential election, and humanity seems to be less intelligent based off of the sign outside and the way they described the new president.
    4) humanity seems to be set back and less intelligent based off of who they elected and how the sign is spelled outside of the office.
    5) it is believable because of how the author describes the drastic changes even a small event can have on the world and he does this through Travis telling Eckels what will happen if he killed a mouse and how different the world could be just because of that.

  2. Bailey Lincoln Bates says:

    1) The story takes place sometime in the future when time travel becomes a possibility and then back during the age of the dinosaurs.
    2) it was so important for them to stay on the path because one wrong move and they could destroy entire ecosystems that would effect the future.
    3) When the men returned home, there was a different candidate who had won the election.
    4) The change suggests that instead of valuing a democracy, America now values a dictatorship.
    5) While it is believable that Eckel’s actions probably would have serious consequences, it is not believable that it would alter the way the country is ran. Realistically, it should have altered butterfly existance and flower pollination.

  3. Allison Cook says:

    1. There was a metal path that struck off into green wilderness, over a streaming swamp with giant ferns and palms all around the path. Also, the path floated 6 inches above the grass.

    2. It’s important to stay on the path, because anything can alter the future.

  4. Amber Rife says:

    The setting is in the future when you can go back in time and hunt dinosaurs. Then the setting is the jungle back when the dinosaurs were alive.
    It’s important that the hunters stay on the path so it doesn’t effect the Eco system at all. If they do they could change the future and what lives in it.
    The language the president and the smell of the air along with the sounds.
    Americas society is harsher. They are more strict uptight people who want a dictator.
    The author makes it believable because he has one of the safari guys explane what could happen if someone killed a mouse.

  5. Tristan arsenault says:

    2. If they disturb anything it will alter the future.

  6. Asten bates says:

    1) In the beginning of the story, it seems like the story is set in a utopian society, but by the end it becomes a dystopian.
    2) it is so important that the hunters stay on the path because if they change any part of the past, it can drastically change the future, for better or for worse.

  7. Maddy says:

    1. The setting of the story takes place in the year 2055, in a place where there is a time machine that allows hunters to go back and hunt dinosaurs. They travel between the present and during the era of dinosaurs, where critical events must take place in order for the present to be maintained.

    2. It is so critical that the hunters stay on the path provided for them because one small event could change how the world becomes in the present time. The past needs to remain as close to its original state as possible in order to ensure that the present-time they return to doesn’t change. As mentioned in the beginning, killing one mouse could result in an infinite amount of consequences.

    3. The events that have changed since the men have returned to the present time is that the main language is now Spanish, and the man who was elected president ended up being the other candidate.

  8. Devon hardy says:

    1. The story takes place both in the future and in the past. While the beginning and ending both take place in a safari office in the future, the middle of the story takes place in the past while the gentlemen hunt down a T-Rex.
    2. The reason the hunters must stay on the path is so they don’t change the future by affecting the past.

  9. Courtney Bush says:

    2. It is very important that the men stay on the path because if they step off of it they could alter the future. Because it is unknown as to what will happen if they stay on the path, they need to stay on it so as to not create unknown consequences for the future.

  10. Ronney says:

    1) It was important for the hunters to stay on the path because, there was no telling what would happen to the future if they were to step on something way back in the past. As one of the guides pointed out it could change things so dirastically in the future, or present.

    2) Things that changed since they went back into the passed was writing. The English languages changed to a more confusing way of writing as in the beginning it said on the sign p, “Time Safari, Inc.” but, at the end it said, “Tyme Sefari Inc.” And also the people see different from when they left.

    3)

  11. Gage Toney says:

    1) the setting takes place in America in the distant future where time travel is possible
    2) it’s important that they stay on the path so that they won’t leave anything behind in the past

  12. Tyler George says:

    1. The setting takes place hundreds of millions of years ago in the time of the dinosaurs.
    2.It is important that the hunters stay on the path so they don’t alter the course of the present or future.

  13. Bailey Baker says:

    1. The story was placed back in time, the prehistoric era. They used their time machine to get there. There was no buildings, just open land, trees, and dinosaurs.
    2. The importance of staying on the path is because if they get off, they could change history. Even by stepping on dirt with bugs in it or plants, they could start a chain reaction.

  14. Amanda Renfro says:

    1. The setting of the story at the beggining is in the present day at a hunting type store. They can take you to ny era to hunt anything you would like so they choose to go back to the age of the dinosaurs.
    2. If the hunters go off of the path that they’re on while in the past, it should set off this huge butterfly effect. Changing things forever into the future.
    3. Then the men got back to the present, everything seemed normal at first. But as Eckels looked around, he noticed colors are different, and he saw the same sign that he had saw before, but the letters were all messed up and confusing.
    4. The American society has been altered in a way that people’s everyday lives are not the same as they were before the men left on the trip. Lettering is messed up, nothing makes sense to them when they get back from the past.
    5. Yes it is possible for Eckels actions to have suck serious consequences because the captin specifically tells them that it will hurt/ altere the future and they didn’t belie him.. Ray Bradbury does an excellent job of writing this story in a way where there is a lot of foreshadowing to what may,mans will happen to the hunters.

  15. Erric Chanthavong says:

    1. Eckels is going dinosaur hunting, specially for a T-Rex. Travis is his guide for this hunt, who tells Eckels to stay on the path when time traveling. They then set off into the time machine, going back billions of years into the prehistoric times. Through there the hunt begins.
    2. It is important to stay on the path because in time traveling, there is great consequences on what we do in the past. Altering what is in the past affects what the future will be, even if it’s a tiny change. The results always come up as dramatic, it is best to be careful.
    3. By the time they come back to the future, the spelling of their hunting sign changes. Not only that, but the election had flipped to Deutscher winning it. And for a stretch, the strong now rules the weak as it seems.

  16. Alyssa fanning says:

    1. The setting is a business type place where they have dinosaurs in the jungle and they hunt them. It is s little skeptical

    2. It is crucial for hunters to stay on the path because dinosaurs kill people and they signed a waiver saying if they die it is not on the business

    3. The things that have changed is some of these animals are extinct now and back then they may have been illegal

    4. This has altered American society because so many people have different opinions on killing and what is okay to kill and what is not okay to kill

    5. The story adds up to the ending by thr rising action. The rising action tells us everything there is. Like you can only shoot when the other guy shoots first

  17. Joshua sanders says:

    2. It was important for the hunters to stay on the path ,because by leaving the path they were on they could potentially change the outcome of everything in anyone’s life.
    3. Since the men went back in time the president has changed, the sign entering the door, the desk someone was sitting at, and the aurora of the air had all changed.
    4. The change in presidency shows that the Americans now value ruling with an iron fist, over someone considered a “weakling”.

  18. Stephanie Drew says:

    1. The setting is in building to confirm tthe purchase and get ready and then a place where the animals are that they can shoot
    2. It’s important to stay on the path because the dinasoures can eat them and they can’t go on the path
    3. The things that has changed is that the animals that are there now how dead now
    4. A change in American society in this story is that people are able to use time machines to go in the past and kill anaimals but this can change what happens in the future

  19. Ben Mason says:

    1: “A Sound of Thunder” begins in the United States during the year 2055.

    2: It’s important that the hunters stay on the path because they have no idea just how a tiny change in prehistoric times could affect the future, and they don’t want to wind up killing every human being to ever exist by accidentally killing some small organism.

    3: The outcome of the presidential election and, apparently, the human race’s ability to spell correctly are changes that have occurred between the hunters leaving for the past and coming back to their present time.

  20. David sapp says:

    2. It is important for the hunters to stay on the path because there is a high possibility that they will change the future in some way if they were to step off the path

  21. Shawn says:

    1) The setting is in the year 2055, where there exists a time machine (owned by “Time Safari, Inc.”) that offers to take you back to any era to hunt animals. The era chosen is many many years ago so that people can hunt a Tyrannasaurus Rex.

  22. Bailey says:

    1.) the setting is in the future, year 2055. Then, it switches to the past back when dinosaurs lived. Then, back to the future.
    2.) it is important for the hunters to stay on the path because even one subtle change to the past can significantly effect the future.
    3.)

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