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:
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.
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.
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: