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 American Literature

Final Project Example: Character Choices

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Characters and their Choices

My bulletin board would be titled "Defining moments in a character's character--the choices they make."

My first subheading would say "Do I stay or do I go?" It would consist of a series of three sets of pictures surrounding those words. One of the pictures would be of Frederick Douglass working in a field with a caption bubble above him containing two pictures on of a slave getting whipped, the other of a black slave crossing into the North gaining his freedom. The second set of pictures would be of a white family, in a rural area, standing in a field of dead crops, waving goodbye to thier neighbors who are packing up and moving away (possible use of a U-haul truck to symbolize moving). The girl would have a caption bubble containing two pictures one picture that has a huge house with a big yard, a fertile field in front, and her standing on the front stoop. The other containing a city setting with many people in a nice community and her standing on the street in front of a medium to small size house behind her with no grass or trees.

The next sequence of pictures would have a young black mother with her approximately 7 year old son with a caption bubble above them containing two pictures one with a dingy apartment and a stack of bills, the other with a remotely nicer apartment containing a crudely dressed woman with a gin bottle and an old man also with a bottle of gin.

The next subheading would say "It's Your Choice" It would show a fork in a road with a few trees around it one with a worn path and the other with grass almost covering the road. Under the picture would be the poem "The Road Not Taken" and in larger font between the picture and the poem it would say "Which one would you choose?" The next picture would have a man with a caption bubble over his head with a picture of him attending a wild witch meeting complete with the burning cross and satanic worshipers in the middle of a forrest. The other picture in the bubble would have the man sleeping, dreaming about the wild witch meeting. Under this picture it would say "What do you think?"

I think that my bulletin board symbolizes the choices that characters must make. I like the last sequence because it makes the reader analyze the story and decide what they think. The last sequence also makes the reader think about what they would choose the path that is not taken or the path that is usually choosen.

The first part of my bulletin board points out the hard choices that the characters had to make whether they seemed easy or not this points out the difficulty in their decisions.

If I were to add to this bulletin board, I would want to add the choiceless but since I couldn't think of how to do that except in the case of Ruth Hall I left that aspect out. But I'll tell you what I wanted to do with that anyway. I would have had Ruth and her daughters with a caption bubble above them one of the pictures with her daughters with a horrible woman (Mrs. Hall) and her with a sad experession watching them through a window or something. The other picture would have her with her daughters at the dinner table sharing a meager amount of food amongst themselves and the rats. The reason I didn't use this example is because it would have thrown my bulletin board off balance. Besides that I wanted to have at least two sequences under each subheading but I kind of liked this idea.

I think that my bulletin board also adds a little suspense to the novels. It makes you think harder about which decision would be the best for everyone involved. In American Literature the main characters are often faced with difficult decisions and this helps the reader become more aware of those decisions and of which decisions they themselves would make.