Who is the best guitarist that has ever lived
5. Ask several to students to describe what the devil and evil means to them. Response will vary and all serious efforts should be respected. Some students will state that the devil is a real being, the fallen angel Lucifer; others will see the devil as a concept representing a person's loss of integrity.
6. Introduce the reading by explaining Nathaniel Hawthorne's place in American Literature. The depth of the presentation will depend upon what students already know about both Hawthorne and the historical period of which he wrote. For information on Puritan society, see TWM's . Should your students be assigned to read The Scarlet Letter you will be able to use both this excerpt and the music video to prepare them for the tone and tenor of the novel.
7. Hand out the short story excerpt and read it with the class.
8. Play the video of the song.
9. Tell the class that the song was written in 1968 by the singer, Mick Jagger and the lead guitarist, Keith Richards. You may want to give the class some rock-and-roll history about the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger. Your own personal history in association to this decades-old music may amuse them.
10. Hand out the lyrics (unless you've written them on the board) and read pertinent sections with the class. Teachers may want to review some of the historical references in the lyrics with the students. Set out below are the historical references in the lyrics.
And I was round when jesus christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate
I stuck around st. petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain
I rode a tank
Held a generals rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached bombay
11. Ask students to find similarities in the historical allusions presented in both pieces.
12. Ask students to look carefully at both pieces and to determine how the characterization of the speaker in the song and the stranger in the story are similar or different.
13. Once students have seen similarities in the thoughts presented in the two pieces, both in terms of the nature of the stranger in the short story and the speaker in the lyrics, they should consider the differences that exist between the two.
14. To be certain the ideas are clear, ask students to write a list of event since 1950 that involve violence or hypocrisy that might well serve to make the authors' points with more modern references.
15. Concluding Activity/Assessment:
(a) Using the rubric you normally follow in your essays, instruct the students to write a short compare/contrast essay on the themes of the two works. Tell them to consider the idea that the devil, whose voice appears in each piece, thrives off of the hypocrisy and responsibility for evil that belongs to each of us.
(b) Write a monologue, coming from a character you create, referring to events from our times that show hypocrisy, or write a dialogue between two characters that you create which reveals, again, events from our times and the hypocrisy behind the actions of human beings. As Jaggar says, "it was you and me."