An english curriculum that focuses on the classics is better than one which analyses modern films
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By 'english', I'm assuming literature, as strictly-english lessons are actually the study of the english language (focusing on language structure, not hidden and implied meanings) hence generally have nothing to do with films or classics.
1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.
2. the entire body of writings of a specific language, period, people, etc.: the literature of England.
3. the writings dealing with a particular subject: the literature of ornithology.
4. the profession of a writer or author.
5. literary work or production.
An english curriculum that focuses on the classics is far more relevant to the subject as compared to one that analyses modern films. There is a reason why classics endure and films do not.
Films, are in fact, not prose nor poem. They are not an 'entire body of writing'. Therefore apart from the 'history' part, they actually cannot truly be defined under an english curriculum. But for the purpose of this debate, I will carry on. The sole intention of english studies is to further our mastery of language. In books, we recognise language devices (such as personification, foreshadowing, hyperbole etc) and appreciate their emotional power. In films, on the other hand, teaches cinematic techniques more than literary devices.
Another important thing to note is that films in general cannot capture the experience of a scene as clearly as in writing. The sights, smells, perspectives of the narrator cannot be accurately portrayed on screen as compared to being written in a book or a script. A story example: the narrator is wandering in a dense mist that is smothering and disorienting him. He is lost and helpless and feels utterly insignificant. In text, his emotions and confusion can be very distinctly written. When adapted into film, however, how much can a person really understand or analyse the actor's emotions? Only on the surface, plus guesswork. How much of the acting is accurate? It varies. Reading and analysing text allows the reader to experience the written world, instead of watching through a screen simply for entertainment. Films are created to entertain the audience—no proper film is catered only for the purpose of analysing. 'Better' in the english curriculum means more beneficial in terms of literature learnt in the english curriculum. While modern films are more interesting than Shakespeare plays and designed to capture the audience's interest, they are not better than classics in terms of english.
Films also do not give enough time for character growth. In films, scenes cannot drag for too long as it would waste screen-time. Many crucial parts of a character will often be neglected and replaced with entertaining scenes. Likely, the audience would be too caught up in the next scene to care about what just passed. Therefore, if the curriculum was to switch entirely from classic literature to analysing modern films, it would not be a very effective learning. The whole point of the subject is not to simply teach language, but to grasp the subtle implications in the character's words—why they are the way they are and why they act like they do.
Films should only be used to engage the interest of students before introducing them to the written world. They cannot, under most circumstances, be a total replacement for the classics.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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