This week I was assigned to read the following: Diary of a Madman by Lu Xun, Sealed Off by Zhang Ailing, and Man of La Mancha by Chu T’Ien-Hsin. These stories are completely wonderful these stories are. They completely submerged me and had my full attention throughout. The theme I recognized from all three readings was perception of reality or simply reality. Each dealt with one main character or in Sealed Off, you could say two, but they all told a story out of the eyes of the individual. The stories all came from one perspective, however, this reality that each character saw could have been the total opposite of someone looking in. An example of this is from Diary of a Madman. Simply by explaining the character’s irrational fear of believing everyone around him was a cannibal out to get him. However, this reality was not the reality of his brother or friends around him, it was simply how he was seeing the world through his eyes. Overall, reality is a recurring theme in all the stories which made them so interesting to follow.
Because they are so interesting to read, I feel automatically that students would be extremely invested in the story lines. In saying this, I think students would be engaged very quickly at the thought of perceiving one’s reality. It is a relatable topic because we all have our own realities that we live every single day, but it is different for everyone. If I were in a teaching position, I would bring this theme up and engage the students in thinking about their own perception of the theme portrayed in the reading. It is a good way to intertwine my opinion of the theme and engaging students to be critically thinking about their own ideas. If they agreed with the theme of perception of reality, or simply reality, I would go on to have students answer questions as to why they think the theme is discussing reality of any sort.
Engaging in critical thinking would be key. However, I would suggest and/or show examples of pop culture within the selected theme: reality. Then from there talk about what is happening in the movie examples and in the text. I always turn to movies because I feel people retain the information better and it is, most of the time, straight forward. A great discussion is to be had about these works. I highly suggest reading them as a student and if one is in a teaching position.