Thursday, April 29, 2010

Making Unpopular Literary Connections

TelefonImage via Wikipedia

About two hours into my late night English class, an integral part of Project Unending Education, Robert Frost's poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening came under scrutiny when one of the students interrupted the Professor's praise of the rural imagery to point out that many people consider the poem to be about suicide.

A friendly yet heated debate broke out, with the Professor rejecting this interpretation despite its growing popularity among the students. Not be left out of the conversation, I decided to add some cultural background to the discussion:

"Actually, it seems to be a common interpretation," I blurted out. "The last stanza of the poem was even used as the trigger phrase to activate sleeper-agent suicide assassins in the Charles Bronson espionage thriller Telefon, which ironically was an adaptation of a novel by the same author who wrote the book that Die Hard 2 was based on."

The entire class freezes in an uncomfortable, wide-eyed silence, all eyes focused on me sharing the same
mixed expression of confusion and disbelief.

Someday I'll learn that not everything has to do with movies, even when it does.
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