The Conflict:

The conflict of the film is that of savagery vs. civilization. The term savagery may refer to untamed nature (the wilderness) as well as lawlessness. By seeking to formulate answers to the following questions, you should become aware of the ways in which several aspects of the film work together to highlight and resolve this conflict.

  1. 1.     Where and when is the story set?

In the state of Alabama some time between 1865 and 1910

2. describe

a) The homestead of the Starrets – the house, the land

Small farm out on the plains, everything is built of wood and a small stream runs near the house. The land is a mix of coniferous woodland, hardwood woodland, mountains and grass and heather plains. The vally might be located on the outscrits of a mountarin chain.

b) The town – its level of civilization? Actually, what do we understand by the concept of “civilization”?

It’s a small town, built around a general store, a saloon, a blacksmith, a hotel and maybe a couple of households. One could imagine that the town is a former mining town or trade station. In terms of civilization, the town surely lacks it; the law isn’t represented in the town, and disputes are settled by fistfights or other primitive solutions. The idea of different cultures living side by side in relative  peace and harmonie is, in our opinion, not possible. The inhabitants of the town is conceit and shows non to little respects towards other members of the soiciaty they are a part of.

What does it mean to be civilized as a person. It was once difined as being educated, being rich, to wear fine clothes, attend classic concerts and move in the right circles. Today a civilized person is one who understands different cultures and classes,  and understands that we are all the same, dispite of culture or/and class. A civilized person is one who treats others with respect and dignity.

3. Describe Joe Starrett and Rufe Ryker – what does each of them represent in terms of

a) The historical conflict (see Dialogues)?

Joe Starrett represents the second wave of settlers, who believed that the government should protect their “natural rights” these rights are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, as it is written in the constitution.

Rufe Ryker, is a member of the group of people who first “tamed the country”. He therefor believes that he is entitled to the land, and to do with it as he pleases.

 b) The cultural conflict between savagery and civilization (see Dialogues)?

Rufe Ryker represents savagery. The manner in which he handles conflicts is a clear example of just that. Opposed to Joe Starret, who in this case is the more civilized, being pushed in to considering violent actions.

4. To what extent does the portrayal of Marian fit with the role of women as representatives of civilization (see Dialogues and Warshow p. 1)?

Marian’s plea to Joe and Shane, and her opposition towards firearms, is a clear example of her role as a representative of civilization. As she is against violent actions and therefor killing, she fits in with Robert Warshow’s explanation of woman as civilized beings.

5. The first and last person to see Shane is little Joey. Why do you think Joey plays such a prominent part in the film? What is his attitude toward and relationship with Shane?

Little Joey idolizes Shane and loves him a lot despite the fact that Shane is a stranger and has not relieved any facts about his past. Joey and Shane are two opposites; Joey is innocent and pure like a child, but Shane has an attitude which shows signs of a dark background where he probably has killed people, furthermore he also seems kind of depressed so he might have lost someone dear to him. Joey represents the innocent child in Shane therefore he decides to stay with the family and sacrifices himself to secure their happiness before his own.  Shane wants to live up the expectations Joey has set for him.

Joey and his family symbolize the life Shane desire for himself and he feels a real connection with the family.

6. Describe Shane – his appearance, personality and background. Compare him to Wilson. In particular, pay attention to their clothes and to their attitude to violence.

 Shane is tall and handsome. When we first meet Shane he is wearing his light brown suit with frays. We don’t know anything about his background but we can conclude out from his behavior that he has a complicated and violent history which has affected his personality. Wilson’s wear a black cowboy hat and his clothes are more expensive and polished compared to Shane. It gives him an image of being a successful assassin/cowboy and earns a lot of money on this profession. Shane only uses violence when he can’t find a solution to the conflict, where Wilson solely seeks out violence because of his profession and what seems like to his nature.

7. To what extent does Shane fit the description of the Western hero by Warshow?

 In Warshow a hero is described as a lonely gangster with a gun which fits the profile and description of Shane. Furthermore Shane has a very relaxed attitude under pressure which also is the definition of Warshow’s western hero.

.8. Comment on Shane’s attempt to become a farmer. Is he convincing as a farmer? Why/why not?

Shane is a dedicated worker and he puts his heart and soul in helping the family out. We kind of have the expression that Shane wants to put his past behind him therefore he tries to settle down with this family and start a new life.

9. Why does Shane have to leave after the showdown?

The family have an idea of Shane which involves being innocent and avoiding the big conflicts so that’s probably one of the reasons for leaving after shooting Wilson. He can’t go back to the family because he might think that they won’t accept him in the same way they did before. Besides that we don’t think that Shane ever intended to stay with the family for good because he has a complicated past and he wants to move on due to the fact that he is a lonely traveler who carries his own weight which do not involve other people.

11. Explain the symbolic significance of

a) The stump

Joe had tried for years to fell down that stump without success, however with Shane’s help they succeeded in removing it. The stump represents Ryker’s persistence in gaining Joe’s land and the battles between the two of them. The fact that they could fell down the stump is a symbol of Joe’s determination. He is ready to face any hardship to protect what he holds dear and he will remove any obstacle in his way.

b) Marian’s garden

Marian’s garden symbolizes what the family has developed and built since they started their lives there. When Ryker’s henchman ruins the garden it is not only the vegetables which are destroyed but also what they have built and worked for.

c) The Fourth of July party

 Even though they have all been victims of Ryker’s terrorism, they want to celebrate the fourth of July which marks the date of America’s independence. The party symbolizes hope. Hope that they one day will be free of Ryker.

d) Stonewall Torrey’s funeral.

In the beginning of the funeral there is an atmosphere of total defeat, but Joe convinces them to stand their grounds. Under the funeral one of the neighbors farm is on fire and the family is on the edge of fleeing from the area, but all the other makes a pact that they would help them rebuilt their farm. All the neighbors ‘stand together in the hope of defeating Ryker.

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I have chosen three pictures to describe the USA. The first picture shows their national sport which is American Football also known as NFL. Second picture shows the statue of liberty while the third picture shows an overweight person. At my opinion you will know by looking at these pictures that it is the USA the whole thing is about.

I combine most Americans with being overweight so in this context you could also have chosen a picture of a big burger. The picture with overweight also shows little about their culture – how they’re living and so on. Since I’m assigned only to choose three images I think it’s important to highlight their national sport. You can’t talk about the USA without mentioning NFL which is like you can’t mention Europe without talking about soccer – if you of course talk about sport. Moreover there is yearly a tournament called “Super Bowl” which is very popular. People from all over the world are watching this tournament in the television. Furthermore I think the statue of liberty is a symbol of the USA. Like the White House, the statue of liberty is used in many films but also when you watch the news in Denmark. So you could also have chosen the white house as one of the images but I wanted to show the USA in a wider perspective. Knowing what their national sport is and how they look but also the statue of liberty. When I think of the USA the statue of liberty is the first element coming to mind – which is why I chose it instead of the white house.


These images are used for educational purposes. If you wish your image to be removed, please leave a message using the comment function and the image will be removed immediately.

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Topic 4: Summary of “Shakespeare in the bush” by Laura Bohannan

Just before leaving Oxford Laura has a discussion with a friend who claims that Americans often don’t understand the true meaning of Shakespeare Hamlet, because Shakespeare was a very English poet. She protests, and claims that human nature is the same all over the world, apart from certain details. The friend gives Laura en copy of Hamlet, to study while in the bush, in hope of her gaining “the grace of correct interpretation”.

She arrive expecting to see tribe community, with spiritual rituals and ceremonies, but due to a lack of presence of “Elders”, which is the leaders of the tribes, or small communities, the ceremonies can’t performed. The elders is prevented from attending, due to the rising swamps. Because no ceremonies is performed, the people of the tribe, began to drink and telling stories.

Because of Laura’s lacking capacity for the local drink, she spend more and more time studying Hamlet, in her hut. She studies to a point where she is sure that Hamlet only has one possible interpretation.

Every morning, she meets with the elder, in hopes of having a serious talk, before the “beer party”. One day she enters the hut, and finds most of the men of the tribe, sitting huddled up in the hut, they invites her to sit down and have a drink with them. At some point they ask her to tell a story, from her country.

Storytelling is a big part of the tribe’s culture, and is seen upon as a skilled art.
She choose to tell the story of Hamlet, realizing that this is her chance to prove that Hamlet is understandable in every culture.

While telling the story, she encounters certain problems, due to cultural differences, and linguistic difficulties. She experienced that the tribe, based on their cultural believes and general understanding of the surrounding world, creates their own understanding of Hamlet, by questioning the passages in the story, which didn’t correspond, with the believes incorperated in their culture.

– Michael Thomassen, Kasper Laursen & Joachim Kier



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Culture topic 5

1: When and where is the story set (including type of neighborhood)?
The story is written in 1972 and we assume that approximately the year the story takes place in. It’s about two very different families, the Heremaias and the Simmons, living as neighbors on New Zealand near Wellington. The Simmons have been living there for three years, originally from England and the Heremaias are a big maori family. Jack Simmons describe the area as “a city suburb, and certainly not a typical maori community”.
2. Characters: Name – age – occupation (if any is indicated) – class – cultural background?
Sally Simmons – middleclass – moved to New Zealand from England
Jack Simmons – middleclass – moved to New Zealand from England,
Mark Simmons – middleclass – child of Jack and Sally Simmons,
Anne Simmons – middleclass – child of Jack and Sally Simmons,
Sam Heremaia – middleclass – Maori ,
Millie Heremaira – middleclass – Maori,
George Heremaia – 11 years old – child of Sam and Millie Heremaia – Maori,
Henare Heremaia – 10 years old child of Sam and Millie Heremaia – Maori,
Tommy Heremaia –  4 years old – child of Sam and Millie Heremaia – Maori,
Jimmy Heremaia – 4 to 10 years old – child of Sam and Millie Heremaia – Maori
Annie Heremaia – ??? – child of Sam and Millie Heremaia – Maori
Katarina Heremaia – ??? – child of Sam and Millie Heremaia – Maori
3. Point of view: Is the narrator omniscient or is his/her point of view restricted, i.e. through whose eyes do we see the events? 3. person narrator. The narrtor plays with the words, an example on this is when he describes annies way of talking: “onewordfinishedandantoherword bagan””.
4. Structure: How is the story told – strictly chronologically, or does it move back and forth? What tense is it told in?
it’s told chronologically with a few details about the persons. it’s written in past tense. in the beginning of the text there’s a lot of information about the persons involved – later in the text there’s a few lines with direct speech.
5. What is the storyline, i.e. the problem that the story is about, reduced to one or two sentences?
The story is about the issues between two very different families divided only by a low fence, and how suspicion, prejudice and slander can be the downfall between the two families relationship.
6. Outline the ways in which the life led by the Simmons family manifests itself. Which are the values that Jack Simmons lives by?
– Picnic with the family every sunday straight after morning church service
– Their Henhouse
– The ‘borrowing’ between the families (simmons and maori)
– The fence
7. How does Jack Simmons feel about the Heremaia children? In particular, why is it pointed out several times that he does not dislike them? Do we understand why he sometimes gets mad at them? How does Sally Simmons deal with them?
He does not dislike the children. He likes them in a hesitant and cautious sort of way. there were times when he liked them unreservedly, but other times he is very wary of them. Sally tries to remain neutral towards the Heremaia children, she gives them the benefit of doubt, unlike Jack and the rest of the local community.
8. What, according to Jack Simmons, are the good and the bad characteristics of the Heremaias (the kids as well as the parents), and by extension, of Maoris? What do you think of the fact that he calls the kids “the tribe”? Would you say that he and his family are racist? How do other people in the neighborhood view the Heremais? What, according to the story, is the general view of Maoris?
Good characteristics: They are kind, and they bring over pots n’pans.
Bad characteristics: They don’t have any conscience and they don’t respect others’ property.
What do you think of the fact that he calls the kids “the tribe”?: it is a bit condescending, but it can also be meant in fun if it’s because they are always seen together. No they are not racist, because if they were, they wouldn’t have moved to new zealand.
The neighborhoods view of the Heremais: “when he was told his neighbours were Maori, that he would have to expect the worst. People had informed him so, 27 but what the worst was, they had not told him; only that he was to expect it”.
9. Might some of the traits that Jack sees in the Heremaia children be found in children from his own cultural background? Is there any indication that the Simmons children are sometimes less than well-behaved?
Yes, the semi-criminal attitudes of the Heremaia are to be found in all western cultures. Millie indicates that the Simmons children aren’t perfect.
10. On one level, the story may be seen as dealing with the conflict between nature and culture (or wilderness vs civilization). Which elements point in that direction? Consider for example Sally Simmons’s goldfish project, and the way the kids play cowboys and Indians. Consider also the title.
Examples on civilization:
– Stereotype Englishmen: Talks things over, while drinking a lot of tea. The word “Tea” is mention 11 times in the story!!!!
Examples on Nature:
– The Heremaia kids are called:
The horde, the tribe and “proper little devils!”
– Millie stands as a “giant tree” p.15 top.
Project Goldfish: Sally want’s to retain her earlier hobby of breeding goldfish. Which she systematically tries to cross-breed a “mauve-rose” coloured goldfish. Because of the Heremaia kids, this is not possible. The pond symbolizes nature which is interferred or controlled by Sally who symbolize civilization. Systematic breeding.
Title. The other side of the fence: That there’s a duality in the story i.e. two sides to consider.
11.  What do you think about the ending (the resolution of the problem)? Has  Jack learned a lesson? Have the kids? Is there perhaps some measure of  irony in Jack’s last remark, “When will those damn kids ever learn!”?  Will the relationship between the two families be better from now on?
Jack simmons admit that he may be wrong in his suspicion against the maori children (episode with hens). even though he “knows” that jimmy is the one who have been cracking up the eggs but doesn’t tell it to Millie because of her ‘mood’.
He learned his lesson. That’s probably one of the reasons for not telling Millie about Jimmy but it’s also because he has a lot of sympathy for Jimmy and seems to like him(which also is said in the text). We don’t think the children learned their lesson because it’s just their way to behave and the way they have been raised
12. What do you make of the fact that the story is seen from the point of view of English immigrants but is actually written by a Maori? What would you say is the general tone of the story? Are we intended to take sides?
In the case of the current text, one could expect that the Simmons family, with English cultural background, would be subjects to racial conflicts. But it is quite the opposite. Certain points in the text are created to make us choose the side of the Simmons, but as the text neers it’s ending, the Heremaias are redeemed.
13. Briefly consider the story in the light of what you have learned from “What’s Up With Culture” – which values are clashing here?
We have learned that one must not be prejudiced by a persons culturel background. Futhermore have we gained greater cultural insight, and a greater knowledge about stereotypes.
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Culture topic 1

Study questions: Pia List

1: Stereotypes arise through dissemination of concepts throughout sociaty, these concepts or statements are then absorbed by the individual, dispite lack of knowlegde and experience on the the subject. We use stereotypes to define ourselves, and our role in sociaty.

2: Lippmann points out that it is difficult to eradicate, or simply change the stereotypes, because they help defining ourselves as belonging to a particular group.

3: Pros: Implementing national stereotypes in teaching, could, through discusion, help students/pupils to achive greater cultural understanding, and invalidate false preconceived attitudes.

Cons: Stereotypes could deter us from achieving a greater cultural understanding, if stereotypes isn’t  discussed,  it could lead to maintaining the individual’s preconceived, negative, and is some cases false, attitudes towards a person, a group of people or/and a culture.

4: List believes that we by working with stereotypes can achieve a greater understanding of cultures and greater cultural awerness, and that it isn’t enough to gain knowlegde historical, geografical, political and social aspects, but that problematizeing and modifying the way we sees social realities is equally important. And that this can be achived by challenging stereotypes.

Study questions: John Gulløv Christensen


2: According to Gulløv is the old view of culture defined within the boundaries of a nation.

3: According to the old view, is culture defined within the boundaries of a nation. It is no longer possible to maintain the “old view” due to globalization, mass media and the internet. People mix and through these channels people becomes more alike. It is true that, the danes live in Denmark, and speak danish, but language isn’t the definition of culture. So therefor, no, you can no longer maintain the “old view”.

4:  Like the night sky, is cultures or culture viewed differently from different places around the world. The Germans might define danish culture differently, compared to the Chinese.


Danes are living a happy life. If you go out in the streets you’ll see a lot of danes walking around with friends or family. Mostly you’ll see happy and smiling danes. Furthermore danes wants to have a role in the society which is why they live by a system of democracy.

In the description of danes the two texts “The Smiling Danes?” and “Danish Culture – Seen from Abroad” is very relevant in describing them. The two text are both stating that the danes are happy and smiling which we agree with.

Marge Turners point of view matches our view of the danes. Even though the point of view from the text “Danish Culture – Seen from Abroad” also matches our view of the danes. They both have something relevant to add when talking about danes.


Since there doesn’t exist any person who’s 100% similar to one other you might say that there’s a lot of differences in people. Though if you’re looking at culture there’s also a lot of different cultures. A culture is defined by it’s norms and values.

Therefore it might give some implications when dealing with different nations in language teaching. It’s very important for a teacher to know the culture in the country you’re teaching. Otherwise their might be some implications, i.e. in Greenland the children are not allowed to look the teacher in his/her eyes. If they do so it’s the same as defying your teacher.

Similarities and differences among the students will always give implications. As teacher you’ll have to prepare for dealing with these differences and find a good way to handle it.

Study questions: Karen Risager

1: Knowledge is an umbrella term for knowledge of, or insight into, cultural and social conditions, primarily in the country or countries whose language(s) one is studying, but secondarily in the pupils’ own country of origin. Knowledge may involve a more general knowledge of one’s surroundings. An important point in connection with the knowledge aspect is that it depends on perspective, on the eyes that do the seeing. Attitudes are an umbrella term for feelings and attitudes towards people and conditions in the target country and in one’s country of origin, including awareness of others’ and one’s own identity. This includes working with values, ethics and morals, prejudices and stereotypes. Working with attitudes, ethics, etc. can involve interdisciplinary topics that are expressed in different ways in different countries, e.g. human rights, AIDS, environmental issues. Attitudes can also involve working with the psychological and social problems that areconnected with cultural shock.

Behaviour is an umbrella term for knowledge of the cultural rules and conventions that apply in the environment in which one finds oneself as well as the ability to follow such rules oneself. It may involve social conventions in daily communication, clothing, eating, the relationship between the two sexes.

Answer 2.

She talks about experiments in the different cultures and about countries like: German, French etc. which English is lingua franca to.

You could pick out the topic “social interaction” where you have to interact with other people to expand both your vocabulary but also your pronunciation of the English words. I don’t believe there would be a youth culture I would prefer although I might want to choose one in Europe.

Answer 3,

– I think it’s a good idea with lingua franca. It’s probably also a matter of decades before English will be the native speaking language in most of the countries around the world. Furthermore the world would become more globalized. The national aspect in language teaching shouldn’t be abandoned since it’s good knowledge to have. If we didn’t have any national aspect in language teaching we wouldn’t know much about i.e. Britains history.

Answer 4.

– Her main problem with testing knowledge is that It’s easy to fall back on testing knowledge of facts via multiple-choice tests. Therefore she gives a solution for the problem. She want’s teachers to use a more discussion-type mode of testing, whether it’s oral or written. Furthermore it’s also a question about which language the test takes place in – native language or foreign language.

Answer 5.

The ethnographic method involves “working in the field”. In this way the students will be in a position of the ethnographer observing and taking part in cultural practice, process attitudes and developing appropriate behaviour.

Furthermore Risager belives that field work with language studies are to become more comprehensive and varied over the next few years.

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Teaching Language Construction

  1. Oppotunistic teaching

–          Studying language which suddenly “Comes up” exposes the tension between planning lessons in advance and responding to what actually happens.

  • Example: When what you planned has to change, because something else comes up, like a question from the students.
  1. Efficacy, Economy, Appropriacy (Of an activity)

–          Efficacy:  Power or capacity to produce a desired result.

–          Economy:

  • Example:  An assignment is not supposed to take 45 min to explain and only take 10 min to do.

–          Appropriacy: Whether students were engaged in the activity.

  1. Eliciting (Language forms):

–          Eliciting is to draw something out, like an answer to a question.

  • Example: The teacher can show a picture of someone painting a house and ask the students. Can anyone tell me what he/she is doing?

  1. “Explain and practice”: Deductive approach – or PPP (Presentation, practice, production)

–          In a deductive approach, students are given grammar rules and then based on these rules they make phrases and sentences using the new language.

In addition:

  1. When would you use this approach?
  2. List pros and cons of the approach
  1. “Discover and practice”: Inductive approach

In addition:

  1. When would you use this approach?

–          Appropriate where language study arises out of skills work on reading and listening texts. Like learning about tenses.

  1. List pros and cons of this approach:

–          Pros: Learning by doing

–          Cons: It’s less interesting for the students

  1. “Research and practice” (Combination of 4+5)

–          An alternative to explain and practice and discovery activities is to have students do language research on their own. e.g.  If students are working on how we use our bodies to express meaning, we could give them a number of collocations and tell them to use them in sentences or perhaps ask them to talk about what the actions mean.

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chapter 17+18

The reading exercice: Look behind you

For the reading exercice we chose example number 5. At first the students have to do a reading puzzle. The teacher gives the students at picture of a car, which contains different words cars and/or driving a car. The students then have to complete sentences with the words contained in the car. Afterward they’ll have to put different bits of at story in the right order, and then write an appropriate ending for the story. Finally the class discuss if the story is likely to be true or false. It’s our believe that this is a good exercice because it includes both reading and writhing skills, it expands the students vocabulary and helps them to learn how to read for gist, and detailed information.

The listening exercice: Sorry i’m late

At first the students are given 4 pictures, and then, in pairs, they’ll have to say what they think is happening in the pictures. The teacher won’t confirm or deny any of there predictions. The students are told that they are going to listen to a recording, and that they should put the pictures in the chronological order. The students are then asked to check the answers with each other. The students are asked to listen to the recording ones again, noting phrases of interest, such as those Stuart uses to express regret and apology. If the theacher chooses, the class can go on to role-play. In our opinion this is a good exercice because it incorporates predicting, and it trains the students in listening for gist.

– Kasper Laursen & Joachim Kier Praëm

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Chapter 20

Chapter 20, Jeremy Harmer

Insights about the chapter:

I have got some insights in how you better can teach students how to speak fluently. There are some different structures in getting them to speak better. As an example, David Wilson talks about rehearsing what he is going to say in his head where after he can say it fluently. So according to Wilson it’s all about rehearsing it in your head which we also think is a good idea. You can try doing it yourself and it actually works. There are more theorists who come up with their theory about the subject: getting students to speak fluently. We find it very interesting to read the different theories. We have learned more about how to act when the class is discussing about a subject. It’s like you come nearer the teachers role in the class – getting a lot of excellent tips.

When the class has to learn to speak the language more fluently, there are a few examples written in the book. Example 1 is a game called “Experts”. It is based on that the class finds a subject to talk about i.e. music. If there are some of pupils who have a great knowledge of music they are selected as “Experts”. The class then writes some questions to the experts and the experts have to answer these questions. However the experts is only allowed to answer with one word. There are more examples in the book. The basic of this is to engage the students to speak the language meanwhile they have a good time doing it.


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