Welcome to the Family

         There are many advantages to teaching a film and literature course to the youth of America. Teaching gives one the opportunity to instill ideals and values into people who are still growing up. Through analyzing film and literature, people can learn life-long lessons if they pay close attention and choose to apply what they have learned to their own life. Now, I want to give my opinions on what film and literature I feel would help our society today.

         Today in America, the divorce rate is about fifty percent. If I could choose a group of young students, I would choose a class of co-ed high school seniors. The reason I say co-ed is that I graduated from an all-male high school and still feel somewhat deprived of a woman's intuitive vibe. If I had the group of co-ed youngsters, we could all learn about each others wants and needs through group discussions about films like Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire, produced in 1951. On the class discussions, I would first ask the class to identify any character flaws and how they affected other characters' moods and feelings.

         The second thing on the agenda would have my students refer back to the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams in 1947. I would then ask the ladies in the class, "What female character(s) can you relate to the most and why? Refer to a past relationship if you feel the need to do so." The gentlemen in the class would get the chance to witness first-hand, what women their age think about men who carry egos such as Stanley's (Marlon Brando). I feel like women of today do not get too much to choose from in the type of male spouse they might pick to start a family. Knowledge passed along from themselves to males at the high school level about relationship dynamics could only better America's high divorce rate.

         Having a group discussion about whether or not the household, in A Streetcar Named Desire, is healthy or unhealthy is simply healthy discussion for kids of that age bracket. Another movie I would implement into my class is Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 The Godfather. This film is based off of Mario Puzo's novel and stars Marlon Brando, who plays Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Al Pacino. Pacino depicts Michael, the som of Vito Corleone, and we see him develop into a very deep and passionate character. When Michael's father, Vito, was a small boy he lost his whole family to the wrath of Don Cicio. His young mind becomes strong at a young age as his older brother, Paulo, is killed while trying to avenge his father's death. He and his mother confront the Don and she too is murdered in front of his eyes. I want the class to see this movie, but it is last on my agenda.

         In conclusion, I want to emphasize that there is one very important thing in this world, family. As Vito Corleone had to leave Italy to come start his family in America, my class must learn the aspects of starting and keeping a family. One only hopes that divorce will one day be a word hardly echoed.

Eric Belmonte

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