Sedgwick Bell Essay Topics

Essay on The Emperor's Club

967 WordsSep 18th, 20084 Pages

The Emperor’s Club is a film that addresses many moral and social aspects that are central to contemporary society’s moral controversy. Can morals be properly instilled in a young person outside of religion? Can our future decisions be predicted based on our current character? Can our current character even be changed or molded? Can morals be learned through studying the classics? The Emperors Club’s main characters are Mr. Hundert a teacher of classics at a prestigious preparatory school, and an unruly or misunderstood student, Sedgwick Bell. Their characters seem to perpetually butt heads, or at least be contrasting moral characters.
How do I understand the ethical choices of the central characters? The main ethical dilemma in…show more content…

Mr. Hundert continues, saying that as a teacher it is his duty to mold Sedgwick. Here the Senator abruptly cuts him off and condescendingly informs him that he shall not mold his son, but to leave it for himself to do. That Mr. Hundert should only concern himself with instructing his son in such things as his times tables. Obviously not what Mr. Hundert expected to happen there in the Senator’s office.
So basically after being chopped off at the knees in what he regards being a teacher is all about, and after seeing that Sedgwick was wanting of a father figure. The Senator’s phone call to his son and its obvious negative impact providing evidence of this. Mr. Hundert gives one more try, and challenges Sedgwick, gives him his old textbook, and told Sedgwick that he believed in him. With these actions he disregards the senator’s warning and attempts to mold him and become a spiritual father to Sedgwick.
Sedgwick turns his act around and starts applying himself to his studies. And eventually makes his way near the top of the class, almost qualifying him for a spot in the Julius Caesar contest. So seduced by Sedgwick’s renewed effort, Mr. Hundert decides to bump him up into the last spot kicking some other poor kid out. Hoping that the ends justify the means, Mr. Hundert, a man who believes in the rules, broke them.
But there are two moral climaxes in The Emperor’s Club. Both remarkably similar to each other, but taking place some 20 odd years apart.

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1. What role does Esther’s memory of her father play in the story?

2. Choose a poem by Sylvia Plath and relate its imagery to the imagery of The Bell Jar.

3. The Bell Jar is both a true story and a novel. Describe the ways in which Plath selects and presents the episodes that she describes to give her narrative dramatic shape.

4. There are several recurring images in the novel, such as the bell jar, the dead baby, and the fig tree. Select one of these images and trace its occurrence from the beginning of the novel to the end, describing how its meaning evolves.

5. How does Esther’s attitude toward men change over the course of the novel? What role does this attitude play in her madness and recovery?

6. When Esther tells Dr. Nolan that she hates her mother, Dr. Nolan interprets this statement as a breakthrough in Esther’s recovery. What role does Esther’s mother play in her insanity? What does Esther’s attitude toward her mother tell us about Esther herself?

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