Congratulations on an outstanding performance of Zoot Suit! Looking back on the experience, what aspect did you enjoy the most? What did you find the most challenging? What did you learn throughout the process, about acting, yourself, or the zoot suit riots?
El Teatro Campesino: Interviews with Luis Valdez
What do you think is the best way to fight against injustice? What would you do if you were in a situation where your rights were being denied? How would you stand up for them?
What is your reaction to the Zoot Suit riots? Why do you think Luis Valdez wrote a play about it in 1979? Do you think this play is relevant today? How do you think Henry Llevas (Reyna)’s story will end?
What would you do if you were asked to join in a conspiracy to assasinate a dictator? Do you think an assasination is justified if the leader is doing terrible things to his/her people, or is murder wrong no matter what? Would you be willing to risk the consequences if you were caught?
In the play Antigone, by Sophocles, Antigone and Creon both act according to what they feel is right. Imagine that instead of ending the play as written, the case was brought before a jury to decide the case. Who would you side with and why? Would Antigone be sentenced to death or released?
Looking back on this past unit, how has your thinking about other cultures changed? What have you learned about other cultures or your own cultures? Why do you think understanding other cultures is so important?
Now that you’re halfway through your book club book, compare the culture of the book to your own culture. What are some things that you have in common? What is different about the book’s culture from your own? What are some things that have intrigued you about this culture, that you would like to learn more about?
The famous author Fyodor Dostoevski is quoted as saying: “We all come out from Gogol’s ‘Overcoat’”
What do you think he means by this? What did you think of the story “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol? How would you describe the author’s style? What do you think the author was trying to communicate? Is there a moral to the story? Do you see any thematic connections to The Namesake?
What did you think about how the book ended? How did Gogol finally come to terms with his name? After reading the book, what do you think is the significance of the title?
Why do you think Moushumi cheats on Nikhil? Why is she attracted to Dimitri? How do you think Nikhil will react when he finds out? What would you do if you were in his place?
What is Nikhil and Moushumi’s wedding like? Do you think in planning a wedding it is more important for a couple to respect their family’s wishes and traditions, or make it the way they want it? If/when you get married, what would you want your wedding to be like?
How does Ashoke’s death affect the members of his family? How does this change the way Gogol relates to his family and views his culture? Do you think he regrets his previous lifestyle?
What do you think of Maxine and her family? How are they different from Gogol’s family? How does Gogol feel about his family when he brings Max to visit? Have you ever been embarrassed of your family?
How does Gogol form a new identity when he goes off to college? How does he feel when he goes home to visit? If you moved to a new place where nobody knew you, how would you re-invent yourself?