Wednesday (10-8-08)

Today we…

  • Completed a launch: What literary device is featured in the sentences that follow? An environmental protester was campaigning to save a forest when he was crushed to death by a tree.
  • Continued watching Stranger than Fiction and answering the guiding questions.

Homework: Due Tomorrow (Thursday, 10-9-08)

  • Explain how this story uses dramatic irony (see the Guiding Questions for Stranger Than Fiction for a definition of dramatic irony).

Plot Summary of the Film Arlington Road
(from Wikipedia)

Michael Faraday is a college history professor at the George Washington University who’s been raising his nine-year-old son, Grant, since the untimely death of his FBI agent wife who was killed in the line of duty. Somewhat of a specialist regarding American terrorism, Michael starts to become suspicious of his new suburban neighbors, Oliver and Cheryl Lang, whom he’s just met after taking their son, Brady, to the emergency room following a reported fireworks accident.

At first his suspicions are based on little things such as Oliver’s architectural blueprints that seem to be for something other than the shopping mall he claims he’s building, as well as pieces of mail that contradict where Oliver said he attended college. Neither his girlfriend and former student, Brooke Wolfe, nor his wife’s former FBI partner, Whit Carver, believe any of his wild theories.

Michael continues to uncover what could be possible evidence and becomes even more aware of Oliver and Cheryl. Michael’s girlfriend, Brooke, is killed in an automobile accident, which Michael comes to vaguely suspect is related to his neighbors. Eventually the conspirators use a field trip with a Scouts-style organization to keep Faraday’s son Grant as an unknowing hostage. Faraday rents a car the next day and follows the van his son is in, which eventually leads him to the FBI headquarters.

Faraday forces his car into a secure parking garage, only to discover that he has followed the wrong van into the parking garage. Attempting to calm Faraday, Whit informs him that he is the only person not cleared to be in the garage. Realizing his mistake too late, Faraday rushes to the trunk of his rental car, opening it to reveal a hidden bomb just seconds before it explodes, killing Faraday, Whit, and 184 others. Posthumously, he is vilified as a terrorist seeking revenge for his wife’s death. The Langs get away scot-free, and Grant, now orphaned, ends up living with relatives, not knowing of his father’s innocence. It becomes obvious that Scobee, another man who was accused of blowing up an IRS building in St. Louis, was set up exactly the same way as Michael.

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