The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street Who are the real monsters?!?
Who Believes in Aliens? 60% of people believe that aliens exist!! A recent CNN poll showed that almost 80% of Americans thought that the government was hiding information about aliens. What would aliens look like? 35% of those polled think aliens would look like humans.
Aliens??? Really? Who in this class believes aliens are: Real Possible Not Possible
Play Synopsis Synopsis: The screenplay explores the affects of prejudice and suspicion. After a bright, unknown object flashes across the sky, the neighbors of Maple Street discover that their electricity is gone, their cars have stopped working, and the telephones are out of order. A boy, Tommy, tells the neighbors stories he has read about aliens from outer space. He tells the neighbors that there is always a family that is “sent ahead” who appears to be human…but really isn’t.
Teleplay Terms Fade In: The picture gradually appears on the screen. Pan: A swiveling movement of the camera from one side to another. Fade to Black: The picture gradually disappears until all that remains is a blank screen. Cut To: A sudden change from one scene or character to another.
Teleplay Terms Outside Shot: A camera shot of an exterior. Long Shot: A camera shot from far off. Close-Up: A camera shot that is very close to its subject.
Vocabulary Prejudice: An unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. Suspicion: The feeling of mistrust of a person; to view unfavorably, to believe that someone is guilty of an act without proof.
Vocabulary Act I Meteor: Sunspots: Metamorphosis: Fifth Columnists: Insomnia: A meteoroid that has entered Earth's atmosphere. Dark spots on the surface of the sun caused by magnetic storms. Any complete change in form, appearance, character, circumstances. People who help the enemy from within their own country. (Traitors.) Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Mob Mentality Mob mentality is sometimes called herd mentality. It refers to the way that people behave when they are part of a group. Often, people tend to go along with their group- even if they don’t agree. Sometimes they end up taking part in situations they would normally avoid. This trend becomes even stronger when the group fears or faces an outside threat. Is this a behavior that we see anywhere in our lives? In the world today?
Act I Review Questions, Pg. 68 Do you believe that aliens are involved in the events on Maple Street? Explain the reason for your prediction What future events could Tommy’s words foreshadow? (Remember that foreshadow means to suggest an event to come in the future.) What is the groups reaction when Les Goodman’s car starts? What inference do they make about the cause of the car’s behavior? (Remember that inference means a conclusion that is made from what information is available.)
Act I Review Questions, Pg. 68 At the end of Act One, Les Goodman warns the residents that they are starting something that should frighten them and he goes on to call it a nightmare. What could he mean? A scapegoat is someone whom people blame for their troubles. How has Les Goodman become a scapegoat? What is the difference between a crowd and a mob?
Act I Review Questions, Pg. 68 Reading Check A dramatic event triggers the action on Maple Street. What do the residents believe has caused the power failure? Find three incidents that show this is NOT a normal power failure. How do the adults first react to Tommy’s suggestion that “they” are aliens who do not want Steve and Charlie to leave the area?
Act I Review Questions, Pg. 68 Reading Check What does Tommy then say that causes the adults to become increasingly uncomfortable? What is Tommy’s source of information about alien life form and their habits?
Conflict Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces. Man vs. Nature: A struggle between man and the forces of nature such as tornados, weather, animals, etc. Man Vs. Man: A struggle between man and one or more other people Man vs. Self: An internal struggle. Man vs. Society: A struggle between man and the expectations of society.
Conflict Act I Describe an example of man vs. society conflict from Act I.
Vocabulary Act II Hanging Judge: A judge who sentences people to death without real evidence. Idiosyncrasy: Any quirk or peculiarity. Kangaroo Court: An unauthorized court, usually one that does NOT follow legal procedures. Scapegoat: A person who is wrongly blamed.
Act II Review Questions, Pg. 78 Writers often speak through a particular character to voice their own opinions. Which character do you think reflects Sterling’s point of view? Find two examples of what this character has said that would reveal that point of view. In light of Les Goodman’s behavior throughout the plot, what inference can you make about the significance of his name?
Act II Review Questions, Pg. 78 4. Symbols in literature are persons, places, or things that function as themselves, but that can also stand for larger ideals such as love, glory, or honor. When Maple Street loses power and is plunged into darkness, terrible events occur. What personal power, or ability, do the residents of Maple Street lose that plunges them further into darkness?
Act II Review Questions, Pg. 78 According to the aliens, who is the most dangerous enemy? Who do you think are the real “monsters” in this story? This teleplay was written in 1960. Is its message still important today? Explain why or why not.
Conflict Act II Give an example of man vs. man conflict in Act II. Give an example of man vs. society conflict in Act II.
Updating the Teleplay • Supposed your are a television producer and you want to update the teleplay so that it takes place in 2014. In a paragraph, tell how you would change the details of the play to set it in the new time frame. Consider these details: • What do people now know about aliens and space travel? • What electronic equipment would be affected by the blackout? • Where would the aliens land? • What would Tommy be reading today?
Updating the Teleplay Would you still use aliens as a fear? Or something else?