Monday, October 13, 2008

"Dead Man Walking" project Metacognition

This project was one that I actually enjoyed doing. It brought out the creative side of me as well as the artistic. I take AP art as well, so I love these types of projects. I read the novel “Dead Man Walking” by Sister Helen Prejean for my independent reading book. I thought it was an outstanding book, but bad personal timing for myself. My friend had died Sunday morning so it was kind of hard to write think about a book related mostly towards death. I made it through it fine though.

First off, I chose to write a page as if I were actually there. I used page 39 because it showed the true nature of one of the murders, and what actually runs through the mind of a murderer. There was pretty simple language, but it got an intense point across. I loved how at the end of that page, it goes from the murderer telling his story, to the chaplain saying that all of the inmates will try to con you. That really caught my eye and was a main reason for me choosing this page. It was pretty easy for me to write as if I was there because I basically would have had about the same reaction that Sister Helen did. She was basically stunned and didn’t know what to say. I would guess that my reaction would have been pretty similar. I found that this writing process really put myself in the novel and got my emotions working. It was a very interesting way of writing.

Next, I created a soundtrack for my novel. Each song has a specific meaning and reason for me putting it there. My first song opens up with an angry tone and fast-paced music. This really showed the intense murder that occurred and the emotions felt by the victims’ parents. The emotions were also felt by Helen before she actually got to know Pat. I felt like that song really hit the nail on the head. My next song was chosen because it talks about taking care of someone. This is what Helen was doing for Pat. She was there to look out for him and make sure he was holding up okay. The beat of the song and more relaxed. This also goes foe my third song, it’s all about holding on when times get tough. My fourth and fifth songs were for after Pat died. Helen thought that all her work done was for nothing, and she missed him. The next two songs focus on the acceptance of the crimes committed and the chances of survival. If there was a way to keep them alive, Helen would try it. The eighth and ninth songs talk about remembering the ones lost and the relationships that were built. It also focuses on fighting and never giving up, which is one of the themes throughout the novel. The final song, talks about people doing whatever they can to change the world. This may include getting rid of the death penalty and other forms of murder and injustice. I thought it really had the same tone as the end of the novel.

Last I created a new cover for the novel. I wanted to go in a complete different direction that the one the original cover went in. The first cover was neat and a photograph. I wanted to create my cover as if an inmate made it. That is where the rips on the front come in. Inmates didn’t get many items that they could work with. That is why I went for the rugged, unorganized look. I used bold colors on the front and spine to create the strong and fearless side of then men. On the back, I decided to add a splash of color to the background to show the deeper part of the soul. Both inmates that Helen was an advisor to really had a soft side and indeed was humane. I decided to make the back and front show both sides of their personalities. I really thought that the contrasting sides would work really well together.

This whole project really got me thinking more and I feel that it was one that I enjoyed.

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