A Teacher's Study Guide for Starboard at Midnight
Below are some suggestions for essay or discussion topics that could be used in the classroom to accompany Starboard at Midnight:
- Little is known about boy gang wars during the end of the nineteenth century in Brooklyn, NY. How did "authority" figures and social networks differ then?
- At the turn of twentieth century, how did family values differ? How did they stay the same?
- Open a discussion about sexual orientation--homosexuality and the psychological affect/effect of involvement in abusive situations--dialogue might reveal and soften hidden issues.
- Similarly, discuss opinions about suicide.
- Compare and contrast Karl's adventure in Mexico; study methodology (and the geography) of mining for silver in the early nineteen hundreds.
- What and how does it mean to sacrifice and dedicate oneself to becoming an accomplished athlete?
- A chronicle of the Titanic and its aftermath. Study what is essential in a personal recounting of an experience as it unfolds. Rather than writing with hindsight, consider writing without hindsight. (Was there extreme panic and intentional discrimination aboard the Titanic as is portrayed in movies?)
- Study pre-WWI and WWI German-Americans. How were they treated? What were the laws against freedom of speech? The impact of Theodore Roosevelt's friendship with Karl Behr and their effort to galvanize all Americans toward preparedness not complacency. What difference did America's participation in WWI have upon world history?
- Discuss the meaning of patriotism before WWI as compared to now.
- Vocabulary, character development, light as imagery, poetry. Thought transference as a possible part of "afterlife?" -- A discussion of the Noosphere.
- Long before suffrage, the innate ability of many women to retain dignity and faith in personal sacrifice for the sake of family. What makes an ideal relationship?
- The contrast between a man and a woman who have come from two opposing backgrounds: One competitive; the other contemplative. Appreciate differences between having immediate goals and ultimate ends. How is this dichotomy presented and reflected in the formatting and style variations of SAM?