Discussion for Episode 6: the Substitute

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Natasha (candygirl)
MSCL.com Team
MSCL.com Team
Posts: 5374
Joined: Dec 7th 2001, 3:05 am
Location: California

Discussion for Episode 6: the Substitute

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 17th 2003, 3:35 am

Welcome to our sixth MSCL.com episode discussion!

If you haven't already done so, please read the info about the weekly discussions here.

I highly recommend reading theAngela's World essay that pertains to this episode.

Some threads that may be of interest are:

episode titles
Sam and Troy
food
hair as a metaphor
why do we love Graham
Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie
school
baggage
the contradiction that we call Rayanne
plaid
colors
Natasha aka candygirl :: MSCL.com

Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

User avatar
Natasha (candygirl)
MSCL.com Team
MSCL.com Team
Posts: 5374
Joined: Dec 7th 2001, 3:05 am
Location: California

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 17th 2003, 4:13 am

Some questions...

When Vic throws all the Liberty Lit essays out the window (and this always reminds me of "The Love Letter"), why are there kids just strolling around campus? Shouldn't they be in class? Did I just sound like Principal Foster?

Rayanne comments, "Substitute, my ass. He is the real deal." How is Rayanne able to make such an assessment when all she knows of him is the Sock and Toothpick Report that Angela gave her and Vic's instructions to get out their notebooks?

Why is Rickie so eager to see the socks? Is he really another student waiting to be woken up who needs a superficial excuse like socks to show up to a class he isn't enrolled in? Has his fashion sense been aroused by the thought of mismatched socks? Notice that this is the second mention of socks made in connection to Rickie (the previous time was Rayanne saying, "I gotta find my sock - it's Rickie's" in Father Figures).

The second day that Vic's Regime is in effect, he calls for Jordan as the class is leaving and gives him a copy of Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" to read and says, "We'll discuss it tomorrow." The way the scene plays out, it looks like this is not a regular class assignment but something separate that Vic wants Jordan to work on. Why did Vic choose this particular book?

The day that Graham goes to school to speak with Vic, he sees Vic working with Jordan. Vic dismisses Jordan by telling him to "finish the chapter and the next ten poems" - does that mean they are done with the Steinbeck already? Maybe he means the next "Of Mice and Men" chapter and ten haikus?

Vic states he is angry that no one ever noticed that Jordan can't read. In the preceding scene, Vic asks if everyone has read and then calls on Brian. Does that mean Jordan already read out loud? If so, wouldn't the rest of the class have noticed he can't read? Or did Jordan luck out and escape from reading out loud?

We see the Lit delivered and left on a bench in the office. A guy in a varsity jacket grabs a handful and starts passing them out in the hallway. Doesn't it seem weird that no one signed for them and there was no official distribution? I mean, what if that guy hadn't been sitting right there when they were delivered?

When Foster sees a copy of the Lit, he tells his secretary that he wants to see Vic after the final bell. I assumed that meant after the last bell of the entire day, as in after school. Later that day Angela bursts into the bathroom (interrupting Sharon & Rayanne's haiku pact - I will add here that the girl who tells Sharon to take a muscle relaxer went to my high school) and says that Principal Foster has confiscated all copies of the Lit. That evening, Angela goes on and on at dinner about what Vic had to say about the whole situation, which means that Vic knew that Foster confiscated the Lit and then Vic discussed it with Angela's English class. Does that mean that Foster confiscated the Lit during school hours without speaking to Vic, leaving Vic free to rile up the class one more time? If Foster was THAT concerned, why wouldn't he have yanked Vic into his office immediately? And how did he confiscate copies of the Lit? I remember the underground newspapers that were distributed at my high school - the administration claimed that they would confiscate copies, but short of inspecting every locker and backpack in school there wasn't really any way to confiscate them once they had been handed out.

The next day Foster comes to class and tells the kids that Vic will no longer be their teacher. If this is the case, why didn't he and Vic work this out yesterday afternoon when they met? Why did Vic bother to come back to school? I know, because it was more dramatic that way!

When Graham is in Principal Foster's office, there is a wooden paddle hanging on the wall behind Graham. Is this a fraternity thing or a disciplinary thing? Was that a redundant question? :wink:

Vic's version of the truth is that his wife is better off without him which I think is a total copout. If she and the kid(s) are better off without him, then he could be a man and admit it by filing for divorce. Why didn't he? Maybe because he didn't want to pay alimony and child support?

Patty and Graham seem to know that Angela went to see Vic (they ask if she is okay when she gets back) but apparently they didn't drive her there, so how the heck did she get to Vic's house? I know I seem to ask this question about someone each week, but I am really curious as to how Angela apparently walks everywhere in Pittsburgh.
Natasha aka candygirl :: MSCL.com

Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

User avatar
Natasha (candygirl)
MSCL.com Team
MSCL.com Team
Posts: 5374
Joined: Dec 7th 2001, 3:05 am
Location: California

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 17th 2003, 4:46 am

Some observations:

Before Vic enters the room for the first time, the main characters' actions reflect their personalities: Jordan is sleeping, Brian is reading, Sharon is socializing, and Angela is observing everyone.

I find it interesting that despite Jordan's "I don't give a damn" facade, he elects to stay in class after Vic threatens to talk about him in his absence. Jordan might act like he doesn't care what people say or think about him, but he does.

In the same scene, Brian asks Vic to read their Lit submissions so they can get credit for it - typical Brian!

I love watching Patty and Graham unpack the car by piling everything on the porch :D

When Angela stays behind to give Vic her parents' "throwing our stuff out the window was disrespectful" speech, she must overhear the conversation he has with Jordan - the first hints of Angela understanding Why Jordan Can't Read (besides Vic's previous adjective assault).

Rayanne tells Angela to tell Rickie about Vic, Angela begins to talk about the socks but Rayanne interrupts her (and Angela does look annoyed by it, unlike previous episodes where all three of them have interrupted each other). Later Rayanne tries to talk to Angela in class about the socks, but Angela shushes her and Rayanne looks hurt. I don't think this was an intentional tit for tat from Angela - she really was trying to listen to what was going in class, but her statement is telling: "Shut up - I'm trying to listen." Angela is trying to listen in every sense of the word. She is trying to wake up. In other words, she is beginning the process of maturing while Rayanne is still looking at Vic's socks.

Brian, Mr. Traditionalist, refuses to take part in Vic's candlelight writing session - again, so typical! He won't even sit on the floor or at a desk like everyone else - he stands up and doesn't pretend to take part.

I love that guilty look on Angela's face as Rickie reads her fable. While the class discusses whether it makes any sense, Rickie glances at her out of the corner of his eye - I took that to mean he knows she wrote it. Whether it's because he recognizes her handwriting or her sentiments, he knows.

Angela, on the other hand, does not know that Sharon wrote the haiku, instead assuming (like the rest of the class) that Rayanne wrote it. This seems to be an indication of how well Angela knows both Sharon (her ex-best friend) and Rayanne (her new best friend). The fact that Rayanne keeps her pact with Sharon a secret from Angela does not seem to bode well. I can understand why Rayanne wants the general population to think that she wrote it since she has a reputation to uphold, but why wouldn't she admit the truth to Angela and Rickie?

Vic is a total hippie - I love his "QUESTION EVERYTHING" quote on the blackboard.

Although Angela feels that Vic treats the class as adults rather than children (which is debatable in itself), he treats adults as children. In his conversations with Patty and Graham, Vic himself acts like a child by interrupting them. He then treats them as children, manipulating them into doing what he wants. Vic is very smart and perceptive enough to know how to convince each of them to do his will. I'm not saying he's going to become a cult reader, but he knows how to approach each of them (e.g. complimenting Patty, characterizing Graham as "fragile," etc).

Just before Principal Foster walks into the office, there are two girls in the hallway that look too young to be in high school. I know it's been a while since I was in high school, but man they look young!

In the bathroom scene, Sharon peeks under the stall doors to make sure no one is listening to her conversation with Rayanne, similar to Father Figures when Angela peeked under the stall doors to find Rayanne. Apparently MSCL was the precursor to all the bathroom scenes in Ally McBeal :wink:

I love the look of panic on Angela's face when she gets back from seeing Vic and her parents sit down on either side of her on the couch - she just knows that she's in for a Parenting Lecture and there is no escaping it!

Anal math/timeline stuff regarding Patty and Graham's involvement in the civil rights movement and war protests - is it feasible that they were involved during the 60s? As we soon learn, they are 40 which puts their births around 1954 - that means that they were quite young in the 60s. Then again, as is pointed out in Angela's World, the movements of the 60s weren't bounded by calendar years - look at Karen in the Wonder Years. She was a high school student when she became a hippie in 1968, so I guess it's possible that Patty and Graham were young hippies at the tail end of the decade.

I love Angela's remarks regarding Patty and Graham's hypocrisy: "What about all those boring stories I had to sit through my whole life about how committed you were in the sixties, about how you believed in things.... Only now you're so terrified of causing trouble you can't even see what it means to me." She cuts right to the core of their argument, showing that she sees them more clearly than they might care to admit - as two people who claimed there were things worth going to jail for are now telling her to follow the rules, not to make waves.
Natasha aka candygirl :: MSCL.com

Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

JPP13
Angela's best friend
Posts: 246
Joined: Oct 6th 2002, 3:10 pm

Post by JPP13 » Feb 17th 2003, 9:37 am

The problem with having candygirl start these discussions, is I don't see how anyone come come up with anymore insigthful observations! :) I'm not even going to try.

I remember watching this the first time, and like Guns and Gossip, was moved by how the writers took a relatively cliched topic (the substitute who makes everyone think, etc) and turned it on its head. I began to appreciate that this show was different, better than what I have seen in the past.

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 11:04 am

JPP13 wrote:The problem with having candygirl start these discussions, is I don't see how anyone come come up with anymore insigthful observations! :) I'm not even going to try.

I remember watching this the first time, and like Guns and Gossip, was moved by how the writers took a relatively cliched topic (the substitute who makes everyone think, etc) and turned it on its head. I began to appreciate that this show was different, better than what I have seen in the past.
I like Candygirl's introductory posts. They provide a good overall view that can be broken down into parts for discussion. Plus, you can be like me, I use the introductory posts as both a springboard and a point of departure. And, sometimes, I just post about my own observations. While going out on my own, I try to make my posts as well written as Candygirl's.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 11:40 am

"The Substitue" is one of my favorite episodes. I like how it shows young adults dealing with big issues we don't normally associate with them: censorship, family commitments, the pursuit of knowledge, and trust. I also like the idea of parental advice being tested in the real world. Obviously, children don't automatically or magically become adults when they turn 18. Most of our beliefs are formed before we turn 18. Parents, teachers, and friends have molded our own thoughts and ideas about ourselves and others prior to graduating high school.

I think it's going to take me some time to get my ducks in a row for this episode discussion. However, I'm going to start small by taking a look at Vic's mismatched socks. We assume that he chooses to wear socks that don't match. What's up with that? Usually, if someone doesn't wear matching socks we think he simply dressed in a hurry, giving him the benefit of the doubt. Or, we assume he is short a couple 5s from his deck of cards. Is wearing mismatched socks Vic's way of saying he's a rebel? Or, is he using some type of psychological trick? Are the mismatched socks a way to make people think he's clueless so that he can wow them when he says something remotely profound? Very interesting.

"Follow your hearts and veer away from heroine," is a great line. It's way clever and taboo. You don't normally associate talking about heroine with high school students. Right off the bat, Vic is letting the students know that their world is about to be shaken up. It's interesting that Angela immediately becomes engaged. She asks what they are going to do for the rest of class, not their lives. She also notices the mismatched socks. Vic sees her looking at his socks. A connection of some kind has already been made.

I'll have some more stuff in a bit.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 11:56 am

Random thought number one --

Vic is an ex-smoker. The toothpicks are a replacement for cigarettes. Smoking has a lot to do with oral fixation and dealing with stress. Smokers, when they quit, need to find something else to put into their mouths. Some of them chose food and gain weight. Others choose something else. Vic offers toothpicks to people the same way smokers offer cigarettes.

I can't tell you how many times when I taught when I really wanted a cigarette. Being a substitute teacher can be nerve-wracking. Here you are walking into unknown territory. You are stressed. You want a cigarette. I can definitely relate.

Plus, he walks into a classroom with no lesson plans left for him. This is every substitute's nightmare. Now what am I going to do? I had a few lesson plans and topics at the ready in case this happened when I taught. However, going into something cold is never fun.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

IYBT
Tino
Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 16th 2002, 11:16 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Post by IYBT » Feb 17th 2003, 12:15 pm

candygirl wrote:When Vic throws all the Liberty Lit essays out the window (and this always reminds me of "The Love Letter"), why are there kids just strolling around campus? Shouldn't they be in class? Did I just sound like Principal Foster?
When I was in high school lunches and breaks were different times for different years and classes. Practically, whenever you looked out the window there were people wondering around, eating, running; whatever. The system was very complicated until you got used to it. I just always assumed that Liberty High worked the same system.
candygirl wrote:I can understand why Rayanne wants the general population to think that she wrote it since she has a reputation to uphold, but why wouldn't she admit the truth to Angela and Rickie?
In this context: Angela and Rickie are both members of that general public in her perception. Rayanne, to them, is exactly as her reputation states; she wants them to see her as that--for some reason, more than likely and issue of self-esteem, needs to front: even for them. They may be her closest friends, but she is certainly not going to give them all of her, no-body ever does, no matter how close you get to someone. I think if I were Rayanne, I would also neglect to inform both Angela and Rickie.

Personally, I think this episode is one of the most important ones so far, the obvious beginning of Angela’s maturing process which opens up the ideas of obsessive love of the “Jordon” entity within her head, to the realistic actions that will follow. Even though she does never re-write her ideal of love, by episode nineteen, it is definitely on it way!

I’m actually just finishing watching the episode right now, so I don’t want to further comment on any of my own thoughts and observations until I have had time to think about and digest them.

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 12:17 pm

Brian

I'm off work today. So, I have a chance to watch "The Substitute" again and make comments as I go. It's interesting that when Brian tells Vic about the Lit papers, the students in the class don't actually throw anything at him. You would think that he would get a paper airplane or a wad of paper thrown at him, esp. with a sub in the room. However, I think you can see that the other students treat him with a little more resepect than they did in the past. This is probably due to his standing up to Foster in "Guns and Gossip."

Also, Brian seems to immediately dislike Vic. When Vic says their work is terrible and shouts at Jordan to tell him that he is using adjectives to describe the students' work, Brian says to himself, "I don't believe this guy." Is Brian reacting to Vic's dismissal of their work as crap? It seems like Brian should appreciate an honest critique of the students' work. Or, does Brian immediately spot Vic for a phony and someone not to be trusted?
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

User avatar
starbug
Lifehead
Posts: 1082
Joined: Jun 25th 2002, 4:51 am
Location: UK

Post by starbug » Feb 17th 2003, 12:23 pm

TomSpeed wrote:
We assume that he chooses to wear socks that don't match. What's up with that? Usually, if someone doesn't wear matching socks we think he simply dressed in a hurry, giving him the benefit of the doubt. Or, we assume he is short a couple 5s from his deck of cards. Is wearing mismatched socks Vic's way of saying he's a rebel? Or, is he using some type of psychological trick? Are the mismatched socks a way to make people think he's clueless so that he can wow them when he says something remotely profound? Very interesting.
I always thought he was very clever about that. They don't just not match a little bit - one's black and one's white. So people will know he did it on purpose. I think he does it because he knows students will be sizing him up, looking at him and every move he makes. Teenagers do that to everyone. He puts his feet up on the table specifically to give them a better view. I took it that it's all about the idea of following through on the 'question everything' theme. Now the kids are noticing and questioning.
Why is he wearing mismatched socks?
He's forcing them to consider his personality and not to just blindly accept him as another incarnation of a bland English teacher. He's making them look, opening their eyes.

We just fell right into it too, as the audience.

candygirl wrote: If Foster was THAT concerned, why wouldn't he have yanked Vic into his office immediately?
I think it's because he couldn't run the risk of pulling Vic out of a class in front of the kids. That way they would know immediately something was up. They'd be left without a teacher, or with another substitute who would have a ton of difficulty keeping control - we saw how successful Foster himself was at keeping control once the bad news was dispensed. :wink:
I think it was the one thing that Foster did that was relatively professional about the situation.
candygirl wrote: Rayanne comments, "Substitute, my ass. He is the real deal." How is Rayanne able to make such an assessment when all she knows of him is the Sock and Toothpick Report that Angela gave her and Vic's instructions to get out their notebooks?
I think she's just being perceptive. Granted, she doesn't attend class alot, and has no previous direct experience of Vic. But I think it's entirely possible, as a teenager, to look at a teacher and figure out almost instantly whether they know what they're doing or not. You can pick up on their vibe without them having to even say anything. It depends how they hold themselves, what they're wearing, all sorts of stuff. Vic has made an effort to stand out from the crowd of usual teachers. So Rayanne maybe picked up on that, and gleaned that this is a tactic only a teacher of many years' experience would dare to try.
candygirl wrote: Rayanne tells Angela to tell Rickie about Vic, Angela begins to talk about the socks but Rayanne interrupts her (and Angela does look annoyed by it, unlike previous episodes where all three of them have interrupted each other). Later Rayanne tries to talk to Angela in class about the socks, but Angela shushes her and Rayanne looks hurt. I don't think this was an intentional tit for tat from Angela - she really was trying to listen to what was going in class, but her statement is telling: "Shut up - I'm trying to listen." Angela is trying to listen in every sense of the word. She is trying to wake up. In other words, she is beginning the process of maturing while Rayanne is still looking at Vic's socks.
I completely agree. I don't think she was being mean to Rayanne - just that she was really trying to listen and was desperate to communicate that fact to Rayanne. Maybe she wishes Rayanne would grow up a little at that point? That's sort of what I always thought.
candygirl wrote: Before Vic enters the room for the first time, the main characters' actions reflect their personalities: Jordan is sleeping, Brian is reading, Sharon is socializing, and Angela is observing everyone.
See, that's what I love about MSCL. Snapshot images which just make absolute cutting observations of the characters.

:) A great episode and one of my favourites. Particularly the 'twist' where we find that Vic is not so wonderful as he first seems.

---------------------------------------------
http://www.urban-hills.blogspot.com
---------------------------------------------

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 12:34 pm

About students walking around outside when Vic throws the papers out of the window --

I always got the impression that English class is one of the first classes in the day. Some of the students could be getting to school late. Yes, it would be nice if we had a class schedule. For all we know, the writers are moving classes back and forth in the day for their purposes. It is kind of the same thing as them changing the Chase house around each episode.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 12:50 pm

candygirl wrote: When Graham is in Principal Foster's office, there is a wooden paddle hanging on the wall behind Graham. Is this a fraternity thing or a disciplinary thing? Was that a redundant question? :wink:
The paddle is probably a momento of when principals used to be able use corporal punishment to discipline students. I remember that paddling was still done when I was in high school. However, it has fallen out of fashion since then. Foster probably muses that the "good ole days" of paddling are over. Like the pictures in his office, the paddle is an anachronism.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 1:00 pm

candygirl wrote:I love watching Patty and Graham unpack the car by piling everything on the porch :D
I have always found them unpacking the groceries and putting them on the porch to be a little weird. Don't you normally take the groceries into the house directly from the car? Moving them from the car to the porch and the porch to the kitchen seems to be more work. I guess it could be a system, but I don't understand it. Maybe Graham wants it done that way so that he can better keep the kitchen in order? They might be grouping the groceries into food groups or something on the porch. Of course, they could be trying to keep the cat, which we never see, from getting out of the house.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 1:11 pm

Random thought number two --

Graham is such a Renaissance man. He is an expert chef. He is understanding of his wife and children. He's an attentive lover. He helps out with the business. And, he sews, as we see in this episode when he is sewing on Danielle's proficiency badges. What can't his man do? I can barely cook and have no clue about sewing. Way to go, Graham.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

User avatar
TomSpeed
Marshall Wannabe
Posts: 1226
Joined: Jan 13th 2003, 3:37 pm
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Contact:

Post by TomSpeed » Feb 17th 2003, 1:44 pm

candygirl wrote:Why is Rickie so eager to see the socks? Is he really another student waiting to be woken up who needs a superficial excuse like socks to show up to a class he isn't enrolled in? Has his fashion sense been aroused by the thought of mismatched socks? Notice that this is the second mention of socks made in connection to Rickie (the previous time was Rayanne saying, "I gotta find my sock - it's Rickie's" in Father Figures).

The second day that Vic's Regime is in effect, he calls for Jordan as the class is leaving and gives him a copy of Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" to read and says, "We'll discuss it tomorrow." The way the scene plays out, it looks like this is not a regular class assignment but something separate that Vic wants Jordan to work on. Why did Vic choose this particular book?
Rickie is such an outcast. He dresses differently than others. He hangs out in the girls' bathroom. He has, apparently, only one male friend, Brian. Plus, he is dealing with his own developing sexuality, which is different from anyone else. He probably has an interest in anyone who is different and doesn't blend in, like him. Someone who wears mismatched socks is kind of like a guy who wears mascara.

I haven't read Of Mice and Men. However, from what I know about it, one of the characters in the book is borderline retarded (sorry, this is not a politically correct description). However, the slow character is a noble character. He is, as Steinbeck writes, someone "like us." I think Vic is having Jordan read about a character he can possibly relate to in some ways.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests