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Basis- & Leistungsfach

Ideen für alternative Schülerdialoge

Dialogue 1

Exchange between Walt and Father Janovich after Thao was severely beaten up by the Hmong gang.

  • Father Janovich: asks a question, but actually reproaches Walt for not calling the police (or even him because he works with the gangs?) – could listen to Walt’s account of the situation first and then suggest alternatives or support
  • Walt: not willing to accept this criticism – strategy: cynicism, ridiculing the role of faith in moments of crisis – could be more open to the fact that this was in fact a very dangerous situation and to alternative (and less provocative) ways of coping with it

Dialogue 2

After the funeral; Walt’s son Steve and his family, already in their car, say goodbye to Walt, who is trying to start a car with jumper cables; shows the difficult relationship, estrangement and lack of empathy/understanding between Walt and his son

  • Steve: his first sentence is clearly hypocritical; the kids are rather old for becoming “restless”; it is obvious that he simply doesn’t want to help/ interact with Walt and leave as soon as possible (because he is afraid of disappointing him anyway?) – could actually offer Walt a hand on a sad day like this; he could try to see Walt’s sorrow behind his grumpiness and honestly tell Walt about his own grief and how sorry he is for his father
  • Walt: is not really frustrated about Steve’s Japanese car, but repelled by the way his son behaves towards him and he’s grieving for his wife – could be more open about his feelings of grief and frustration, thus giving Steve the chance to show empathy

Dialogue 3

Walt finally gives in and talks to Father Janovich.

  • Walt: reveals the cynical and bitter attitude towards life that he seems to have developed after his time in Korea (“But things I’ll live with”), but doesn’t want to hear about that; therefore he insults Father Janovich by questioning his authority and life experience – could try to see that Father Janovich actually worries about him and could help him to finally process his traumatic experiences
  • Father Janovich: is quite competent – cannot be insulted or provoked; seems to realize what’s behind Walt’s cynical façade; challenges Walt’s view by asking questions, thus making him think

Dialogue 4

Exchange between Walt and Smokie after his gang threatened and beat up Thao for the first time.

  • Smokie: threatening and insulting, definitely not willing to talk about the issue or compromise
  • Walt: is ready to stand his ground and defend his property and his neighbours; however, he is very threatening and insulting, thus sparking even more violence in the course of the film – could ask what the gang actually want from Thao or try to explain Thao’s position, but probably to no avail; important: he must avoid any kind of insult or threat; in the end, calling the police/ Father Janovich would probably be the best idea

Dialogue 5

Exchange between Walt and black guy from gang after the black guys molested Sue and her date.

  • Walt: is ready to stand his ground and protect Sue. Again, he is insulting, threatens the black guys and can only protect Sue by pulling his weapon – could try to talk things out and take Sue with him without pulling the weapon or, again, call the police

Dialogue 6

At the funeral Walt’s son Mitch is trying to do small talk and give Walt a hand with the chairs; shows the difficult relationship, estrangement and lack of empathy/understanding between Walt and his other son

  • Walt: as with his son Steve, he is probably full of grief and won’t let anyone come near him; thus, he tries to warn off his son by being rude and insulting; as with his son Steve, he could be more honest about his true feelings and the cause of his grief and frustration
  • Mitch: tries to talk to Walt by involving him into small talk; seems to be interested in how is father feels; even offers to help; however, he is thrown off by Walt’s criticism and cynical façade – could try to not let Walt off the hook so easily; ignore his cynicism and be more persistent in offering help and involving Walt in some kind of conversation

Dialogue 7

Father Janovich to Walt at the funeral

    • Walt: as always, wards off any attempt by people who try to help him/ show empathy – could try to understand that showing grief and distress/ accepting help is not a sign of weakness but of strength/ that cynicism is weakness
    • Father Janovich: by pointing out that he was a friend of Walt’s wife, he tries to establish a level of closeness with Walt that is clearly inappropriate; he treats Walt like a little boy he has to take care of because his mother said so – he should be less condescending and show more respect for the fact that he hardly knows Walt


    Quotes minor characters: Herunterladen [docx][92 KB]

    Quotes minor characters: Herunterladen [pdf][187 KB]


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