Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 12, 2008

Drama High: language lessons

Filed under: "Drama High: The Fight" — scrollman @ 11:45 am

Joyce brought up a wonderful point about the use of slang in this book.  If you’re not familiar with the lingo, you’re in for a real education.  I think there are wonderful opportunities here to discuss language, and how stereotypes are often created and perpetuated by the way people talk.  Jayd uses slang, but this in no way diminshes her intellect.  In fact, Jayd will use different ways of speaking depending on who she is with, and what the context is.  Jayd can turn on her street wise, Compton, identity if she needs to; but she can also talk as if she were in a Harvard law class, as is described in the classroom scene, when she criticizes the Constitution.   Mrs. Peterson is so clearly intellectualy outmatched in this argument, and can only counter Jayd’s superior reasoning by doing something punitive. 

In her post, Joyce also mentioned the many different “fights” that happen in this book.  I think these “fights” are fought and won with the use of language.  Jayd is a master communicator, and is able to work through her problems (most of which she inherited) by her powers of reasoning and communication.  In many ways, Jayd reminds me of Hamlet.  She’s kind of forced to deal with a mess that she didn’t create, and spends most of the book thinking of ways to get around it.  Like Hamlet, she intellectually outclasses just about everyone in the book, with the exception of her grandmother.  I love the way she pulls apart the insipid arguments of Misty and KJ; does this remind anyone of Hamlet doing the same thing to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?  

Jonathan 

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