Group #3: Using the timeline provided in the DOSSIER section, please retrace the different stages in  Shakespeare`s career. Point out when he faced personal or professional difficulties and also highlight his great success.

  • went to school with the age of 7
  • left school early because he had to gain money(1578)
  • didn’t go to a university because his father employs him as an assistant to his glove making business
  • personal difficulties because of the sister’s death
  • Shakespeare’s first poem(1582) was inspired by his marriage with Anne Hathaway
  • The lost years from 1584-1592
  • 1589: “The two Gentlemen in Verona” and “The Comedy of Errors” written and performed
  • 1590: “King John” written and performed at The Theatre
  • 1592: Shakespeare was attacked by less successful playwriters
  • 1594: Shakespeare joins a Company which dominated the London theatre, Romeo &Juliet was written and performed
  • 1596: Shakespeares son died, no male children anymore
  • 1597: affairs to William Herbert and the dark Lady begin
  • 1601: John Shakespeare dies


4. Racial Discrimination

Dublin in black and white American South
  • Immigrants are stealing and violent
  • Migrants are blamed for the slow business
  • Aren’t juridical haunted for some things
  • The inhabitants don’t want the immigrants in Ireland, are feared of them
  • Government tries to repatriating the immigrants
  • Immigrants are happy about their living conditions
  • Discrimination of Blacks, Mexicans, Catholics, Jews
  • Immigrants work on the plantations- slave-trade business
  • blacks were forbidden to practice their culture, language, religion
  • Segregation of the society
  • Bad living conditions
  • Openly discrimination
  • Civil Right Movements


TASK #2: Looking back at the materials you focused on for homework, please explore the black ideal of beauty and the struggles it brings along for African-American women. Connect your findings to the way weight and beauty issues are dealt with in the film Precious. More information on obesity among the black community can be found below.


Many coloured women use skin-lightening creams. They want to brighten the tone of their face and to be more excepted in society.But the creams include prescription-strength steroids which damage the skin.


Another beauty ideal is to be obese. 4 out of 5 African-American women are overweight or obese. Although studies show a strong tendency to deem larger body sizes as acceptable, particularly for women. It is even more alarming that some of these women are making a choice to live at an unhealthy weight, to be accepted.

To accomplish the black ideal of beauty they take many risks. The skin-ligthening creams have some adverse effects:

  • skin becomes very thin
  • capillaries become visible
  • acne

Also the obesity has some risks.

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure


A) Find out as much as you can about the film PRECIOUS. Consider summaries, trailers and reviews and collect reasons why it might or might not be interesting and enlightening to watch the film in class. Prepare a five-minute presentation.


  • 2009 american drama film by the director Lee Daniels
  • based on 1996 novel “Push” by Sapphire
  • main character: 16-year-old Claireece P. “Precious” Jones

  • she is teen mother, dark skinned, overweight and illiterate; living with her abusive mother in the ghetto of Harlem.
  • The first child has the Down Syndrom, and is therefore named “Mongo”
  • She gets pregnant by her father the second time that’s why she has to leave the high school
  • Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks even though she is illiterate

first impressions concerning the trailer:

  • shocking
  • tragical
  • hard
  • moving
  • feeling sorry for Precious
  • agitating
  • shows cruel reality and hopelessness of a young persons life, living in Harlem (as a black)

Why we should watch this film:

The fim is a real “tear-jerker”.

Get an important insight of a ghetto life and all the problems of a hopeless future/perspective especially for blacks (vicious circle).

You realize that we can appreciate our living conditions!

It’s enlightening because you can compare the situation of the blacks from 1987 to nowadays. This fits perfect to our issue “the african-american experience” with their struggle for equality

Lee Daniels’s “Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire” is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity( Leistungsfähigkeit) to grow and overcome.

The plot is painfully raw, and the acting is so real that it’s almost like watching a documentary instead of a Hollywood creation.

Untrained actress Gabourey Sidibe shines in the title role of Claireece Precious Jones, a morbidly obese (übergewicht) black teen from a Welfare home. Precious has been abused her entire (vollständig) life, by both her father and her mother. He father’s abuse was sexual. Because of his rapes, Precious has two children by him.

Precious’ mother constantly abuses her, also – verbally, emotionally, and physically. She uses the girl ly as a servant and as a meal ticket for her Welfare checks. The only stability in Precious’ life at this point is the grandmother, whose fear of her daughter prevents her from aiding her granddaughter.

Because of all the abuse, poor Precious has absolutely no self esteem. She describes herself as “ugly black grease to be washed from the street.”

Precious’ mother, Mary, is played by Mo’Nique. Who knew she was such an amazing actress? The scene with Mary and the social worker is truly unforgettable. In fact, it’s some of the best acting I’ve ever witnessed. As I was watching the scene, spellbound, I was wondering where Mo’Nique found all the razor-sharp emotion. There really are no words to describe it. You’ll just have to see it for yourself.

School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious is practically illiterate (ungebildet) , yet in her inner city Harlem school, she’s considered a good student because she’s quiet and rarely causes any trouble. Her life changes, however, when school officials discover that she’s pregnant and is subsequently kicked out of school. Her only option is to attend an alternative school.

The alternative class is taught by Ms. Rain, played by Paula Patton. Rain is a truly dedicated teacher who cares deeply about her students. Once Precious learns to trust and believe in Ms. Rain, she begins to believe in herself and starts to turn her life around.

Beneath her impassive (teilnahmslos) expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate (unvollständig) but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her.

This movie touched me on several levels, probably because of my years teaching at the high school level. Precious reminded me of several students I’ve known – lost souls searching for a way to assuage the pain in their lives. Unfortunately, far too many of these youth simply fall through the cracks. They don’t all have a Ms. Rain to catch them. The only parts of the movie that didn’t completely work for me were Precious’ fantasies. She often daydreams about being a movie star or some other celebrity, where crowds of fans adore her. I suppose they fit in a way, however, since Precious’ ultimate goal was finding love and acceptance.


Please create a mind map or a similar document relating FINDING FORRESTER to the topic THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

You can only see the face of William Forrester. He slightly opens the door for Jamal Wallace.

William looks very sceptical and seems to be unfortunate about Jamals visit.

William seems to be a person who likes to be alone.

The two are in Forresters study room.  On the desk are many books.

W.F seems to teach Jamal in something. He is standing and watches at Jamal in an authority way.

Jamal is holding something in his hands. It’s looking like a script.

The situation seems a little bit warmer than in the first picture.

-eye contact

Jamal is rotating a basketball on his finger.

In the backround are a lot of books, which are batched high. Jamal seems to be intelligent and eager to learn.

But because of the basketball he also seems to be sporty.

  • Jamal and Forrester are talking. Forrester is holding his bycicle. He wears a draft. Jamal wears the school uniform.
  • The relationship seems much better than in the other pictures. Jamal looks fortunate and also Forrester looks less sceptical.
  • Forrester now seems to be opener toward Jamal

2. Bronx in 1990s

After the second World War new houses where built. Construction ranged from luxury apartment buildings in Riverdale to public housing in the southern Bronx. About 170,000 persons displaced by slum clearing in Manhattan, mostly black and Puerto Rican, moved to Hunts Point and Morrisania, as well as to Melrose, Tremont, and Highbridge. In 1950, social workers reported enduring poverty in a section of the southern Bronx. A period of rampant arson in the late 1960s and early 1970s ended only after the policy was changed and a limit was imposed on insurance payments for reconstructing burned-out apartment buildings. From that time one-family houses and row houses were built, hundreds of apartment buildings restored, and several apartments converted to cooperatives and condominium units, permitting more residents of the southern Bronx to own their homes.

Flynn: the Democratic leader of Bronx county, the construction in the 1950s and 1960s of housing and a network of highways linking the Bronx with the rest of the city.

As commuting by automobile became more convenient, high-rise apartment building were erected in southern and eastern neighborhoods along the new roads. Co-op city, a complex of 15,372 units built in the northeastern Bronx between 1968 and 1970, housed sixty thousand persons and was among the largest housing developments in the world. Industries occupied new industrial parks in the Bronx. Puerto Ricans accounted for a growing share of the population (20 percent in 1970) and became more active in politics.

By the mid 1990s the population of the Bronx was increasing. It was about a third black, a third Latin American, and a third Asian and white.there were also growing numbers of Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians, Pakistanis, Cubans, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Greeks, and Russians. Many Albanians settled in Belmont, many Cambodians in Fordham. Co-op City remained a successful development, luxury apartments built in Riverdale in the 1950s became cooperatives, and the housing stock continued to include the world’s largest concentration of buildings in the art deco style. Entrepreneurs formed new businesses, and the borough’s public schools were overcrowded with new immigrants.

3. The trailer

The trailer shows that Jamal is living in the Bronx. He and his friends are talking about someone who is watching them trough a window, while they’re playing basketball. They call the person “the window”. In the next scene Jamal surch for something in the apartment of “the window”. The owner suprised him and he forgot his bag. Jamal is good in writing literarily texts. His notebook was in the bag and when he got it back, the text is corrected. In consequence of that he knocks on the door and asks “the wondow” to correct some other works. He worked out that the person who correct his work is the famous author William Forrester.

I didn’t expect that a succesful author like Forrester lives in the Bronx. I imagined him in a nice suburban homestead.  In addition I suspect him to be  more unapproachable. But the trailer shows how enthusiastic Forrester is, while working with Jamal. He is pleased that he “found” such a great talent. Jamal, with his cool image approved my expectations. He got into Forresters apartment because his friends “want” it. He wants to be accepted in his community. Moreover he plays basketball to answer the expectations of a normal boy.

The trailer suggests that you find your passion and find your courage when you watch the film. I think people watch the film because it is interesting, how a black boy of the Bronx is getting better in writing with the help of an educated author.

Forrester learns that his life as an unapproachable living old man isn’t that nice.  It’s the developement of Jamal and Forrester which is interesting for the viewer.

The film seems very exciting. The narrator speaks mysterious and the scenes also show interesting parts of the film. You can get an overview of the plot because the trailer shows many different scenes.The coulours are also mostly dark and in sepia. Specially when Forrester and Jamal are working. The light is dimmed and they work in a room with dark coloured furniture. That fits to the mysterious narrator voice. The camera settings change very often. That enables to have a bis overview about the topic.

The Bronx is depicted as a basketball playing community, who are living on their own.  The trailer shows that Jamal wants to be accepted in this community. He plays basketball and tones down his literarily talent to match in the Bronx. In addition they are discriminated by others, like Jamal is dicriminated by his teacher.

4. Comparison

A Coming of age story is memorable because the character undergoes adventures and inner turmoil in his/her growth and development as a human being.

Rags to riches refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth, or sometimes from obscurity to fame.(wikipedia)

Both terms go with the story of Finding Forrester. Jamal is getting better in writing because Forrester helps him. He grows and goes to a private school. In addition he rises from a basketball playing boy, who wants to be accpeted in the Bronx to a succesful writer who is accepted of an educated author. Jamal learns that he has a talent and can be proud. At the beginning of the trailer Forrester is an unapproached old man who is living in his apartment without having contact to anyone. At the end he is going out with Jamal, and talking in Jamal’s school. He established the contact to the rest of the world.