Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pretty as a Picture

At our conference today we talked about using paintings to inspire writing in your students. I was given a picture similar to this one, but from a much older time period. Think A painting of a mother and two daughters around the dinner table in a setting more akin to The Crucible.
Here's the dialogue I wrote with it.

MOTHER: Eat your porridge, Sariah.

SARIAH [older daughter]: Yes, mum. For I know that money for this porridge does not grow on trees. I also know that if I please you, there’s more of a chance that will be able to play my drum later.
Outside. 

MOTHER: True, dearest. And, Madeline? How do you like your porridge? 

MADELINE [younger daughter]: I hate it! I don’t want it. It looks like mucus.

MOTHER: Now, Madeline. That’s all there is. We’ll have roast when you father gets well. I don’t know where he picked up the disease that resembles syphilis, but which he assures me is not.

SARIAH: [picks up spoon. Porridge slops back into the bowl.] This is gross, mother. I don’t want it either. 

MADELINE: It’s sick! Did daddy puke this up earlier? [In her examination of the gruel she manages to get it on herself, the table, and the floor. 

MOTHER: “Just lie back and think of France.” “Just lie back and think of France.” [She recites. Picks up plates and makes a new meal.]

This painting better captures the juxaposed frustration and joy of motherhood.

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