Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carrie: Prom Night

Carrie is an amazing book by my favorite author, Stephen King. The first version of the movie in the 70's is a master piece of horror. It is one of my all time favorite movies. The remake, though, is not as good as the original one, but it is very faithful to the book's plot. I also liked it. One of my readers asked me for a post about prom nights and I immediately thought about Carrie. I hope you, Marcia, and everyone enjoys it, especially because it is a cultural topic. In Brazil, for example, there isn't such a thing called prom night. Here we have graduation parties which are very different from prom nights. Enjoy it, Marcia. And thanks for the suggestion.

  • For many students, prom night exists as the single most important social event of the year. It has evolved from a simple dance in the 1950s to a major yearly event that involves a great deal of time, effort, planning and money. Traditionally, prom night occurs in the spring. The junior class gives the prom for the senior class, and it serves as a gift to graduating seniors. Effects on the wallet of parents continue to grow along with the list of activities. Parents are willing to spend a great deal of money on items such as limousines and expensive attire to be sure that the event is memorable for their student. Prom night provides the students involved with wonderful memories of a very special night that may be their first formal date and dance. Additionally, prom night provides closure in the form of a special event near the end of the year for seniors.

I. Work with a partner:

1. What do you know about prom night? Does the definition above surprise you? Do you have a similar event in your country (city)?

2. Do you think it is an important event in a teenager's life? Why?

3. Do you think it is a cool or tacky ceremony? Why?

4. Being such an important event in their lives, how do you think teenagers spend the the day before prom night? What do you think they wear on prom night? How different are the girls and the guys' expectations for prom night?

II. Read the short text below and check your answers:

What is prom night today? Prom night is still the most important dance of high school senior year. And like always, the night still revolves around having a date. Most teens would rather avoid the prom altogether than arrive without a date. Guys agonize over whether the answer will be yes or no when they ask a girl to the prom. They dont realize that girls devote months toward relationships to be asked by the right person. On prom night, the girls spend hours getting dressed together. The guys hang out a while, and then get dressed at the last minute. Formal dress is still in, with the girls wearing gowns and the boys wearing tuxedos. Spending the night with a rented limousine is perhaps the most popular tradition, whether individually or as a group. Before-prom dinners are still common. The boy is expected to cover these expenses. 
How has prom night changed? In the last decade, some schools are renting ballrooms for the prom, and teenagers are increasingly renting hotel rooms for the weekend. A recent trend has seen groups of formally dressed teens descending on local bowling alleys before prom. Something that has not changed is that when the boy arrives at the girls home, he is likely to be greeted by proud parents wielding a camera. Thats also what prom is.
By Ian Partridge

III. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions.

1. What were some of the characteristics of a traditional prom night described in Exercise II (Reading) that you managed to see in the snippet?

2. How did they go to the prom? How were Carrie and Tommy feeling before the prom?

3. What were the students wearing?

4. What kind of music was playing there?

5. Talk about the decoration of the party.

6. How were the King and the Queen of prom night chosen?

7. What was their prize?

7. Why do you think Carrie and Tommy were chosen to be the King and Queen of the prom?

8. This scene does not have a happy ending. What do you think will happen next?