Our English class was given the task of performing an act based on a missing "gap" in this novel. The missing gap has to be based on a minor or new character and the scene must provide a voice for them and reveal how his/her motivations, attitude and values impact upon other characters.
My group and I are in urgent need for some ideas so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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If the focus is to create a gap of something that was not there, it might be interesting to see Paul return back to his hometown and engage one of the teachers who was so passionate to send the boys off to war. At the point where Paul returns back to see his family, he is already aware of the dehumanization that war brings. Paul is also aware of how mistaken his school teachers and adults that were so insistent on their children entering the war. It might be interesting to stage a conversation between Paul and these forces. What if Paul could put someone like Kantorek on trial in an intense conversation where the older person's thoughts are challenged by the younger person's experiences? In this case, Kantorek's "crimes, as Paul terms them, would have their day in a type of court.
We see this in Paul's narration of what he encounters while in war. Yet, to have a scene where he is able to question and thus put on trial these forces who were so very wrong about the war effort might be really powerful and effective. This gap would bring a new voice to the older generation and would also bring a voice to Paul's generation as they would be able to fundamentally question the "wisdom" of the war effort. It would reveal the attitudes and values of those who advocated war and those who actually had to endure it. I think that this might be a fairly interesting gap to create.
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