Monday, February 20, 2006

Men in Hats, or, I'm Glad I Don't Teach Composition Anymore

With little ones, we don’t get out to movies very often. This weekend was a major exception, with two movies in two days. I took The Boy to see Curious George, and The Wife to see Brokeback Mountain.

Seeing two movies back-to-back prompted the inevitable comparisons, which, in turn, brought back memories of those awful “compare and contrast” essay assignments from my days teaching composition 1. What follows is a compare-and-contrast essay, in the style of a freshman composition student, about the two movies. I did my best to get the prose style right. For those who’ve never taught a class that involved grading freshman papers, you might want to take a stiff drink before reading more...


Although Curious George and Brokeback Mountain share many similarities, they also share many differences. Both involve men in hats, but the meaning of the hat changes.

Curious George is the story of a monkey and the man he adopts. The Man in the Yellow Hat works in a museum, where he never figures out that Drew Barrymore has a crush on him. He must be gay or something. He gets sent to Africa to find a statue that could save the museum. He doesn’t, but he could of if he had figured out how to read the map. A monkey steals his hat, which is like stealing his identity, but it’s a hat. It’s an example of nature’s inhumanity to man.

Anyway, the monkey follows the man back to New York City. They get into alot of adventures. Just when The Man and Drew Barrymore are about to hook up, George starts firing off a rocket. This is called symbolism. Then they go around the world again and again (The Man and George, not The Man and Drew).

Brokeback Mountain is about two gay cowboys. We know they’re gay cause they have sex. Also cause they don’t like Anne Hathaway, Michele Williams, and that chick who played Lindsay on Freaks and Geeks and is on ER now. They both wear cowboy hats, but not yellow ones.

The cowboys meet when their on the same sheep drive. They hook up cause it’s cold, but decide they like it. They go back to the real world and get married to women, but can’t stop hooking up in the mountains. Heath Ledger tells his wife he’s going fishing, but he’s not.

Eventually, they break up and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s brother dies. He wasn’t a very good cowboy. He always held his cigarettes like joints. Also, Anne Hathaway had funny hair.

At the end, Heath Ledger mumbles something meaningful to the other cowboy’s shirt, which is like a hat, but it has sleeves. This is called symbolism. The theme is man’s inhumanity to man, and their wifes.

Although the two movies were the same, they were also different.


If one of your students plagiarizes that for an assignment, I’ll be oddly proud.