Words of Wisdom
“Sometimes you can look with your eyes. Sometimes you have to look with your hands”– Mrs Cameron (trying to find something that is likely hiding in the back of the fridge)
“The colder the bathroom, the less it smells”– Mr Cameron (making the case for central air)
Words of Wisdom are words that are as powerful as they are meaningful. Authors choose to put these words in their writing on purpose. They can be shared with readers through conversations between characters. This often happens during a quiet and serious talk involving one character, who is likely older and wiser, who offers advice to the protagonist (protagonist is a fancy word for the main good guy). This advice can be helpful in the moment, but it also likely presents a life lesson to be learned.
Below is a song titled Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen). Nearly the entire song is comprised of Words of Wisdom. As you listen, consider the Words of Wisdom and what they mean to you. Are these Words of Wisdom still meaningful 20 years after the song was produced?
As good readers, we should be looking for Words of Wisdom in stories. When we notice them, we should stop and ask ourselves what is the lesson to be learned, how does this lesson affect the character and what does it mean to us? When you ask yourself these questions, you will think more about character, problems (conflict), the plot and the main idea of the story (theme). You will have a better understanding of what the author is trying to communicate.
In the next example, Harry Potter (boy wizard) has doubts and begins to worry that his fate is to become evil like He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named. His Godfather, Sirius, is able to provide Harry with Words of Wisdom which hit a powerful chord with Harry.
As you watch, try to pick out the sentences which represent Words of Wisdom.
Sirius Black’s words of wisdom were, “We both have light and darkness inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. ” He is speaking about the duality (means two-sided) of good and evil and the freedom of choice we have to choose who we want to be as a person.
He is another example of Words of Wisdom from The Lion King. As you watch, search for the Words of Wisdom. What do these words mean to the story? Or to you?
Rafiki offers Words of Wisdom to Simba when he says, “The past can hurt. The way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it”. As good readers, once we have identified the Words of Wisdom, we can stop and ask ourselves what this tells us about the story’s theme and characters. In this case, it tells us about personal choice and the importance of facing our fears. We can assume that Simba will be making the difficult choice to face problems he has been running from.
More Words of Wisdom to Ponder…
Always look good, always bring a snack and never leave a messBill