Oh Deer!

Leading a lesson on types of characters (protagonist, antagonist, supporting, complex, static, etc.), I use the film Bambi as an example. Apparently, that the skunk is named Flower might be the funniest tidbit soon-to-be ninth graders have ever heard. Thinking we've stumbled upon a teachable moment, I point out that the name of Flower appeals to our sense of irony. One student says, "Yeah, but it doesn't make sense that a skunk is called Flower." Right, I point out, that's what makes it ironic. "Then ironic (sic) is stupid!" another blurts. No, it's not, I explain, getting defensive. Let's go over what irony means one more time. As I begin, another student interrupts. "Is Bambi a boy or a girl?" "Bambi's a boy, stupid." "But Bambi's a girl name!" The whole class has a (loud) opinion on the matter. At first I get frustrated, then I remember having a similar conversation at college. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?

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