A Hauntingly Silent Town: Something Wicked This Way Comes vs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Most educators will be quick to agree that when teaching compare and contrast skills in writing, a visual aid is almost always helpful to students. It is especially helpful when students are immersed in a novel reading and they need to analyze details about a key character and find pull quotes to support the character’s actions or motivations. At times, the best way to understand an important fictional character is to draw comparisons between that character and a visual representation of a similar character.
While teaching Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, a great supplementary teaching tool is an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled Hush. The episode also features mysterious men who come to a small town in October and just like Mr. Dark’s carnival sets up in silence, almost the entire episode is filmed in silence; no dialogue at all. The story is told primarily through facial expressions.
It is a great way for the students to see why the two young boys were so put off by the silent carnival and shows too that silence is sometimes much more frightening than things that go bump in the night.
The best time to use the episode is after you finish reading Chapters 1-15. Give your students a break from reading for the day or two it takes to go over the power point (available to download below), watch the episode and fill in a compare and contrast chart. Then, ask them to write a Compare and Contrast essay. Now you have a quick and easy lesson and assignment.