Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1)
Schneider powerfully portrays the theme of mental conditioning in Berlin in "The Wall Jumper". Mental conditioning involves the thoughts and beliefs that people are conditioned or habituated to believe in over time. The objective of this lesson is to examine the concept of mental conditioning in "The Wall Jumper".
1) Class Discussion: What is mental conditioning? West Berlin residents consider themselves superior to their neighbors in the East. How are the Germans conditioned? What do they believe? What are they afraid of? What emotional responses do their mental conditioning evoke?
2) Group Discussion: Consider the theme of mental conditioning in relationship to the quote by Schneider, Where does the state end and the self begin? How far are we conditioned by the place we are born in?" Does mental conditioning as evidenced in "The Wall Jumper" prevent independent thought? Why or why not?
3) Individual Writing Assignment...
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