The Friday Everything Changed: Building Understanding

Which Essential Question(s) is addressed in this piece of literature? Content:

a)     What happens in the text/movie/Talk?

b)     What is the main message/theme?


How does the text answer the EQ?

Answer in full sentences. Record relevant quotes and page numbers/lines if needed.

When is it acceptable to challenge the values of society?


Why do people feel the need to conform to society and its expectations?


















Theme statement: If someone who firmly believes in their cause and finds the determination and courage to stand up, change will probably follow.

In FEC a question is posed that challenges society’s expectations, or lack thereof, of girls, and backlash ensues. A divide defines between the girls and the boys, and some of the girls begin to wonder if it was worth it challenging the values of society. The girls consider going back against the question, and pretending it never happened, thus almost conforming to society. The backlash sparks fear in those on the verge of change, but soon, the protagonist ends the feud effectively, and answers the question in favour of the (formerly) oppressed, providing them a privilege only previously granted to the boys.

When is it acceptable to challenge the values of society?

FEC attempts to answer this question throughout the course of the story. The story begins with someone challenging the values of society, but it is uncertain if whether or not is is acceptable. But for the characters in the story, the characters that the reader has an insight to, it feels right. They feel exhilarated to be going against the values of society (“so many bad feelings, and so many new feelings in the air”), and they hope that their goal will be realized. “But all their (the boys) bullying did was to keep us together,” the girls unite over a common goal, and it is proven to be a positive development: “for the first time, us girls found ourselves telling each other our troubles and even our thoughts without fear of being laughed at. And that was something new at our school.” (pg. 8) When their goal is realized (no quote inserted due to spoilers) it could have been questioned whether or not it was for the best. But based on how the girls feel throughout the story – united – the result is the desired.


Why do people feel the need to conform to society and its expectations?

The Friday Everything Changed answers this question partly with its setting. The story takes place in a small school, where all the students of any grade fit in one classroom. They hold tradition to a high standard (“The last hour of school on Friday afternoons was for Junior Red cross”, pg. 3), best exemplified by the water bucket carrying tradition that the story centers around. Therefore, it is easy to understand why the characters are hesitant to stray from their traditions. That is how it has always been, and the results of someone even suggesting to defy it are unknown, which leads to “why are we afraid of change?”. There is a need to conform to peers because that is what we’re used to, and are more or less comfortable (after finding out they can’t play softball: “If it hadn’t been for Doris Pomeroy, we would’ve broken rank right there and then.” Pg. 8) However, as one can see upon finishing the story, the girls fought the need to conform to the society they once knew, and begin their own.



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