French History: The Good and The Bad

As I have time to reflect during this Christmas break, I find myself furiously scavenging through Pinterest and coming across new, exciting and interesting topics for my students this Spring semester. One of which is French History in all its forms. Consider this picture:


What a conversation starter!

CLASS QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: "Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez?" (=What do you think?) Can you imagine if "consorting with the enemy" resulted in women being humiliated by having their heads shaved while other snapped pictures and uploaded them to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media?

Or consider this picture:


It's incredible! The BBC reports that, "It was this portrait that shocked a nation. Marie Antoinette, the queen of France in 1783, had already outraged the French with her opulence; now she managed to scandalise the nation by ditching the glitz and taking a more simple approach to her outfits. So simple, in fact, that the nation thought she had posed for the portrait in her underwear."

CLASS QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: "Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez?" (=What do you think?) Can you point to any celebrities in our culture that have been photographed looking or acting inappropriately? Was Marie Antoinette a trend-setter in your opinion? Why or why not?

I created a French: History and Beyond Pinterest Board, borne out of my fascination with the compelling images I saw connecting back to French history, culture and scandal. If you'd like to check out the board, which I have only recently created (therefore, a work in progress), I encourage you to click HERE.

Can you think of any other discussion questions relevant to the above photos?

I would be honored to hear from you! Leave your comment in the section below.

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