Friday, December 5, 2014

Reading Period 15: December 3-9: Emily Dickinson and Ambrose Bierce

Long Read: 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Chapters 33-End

Short Read:

"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce, AIAL p 422-429


Emily Dickinson bio and selections, AIAL p 320-329
Specifically focus on:
"Because I Could Not Stop for Death"
"A Narrow Fellow in the Grass"
"Hope is a Thing with Feathers"

Creative Assignment:

Knowing what you know about Emerson and Thoreau and now about Walt Whitman, and reading what you've read by Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, write a dialogue between two of these characters where they argue about something that's happening in our society today. It could be the incident in Ferguson, it could be the Orion space flight, it could be the war with ISIS, or any other event you think will spark an interesting discussion of the nature of humanity, what is important to do with our time, or what it is possible for humans to become.  You don't have to stick to "Emerson is an optimist and Melville is a pessimist," or anything as simple as that, but you should incorporate some references to, if not quotes from, something we've read.

Google Fu:

In 1885, Mark Twain visited Yale Law School, where he met an African American student that gave him a tour of the campus. He later wrote a letter to the dean of the school, offering to pay this student's tuition. In the letter he said, "I do not believe I would very cheerfully help a white student who would ask a benevolence of a stranger, but I do not feel so about the other color. We have ground the manhood out of them & the shame is ours, not theirs, & we should pay for it." I am looking for a legitimate source that gives us the rest of this letter. I have not been able to find one. Go!

Twitter Scholar:

Choose any Nathaniel Hawthorne story, and find a place where you can copy and paste the text (someplace like Project Gutenberg or an etext library will give you plain text to copy and paste. Now make a word cloud using Wordle. When you have it how you want it, with the colors and font and shape you like, Tweet your word cloud.


This is an exercise in working with a possibly questionable source. Ambrose Bierce's death is one of the great mysteries in American literary history. What happened to Ambrose Bierce at the end of his life? Read the section of his Wikipedia page called "Disappearance" and then read this article that speculates Bierce may have fallen into the fourth dimension. Take notes on it, and indicate in your notes what seems to be factual and trustworthy and what statements you might dispute or distrust.


Taking into account your peer review and my comments, revise your paper. Read it loud, sentence by sentence, into a mirror or to a parent or sibling. Have someone in your household check it for spelling and grammar errors. Turn in your final draft by Tuesday at midnight! Celebrate by jumping up and down!


1. What old friend does Huck run into at the beginning of chapter 33?
2. Where do Tom and Huck find Jim?
3. What techniques does Tom want to try out, to make the rescue of Jim more interesting?
4. Why does Tom want to use a case-knife for digging, instead of a pick?
5. What does "smouch" mean?
6. How do Huck and Tom plan to get the escape rope in to Jim?
7. Why does Tom insist they get a pen in to Jim before he can escape? What does he have to do?
8. What animals does Tom think Jim needs to make him a proper prisonser?
9. What did Tom and Huck do with the sawdust from sawing off the leg of the bed?
10. Why did Tom Sawyer need a doctor?
BONUS: What does Jim tell Huck that means he can go home and claim his money?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reading Period 14: Nov 26-Dec 2: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walt Whitman

Black veil, much?
Long Read: 

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, chapters 25-32

Short Read:

AIAL pages 247-269

Nathaniel Hawthorne biographical summary.
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
The Minister's Black Veil
"The Notebooks and other Writings"

Whitman. Coolest American of 19th century?
Or coolest American ever? 

AIAL pages 349-360

Walt Whitman biography and poems, including the following:
From "Song of Myself"
"One's-Self I Sing"
"I Hear America Singing"
"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"
"A Noiseless Patient Spider"
"Beat! Beat! Drums!"
"A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown"

Creative Assignment: 

Write poetry! Your poem(s) can be inspired by or influenced by any of the American poets we have read in class, or they can be entirely original contemporary works. You will post your poetry to the group, and next class we will examine and analyze it -- rhyme scheme, meter, imagery, metaphors, and the rest. Make it juicy so we have a lot to dig into!


Print out and read your critique partner's rough draft. Use this form to do your peer review. It's called "Ten Steps to Peer Review." Zoe and Jacob will need to scan and email their forms and papers, or Jacob you can give it to me and I'll mail it, but Sarah and Benny can exchange critiques at co-op.

No quiz, Google Fu, Twitter Scholar, or Note-Taking assignment this week. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and read everything assigned so we can have a great discussion next week!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Reading Period 13: Nov 19-25: Slave Songs and Fireside Poets

Long Read: 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, chapters 17-24.

Short Read:

Excerpts from "My Bondage and My Freedom" by Frederick Douglass.
Read the biographical selection and the short excerpt in your textbook (AIAL p. 363-364), and then read chapters 15-17 at this site, which gives an e-text of the whole book.


Fireside Poets:
Longfellow: "A Psalm of Life" (AIAL p. 297)
Whittier: "From Snowbound" (AIAL p. 306)
Holmes: "The Chambered Nautilus" (AIAL p. 312)
Lowell: "The Courtin'" (AIAL p. 316)

Slave Songs:
"Follow the Drinking Gourd"
"Wade in the Water"
"Steal Away"
"Swing Low Sweet Chariot"
(Those three songs can be found here.)

Creative Assignment:

Have a look at the many different cover illustrations different publishers and artists have created for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some are slanted more toward children, and some are more scholarly or "grown up." Now create your own cover. What scene or pose would you use to represent the book? What audience do you intend to reach -- kids? adults? Who is this book written for?

Google Fu:

Slavery is illegal in every nation of the world. But does it still exist? Use Google to research this question, and post your answers to these questions, using at least one good source to back up your answers. Is slavery still happening in our world? If so, where? Make sure you link to your source.


Pretend you are writing a paper about slave narratives. The following two links come up in your research, and you must consider a strategy for taking notes on both of them.

"An Introduction to the Slave Narrative" by William L. Andrews (
"The Slave Narrative" by Donna M. Campbell (

One of these links takes you to an article with paragraphs. The other is constructed more as a list. Answer the following questions: 1. How would you approach taking notes, for each one? 2. Which one is more valuable to your research and why? 3. What is a slave narrative?

Twitter Scholar:

Often you can find the freshest new material on a given subject by using Twitter, because people tend to post links to new articles, not old. Search "slavery" on Twitter to help you answer your Google Fu questions this week. What is the difference between the articles/resources you turn up using Google and those you turn up using Twitter? Check the dates on the links you find. Can you find an article published in November 2014? How would you go about finding this article on Google?


Your rough draft is due on Tuesday, November 25, at midnight. Please write your rough draft in a Google document and share it to the group. Make sure you share it so that others "Can View" instead of "Can Edit"! When everyone has shared their paper, we will do peer review using this form. You must print out the paper you are reviewing, and mark it up with colored pencils or markers as described on the form, and turn it in to your partner the following week. Partners: Benny and Sarah, Jacob and Zoe. I will be marking up a copy too. After you get your critiques back, you'll have a week to revise it.


Instead of a quiz over the novel chapters this week, answer these questions with True or False, according to your own feelings. I'll also post this on the Google+ community, and you can answer there, to see how your opinions line up with your classmates' opinions. 

1. A good education makes a good person.
2. It is better to follow laws, even if we don’t agree with all of them.
3. Children should obey and respect adults.
4. The ability to read and write is the most important skill a person can learn in life.
5. An adolescent’s behavior is influenced by friends more than anything else.
6. An adolescent’s attitudes are influenced by parents more than anything else.
7. A person must “play the game” to survive.
8. “Game playing” is dishonest.
9. Cruelty begets cruelty and kindness begets kindness.
10. When bad things happen to a person, he/she has done something to cause them.

(Discussion prompts from "A Teacher's Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Jane Shlensky.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Reading Period 12: November 12-18: Henry David Thoreau

Long Read:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, chapters 9-16
Check out the Project Gutenberg version online to see some of the original illustrations.

Short Read:

"From Walden" in your textbook, excerpts from the book by Henry David Thoreau. You should also read the biographical note about Thoreau.


You can find these poems on this page.
"The Inward Morning"
"The Summer Rain"
"My Life Has Been the Poem"
"What's the Railroad to Me?"
"Within the Circle of This Plodding Life"

Creative Assignment:

In "Walden," Thoreau describes sitting in his doorstep for hours just thinking, or sitting in his boat in the pond for hours playing the flute. Your assignment is to sit quietly in a natural setting (outside, preferably with trees and around you) for fifteen minutes, doing nothing but think. Don't draw, read, or talk to anyone -- stay alone in your own head. Afterward, write at least 250 words describing the experience.


Do the same, but write a poem about it.

Note Taking:

Sometimes when writing about a person (as you all are in your paper), it's useful to boil down their philosophy or position on a topic to a few lines or a good, representative quote. Read Henry David Thoreau's essay "Civil Disobedience." Please note there are three pages. Pretend you are writing a paper about Thoreau and that your thesis statement is that Thoreau is a good example of an American because he feels it's his responsibility to criticize the government. Take notes on this essay, as if you are going to use it as evidence of Thoreau's attitude toward the government and a citizen's duty to question it and demand improvements. Pull out three quotes that would make good evidence in a paper, if Thoreau were your topic.

Google Fu:

If you were to retreat from society to be alone and contemplate philosophy for a year, where would you go? Tropical island? Cabin in the woods like Thoreau? Arctic outpost? Sailboat? Show us a picture of your Walden.

Twitter Scholar:

Thoreau's ideas inspire the environmentalists of today, and he was one of the first Americans to write passionately about nature preservation and conservancy. Find three Twitter feeds that you think Thoreau would have followed, if he were alive and on Twitter. Tweet about it, tagging these feeds. For instance, you might Tweet: "The following feeds have been approved by the ghostly spirit of Thoreau: @natureisgreat @lovenature @savetheplanet" or whatever.


Using your shiny revised outline as a guide, write a first draft! The first draft will be due November 25. I previously said it would be due November 18, but I'm going to give you another week. Please use it!

Now is the time for us to talk about how to cite your sources. If you read this page from the good old Purdue writing lab, you'll know everything there is to know, but let me summarize what I want you to do.

When you use information that you found in a book or article, or when you make a statement that you are going to back up with evidence from one of your sources, you need to provide a citation so that readers know where you got that information, or can check your evidence to verify your claim. Citing sources gives your paper validity, puts you legitimately in a community of scholars and thinkers, and banishes the specter of plagiarism, which means taking credit for someone else's work or ideas.

You'll let your readers know what sources you used in two ways: first in parenthetical citations and then on a Works Cited page. When you use information from or a quote from a source, you'll include a parenthetical notation giving the author and the page number, right in that same paragraph -- either after the quote or at the end of the paragraph if the whole paragraph is relevant to your source. A parenthetical citation usually includes the author's name and a page number, like this: (Melville 38). You can find out how to handle parenthetical citations for all different kinds of sources on this page.

Every author you use in a parenthetical citation will correspond to an entry on your Works Cited page. The Works Cited page comes at the end of your paper, and lists all the resources you used, as referenced in your parenthetical citations. You can find out all about that back at the Purdue Writing Lab, including how to format entries for books, web sites, articles, etc.

Your rough draft should be 2000 words long. It must be typed, either submitted in a Google document or in an email to me. We will be doing peer review, so your classmates will be reading your work to help you. I will also be giving input and suggestions for revision. Your paper doesn't have to be perfect at this point, but try to get all your ideas out so we can talk about how to polish it. Do not write a rough draft without citing any sources! It is much harder to go back and figure out where you got everything than it is to just note it and cite it as you go along. Good luck!


The quiz will relate to Huckleberry Finn, one question per chapter.

1. How does Tom signal to Huck through the window in the dark?
2. What does Jim keep around his neck to remember his experience with the witches?
3. Why do Huck and the boys get tired of Tom Sawyer's gang of robbers?
4. What evidence makes Huck think his father has returned?
5. What does Huck's father want from him?
6. What does this mean: "pap got too handy with his hick'ry"?
7. What does Huck do with the wild pig he kills?
8. What does Jim think, when he first sees Huck on the island?
9. What is strange about the man Jim and Huck see in the floating house?
10. What remedy does Jim use for his snake bite?
11. How does Huck disguise himself to get information from the woman in the shanty?
12. Who does Huck find on the wrecked steamboat?
13. Why does Huck want the ferryman to go out to the wreck?
14. According to Huck, what does a king do?
15. Why does Huck lie to Jim about having been gone in the canoe, and how does he feel about that lie afterwards?
16. What are the consequences of the raft having floated past Cairo accidentally?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reading Period 11: Nov 5-11: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Long Read:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapters 1-8

Short Read:

"Self Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Emerson bio and "Emerson Selections and Commentary" AIAL 212-228.


AIAL 229-231

"The Rhodora" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Brahma"  by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Concord Hymn"  by Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Pork and Beans" by Weezer.
"I Am What I Am" by The Jonas Brothers.
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield

Google Fu: 

Create an Emerson meme! You can either put an Emerson quote over a picture of something else, or you can Google a picture of Emerson and put words over it. You could use Emerson's picture to make a "Hey girl" meme, for example or use a current meme image like Grumpy Cat to illustrate an Emerson quote. Maybe you'll find it useful to Google to find the meme makers available online.

Twitter Scholar:

Search for the phrase "Be yourself!" on Twitter. If you put quotation marks around a phrase you can search for that exact phrase, not just the individual words. Read through the Tweets and respond to one of them, letting the person know that Emerson would be proud of his/her sentiments.


Read the historical selection, "The Flowering of New England," in your textbook (pages 199-211). Take notes on it in your notebook, in outline form, using the headers from the text as Roman numerals. What will your capital letter subdivisions be, for each section?


You all have notes on your outline drafts. This week, continue reading and researching, and develop your outline one step further, incorporating my suggestions and maybe expanding your outline to the next level of subdivisions. An example of an outline in three different versions of the correct form is here. This is another good how-to.


The quiz this week is taken from the textbook, the questions refer to the historical selection, "The Flowering of New England."

1. Give two examples of the "spectacular" growth that characterized the thirty years preceding the Civil War.
2. What development was chiefly responsible for feelings of optimism about the future?
3. What two technological developments helped to bridge vast distances of the expanding nation?
4. In what way were workers adversely affected by the new technology?
5. What three areas of reform were prominent in this period?
6. Why is this literary period sometimes called the American Renaissance?
7. In what way is intuition central to transcendental belief?
8. Who were the two writers chiefly responsible for developing transcendental ideas?
9. Why were Lowell, Longfellow, and Holmes known as "Brahmins"?
10. In what way were Hawthorne and Melville anti-transcendentalists?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reading Period 10: Oct 29 - Nov 4: The Chase

Long Read: 

Moby-Dick, chapters 132 - the end!

Bring it home, brave literary sailors.

Poe Paper Doll. Believe it. 
Short Reads:

Edgar Allan Poe, "The Fall of the House of Usher" (in your textbook)
Edgar Allan Poe, "The Masque of the Red Death" (also in your textbook)


"The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

"To -- -- --: Ulalume: A Ballad" by Edgar Allan Poe

"Spirits of the Dead" by Edgar Allan Poe

"Theme in Yellow" by Carl Sandburg

Creative Assignment:

Write a spooky poem for Halloween. Choose one of the poetic forms from our vocabulary list this week: villanelle, lyric poem, confessional poem, sonnet, epic, ballad, etc. Here's the list, to remind you of your options. When you post your poem, tell what form it is and why. 


This choice is mandatory for those of you taking the Genetics class at co-op. Formal poetry has a rhyme scheme described by letters (ABAB CDCD etc).  Let's create a new poetic form based on the Punnett Square. Can you create a rhyme scheme or a formal meter, using a Punnett Square with one, locus, two alleles? How about a larger one -- with at least two loci, two alleles at each locus? Would that form be in couplets, quatrains? Would you need to create columns for this poem to make sense in the form? How might meter play into it? What might such a poem be about? You can use upper and lower case letters to designate different rhymes. Challenge: I double dog dare you to write a poem connecting to the genetic themes of "The Fall of the House of Usher" using a form you invent based on the Punnett Square. Note: If you manage to do this, it will count as your "Real Literature Project" and you can do your presentation on it. 

Google Fu:

The "red death" in Poe's story is a made-up plague where you sweat blood and die fast. Use Google to search the internet and find out what disease inspired this story element. You can start by reading about the story on Wikipedia, but definitely go deeper than the paragraph about the disease from Wikipedia, which offers several possibilities. Post the answer you think is most likely, and give your source. 

Twitter Scholar:

Twitter posts can only have 140 characters. This is the perfect length for a haiku, another poetic form. Read about the emerging poetic form, "Twaiku," in this NPR article. This week, write a haiku and post it to Twitter, and then retweet someone else's Twitter haiku. 


This week, while I'm looking over and responding to the first draft of your outline, please take more time to delve into your sources and just read and think about your topic. Your Moby-Dick assignment this week is quite short, so you should have plenty of time to read around in the books and articles you've gathered in your research. 


Choose one of your sources and take notes on a book chapter or article. Choose your format strategically -- bullet points? outline? key quotes? sections? compare/contrast? Now is your chance to use what you have practiced. Post the results so we can all be amazed. 


1. What two literary devices are in use here: "the pensive air was transparently pure and soft, with a woman's look, and the robust and man-like sea heaved with long, strong, lingering swells, as Samson's chest in his sleep." 
2. What does Ahab drop into the sea in chapter 132?
3. What does Starbuck beg Ahab to do in chapter 132?
4. In this chapter, Ahab looks into Starbuck's eyes and Fedallah's eyes. What does he see in Starbuck's eyes, and where does Ahab see Fedallah's eyes, after Starbuck leaves him?
5. Who is the first to spot Moby-Dick?
6. What happens to Ahab's boat and Ahab in their first engagement with the white whale?
7. How did the sailors get Moby-Dick away from his "prey" on the first day? 
8. Who carries Ahab when his fake leg gets broken, and of what material does the carpenter make a replacement?
9. What happens to the Parsee?
10. How does Fedallah's prophecy come true? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reading Period 9: October 22-28: Show Us Your Coffin!

Long Read: 

Moby-Dick, chapters 119-131

Short Reads:

"The Pit and the Pendulum" by Edgar Allan Poe.
"The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe (AIAL p 160).
"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe.


"Old Ironsides" by Oliver Wendell Holmes (AIAL p 311).
"The Star Spangled Banner" by Frances Scott Key.
"America the Beautiful" by Katharine Lee Bates.
"America" by Simon & Garfunkel.

Yes you may do your Creative Assignment in LEGO. (via)
Creative Assignment:

Create an amazing illustration for one of the Edgar Allan Poe stories we are reading this week.


Memorize the first and last stanzas of Star Spangled Banner and recite it on video for our entertainment, wearing an exceptional hat of your choosing. Post the video to the Google+ community. You can post a video by choosing "Add Video" and then "Record Video" when you make a new post.


Read this article: "Tecumseh, Red Cloud, and Sitting Bull: Three Great Indian Leaders" by J.J. Meyers. Organize your notes as an outline with five sections: intro, one section for each leader, and conclusion. This article is a great example of what we talked about in class -- taking the reader somewhere new in your conclusion rather than just restating the thesis or summarizing what's been said. Where does the author of this article take you? Make sure you highlight that in your notes.

Google Fu:

The Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the USA and its words are in English, our official language. Use the internet to find out about the national anthems of some different countries who have multiple official languages. Post to the Google+ community telling us what country you found, how they handled multiple languages in their national anthem, and provide a link to the source.


This week you're working on a first draft of your outline. Make sure you have your thesis statement in your introduction, two main sections as we discussed in class, and at least some idea of how your conclusion might take your reader to a new place. You can check out this resource on outlines, or just whack out a first draft and see how it goes. You will get a chance to revise your outline over the next few weeks. If you have not turned in your bibliography, you need to do this right away.

Twitter Scholar:

There are multiple people on Twitter posting as Edgar Allan Poe. Do a search and take a look at a few of them. Decide which one you like the best, based on whatever criteria you want, and Tweet about it, announcing it the best Poe-related feed on Twitter. Use the hashtag #poe and #halloween and any others you think are relevant.


1. Paraphrase this quote: "Warmest climes but nurse the cruellest fangs."
2. What are corpusants? Use a search engine if you don't have a footnote.
3. How many words in chapter 122?
4. Based on what Ahab says in his sleep in chapter 123, what is he dreaming about?
5. Explain with science what has happened to the ship's compass in chapter 124.
6. Explain how to make a compass, according to Ahab.
7. What is the log and line for? What function does it serve?
8. How is Queequeg's coffin transformed in chapter 126?
9. What question does Ahab always ask every ship they meet? And how does the commander of the Rachel answer?
10. What happens to Ahab's hat in chapter 130, and where does it end up?

BONUS: What ritual are the sailors on the Delight engaged in when they meet the Pequod?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reading Period 8: Oct 15-21: Have I Been But Forging My Own Branding-Iron, Then?

Long Read: 


Must read: 109-118
No skipping this week!

Short Reads: 

"Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving
"The Devil and Daniel Walker" by Washington Irving


"Live Your Life" by Tecumseh
"Blind Curse" by Simon J. Ortiz
"The Gift Outright" by Robert Frost
"The Theft Outright" by Heid E. Erdrich

Google Fu:

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" has been adapted in many different versions for lots of different media. What if I wanted to create a list of all the film and television adaptations of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"? One way would be to find all the adaptations and create the list myself. Another way would be to see if anyone on the internet had already created a list of adaptations, and just link to that. Which is better? For this assignment, first find a blog post or article with a list of adaptations of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and post that link. Then find an adaptation (could be theater, music, tv, children's books, etc) that this article/post doesn't mention, and post that link.

Creative Assignment:

Imagine you fall asleep in the mountains for 20 years and then stumble back into your life. What changes may have taken place? Create a one page comic (can be one panel or many panels) where you show the world 20 years in the future. Make sure you show at least one personal change (what will your family look like 20 years from now?), one technological change (an advancement in science), and one political change (RVW missed the American Revolution while he slept -- what major political upheaval might you miss if you took a 20 year nap?).


Write a short letter to Pixar, the creators of "Finding Nemo," letting them know that we've figured out their source material for the shark support group is Fleece's sermon to the sharks in Moby-Dick. Use specific comparisons and make your case that "the shark well-governed" is straight outta Melville.


In class we discussed a number of Revolutionary War songs and you took notes on your paper copy of the songs. Write a short essay (250 words or one page) comparing two of the songs we discussed. You can compare them on content, on who the speaker is, on the occasion of the song, or when it would be sung, on the meter, or any other point of comparison.

Twitter Scholar:

Tweet your thoughts about your reading in Moby-Dick this week. Include three hashtags in your tweet.


This week your assignment is to collect your sources. In class we discussed developing your research questions -- make sure you have a clear idea what answers you need, before you go looking! You can post your list of sources to the Google+ Community (at least 4 sources) and also comment on other students' sources.


1. What are Ahab and Starbuck in disagreement about, and who wins the argument, in chapter 109?
2. How does Queequeg get sick?
3. With what pattern does Queequeg decorate his coffin?
4. What poem that we read this semester are you reminded of in the second paragraph of chapter 111, "The Pacific"?
5. Chapter 112 gives a history of the ship's blacksmith. What was the "desperate burglar" that robbed his family of everything?
6. Who forges Ahab's harpoon?
7. The imagery in "The Gilder" compares the sea to what?
8. The Bachelor is a lucky ship full of good humor. When the captain invites Ahab to come aboard, he says, "Thou art too damned jolly. Sail on." What previous situation in the novel does this remind you of?
9. Fedallah (the Parsee) makes a prophecy in chapter 117. Ahab must see two hearses on the sea, and only help can kill him. What Shakespeare play do these prophesies remind you of, and what were the prophesies in that play?
10. What happens to the compass in chapter 118?

BONUS: Reread the ending of chapter 116. What lesson does Ahab learn from the behavior of the dying whale? Paraphrase those last four paragraphs.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Reading Period 7: Oct 8-14: Does the Whale's Magnitude Diminish?

Long Read:


Must Read: Ch 89, 91-99, 105-108
May Skip: Ch 90, 100-104

Short Read: 

The Bill of Rights: The first ten amendments to the Constitution.
Letters of George Washington during the Revolutionary War: Browse around this archive and read a few letters that look interesting to you, based on their titles.


Songs from the Revolutionary War 
Ignore the "Working in Groups" and "Working Individually" and just read the songs and their interpretations.
Print-friendly version

Google Fu: 

The Bill of Rights is our name for the first ten amendments to the Constitution, but now we're up to 27 amendments! New amendments are unofficially proposed all the time. Search the internet and find two ideas that people have proposed for what the 28th amendment should be. They can be reasonable or crazy -- just see what you come up with. When you post this assignment, give a summary of each idea, whether you think it's reasonable or crazy, and the links to where you found the ideas.

Twitter Scholar:

If you search "British Bill of Rights" on Twitter, you'll see that a sort of Bill of Rights for Great Britain has recently been proposed by one of their political parties. Read through the Tweets that come up when you search, and decide whether the population of Twitter is in support of this idea or rejects it. Tweet your answer.

Creative Assignment:

Create a graphic novel / comic version of Stubb's encounter with the Guernsey-man and the captain of the Rosebud. Include as much about the setting as you can, including the whales alongside.


Write a response (at least 250 words) to Ishmael's questions at the end of "Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish." Is Ishmael correct in his assessment of what a Loose-Fish is? Are you a Fast-Fish or a Loose-Fish?


This week's assignment is to write your thesis statement, which should have a very specific form. See the page about the paper for further instructions.


1. Why is it hard to define what a fast-fish is?
2. From what country is the Rosebud?
3. Why did Stubb trick the Guernsey-man from the Rosebud?
4. What is ambergris used for?
5. Who falls overboard in "The Castaway"?
6. Define these terms: Slobgollion, gurry, and nippers.
7. What is being dissected in chapter 95, "The Cassock"?
8. What confusing thing happens to Ishmael in the chapter "The Try-works"?
9. Paraphrase the instruction/warning in the last three paragraphs of "The Try-works."
10. What part of the body does Stubb compare the doubloon to?

BONUS: Ahab asks the carpenter if he would rather work in clay. To what is this an allusion?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Reading Period 6: October 1-7: The Shark Well-Governed

Hey-oh! Just a regular grey whale. Nothing to see here.
Long Read: 


Must Read: 60-61, 64, 66-67, 69-70, 72, 78, 87-88.
May Skip: 62-63, 65, 68, 71, 73-77, 79-86.

If you like audio books, and would like to try listening to some of Moby-Dick, I highly recommend the one narrated by Frank Muller. I've read this book many times, and listening to this version really gives it a different flavor. Particularly chapter 61 and 64, assigned for this week, are good to listen to with the different accents and inflections. Check it out if you have an membership, or get it pretty cheaply on iTunes.

Short Read: 

The Constitution of the United States

Read it. It's your duty as a citizen of the USA. And it's not that long. Surprisingly short really. If you're feeling particularly citizen-ish, you can click through to the Bill of Rights.


"Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant, AIAL p 153.
"And You As Well Must Die, Beloved Dust" by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
"O Death" American Folk Song. This version is by Ralph Stanley, here's a video:

Google Fu:

This week we're reading the Constitution of the USA. I gave you a link, above, to the text where you can read it. But is this site reliable? I intentionally chose a site that has advertising, sells products, and links to online auctions. Does that mean you can't trust its information? I want you to find a better link, a more reliable site than the one linked above, where you can find an official version of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Post your link along with a defense of why you think your link is better than mine.


Your note-taking assignment this week is to write a one page summary of the article I read to you in class, covering the history of the song "Yankee Doodle." Use only your notes to refresh your memory of the content. Use lots of impressive details and specifics, but don't go over one page. If you're typing, that's about 250 words. Please email these to me, instead of posting them publicly, so everyone has a chance to search their own memory and notes for details.

Creative Assignment: 

Read the chapter, "The Jeroboam's Story," (71). Knowing what you know of Macey, the chief mate of the Jeroboam, write what you think might have been in the letter from Macey's wife.


Read the chapter, "The Monkey-rope," (72). Create an illustration of another situation in which two humans are bound together in this way -- one depending on the other for safety, while the second must keep the first safe for his own survival. You can interpret safety and survival as physical or emotional, metaphorical, whatever. Melville's note on this chapter may not be printed in your edition, but here it is: "The monkey-rope is found in all whalers; but it was only in the Pequod that the monkey and his holder were ever tied together. This improvement on the original usage was introduced by no less a man than Stubb, in order to afford to the imperilled harpooneer the strongest possible guarantee for the faithfulness and vigilance of his monkey-rope holder."

Twitter Scholar:

Watch this one minute video about Emoji Dick, a version of Moby-Dick written entirely in emoji cartoons and recognized as art by the Library of Congress. After you watch the video, Tweet your thoughts about it, including a link to the video. You can either copy/paste the URL into your Tweet or use the "Share" links below the video. Also try using the hashtag #emojidick to see what others are saying about it.


You'll notice there's a new tab up at the top of the page! That's right, it's time to start firing up your essay-writing machine. Read the whole page and post to the Google+ community if you have any questions. Your assignment this week is to choose your topic. Who will you defend as a "true American"? Stake your claim on Google+.


1. In the final paragraph of "The Line," Ishmael compares the coiled line to the calm before a storm. This is an example of what literary device?
2. What literary device is in use here: " Queequeg it was quite a different object."?
3. What metaphor does Melville employ to describe Stubb's killing blow with the lance?
4. What complaint does Stubb have about his whale steak?
5. Summarize the part of Fleece's sermon to the sharks that Stubb refers to when he says, "That's Christianity."
6. Given the context, how do you interpret Queequeg's remark at the end of chapter 66? What does "one dam Ingin" mean, in your opinion?
7. What is "cutting in"?
8. Read this line from Ahab at the end of the chapter "The Sphynx": "O Nature, and O soul of man! how far beyond all utterance are your lnked analogies! not the smallest atom stirs or lives in matter, but has its cunning duplicate in mind." What other chapter in the assigned reading does this quote remind you of? Hint: It might be after this chapter, not before.
9. What does the Dough-Boy try to give Queequeg to drink after his run-in with the sharks, and what becomes of this drink after Stubb gets his way?
10. Who does Queequeg rescue in chapter 78, and what other episode of the novel does this event remind you of?
11. What geographical area has the Pequod now reached, in chapter 87?
12. How is a lone whale like Daniel Boone, as Ishmael says in chapter 88?

BONUS: What has happened to the mother and baby sperm whales toward the end of chapter 87? How are they connected?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Reading Period 5: Sep 24-30: The Whiteness of the Whale

Long Read: Moby-Dick!

Must read: 41-43, 46-48, 50, 52-53, 58-59
May skip: 44-45, 49, 41, 54-57

Read chapter 41 twice. It's so important!

Short Read:

The Declaration of Independence, AIAL p 99


"To His Excellency General Washington" by Phillis Wheatley, AIAL p 109.
"On Being Brought from Africa to America" by Phillis Wheatley.
"Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou.
"Heritage" by Countee Cullen

Google Fu:

Here's the text of the Declaration of Independence, followed by a list of all the people who signed it. Choose two names that you don't recognize (Don't choose Benjamin Franklin!), and search for more information about these signatories of the Declaration. Some of the names are very common, so just searching the name might not turn up what you're looking for. How will you find information on the correct person, and not just any old guy who has the same name?

Note Taking:

Phillis Wheatley endured the "middle passage" -- the route slave ships took from Africa to the Americas -- before she was sold as a slave in Boston. First, watch this 45 minute documentary "The Middle Passage," by Steven Spielberg. Within this documentary, there are several references to and readings from other works, and there are lots of interviews with experts. As part of your notes, make a list of the other works referenced -- poetry, artwork, and also list some of the prominent experts that spoke in the video. From your notes, you should find yourself able to take the next step in investigating this topic -- to look further at works referenced, and seek out books and articles written by the experts quoted.

Creative Assignment: 

Draw an illustration anything that has inspired you from the chapters you've read in Moby-Dick. (There ya go, Zoe!) If you're looking for inspiration: Read the last long paragraph of the chapter "The Chart." This chapters offers many metaphors -- choose one and create an illustration of it. The vulture feeding on the vulture, the chasm of flames at the base of Ahab's being, the gods and devils in his spirit, etc.


Write a poem, after reading "The Whiteness of the Whale." You might write about something that fills you with instinctive fear, like the shaking buffalo hide behind the young cold. You might write a poem about things that are white, making them seem terrifying. You could respond to Ishmael's last paragraph, a meditation on color and light. Or you could choose another color to signify as fearful. Red? Black? Yellow?

Twitter Scholar:

This week on Twitter, search for the hashtag #mobydick. After looking at some of the Tweets that are tagged this way, create at least one of your own Tweets about what you're reading in the novel, and post it with this hashtag attached.

Not a real squid, but this fake photo fooled many!

1. Did other whalers know of Moby-Dick, or was he Ahab's private prey?
2. What about Moby-Dick's forehead is unique?
3. At what moment did Ahab's obsession with Moby-Dick seize him?
4. Give three examples of things in chapter 42 that are white and therefore scary?
5. What does Archy hear in chapter 43?
6. Chapter 46 explains Ahab's reason for what activity?
7. In chapter 47 we see Ishmael and Queequeg engaged in a friendly activity. What are they doing?
8. Who crews Ahab's boat?
9. Who crews the other three boats? List the officer and the harpoonist for each one.
10. In their efforts to get the whale, the sailors are racing against what?
11. What is a gam?
12. Why do the sailors mistake a squid for Moby-Dick?

BONUS: Reread the last paragraph of chapter 58, "Brit," and restate it in your own words.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reading Period 4: September 17-23: Enter Ahab: Then, all

Click to find out more about a "real life" Pequod
Long Read:

Moby Dick chapters 21-40. If this is too much reading, and you must skip, follow this guide:
Read 21-23, 28-30, 32, 35-40. Skip 24-27, 31, 33-34. The quiz will only cover chapters in the "Read" list, and will not touch on info in the "Skip" chapters. Of course I'd love it if you read all of them, but I know you have other things to do.

Short Read:

"The Crisis #1" by Thomas Paine, AIAL p 90.


"Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Little Sadie" (Traditional American Ballad)

Google Fu: 

Ishmael ends his chapter, "Cetology," with a hopeless shrug and a suggestion that whales can't actually be effectively classified by any one person. He uses the example of the Cathedral of Cologne, whose construction was unfinished at the time of the writing of Moby-Dick. It was finished later in the 19th century. Find a picture of the Cathedral of Cologne with "the crane still standing on the top of the uncompleted tower" as Melville would have seen it (he saw it in 1849). Then find two more examples of works of art that were begun, halted, and then finished much later, or never finished at all.

Give me one thing, or give me that other thing!

"Speech at the Virginia Convention" by Patrick Henry, AIAL p 95.

This week I want you to focus your note-taking on identifying key quotes in the material you're studying, and writing them in your notebook in quotation marks. This speech has some great quotes in it, including one very famous one. Can you find it? Here is an article with a little more about the speech if you're interested.

As a follow-up on last week, please also insert your own interpretations and reactions in your notes, and figure out a way to distinguish them from the notes you take on the text. You might use a different color, or a highlighter, or a put your own impressions in a box, etc.

Creative Assignment:

Create two illustrations of Ahab: one sitting in contemplation with his pipe, and one stomping around shouting at the crew as he does in the chapter "The Quarter-Deck." Think about how these two Ahabs are different, and ask yourself why Ahab had to toss away his pipe before he could give the speech that announces the revenge mission to the crew.


After reading the chapter, "The Masthead," write a poem in which you pretend you are a sailor taking a watch up in the masthead of a whaling ship. What do you see, smell, hear, and feel, sitting up there? What are you thinking about? Pay special attention to the last two paragraphs of the chapter, and allow yourself to imagine hovering over "Descartian vortices." (And what are those?)

Even though it's "off camera," don't forget about Queequeg and Ishmael's friendship during these chapters...


1. What does Elijah ask Queequeg and Ishmael?
2. With Ahab absent, who is acting captain of the ship on its way out of harbor?
3. Why is it so weird that Bulkington has shipped on the Pequod?
4. In the chapter, "The Lee Shore," who does the shore represent and what does the sea represent?
5. How does Ahab keep himself steady when he's standing on the deck?
6. What does Ahab say to Stubb that upsets the mate?
7. What becomes of Ahab's pipe in chapter 30?
8. What does Ishmael attempt to do in the chapter, "Cetology"?
9. Reading the last paragraph of "Cetology," what is Ishmael's conclusion about the task of classifying whales?
10. What does Ishmael confess about his time in the masthead?
11. What is Starbuck's opinion of Ahab's plan to take the Pequod on a mission of vengeance against Moby Dick?
12. How does Ahab reward the crew's enthusiasm for hunting Moby Dick?
13. Who is the narrator in chapters 37-38?
14. Who is the narrator of chapter 39?
15. In what format does chapter 40 show us the scene aboard the Pequod? What type of literature usually looks like this?
BONUS:  What does Ahab nail to the mast and why?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reading Period 3: September 10-16: The Great Flood-Gates of the Wonderworld

Long Read: Moby Dick chapters 1-15. If you must skip chapters, skip 5-8, understanding that Ishmael went out on a walk in New Bedford, and stepped into a chapel to hear a sermon. Chapter 9 is the sermon -- read that and on through chapter 15. Be warned that next week we'll begin with chapter 21, "Going Aboard," so if you want to read chapters 16-20, now's the time to do that. If you're skipping, skip 'em.

Short Read:

"Journal of Madam Knight" by Sarah Knight, AIAL p 42.
Excerpt from The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper, AIAL p 139.

Google Fu: Find out as much a you can about Queequeg's origin, as defined in the chapter "Biographical." Ishmael says his island of origin isn't on any map, but where might it have been? Find us three links that might help us understand where Queequeg the harpooner might have been from. At least one of them must have a reputable address. You can pick one to defend as reputable, the other two can be personal sites, Wikipedia, whatever.

Note Taking: The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone. Read the part of the book that this link directly takes you to -- the appendix, written by Daniel Boone himself. This is a longish and rambling account of his adventures. How will you take notes on this? Will you slavishly, carefully write down everything that happened to him? Will you summarize? Are dates and numbers and names, in this sort of note-taking, important? What information, here, do you need to take away and remember, months from now, when you think back. Special challenge: Include in your notes some personal reactions, and figure out a way to distinguish that part of your notes from the notes on the text -- either with a different color pencil, or a highlighter, or a star/box/squiggly line, or something.

Creative Assignment:

One reason diaries are interesting is because they show us small details and specifics about how people lived in the time. The best ones for historical purposes are those that give lots of descriptions and really show us what life was like. After reading the excerpt from Sarah Knight's journal, write a diary entry about a trip you have taken, including lots of specifics about how you traveled and what you saw. Make sure you include details about any food you ate on the trip, your mode of transport, and any local customs in the place you visited.


After reading the excerpt from The Deerslayer (make SURE you read the summary of the book so far on page 139), create an illustration of the Deerslayer standing as prisoner in front of The Panther and Rivenoak.

"Daniel Boone" by Stephen Vincent Binet.
"The Mountain Muse" by Daniel Bryan. Read an excerpt, starting from Book II (p 51) and continuing through page 62, or the page with the awful blot on it. Turn the pages by clicking on them.

"Superman" by REM
"Superman's Song" by the Crash Test Dummies
"Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down

Clam or cod?

1. What substance does Ishmael tell us is the most necessary, the most entrancing, the holiest and most mysterious and engaging substance on earth?
2. What does Ishmael mean when he says "This is my substitute for pistol and ball"?
3. Why does Ishmael pass up "The Swordfish Inn" and "The Crossed Harpoons"?
4. What art decorates the entry of the Spouter Inn?
5. What doe the landlord tell Ishmael about the harpoonist he is supposed to share a room with?
6. How does Ishmael try to pass the night before giving up and going to the shared bed?
7. What pattern is shown on Queequeg's arm and the counterpane on their bed?
8. What did Queequeg like to eat?
9. What is the subject of Father Mapple's sermon?
10. What ice-breaking activity do Queequeg and Ishmael partake in together, while in bed, even though Ishmael doesn't usually think it's a good idea?
11. What reason does Ishmael give for participating in Queequeg's religious rituals even though he is a Presbyterian?
12. What was Queequeg's station in life, when he was a child?
13. On the schooner that ferries Ishmael and Queequeg to Nantucket in the chapter "The Wheelbarrow," how does Queequeg prove himself to be "a noble trump."
14. What territory in the world have Nantucketers claimed for themselves?
15. Why do Ishmael and Queequeg have to ponder the choice, "Clam or cod?"

BONUS: What could Queequeg have meant, if he really was thinking, as Ishmael guesses, at the end of the chapter "The Wheelbarrow," the following: "It's a mutual, joint-stock world, in all meridians."?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Reading Period 2: Sep 3-9: Benjamin Franklin

Welcome! We've now had one full week of our class, so you've had experience with all the different components of it, and you're doing great!
Here's our week:

8am, online poetry for Benny and Zoe via Hangout.
1:30pm, co-op poetry for Jacob and Sarah, live.
8am, online class for all.
Later in the day, new assignments posted.
Time to do your note-taking, Google Fu, quiz on your log read, and creative assignment.
Monday: All assignments and quiz due at midnight. Late assignments will receive half credit.

Here's what's coming up on the horizon:

Twitter: Create an account (use a fake name or your real name) and follow some of the feeds that I've listed here. Norfolk students should follow all that I've listed. Zoe can sub in some Northern VA feeds for the ones that are specific to Norfolk.

Real Literature Project: Start thinking about a project you can do that will have an actual impact on the real world of literature. Remember some of the ideas we brainstormed in class: Paint a literature-themed public mural, read to children/elderly, create a helpful web site about an author or work, host a Twitter feed for a dead author, make a clickable map related to an American novel or author, teach something about literature to someone else you know. When you have an idea for something you'd like to do, something you could then present to the class in a 10 minute speech, let's talk about it!

Paper: Your paper will be a generalization essay. You will defend the statement: "X is a real American!" where X is the name of an author or historical figure of your choice, relevant to pre-1870 America. This will involve creating a generalization about what it means to be an American. Start thinking of who you would like to choose as a topic.

With that, here are this week's assignments:

Long Read: The Scarlet Letter, chapters 16-18, 22-24

Short Read: William Byrd, “The History of the Dividing Line” AIAL p 50 (1729)
                  Ben Franklin, "An Apology for Printers"
Poetry: Ben Franklin “Freedom of the Press” 1757
            Ben Franklin,  “Death is a Fisherman” 1733
            Billy Collins, "Rain", 2008
            Dixie Chicks, "Not Ready to Make Nice" 2006

Creative Assignment:

Create an illustration for the poem, "Death is a Fisherman."


Write a dramatic version of the "Canterbury Tale" (or tall tale) of the man who found his way out of the Great Dismal Swamp, referenced at the end of our excerpt from Byrd's "The History of the Dividing Line." Your version should be at least 250 words long and can be as exaggerated as you like, but should include the episode with the insect.

Google Fu

This week let's practice your image searching prowess. Find me three images of the Great Dismal Swamp. These three images should be quite different from each other. The difference can be seasonal, geographical, or just vary in what is pictured. Try not to include anything in your pictures that William Byrd would not have seen, when exploring. Post the links to the Google+ Community.


Read this article on Salon, "I Shall Not Burn My Press Or Melt My Letters." It relates to one of your short reads, Benjamin Franklin's "An Apology for Printers." This article talks about two Franklins -- Ben and his grandson. I want you to focus your note-taking on ways to represent the comparison and contrast between these two. Maybe you want to make your notes in two columns on the page, or create a Venn diagram, or some other visual aid. Try to contain your notes to one page.


The quiz is over chapters 16-18 and 22-24 of The Scarlet Letter. It is open book.

1. Where are Hester and Pearl in chapter 16?
2. According to local superstition, what mythological figure lives in the woods?
3. What mark does Pearl ask Dimmesdale about?
4. What secret does Hester reveal to Dimmesdale?
5. Hester urges Dimmesdale to make a change in his life. What does she want him to do?
6. What happens to the scarlet letter in chapter 18?
7. What special occasion is going on, where Dimmesdale will give a sermon?
8. Describe the woman who is pestering Hester in the market-place.
9. Who is the "Prince of the Air"?
10. What does Dimmesdale reveal about himself to the crowd, both literally and in terms of information?

BONUS: What does this line mean? "We must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reading Period 1: Aug 27 - Sep 2: Plymouth and Puritans


I'm so happy you will be studying American Literature with me this year. It's my favorite kind of literature, I think because it is mine -- and your too, of course, and all of ours, here in the USA. American fiction, poetry, and drama -- this is the art that defines who we are as a country, who we have been and who we hope to become. Learning about the literature of your own country is one of the most important things you can do as a student, so let's get to it.

Please take a moment to read the Overview page, and reflect on all that information until you understand it. If you have questions, please ask on the Google+ Community and I'll be happy to answer, or you can send me an email.

Here are your assignments for this week:


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, chapters 1-5. Note: You DO NOT need to read Hawthorne's long introduction, The Custom-House, unless you really really want to. And then still, don't.


Almanack for 1647 by Samuel Danforth.

"Of Plymouth Plantation" by William Bradford, AIAL p 23-31


After reading at least one year's worth of Danforth's almanac, write a series of short poems for the twelve months of the year, starting in March and ending in February as Danforth did. Each poem should have at least six lines.


Create a "graphic novel" version of at least two specific episodes mentioned in the section "The Starving Time" from "Of Plymouth Plantation."

Post your assignment to the Google+ Community using the category "Creative Assignments."


I would like to know more about the Indian named "Squanto," mentioned in "Of Plymouth Plantation." If I were going to research this person online, suggest three possible links that I might find useful. Post your suggestions to the Google+ Community using the category "Google Fu."


This year we will be practicing taking notes on all types of different materials, using lots of different strategies and techniques. To start us off, let's read this selection, a funeral sermon written by Samuel Danforth (who wrote the almanac). Take notes in whatever way you want. If you need to photograph them and post them, or scan and post, that's fine, or you can type in what you wrote. We'll talk about what you came up with and begin our study of effective note-taking from this point. Post your notes on this selection to the Google+ Community using the category "Note-Taking." There is no way to do this wrong unless you don't do it.

A Letter Out of Grief by Samuel Danforth


Here's your quiz over this week's long read. Email your responses to me. You can get a possible 10 points if all your answers are correct.

1. What is the approximate date of the scene that opens chapter 2, The Marketplace?
2. Describe the physical appearance of the scarlet letter A on Hester Prynne's dress.
3. Who had created the letter for her, and how?
4. What is a pillory, and how does it feature in this story?
5. What does the townsman tell the stranger of Hester's history and how she came to Boston?
6. What does the Reverend Wilson want Hester to reveal? And what does she tell him?
7. What name does the stranger go by, and what is his relationship to Hester, as revealed in chapter 4?
8. Where did Hester go, when she was released from jail?
9. What place does Hester have in the community, and what does she do for work?
10. How does the scarlet letter affect Hester's view of others she sees in the town, especially women?
BONUS: Describe Reverend Dimmesdale, and tell me what you think of this character.


After reading the overview, you may be wondering about the paper, the presentation, the "Real Literature" project, and more. Don't worry about this stuff yet -- let's get into the rhythm of the weekly assignments and figure out the Google+ Community and the Hangouts and how this all works. Then we'll dig into the bigger projects. Have fun, ask lots of questions, enjoy your reading, and we're off!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reading Period 40: June 18-24: Bernard Shaw


Bernard Shaw and Pygmalion in your textbook, pages 1004-1071.


Art Connection:

Create before and after portraits of Liza Doolittle before and after Higgins and Pickering work their transformation on her. What details of your portrait can communicate her social station?

History Connection:

Read about the Greek myth, Pygmalion and Galatea, on which Shaw's play is based. Write a short essay comparing and contrasting Liza to Galatea and Higgins to Pygmalion. How are they alike, and how are they different? Choose a form for your comparison -- A1B1 A2B2 or A1A2 B1B2, as discussed in class.

Writing Connection:

In the play, Pygmalion, Liza marries one person at the end, and her life proceeds in a complicated way, as detailed in the Epilogue. In the musical that was based on this play, "My Fair Lady," the ending is decidedly different. Watch the movie version of this musical, with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, and give your opinion on which is the better ending, and why? Why did the writers decide to change the ending?


Fill in the blanks:

1. Pygmalion is set in _______ during the early 1900's.
2. Freddy first meets Liza when he accidentally __________.
3. Henry Higgins is taking notes on people's _________.
4. Freddy's mother and sister order Freddy to go and __________.
5. Henry Higgins amuses bystanders by ____________.
6. Higgins tosses some ___________ to Liza.
7. After the rain stops, Liza decides to splurge on ___________.
8. Higgins and Pickering have long known each other by reputation because both ____________.
9. The first face-to-face meeting between Higgins and Pickering is when ____________.
10. Higgins makes a bet with Pickering that ____________.
11. Doolittle says that he has come to Higgins because _____________.
12. The real reason Doolittle shows up at Higgins' door is ___________.
13. Liza's first appearance in society is at _______________.
14. Mrs. Hill is rather shocked at Liza's conversation about ____________.
15. Higgins wins his bet when Liza ______________.

Bonus: Why does Higgins' Hungarian rival conclude that Liza is a Hungarian?