Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reading Period 32: April 23-29: E.M. Forster

READING:

Read the historical section about the 20th century in your textbook, p 750-773.
Read about E.M. Forster and read "The Celestial Omnibus."
Read A Room With a View, chapter 1.
Read A Passage to India, chapters 1 and 2.

ASSIGNMENTS:

Art Connection: 

Create an illustration from the first chapter of A Passage to India. Use watercolors or colored pencil to enhance your illustration. You may need to look up certain words or phrases, or look up what Neem trees are, or what the Malabar Hills would have looked like.

History Connection: 

Read this article, The New Woman, and write 250 words about the changing role of women in English society, comparing the Edwardian period to the previous Victorian period. You can bring in other sources if you like -- there are several listed at the bottom of the article.

Writing Connection: 

After reading "The Celestial Omnibus," write your own story where a child and an adult both get transported through an odd means of travel to a heaven and have different experiences. The heaven of E.M. Forster's story is a literary heaven, but you could write about an artist heaven, a gamer heaven, a chef's heaven, etc.

QUIZ:

The quiz covers the historical info on the 20th century found on pages 759-773.

1. What have been some of the social and economic gains in British life during this century?
2. Why has Britain's position in world politics declined?
3. Which poet is most closely associated with literary symbolism?
4. Why did many young writers turn from public affairs in the years following World War I?
5. What was the most significant idea of the Modernist movement?
6. What were the immediate causes for the rise of fascism between the two world wars?
7. What severe economic problems has Britain faced since World War II?
8. What has replaced the Empire?
9. Why were certain writers of the 1950s called "Angry Young Men"?
10. What name was given to the group of postwar poets who responded to the modern world with order and clarity?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reading Period 31: April 16-22: Joseph Conrad

READING:

In the textbook, read the section on Conrad and also "The Secret Sharer." (p 774-802.)
Read section 1 of Heart of Darkness, available for free online here
(Note that Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness are part of the First Chapter Challenge!)

ASSIGNMENTS:

Art Connection:

Artist Matt Kish undertook the illustration of Heart of Darkness, page by page, in an abstract style. Selections from his edition of the book can be seen on his blog, along with the quotes that inspired each piece. I'll also bring my copy to class. Please choose one scene in the section that you read, and illustrate it using an abstraction, in the style of Matt Kish. 

History Connection:

Conrad wrote about a time when European colonization of Africa was in full swing. What was the "Scramble for Africa"? What were the factors that caused it and who were the main players in this power grab on the African continent? Write a 250 word essay about the events of this period, particularly in the 1880s. 

Writing Connection:

The story The Secret Sharer is told from the point of view of the captain of the ship, who rescues and hides the murderer Leggatt, chief mate of the Sephora. Write a 250 word diary entry from the point of view of Leggatt. How would he see the captain? Does he have any further secrets that he does not reveal in the story? What tone would his state of mind cause him to take on in his diary? What diction? 

QUIZ

1. What time period was Marlow remembering out loud, as the Nellie is waiting for the tide to turn on the Thames?
2. According to Marlow, what is the difference between a conqueror and a colonist?
3. On what river was Marlow desperate to get appointed as captain of a steamer?
4. When Marlow goes to Brussels to sign up for the voyage, what two strange people does he meet in the company office and what are they doing?
5. What strange measurement does the doctor take of Marlow when he examines him for the voyage?
6. What are two tasks Marlow’s ship carries out on the way to the river where he will get his own steamer?
7. Marlow disagrees with a word that’s used to describe the natives when they’re being shelled from the French ship. What is that word?
8. What is the first evidence Marlow witnesses up close that the whites are mistreating the blacks?
9. After almost falling into a ravine and discovering the broken drainage pipes, Marlow finds a group of people lying in the shade. What are they doing?
10. Why does Marlow call the Company’s chief accountant a “miracle”?
11. What precious substance is the Company extracting from the African interior?
12. Who is Kurtz?
13. Why did the fainting white man who accompanied Marlow to the central station say he had come to Africa?
14. What had happened to the steamer that Marlow was supposed to command?
15. Marlow meets an aristocrat whose job it is to make bricks. Why is it sarcastic when Marlow calls him the Brickmaker of Central Station?
16. What do the rivets represent? Why is Marlow fixated on rivets?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Reading Period 30: Oscar Wilde

READING:

Read the biographical information on Oscar Wilde, and the text of the play "The Importance of Being Earnest," in the textbook. The play is not short -- don't leave this until the last minute.

ASSIGNMENTS:

Choose ONE assignment this week, and spend the extra time studying for your midterm.

Art Connection:

Illustrate a scene from the play that portrays at least four of the characters. Your illustration should include set dressings, props, costumes, and should be set up to be realized on a stage, with doors for entering and exiting.

History Connection:

In the play, Wilde critiques the concept of the "aristocracy." Literally, this is an old form of government, as old as Ancient Greece, in which a council of exalted citizens rules the country. However, in Victorian England, there was both a Queen and a Parliament to govern. So what did "aristocracy" mean to the British? In 250 words, explain what is meant by this term, specifically in England in 1895.

Aristocratic Life in Victorian England
British Ranks of Nobility
English Victorian Society (Try copying this into Notepad, for ease of reading.)

OR

Compare and contrast the portrayal of the lower class and the aristocracy in "The Importance of Being Earnest" with the portrayal of the lower class and the aristocracy in "Downton Abbey." Use the A12 B12 or 1AB 2AB form for your 250 word mini-essay.

Writing Connection:

In the play, Jack has mostly traditional 19th century ideas about marriage and Algernon represents a more modern attitude. Write a dialogue between the two of them where they discuss one of the following marriages in a way that reflects their opinions on marriage: Prince Charles and Lady Diana, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Stephen Colbert and Evelyn McGee-Colbert, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, or any other celebrity or high profile marriage you think would prompt an interesting discussion.

MIDTERM:

No quiz this week, but the midterm will be given in class next Tuesday! Study for the midterm by looking over everything we've read, studying the author and title of each work. There will also be questions where I give a line and you identify the work it came from, so remind yourself of the important characters and some salient points of the works we've read. You may also want to look back over the historical section on the Victorian Age in your textbook. (If you need quiz questions to guide your reading of the play, use the ones on Shmoop. If you do them and turn them in to me before Tuesday, I'll give you five extra points on your midterm.

PRESENTATION:

If you didn't give a presentation last semester, time is running short for you to complete the requirements for this class! Follow the link above to view the guidelines, and choose a date to present to the class.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Reading Period 29: April 2-8: The Brontës

READING:

Several weeks ago when we had a snow day at co-op, I assigned you to read the first chapter of these three books by the Brontë sisters. We didn't get a chance to talk about them, but I'd like to do that now.


Agnes Grey (Chapters 1&2): http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/767

Wuthering Heights (Chapters 1&2): http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/768

Jane Eyre (Chapters 1&2): http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1260

ASSIGNMENTS:

Art Connection:

Many of Emily Bronte's poems were about fictional characters in a world she created with her sister Anne. The world was called Gondal and it an island in the South Pacific. There was another island, Angria, imagined and populated by the older siblings, Charlotte and Brandall. Read about these fictional worlds here, before you begin your project. Then, from this page of poetry by Emily Bronte, choose one to illustrate. Make sure it is a Gondal poem by checking against the list on the Wikipedia page. If you'd like to illustrate a different one from the Wikipedia links, that's fine too.


History Connection:

Charlotte Bronte was the only one in her family to NOT die of tuberculosis, and yet it was still listed as the cause of death on her death certificate. Tuberculosis hit this literary family hard, killing ruthlessly and depriving the world of many years of these women's lives that could have been spent writing great books. Write a short compare/contrast paper using the A12 B12 or the 1AB 2AB structure to compare and contrast tuberculosis treatment and prevention in the Brontes lifetime with our situation now.

Writing Connection:

Read the first chapter of Jane Eyre, where the narrator describes her suffering torments at the hands of John Reed, a young bully. Write a scene of at least 250 words in which you recall a time in your childhood when you felt excluded, bullied, outcast, or suffered through an unfair situation. Make sure you show the scene with action and dialogue, rather than telling the story in summary. If you can't think of any time in your own life when you felt bullied or unfairly dealt with, you can exaggerate. 

QUIZ:

Take a look at this web site from The Bronte Society and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Following the links at the left will give you all the information you need to complete this quiz. 

1. How was the economy of Haworth village changing when the Bronte sisters lived there?
2. What was the average age of death in Haworth village? 
3. What was the only viable career readily available to the girls?
4. What business venture did they unsuccessfully try to pursue at the parsonage?
5. To what European city did Charlotte and Emily travel, to improve their education?
6. What was their first attempt at publishing, which failed? How many copies sold?
7. What was their next attempt at publishing, which succeeded?
8. What was Charlotte Bronte's husband's name?
9. List the 6 Bronte children in the order they were born, then list them in the order they died. 
10. The Yorkshire moors were a very important setting for the Brontes' fiction. Do a Google Image search on "yorkshire moors" and have a look at the images that come up. What is a moor, according to the dictionary? Now, characterize the photos you see of Yorkshire moors. What strikes you about these photos?

BONUS! To the right you see a famous painting of the three Bronte sisters. Who is the other figure in the painting, the one who looks like he's being beamed up to the Enterprise in a golden shaft of light? Why does he look like that in this painting? 


NOTE: We will be doing another vocabulary challenge in class! Please review your Vocabulary lists 1 and 2 (available at the "Quizbowl" link above) so we can look back on the literary terms we have learned.