Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reading Period 19: Feb 24 - Mar 2: Pleasant, Cheerful Snobbery and Orchestras

Long Read: 

The Great Gatsby, chapters 7-8.

Short Read: 

"The Catbird Seat" by James Thurber

Poetry:

e.e. cummings:
All in green went my love riding
Buffalo Bill's
anyone lived in a pretty how town
my father moved through dooms of love
poem

Hart Crane:
At Melville's Tomb
To Emily Dickinson

Creative Assignment: 

Create a drawing or painting to illustrate some of the annoying phrases that Mrs. Barrows uses in "The Catbird Seat." For example: Are you lifting the oxcart out of the ditch? Are you tearing up the pea patch? Are you hollering down the rain barrel? Are you scraping around the bottom of the pickle barrel? Are you sitting in the catbird seat? Show at least two in your artwork, and use the characters of Mrs. Barrows and Mr. Martin as your subjects. Scan it or photograph it and post it to the Google+ Community.

OR

We discussed in class how imagist poets pared down their words to the fewest they could possibly include and still get across their meaning. Choose any poem in your American poetry book that we've read -- from last semester or this semester. Make it a long one! Now pare it down to the smallest possible amount of words you can. You don't have to include all the ideas in the poem, just the one you think is most important. Imagine yourself sitting, as Pound might have, agonizing over every word in "In a Station of the Metro."

Writing Assignment:

What are "foil" characters? Read about this literary device here. Then write a short essay about foil characters in "The Catbird Seat" and The Great Gatsby. How does Thurber contrast Mr. Martin with Mrs. Barrows to show their differences and highlight their character traits? What traits does each one possess, and how do their play off each other in the story? How does Fitzgerald use the contrast between George Wilson and Tom Buchanan to show their differences? What is he showing us about Tom Buchanan by contrasting him with George Wilson? Or are Buchanan and Gatsby better foils?

OR

Read this article about Ezra Pound's anti-semitism. The Canto referenced here is the one we read for class -- the one about "usura." Reflect on your feelings about Pound's behavior and beliefs, and write a short essay about whether his poetry should be read and included in anthologies, or whether we should stop reading his work. Should textbooks tell students about the extremity of his beliefs and that he was anti-American and anti-Semitic, to the point of being arrested and put in an insane asylum? Or should they say he is "controversial" and leave it at that? What should we do with Pound and why?

Quiz:

Your quiz covers chapters 7 and 8 of The Great Gatsby.

1. Why does Gatsby's kitchen now look like a pigsty?
2. What weather situation are the characters facing in chapter 7?
3. What does Gatsby mean when he says of Daisy, "Her voice is full of money."
4. Who is driving which car and who is riding along, on the way to town?
5. What does Gatsby want Daisy to say about Tom, in the hotel suite, that she refuses to say?
6. Who is driving which car and who is riding along, on the way home?
7. What happened just before Mrs. Wilson ran out into the road?
8. What does Nick see, peeking in the pantry window at the Buchanan house, after the New York trip?
9. What does Gatsby's gardener want to do, and why does Gatsby stop him?
10. George Wilson thinks the expensive dog leash is proof of what?

BONUS: What object does Tom Buchanan take into town and bring back unused?
BONUS BONUS: The conductor exclaims something in the train in chapter 7. What children's movie does this exclamation remind you of?

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