Friday, August 28, 2015

Reading Period 1: Sept 8-14: Russia

Look! It's a classic Russian novel! 
Class meeting: September 14
Due date: September 13, 7pm
(Late assignments will receive half credit for one week, then no credit.)

Long Read:

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Book 1 and 2

Short Read:

"The Two Brothers" by Leo Tolstoy

Poetry:

"The Bronze Horseman" by Aleksandr Pushkin

Creative Assignment:

Choose one creative assignment from the two options below. When you've finished your assignment, scan it or copy it and post it in the Google+ community. Part of your assignment is to look at the work of your classmates and comment.

Take a virtual tour of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. This is a contemporary Russian Orthodox monastery right here in the USA. Then watch this slide show of pictures showing Russian Orthodox monks in different time periods. And visit this web site, for the monastery that Dostoevsky visited while he was developing The Brothers Karamazov. Now using descriptions from the book (beginning in Book 2) and inspired by the images you have seen, create an illustration of Father Zossima in his cell. Use as many details as you can.

OR

Take a virtual tour of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. This is a contemporary Russian Orthodox monastery right here in the USA. Click around on their web site and read some of the descriptions and welcome text. Visit this web site, for the monastery that Dostoevsky visited while he was developing The Brothers Karamazov. Now write a 250 word introduction to a welcome page on a pretend web site for the monastery in The Brothers Karamazov. What options are available for someone who wants to visit? What are the interesting features a tourist would want to check out? Make it sound intriguing and be sure you include a push for donations.

OR

If you are not reading The Brothers Karamazov, here is an alternate assignment: Create an illustration for the story, "The Two Brothers." Make it obvious from your drawing which part of the story you're showing us.

Writing Assignment:

Choose one writing assignment from the two options below. When you've finished your assignment, scan it or copy it and post it in the Google+ community. Part of your assignment is to look at the work of your classmates and comment.

Consider this quote from Father Zossima:

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself. The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offence, isn’t it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill — he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offence, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so pass to genuine vindictiveness.

What does he mean by "it is sometimes very pleasant to take offence"? Can you think of an example of someone finding pleasure in taking offense, on the news or in current events, maybe in your personal interactions? Where do we draw the line between someone being too sensitive, making a mountain out of a molehill, and someone being legitimately offended? How can you tell? Write a 250 word essay giving your thoughts on this topic, including one real life example.

OR

Do some Russian history research online! Tell me everything you can about Tsar Alexander II in a 250 word essay. Cite your sources by linking to any web sites you used, at the end of your essay. The essay should be in your own words but you can use quotes from your sources, if they're in quotation marks. Here are some web sites to look at: Russiapedia, Alexander Palace, History.com. You can also search for documentaries on YouTube.

OR

If you are not reading The Brothers Karamazov, here is an alternative assignment:  Write a 250 word essay on one of the following topics: The Trans-Siberian Railroad, the prison camps in Siberia (either in Imperial Russia or Soviet Russia or both), or the three species of humans who have inhabited Siberia.

Quiz:

This quiz covers The Brothers Karamazov, books 1 and 2. You may use your books to answer the questions! Please email me your answers. If you like, you can copy and paste the questions into an email or a document, then write the answers after each question. If you use a Google document to write your quiz, please still copy and paste the questions and answers into the body of an email to me. Do not post them to the Google+ community. Your answers don't need to be detailed, but try to use complete sentences where it makes sense to do so. The quiz is organized by book and chapter, so you'll know where to find the answers if you're stuck. This may be confusing at first but hopefully will be helpful in the long run.

BOOK 1
1. What happened to Fyodor's first wife?
2. Who raised Mitya?
3. a.What happened to Fyodor's second wife?
    b. List Fyodor's sons and each one's mother.
4. Which son is the narrator's favorite?
5. a. What is an Elder (or in some translations Starets)?
    b.  At the end of book 1, the characters are planning to meet up. Where will they meet?

BOOK 2
1. Who is Pyotr Alexandrovich Miusov?
2. a. What does Fyodor tell Father Zossima about himself? What name does he call himself?
     b.  What advice does Father Zossima give to Fyodor?
     c.  What is Miusov's attitude toward Fyodor?
3. How old is Mrs. Kholakova's daughter?
4. a. How are Madame Hohlakov and Lise different from the other people at the gate? How are they the same?
     b. What does Lise reveal about herself and Alexei?

5. Who wrote the article that is upsetting Father Paisy?
6. a. Who does Dmitri blame for his having been late to the meeting?
    b. What dispute with Dmitri does Fyodor explain to Father Zossima?
7. Before the banquet, what does Ratikin predict will happen?
8. a. Why does Fyodor denounce the monastery? What is his reasoning?
     b. What is Father Superior's reaction to Fyodor?
     c.  What does Fyodor demand that Alexei do, after the banquet?
     d. Which brother is going home with Fyodor?
 (22 questions total)

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