Friday, May 27, 2016

Reading Period 29: May 13 - June 9: Review

Jorge Luis Borges liked geography. Look at him liking it.
Class Meeting: June 4, 6 pm

This month we will return to South America briefly, to pick up our discussion on a couple of authors we briefly looked at last spring. You'll be writing two 500-word essays, one based on a poem and one on a short story. Before writing your essays, you'll be working on a literary analysis of each work, via your Poetry Dissection Kit and an abbreviated version of your Novel Autopsy Report. This effort represents a culmination of a lot of the work we've done this year in analyzing fiction and poetry. Don't let the length of the essays intimidate you! If you work hard on filling out your analytical documents, you'll have plenty to say. Writing a 500 word essay about a work of literature will be one of our main goals for next year's study, so this essay is a beginning benchmark for all the work you'll do next year. Do your best, but realize that this is a stretch. These are the essays you'll look back on as a first attempt. While each essay counts for ten points this week, work turned in on time that completes the assignment may be rewarded with up to 10 bonus points.

Due dates: Wednesday, June 8, 7pm

Short Read: "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Yeah, I'm a symbol. Yeah. 

"A Wolf" 
by Jorge Luis Borges

Grey and furtive in the final twilight,
he lopes by, leaving his spoor along the bank
of this nameless river that has quenched the thirst
of his throat, the water that repeats no stars.
Tonight, the wolf is a shade who runs alone
and searches for his mate and feels cold.
He is the last wolf in all of Angle-land.
Odin and Thor know him. In a commanding
house of stone a king has made up his mind
to put an end to wolves. The powerful
blade of your death has already been forged.
Saxon wolf, your seed has come to nothing.
To be cruel isn’t enough. You are the last.
A thousand years will pass and an old man
will dream of you in America. What use
can that future dream possibly be to you?
Tonight the men who followed through the woods
the spoor you left are closing in on you,
grey and furtive in the final twilight.

(Trans. by Robert Mezey)

Final Challenge #1 (instead of a creative assignment): 

After reading and rereading "A Wolf," print and fill out a "Poetry Dissection Kit" on this poem. Here is a link to the document if you don't have one on hand. You may not be able to fill out all the elements! For example, there may not be an example of litotes in this poem, but you will find an apostrophe and several allusions! When you have filled out your kit, put it in your binder, and then use this analysis to create a 500 word essay about this poem. You may start with information about the author and the movement he is part of, and move on through the different "trays," finishing with theme. Or you may start with theme and go from there. Think carefully about the structure of your essay, and make a plan that takes the reader somewhere new in the conclusion. Post your essay to the Google+ community. If you use sources, link to them at the end of the essay. 

Actual photo of real winged man.
Final Challenge #2 (instead of a writing assignment): 

After reading and rereading "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings," do a brief "Novel Autopsy Report" on this short story. You should include these elements, one of each unless otherwise indicated.

Title, Author, Something about the author, Year, Something else happening in that year.
Characters (3)
Settings (3)
Plot points (3)
Significant object:
Literary technique:
Discussion question:

Email me your brief novel autopsy report, and then use this analysis to create a 500 word essay about the story. Your essay needs an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Which information will you put in your introduction? What will you save for an interesting conclusion that takes the reader to a new place? I'll give you a hint: the literary technique at work here is magical realism. You may need to look it up. If you do, or if you use any other sources, for example to find out about the author, you need to cite your sources at the end of the essay, even if this just means providing a link to the web site where you found your information. Post your essay to the Google+ community.


As promised, here is a quiz over the last section of Things Fall Apart

1. What does Okonkwo threaten will happen to any of his sons who become Christians?
2. Okonkwo realizes that even though the Igbo are strong enough to fight the white men off, it will still be very hard to get the white men out of Umuofia. Why?
3. What positive benefits has Mr. Brown the missionary brought to Umuofia?
4. How is Mr. Smith different from Mr. Brown?
5. Why is it such a big deal when Enoch unmasks one of the egwugwu?
6. How are the leaders of Umuofia treated in jail?
7. What is the price of their release?
8. Who does Okonkwo kill with his machete, during the meeting of the clan leaders? 
9. Why can the villagers not take down Okonkwo's body?
10. What is the name of the commissioner's book?

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