Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reading Period 28: May 12-18: D.H. Lawrence

Short Reads:

"Rocking Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence, in your textbook.
"The Odour of Chrysanthemums" by D.H. Lawrence.
Illustrated timeline of D.H. Lawrence


"Snake" by D.H. Lawrence, in your textbook, page 939.

Creative Assignments:

Let's learn about Vorticism, a short-lived art movement in Britain that ended with World War I. Read about Vorticism and this exhibition at the Tate Modern in London. Read about Vorticism at this web site. Then choose between a writing creative assignment or visual arts assignment.


The Vorticists published one issue of their journal Blast. There we can find their manifesto, which started out with some declarations, and then moved on to a list of things to "BLESS" and a list of things to "BLAST."

Here are statements from the beginning:

1. Beyond Action and Reaction we would establish ourselves.
2. We start from opposite statements of a chosen world. Set up violent structure of adolescent clearness between two extremes.
3. We discharge ourselves on both sides.
4. We fight first on one side, then on the other, but always for the SAME cause, which is neither side or both sides and ours.
5. Mercenaries were always the best troops.
6. We are primitive Mercenaries in the Modern World.
7. Our Cause is NO-MAN'S.
8. We set Humour at Humour's throat. Stir up Civil War among peaceful apes.
9. We only want Humour if it has fought like Tragedy.
10. We only want Tragedy if it can clench its side-muscles like hands on its belly, and bring to the surface a laugh like a bomb.

There are more. Here's the whole thing.

Your assignment is to write a ten point manifesto, and then a five point "BLAST" list and a five point "BLESS" list, after reading about the Vorticists.


Visual arts. 

Take a look at these images:

Workshop by Wyndham Lewis

The Crowd by Wyndham Lewis

Mud Bath by David Bomberg

Now create your own "vorticist" artwork in this style. Use the full page and lots of color. 

Writing Assignments:

Read this direct evidence that the Mines Commission collected in 1842 from people who worked in the mines. Then read D.H. Lawrence's essay on mining in Nottingham, based on his childhood memories. What strikes you as you compare and contrast these two essays? Was D.H. Lawrence just romanticizing the life of the miner? (A miner is a "collier.") Or is it that we see things differently, looking back from our modern time, when labor unions and government oversight have become commonplace? Write 250 words discussing the difference between the vision of the mines in the commission and the vision D.H. Lawrence gives us of a miner's life.

Futurist writer or Mumford & Sons bass player?

Look at E.M. Forster's essay, "What I Believe." Then read only the foreward to D.H. Lawrence's work of non-fiction, Fantasia of the Unconscious. Now write your own manifesto of 250 words, in the style of "What I Believe." You could choose to respond to something controversial, disturbing, or satisfying in either Forster's or Lawrence's ideas, or take off on your own tangent.


This quiz is all about finding evidence in the text to support an idea, so for each question, find a quote that supports the idea in

"Rocking Horse Winner"
1. Paul's mother is incapable of love.
2. Paul's mother's need for money can never be satisfied.
3. The need for money is a constant presence in the family, though never discussed.
4. The mother is the main character, not the boy.
5. It's not the mother's fault that she's so obsessed with money.
"Odour of Chrysanthemums"
6. Elizabeth Bates has mixed feelings about chrysanthemums.
7. A mother's love is different from a wife's love.
8. Elizabeth Bates is irritated and angry with her husband in his life.
9. Elizabeth Bates is alienated from her husband in his death.
10. Lawrence uses heat and light as symbols in the story.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Reading Period 27: May 5 - May 11: Heart of Darkness

Long Read: 

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Part III

Short Read: 

1. Textbook: 837-850. (Virginia Woolf bio, Excerpt from "A Room of One's Own," James Joyce bio, "Araby," Excerpt from "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.")
2. Take a look at this annotated e-version of Finnegan's Wake, and read as much as you can bear to read. At least two pages. Click on each underlined word and look in the window at the bottom to see the annotation.
3. Read Virginia Woolf's suicide note on Wikisource.
4. Take a look at Ulysses online. Using your browser's "Find" function, find the phrase "He went out through the backdoor into the garden." Read from this point to where the bells toll. Then read the last huge paragraph.

Creative Assignments:

Create a floor plan for a house to suit a family of six who are all artists: writers, musicians, visual artists, and poets. Give each fictional member of your family their own creative space, and access to common areas. Would the ideal house for artists have separate buildings for everyone? Or is a separate room enough? Name each family member and depict them using the space you define for them in your sketch.


Write your own nonsense stream-of-consciousness in the style of Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. Have fun with it, and see if you can turn out 250 words that makes sense to you, read as a whole, even if certain words sound completely bonkers.

Writing Assignments: 

James Joyce's Ulysses has been widely banned in America and the UK, and due in part to the material in the assigned sections for this week, is not considered appropriate for high school students. Given what you know about banned books, and relating your points to the sections of the novel that you read for this week, create a balanced short essay giving the pros and cons of banning this particular novel. Start planning your essay with a Venn Diagram where one circle contains the risks of exposing children to challenging material, and one circle contains the rewards of such exposure. Are there any effects of reading banned books where risks and rewards intersect? Put those in your conclusion. In your essay, use examples from Ulysses.


Teachers constantly struggle with presenting material to children that is interesting and thought-provoking, but not too disturbing or mature. We want you to read things that are historically accurate, that represent the time period they are written in, but are not too offensive in language or vocabulary. For example, the movie "Apocalypse Now" is based on the book Heart of Darkness. It would be interesting to discuss the parallels and the way the characters cross over, but there is a lot of cussing, and some adult material. None of you are 18. After discussing this with your parents, decide whether or not you will watch "Apocalypse Now." Then watch it, or don't. Write an essay of 250 words in which you discuss your decision. If you watched it, did you feel that it was too much, or were you not bothered by the content? If you didn't watch it, what led you to that decision? Everyone needs to know where their boundaries are. In this essay, I want you to discuss those boundaries and why you set them.


1. What advantages enjoyed by Shakespeare would have been denied to his sister, if he had had one?
2. Why does Woolf agree with the bishop that no woman in Shakespeare's day could have had his genius?
3. According to Woolf, how did the repressed genius of women show itself?
4. What does Woolf believe would have happened to a highly gifted girl in Shakespeare's time?
5. Why is Mangan's sister unable to go to the bazaar?
6. Why is it important for the narrator to go to the bazaar?
7. Why is he delayed?
8. What does he find when he arrives at the bazaar?
9. What happens in the section of Ulysses that begins with "He went out through the back door into the garden"?
10. What happens in the last paragraph of Ulysses?
BONUS: Give 10 examples of made-up words from Finnegan's Wake and guess what meaning Joyce might have intended.
BONUS +1: Using Google, figure out what person Virginia Woolf was addressing in her suicide note, and the circumstances of her death.