Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

Exploring Cultural Identity

by   |  03.08.10  |  In-Class Writing Assignments, Research and Cultural Identity, Thesis

To practice thinking and writing about the idea of a research question, which is required for the research paper, please choose to focus on either “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie or “My Faith in Nonviolence” by Mohandas Gandhi and respond as a group to the following items about your selected text and post your response in a comment to this blog post:

  1. Which text are you responding to and who is in your group?
  2. An issue is more specific and more focused than a topic. Given the topic of exploring cultural identity, what specific issue(s) can you identify regarding cultural identity in this text?
  3. What specific evidence (language, details, ideas) from the text creates this issue?
  4. A research question, I would argue, is even more specific than an issue. Try to frame your response to item #2 above as a question that could generate further research.

Below is a photo of Sherman Alexie:

Alexie photo by Larry D. Moore – (CC) Larry D. Moore.

Assignment for Monday February 22

0 Commentsby   |  02.20.10  |  Interpretation and Purpose, Rhetorical Analyses, Short Stories

For Monday, please print a copy of “The Lottery” from the Link below and read the story before class. I encourage you to annotate your copy of the text—underline key lines or phrases, write notes in the margin, identify key themes, and be able to articulate the purpose of the story.

If you would like to replace your grade on an RA you may have missed, you may upload an RA on “The Lottery” to the Files Dropbox before class on Monday, or you may turn in a hard copy in class on Monday.

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Group Exercise on “Parker’s Back”

by   |  01.22.10  |  In-Class Writing Assignments, Interpretation and Purpose, Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument), Short Stories, Thesis

As a group, please write a response to the items below on “Parker’s Back” as a comment to this blog post.

  1. What are some specific issues (questions) this story raises about relationships?
  2. Write a possible thesis (position) claim about the story’s purpose regarding human relationship.
  3. Exactly how does the story text accomplish its argument or purpose you identified in #2 above.
  4. Include the names of your group members.

If not already addressed in your responses to the items above, try responding to the following questions: More »

Theology and Marriage in “Parker’s Back”

0 Commentsby   |  01.20.10  |  Interpretation and Purpose, Short Stories

The short story “Parker’s Back” presents spouses who have remarkably different perspectives of the divine. Sarah Ruth seems obsessed with following abstract codes of regulations that she associates with her religious identity. In contrast to Sarah Ruth’s obedience to doctrine and law, Parker’s experience of God centers on the incarnational image of a person who is perceptable to the senses and who has “eyes to be obeyed” (527). Considering these differences, how might a writer compose an essay about the complex relationship between Obadiah Elihue Parker and Sarah Ruth?

Below is an image of the famous icon Christ Pantocrator (“Christ, Ruler of All”), which could fit the story’s description of Parker’s Christ tattoo, with its “haloed head” and “all-demanding eyes” (522):

Christ the Saviour

A Respectable Triangle?

0 Commentsby   |  01.20.10  |  Interpretation and Purpose, Short Stories

If you plan to write about “A Respectable Woman” for Essay #1, consider some of the following differences between Mrs. Baroda’s relationship with her husband and her relationship with Gouvernail: More »

Exploring Thesis Statements

by   |  01.15.10  |  In-Class Writing Assignments, Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument), Short Stories, Thesis

In groups of 2-3, please discuss the following items and have one member of your group post a response to these items as a comment to this blog post:

  • Articulate what you think is the thesis of Melendi’s essay, “All of Heaven for Love.”
  • Offer your own tentative thesis about the short story “Die Grosse Liebe” (one that is different from Melendi’s thesis). Remember, a thesis must be debatable (a claim that people can disagree with). Try to offer a thesis about howDie Grosse Liebe” accomplishes its rhetorical purpose.
  • List the names of the people in your group, so they can receive credit for today’s in-class assignment.

Writing About Short Stories; “Die Grosse Liebe”

0 Commentsby   |  01.15.10  |  Interpretation and Purpose, Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument), Short Stories

Writers of stories spend time creating cultural universes, and they ask us to experience these universes as readers.  These cultural universes are shaped by carefully selected details in the stories—particular language, particular images, and particular spaces.   Every word, every detail in a text functions as an argument—an argument that attempts to alter the experience of readers.

On Friday, we’ll look at additional details in “Die Grosse Liebe” and what effects those details have in the story’s performance:

One of the most interesting questions to ask when writing about texts is simply, “How?”

  • How does the story perform its argument?
  • How does the story accomplish its purpose?
  • How does the story’s language cause readers to experience certain effects?
  • How does a certain detail interact with other details in the story, and to what effect?
  • What kind of cultural universe is presented in this story?  And how does the story create that kind of universe?

Here’s a clip with selected images and audio from the movie described in the short story: