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:

  • The story presents Parker as a man who embraces the senses. We discussed how language in the text repeatedly focuses on the physical experience of vision. Although Parker is attracted to an image of God that he can see, Sarah Ruth rejects physical representations of God (529). What is the purpose of presenting this particular difference between these spouses?
  • On numerous occasions, Parker seems compelled against his will to be in relationship with Sarah Ruth (516, 517, 518, 524, 527). What does this text argue about choice and freedom within relationships, and how does the story accomplish that rhetorical purpose?