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English 4, Unit 9: Life and

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Readings

 

Jonathan Gottschall, PhD, “Fiction Addiction (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-storytelling-animal/201205/fiction-addiction)

 

Short stories:

 

John Cheever, “Reunion” (1962) (https://sites.google.com/site/mboretz/story-13)

 Mary Ladd Gavell, “The Swing”  https://sites.google.com/site/mboretz/story40

Kelley Eskridge, “Alien Jane” https://sites.google.com/site/mboretz/alienjane

 

 

Assignment 1B (2 pages paper)

 

Choose an important similarity among the 3 short stories we studied this week.

 

In an introductory paragraph, say what similarity you will focus on and why.

 

Then in the body of your paper show that similarity, quoting at least once from each story. You should also bring up important differences, though these will not be your focus.

 

In your conclusion comment on the importance of what you have said.

 

 

When I grade your papers I will be considering these aspects:

 

Organization:  as above.

 

Clarity: I should be able to understand you. You should not confuse or mystify me.  Remember that I cannot read your mind.

 

Quotation: Your paper must contain at least 3 quotations, 1 from each story.   These quotations should be correctly done, in context, and demonstrate that you are accurate in your reading of the texts.

 

Proofreading and format:  The paper should show that you have a command of the customs and conventions of written English.

 

All papers should be proofread, spell-checked, with your name in the upper left corner, and a title.

 

At the end of your paper, include a Works Cited list of the three stories and any other works you reference in MLA format.

 

Son of Citation Machine is a handy resource that will show you how to do this. Also see the OWL at Purdue

 

Use of Sources: You do not have to use any other sources in the paper but the assigned texts and your own thoughts. But if you do use other sources, you must indicate them; when the wording is not your own, you must use quotation marks and cite your sources.  Click here for more information about this from Harvard University.

 

Failure to cite sources is plagiarism; this will sink the paper.

 

WEEK 3 POSTED

 

Background Reading:

 

How To Analyze a Literary Passage (Links to an external site.)

http://study.com/academy/lesson/how-to-analyze-a-literary-passage-a-step-by-step-guide.html#lesson

 

Readings for the Week

 

Alice Munro, “Boys and Girls”

https://sites.google.com/site/39boretz/story-15

 

Alice Munro,  “Dear Life” https://sites.google.com/site/39boretz/story-20

 

Patricia Hampl, “Memory and Imagination” https://sites.google.com/site/mboretz/readings-for-week-one

 

 

(Each discussion should in 150-200 words)

 

 

Discussion 1, “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro

Choose at least one of the subtopics below for a considered, thoughtful response.

Copy the subtopic into your text, including more than the number.  Give reasons why you think as you do based on personal associations and/or evidence in the text.

 

Please give URLs for any research you do and use quotation marks when necessary to distinguish your words from other writers’.

 

 

INTO THE STORY: What was your way into the story? In other words, what details or situations or characters drew you into the story because they interested you or you could identify with them?

 

 

Describe what happened to you as you read – your first impressions of the situation, how your impressions changed, what you felt as you read, and how the ending stuck you.  Quote appropriate textual passages and say how they led you to your conclusions about the story. Use a combination of your own voice and quotation.

 

 

IN your own voice, tell us about your process of figuring out the setting.What were the clues? Give URLs for any research. Why is the setting  important to the story? Could the story have taken place at a different time and place? Speculate.

 

NARRATOR: This is first person narration, told by the unnamed girl.   Is she a child or an adult at the time she tells this story? How do  you know? Quote details from the story to show.

 

 

CHARACTERS: Choose one: In your own voice describe the narrator’s father (as seen by the narrator), mother, or brother Laird and their relationship with the narrator. Does your impression of them change as the story goes on?  Quote to show.

 

In your own voice, do you see any symbolic elements in the story?  Irony? Any foreshadowing? Quote and explain how the example reinforces something important about the story.

 

ENDING: By the end of the story, the narrator is acting more like a girl — in other words, she is growing up. Do you think Munro sees this as a positive change? Do you? Cite specfic passages to support your viewpoint.

 

 

GENRE: Is this fiction, autobiography, or what? Quote to show. Here also it would be good to look up information about Munro and “Boys and Girls.

 

 

TITLE:   Why is it “Boys and Girls” rather than “Girls and Boys?

 

Discussion 2, “Dear Life” by Alice Munro

 

INTO “Dear Life”   What was your way into “Dear Life”? In other words, what details or situations or characters drew you into the story because they interested you or you could identify with them? Quote to show

 

Your Reading Process: Describe what happened to you as you read – your first impressions of the situation, how your impressions changed, what you felt as you read, and how the ending stuck you.  Quote to show.

 

 

Title: In your opinion why did Munro title this “Dear Life”?  Where is the title used in the narrative?

 

 

The story of Mrs. Netterfield is the centerpiece of “Dear Life.” What is its importance? How is it especially appropriate for this work?

 

 Invent or Transcribe? In her essay “Memory and Imagination,” Patricia Hampl asks two questions: “why did I invent, and then, if a memoirist must inevitably invent rather than transcribe, why do I — why should anybody — write memoir at all?”  Where do you see evidence that Munro is inventing rather than transcribing? Or do you?

 

 

ROLY GRAIN: What does this passage from “Dear Life” imply about memoir as opposed to fiction?

And even farther away, on another hillside, was another house, quite small at that distance, facing ours, that we would never visit or know and that was to me like a dwarf’s house in a story. But we knew the name of the man who lived there, or had lived there at one time, for he might have died by now. Roly Grain, his name was, and he does not have any further part in what I’m writing now, in spite of his troll’s name, because this is not a story, only life.

 

Genre: Is “Dear Life” a short story or a memoir or something else? Quote to show. You might want to research this on the internet to find out more.

 

Surely you’ve noticed the similarities between “Dear Life” and “Boys and Girls.” How is this “Dear Life,” an autobiographical narrative, different from “Boys and Girls” in terms of technique: what is excluded from one and present in the other; what is added? With what effect?  What would you say is the main difference between the two?

 

 

Discussion 3, “Memory and Imagination” by Patricia Hampl

 

YOUR WAY IN: What was your way into “Memory and Imagination”? In other words, what details or situations or characters drew you in because they interested you or you could identify with them? Quote to show.

 

READING PROCESS: Describe what happened to you as you read – your first impressions of the situation, how your impressions changed, what you felt as you read, and how the ending stuck you.  Quote appropriate textual passages and say how they led you to your conclusions about the story.

 

GENRE: What “type” (genre) of writing is “Memory and Imagination”?  A short story or memoir or something else? Give reasons for the choice you make here. Quote to show.

 

 

FIRST DRAFT: What does Hampl mean by the following: “A careful first draft is a failed first draft.”  In what ways was her first draft a failure?  How will she change the draft and why?  How were YOU taught to handle first drafts in school? Is the advice you got similar or different?

 

MEMOIR VS FICTION: What’s the apparent difference between a memoirist and fiction writer, according to Hampl?  But how are they similar? Quote to show.

 

WHY WRITE MEMOIR?Patricia Hampl asks two questions: “why did I invent, and then, if a memoirist must inevitably invent rather than transcribe, why do I — why should anybody — write memoir at all?” What is her answer to these questions?

 

 

TRAVEL WRITING: Hampl says that “memoir is travel writing.” What does she mean? Quote her then explain in your own words.

 

CHARACTERS: What significance does Hampl finally discover in the story of Sister Olive Marie and Mary Katherine Reilly?  Why have these images lingered in Hampl’s memory? Quote to show.

 

 

GENRE: what genre is “Memory and Imagination”? Short story or something else. Quote to show.

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English 4, Unit 9: Life and

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