2 Discussion Posts Due
Read in Norton: Why Study Literature? Introduction 1-10; Fiction: Reading, Writing, Responding 16-44;
Part 1: Main Post (worth 10pts): In a minimum of 200 words, answer one of the questions below. Your answer should include at least two direct references/ quotes from the text; you will not receive full credit for references/ quotes that other students have discussed. Be sure to include an MLA Works Cited entry and parenthetical citation for quotes. Post early and you won’t have to worry about losing points for piggy-backing.
1. The “Introduction” to the Norton Anthology is organized around a couple of questions: Why read literature? Why study literature? How does Hai-Dang Phan’s poem “My Father’s ‘Norton Introduction to Literature,’ Third Edition (1981)” answer this question?
2. Linda Brewer’s “20/20” invites conversation about point of view and vision (both literally and figuratively); your eye doctor might refer to your vision as 20/20 (perfect vision), and we also uses expressions like “hindsight is 20/20.” Focusing on the way each characters sees and understands the world, briefly compare Ruthie and Bill. What does each character see and believe? Is either character’s vision 20/20?
3. Carver’s “Cathedral” and Brewer’s “20/20” describe situations in which characters get to know each other in brief encounters (going on a trip together and hosting/being a guest) that can sometimes be awkward, difficult, or entertaining (think about your own experiences if you have been on a road trip with a new friend or had an unexpected houseguest). Choose one of the stories and discuss how this setting or situation informs our understanding of one of the main characters.
4. In Carver’s “Cathedral,” what do the narrator’s remarks about the visit of the blind man, about his wife’s history, and about himself suggest about what kind of person he is? How would you characterize this narrator’s worldview? Does he change over the course of the story?
Optional Part 2: Extra credit option (up to 10 points): Extra Credit Option: In “The Elephant in the Village of the Blind,” the villagers touch a different part of the elephant and reach different conclusions. What does this story suggest about knowledge and how we know what we know? Do a quick google search for epistemology theory and compare two approaches, such as Plato’s theory of forms with rationalism or constructivism. Drawing on the two theories you have chosen, how might understand what an elephant is? Which theory do you prefer?
2 Discussion Posts Due