1. Write a brainstorming paragraph on the topic of anything in literary work that you find good or interesting. Write as thoughts occur and do not make corrections or improvements.
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
An old man with wings is odd and weird. The title does not say whether the man is an angel, so the ambiguity is retained. Also, the man does not represent any image of an angel that we have been taught of how an angel looks like. We have been taught through media, culture, social mores of how a lot of things ought to look like, when sometimes these things look so much different in reality. Society teaches us what should be, when it does not even consider first what is. We have been taught what angels look like according to literature, but there is no room for variations. We are too rigid, too tense; ass if the similarity of something in nature should exactly match society’s impression of it, and it is as if it really matters. We should just live and let live.
#2. Using Marginal and Notebook notation: with any additional thoughts, describe the way in which the author of a particular work as expressed important ideas and difficulties.
Daniel Defoe’s The Education of Women talks of Defoe’s notions of what a school for women should be. This is in a time when women are not sent to school, as it is seen as a waste of time and money, since they will marry and become housewives anyway.
Defoe’s ideas seem ahead of his time at first glance; however, upon closer inspection, one can see that he is still a man of his time. Defoe is still prone to looking at women in a condescending and patronizing manner: he sees women as weaklings that should be taken care of. This shows in the justifications he gives regarding the school’s structure, curriculum, and outcome of its students. The
conclusion of his speculations is that men are definitely more superior than women, and that it is out of their good will that they are supporting education for women, and not because of belief in equal opportunity for all. Even social class is scrutinized before a student is allowed to go to school.
A school for women should be headed by women. Its curriculum should be decided by women.
#3. Create a plus-minus table to list your responses about a character or ideas in a work.
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, by Ernest Hemingway
He did not really mean to be rude; he was just thinking of other things
He lacked sympathy for the old man
His attitude captures the mood of the story (the nothingness of old age)
He had only contempt for old age
His attitude is reminiscent of people with everything to live for
#4. Analyze and explain the way in which the conflicts in a story or lay are developed. What pattern or patterns do you find? Determine the relationship of the conflicts to the works development and fashion your idea of this relationship as an argument for a potential essay.
In The Company of Wolves by Angela Carter, the girl is torn between surviving and preserving her innocence. Unlike other stories, where the female protagonist is either the virgin or the vixen, this reworking of the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood asserts that she can be both, depending on the situation. Most stories treat young women as still reliant on other people, and not in control of their bodies. In this story, Carter manages to destroy this prevalent notion in short stories.
We witness the girl’s innocence as she prepares for her trip to her grandmother’s house, unafraid of the werewolf that prowls the woods that surround her. She is unmindful of the werewolf’s bestiality and sensuality, being uneducated in these matters. However, upon arriving at her grandmother’s house, she realizes that her survival is at stake And shedding her innocence (just as she sheds her clothes), she appeases the wolf, and unleashes her sexuality.
#5. Raise questions about the actions of characters in a story or play in order to determine the various customs and manners of the society out of which the work was derived.
In The Killers by Ernest Hemingway, Ole Anderson passively waits for his killers instead of running away. Possibly, as a boxer, he is not trained to run away, but to face challenges. And when he is tired, he simply cannot run away. This shows the macho culture Anderson is influenced by. Instead of opting to survive, he opts to face it and get killed once and for all.