Oh, we’re in the swing of things now, aren’t we? This, my friends, is what they mean by full-contact reading and writing. Are you ready for some Englishing? I said, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME ENGLISHING?!
We finish Oedipus and turn the corner into Things Fall Apart, with drops on Monday for period 4 and Thursday for period 1. The emphasis will be once again on knowing your purpose for reading Oedipus and trying to integrate Aristotle’s language of tragedy into our discussions. Given that we will finish Poetics before Tuesday’s class, I will ask you to write your thinking about contexts, themes, plot and characterization on Tuesday night and on Wednesday night as we progress through and complete the play. I anticipate our classes to look something like this:
Mon (per. 1): Scene 1 and Ode 1
Tue (both): Scene 2, Ode 2 and Scene 3
Wed (both): Ode 3, Scene IV, Ode 4 and Exodos
Thu (per. 4): group discussion of Aristotelian elements
Fri (per 1): group discussion of Aristotelian elements; (per. 4) “The Second Coming” and the challenges in applying Aristotle’s principles to a novel
I will distribute Things Fall Apart on Wednesday for and ask you to complete a chunk of the reading prior to class on Friday or Monday. You may read ahead, but I will post a discussion schedule for TFA.
We get to the emotional parts of LotF after getting through the parts that will enrage you, and we continue to work on critical response. As we move through the week we start talking more about themes and less about critical reading, and I grant your wish for at-home writing, provide you promise to limit the time you spend on it. Here’s what it looks like:
Monday: You write a critical response about chapter 4 and the turning point in the novel. We go back to the “beginning” sheets of paper for character and symbol and build the distinctions and connections between initial characterization and developing characterization, symbol establishment and symbol development.
For HW, you read chapter 5. You select one character’s point of view on the problem of the Beast and prepare yourself to do the following in class on Tuesday: Write about the way that character’s approach to the Beast is appropriate for his characterization up to this point in the story.
Tuesday: We work in groups to pin down the symbolic representation of each character through their approach to the Beast, and discuss the flaws in each as far as combatting whatever the beast is in human nature. HW is to read chapters 6 & 7 and to track changes in the power struggle on the island, and to identify important steps in the development of themes. There is no writing related to this assignment.
Wednesday: After a discussion of lines of inquiry, you organize yourselves into inquiry groups related to the symbol/character who interests you most. Through these groups, you track the relevant moments through ch. 6 and 7, and work on creating statements about how Golding has developed your line of inquiry through the “early middle.” For HW, read chapter 8, and select the passage or quote that absolutely requires your response. Write an analysis of the language in the passage.
Thursday: Chapter 8 discussion through close reading of selected passages; we organize a timeline of violence to this point in the story. Prior to HW assignment, we discuss allusion in more depth and identify its role in a work of literature. HW: Read chapter 9, along with the first half of Exodus 32 and the assigned passage from the Greek tragedy, Bacchants, by Euripides, and be prepared to write about Golding’s use of allusion in the really, really bad thing that happens on Monday.
Friday: We drop. (sniff)
We begin the process of taking what we’ve noticed these first three weeks and trying to find the poems in them, and of applying our skills in reading poems to poems of our choice. You will have a lot of time this week and next to work, to read and write and confer and revise as you see necessary.
Mon: Discussion of the three readings in “Challenging Assumptions about Space and Time.” I give you samples of student poems with reflections so you can see the kinds of things I’ll expect from your writing and reflecting.
Tue: Find more poems – go through the books, look up poets to discover new poems
Wed-Fri: I give you the Chapter One assignment (tentatively due Thursday, Sept. 26) and dedicate the period to typing poems you like. If computers aren’t available, we’ll use them sometime between Wednesday and Friday; otherwise, it will be reading, writing and thinking time for the last three days of the week.