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Understand the general nature, purposes, and techniques of literature with

  • Understand the general nature, purposes, and techniques of literature with a sense of its relationship to life and culture.
  • Recognize a representative selection of literary works by major writers (including notable stylistic devices and features) representing a diversity of prominent historical and cultural traditions and issues.
  • Engage and respond to literary texts personally and creatively.
  • Think, write, and speak about literary texts critically and effectively.

For this week, please respond to two primary prompts—one each from the two categories below—and two peers’ response posts. This totals four required posts this week. Please cite your sources at the end of your post. At a minimum, you should cite the short story that you explore in your post.

Primary Post: Choose one from each category (200-300 words):

Category 1: Literary Element Exploration

  1. Characterization: Discuss how one of this week’s short stories employs indirect characterization to develop a character. How would you describe the character in 2-3 adjectives? State these adjectives, and then discuss 2-3 ways the story develops your view of this character.
  2. Conflict: In good literature, conflicts tend to occur in multiples. Discuss one short story this week in terms of its internal and external conflict(s). What kinds of conflict are at work? How do conflicts drive the plot? How do the conflicts work change in a character or characters?
  3. Figurative language: Figurative language creates meaning by connecting what is known to what is not known. For example, consider the simile, “She is like a rose.” We may not know who she is (the unknown), but we do know what a rose is (the known). We know a rose is considered lovely and fragrant. We also know a rose has thorns and requires care to grow. We can infer then that “she” is lovely and possibly hurtful. Consider three examples of figurative language from a single short story this week. How does each create meaning or use the known to inform the unknown?

Category II: Content Exploration:

  1. Consider how one story explores the power of words to create or shape reality. How do the words succeed or fail? Refer to 2-3 examples to support your view.
  2. A few of this week’s stories withhold information from the reader to create an effect or theme. Discuss how one story withholds or delays information to affect the reader’s reaction to and experience of the text. Refer to 2-3 examples to support your discussion.
  3. Explore the construct of power in one of this week’s short stories. Who holds the most power in the short story? What gives him or her power over other characters, and how do they use it? Who has less power or is powerless, and how does this limit a character’s progress? What does the story seem to say about the use and abuse of power? Support your discussion with references to 2-3 examples in the text.
  4. Some of this week’s short stories employ stark imagery and offensive language, we might argue, to reflect the challenges of modern life. Discuss if this imagery or language is necessary? Is it effective in conveying a mood, theme, or character? Support your response with 2-3 specific references to the text.

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