ENG 125 All DQs

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ENG 125 All DQs

Week 1

Discussion Questions

Describe your personal relationship to literature and to reading. Begin by considering the meaning of literature. What does the term literature mean to you? What makes something literary in your own mind? If literature means different things to different people, who defines what is and what is not literature? Next, reflect on your relationship to reading and literature. What kind of reading engages/interests you? What about that writing draws you in? Do you find meaning in reading certain writing? If so, describe the satisfaction you draw from this process. Also consider how you read. Do you, for example, take notes or mark text as you read, or do you simply absorb the material on a page?

Review the key literary terms and concepts presented throughout Chapters One and Two. (See the end of each chapter for a glossary of terms.) Choose at least four of these terms to discuss in your post. Then, find examples of these concepts in the readings from this week. Explain how these examples demonstrate each literary concept as well as the effect which the given technique or form has on a reading of the respective text.

Week 2

Discussion Questions

Analyzing Point of View.

Chapter Five discusses the importance of point of view in literature and, more specifically, in the short story. Choose one short story from the course text about which you have not yet written, and analyze it in terms of point of view. When writing your post, consider the following questions

a. How would you categorize the point of view [e.g., first-person, second-person (i.e., you), third-person limited, third-person omniscient]?

b. Is the point of view consistent throughout the story (told from the same perspective), or does it shift at any points in the narrative? (If so, make note of when and how those changes occur.)

c. How does point of view shape your reading of the work? In what ways does it contribute to or detract from your reading of the work?

d. How does point of view relate to the storys themes or content?

Symbolism in the Short Story.

Chapter Seven explores the role of symbols in conveying literary themes. Themes are abundant in literary works (though they are at some times more obvious than at others). Select one short story from the reading assignments (from either Week One or Week Two) to examine more closely in relation to symbolism. Consider the storys overall theme(s) and use of images as well as how these two relate to one another. You may choose to explore one single recurring symbol, or you may discuss multiple symbols and how they relate to one another.

At the beginning of your post, identify (a) the literary work that you will analyze and (b) the theme(s) that is/are most relevant to the symbolism you will explore.

Week 3

Discussion Questions

The Short Story and Poem: A Comparison of Literary Forms.

Reflecting on this weeks literary readings, as well as your own reading experiences, identify at least one major similarity and one major difference between the forms of the short story and the poem. How do the differences between these literary forms affect how you read and respond to them?

Reading Response: Poetry and Performance.

Listen to We Real Cool and My Papas Waltz. These clips demonstrate the importance of performance, rhythm, and musicality in the poetic form.

Describe your listening experience of one or more of the poems. (If you prefer, you may find a recording of another poem from the course readings and describe your listening experience of it instead. If you choose this option, be sure to provide a link to the audio of the chosen poem.) How did hearing the text(s) recited aloud compare to a silent reading of it/them? Did the performance in any ways add to or detract from your experience of the text? Did the performance change your perception of the poem or its content in any ways? Explain how (or how not).

Week 4

Discussion Questions

Chapter Thirteen discusses the major elements of drama and distinguishes the form from other genres like the short story and poetry. Using the play Riders to the Sea (Synge) as an example, discuss what elements and qualities make drama unique as a literary form. Support your ideas with textual evidence from Synges play. In your post, take into consideration how the literary themes of Riders to the Sea relate to the dramatic form.

Macbeth as Tragedy.

Shakespeares Macbeth is often considered one of literatures greatest tragedies and is said to reveal much about human nature. Do you agree or disagree that the play conveys much about humanity or about the human experience? What, if anything, does the work suggest about human beings or society? Support your views with textual details and analysis.

In your response, address how Macbeths subject matter, themes, form, or other literary elements might (or might not) be characteristic of tragedy. How do tragic qualities of the play contribute (or not) to the storys larger message(s)?

Week 5

Discussion Questions

Comparing and Contrasting Literary Forms.

Throughout this course we have explored the similarities and differences between the literary forms of the short story, the poem, and drama. For example, one major difference is that both poetry and drama frequently place a strong emphasis on performance before an audience that is physically present, while the short story is more commonly intended for individual reading.

With that said, it is important to remember that all literary works cannot always be easily classified into a single genre. Moreover, literary works which might be classified as belonging to one genre might possess many qualities more typical of other genres. For example, Shakespeares Macbeth is classified as drama, but in many respects takes the form of poetry. In other words, sometimes the differences between categories like drama, poetry, and the short story are not so easily defined. Often a short story might contain poetic or dramatic qualities, or a poem might include narrative and dramatic features.

Performance in Drama and Poetry.

All literature involves some kind of performance which is intended for an audience. Sometimes, however, the performative quality of a work (i.e., the fact that it is being presented to an audience) is more obvious than at others. Drama and poetry, for example, tend to emphasize overt performance more than do short stories, which more often are read silently and in solitude.

How is the more direct performative aspect of drama and/or poetry reflected in these forms? (Consider for example, each genres uses of literary structure, language, technique, and style.) How do these literary elements affect your reading experience?

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