I thought it might be cool for you to find something you enjoy reading instead of me assigning something to you, so this assignment will hopefully encourage you to investiage some beautifully crafted writing pieces. Refer to the Stylistic Devices notes I gave you first semester or refer to this PowerPoint on Commonly Used Rhetorical Devices in speeches and essays. And finally, check out this Rhetorical Analysis PowerPoint for help with outlining or wording your argument.
Please review the Rhetorical Situation PowerPoint to better understand the techniques used in writing. After, read Alice Walker's personal essay, "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens," to analyze for subject, occasion, style, and puprose. Then complete the assignment attached. Please email with any questions.
Author Context: Alice Walker was born in 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia. She is a widely read novelist whose work The Color Purple (1982), which won a Pulitzer Prize, was made into a film, and is the work for which she is best known. She has writtten poetry and short story collections as well as a number of other novels and essay collections, including In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens (1983). In all of her work, Walker is concerned with African American history and the production of art, families, and individual identity out of that history.
"In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens" is taken from a collection with the same name. As many personal essays do, "Our Mothers' Gardens" weaves together stories drawn from the author's life and reflections on larger questions and truths about life inspired by the experiences recounted in the stories. As you read, look out for the techniques Walker uses to connect these two strands.
Alternate Assignment (if you missed the Zoom meeting): Please send me your poetry annotations and a short answer response to the following prompt: Analyze how Oliver conveys mood and meaning through the use of language, imagery, or metaphor of the natural world to describe her surroundings. You may focus on a single poem or reference any/all of them. Please use textual evidence to support your answer. And let me know if you have any questions!
Zoom Meeting Details: your grade this week is based off attendance and participation; therefore, I will NOT let you into the group unless you 1) include your full name--first & last-- as well as your class period, 2) enable video so I can see you OR use a profile picture of yourself (no masks, filters, etc.). I will stop admitting people into the meeting at 11:00, so you have to make up an alternate assignment if you miss it, and you have to stay the full time to receive credit. Please have your reading assignments ready out and ready for discussion. I'm looking forward to "seeing" everyone!
Join Zoom Meeting (10:45-11:30)
Meeting ID: 858 1720 9126
I can't help but think that these writers, these poets, have more important lessons to teach us right now than what I had originally planned. So please read the three poems attached by Mary Oliver then read the first three paragraphs of Henry David Thoreau's "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For" We'll meet via Zoom tomorrow from 10:45-11:30 (I'll post meeting information here at 10:30) to discuss. If you can't make it, please let me know so we can discuss an alternate assignment.
We'll be analyzing texts to identify different types of persuasive and propaganda techniques so you'll be equipped with the skill set to better analyze, interpret, and explain the employment of these strategies (i.e. why people make the choices they make and how it affects us). This week's assignment is an expansion of some of the propaganda techniques we already discussed in 1984. But now, we're applying it to the real world. Please open this Propaganda PowerPoint to accompnay the attached notes.
(Side note: I recently read this article; it's very fitting. If you find the time, please give it a go: https://forge.medium.com/prepare-for-the-ultimate-gaslighting-6a8ce3f0a0e0)
I've been compiling a list of thesis statements to make critiques on for you to look at and then apply to your own writing. I've also been working on a "cheklist" of common errors I'm noticing as I read through the outlines; once I've finished reading through them, I'll post these documents for you to use. And I'll email you this evening with Zoom meeting information (again optional) if you need help with anything.
by George Orwell. This is an expansive read on the English language and the spreading use (and misuse) of it within our communities and government. I'll post a close-reading exercise and writing prompt soon, but in the meantime, enjoy Orwell's sarcasm and undeniable truths. As you read, keep in mind 1984 & the other essays on language you've read.
PDF of the essay found here: https://ahs-asd103.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=31787012 (it's a doozy)
Read Pieter Vree’s article, “Control the Language, Control the Masses.” Vree quotes Saul Alinsky as saying, “He who controls the language controls the masses.” Explain what Alinsky means by this and how Vree relates this to both 1984 and contemporary issues regarding the political correctness of language. Do you agree with Vree’s thesis? Explain why or why not.
additional, supplementary reading for a fuller engagement: "Language As the 'Ultimate Weapon' in 1984:" http://www.berkes.ca/archive/berkes_1984_language.html
This is a short story that will "stick with you." As we've discussed, dystopian literature has long given writers a means of interrogating the world around them. Orwell conceived of 1984 under the looming threat of the Soviet Union, and Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale after the elections of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. “We can work our way through problems by telling stories better, at times, than by writing philosophical treatises,” says Chris Robichaud, an ethicist at Harvard who teaches a course on utopia and dystopia in fiction and philosophy. “You look to fiction to see how people are wrestling with serious problems.” That's valuable for readers as well, especially in a politically divided climate like today's. “We can’t look at dystopias as merely some bad slippery slope argument,” says Robichaud. “Rather, they challenge us: What are the values in this dystopia, and what do they say about our values right now?”
People naturally gravitate toward a narrative that validates their own worldview. For some, President Trump’s tweets about a conniving elite and a corrupt media echo their feelings that the odds are against them. For others, George Orwell’s chronicle of totalitarian doublethink provides comfort that we've fought "alternative facts" before, and we're still standing. Either way, people are reaching out to dark visions to make sense of an increasingly unrecognizable country. A well-told narrative, truthful or not, can awaken a reader’s imagination and push them to action—and a neat dystopia is often more satisfying than a complicated truth.
It's very mature in content and language, so I've attached a suggested reading guide to help you get the most out of this story.
After reading writing practice:
Choose one of the following prompts to respond to on a separate sheet of paper. Think about what you have to say, how well you say it, your thoughts and feelings about the work, and your explanation of the logic that led to your interpretation.
You must include: the work’s title properly punctuated (short stories use quotation marks); the author’s name; quotations from the work integrated within your own sentence, properly punctuated and commented upon to show why you cited that passage; any other specific references to the work; and careful thought.
- Reviewing the definition of utopia, how does LeGuin’s story dramatize the “double meaning” or “two sides of utopia,” a place of perfection and a place that does not exist?
- An allegory is a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is a religious allegory featuring Aslan as Christ and Edmund as Judas. How is this story, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” an allegory to our own world?
- What or who is the central symbol in this story? Explain what it represents, drawing parallels to our own world.
- How is the idea of the “scapegoat” relevant to this story? What other similarities can be found between this and “The Lottery” or 1984?
- Is this a “just” society? Why or why not? What characteristics of this short story make it part of the dystopian genre?
- Is there anything beneficial about the society? How do you feel about it? Would you want to live there? What would you do to change this society if you lived there?