Learning Goal: I’m working on a literature discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Question 1. Prompt 1: This story digresses a good deal, a fact of which the narrator is aware. It is not until the end of the story that we start to learn about what the title promises us the story is about, “Chike’s School Days.” But those digressions are important because we learn about the major social, political, cultural changes that affected his family and consequently led to his English education. Consider your own childhood. Can you relate, in any way, to Chike’s situation? Think about the larger social issues that might have affected your family’s decision to send you to a certain school, play a certain sport, make or avoid certain friends, and so forth. In your response, make specific references and connections to “Chike’s School Days.” ….Story Chike’s School Days
Prompt 1: How would you describe Gregor’s relationship with members of his family? What clues suggest that his relationship with his family, especially his father, is unsatisfactory? More to the point, what does Kafka gain, thematically, by portraying these relationships as he does?
Prompt 2: WHY does Gregor become an insect? I mean, obviously, on one level, Gregor doesn’t know why. But might he subconsciously wish to become one? What are the advantages to him? How would you describe his attitude and feelings when he discovers that he is, in faxct, an insect?
Prompt 3: The word “metamorphosis” suggests change, and more specifically the process of change. But we do not see, in this story, Gregor’s transformation into a gross beetle. Kafka could have showed us that change, could have described it. But he did not. Why would Kafka have not shown something that seems so obvious? How would the story be different if Kafka HAD shown the change as it was happening? Furthermore, are there other “omissions” in the story, other things Kafka might have shown or explained but didn’t? And why, do you think, Kafka might have left some of these “holes”? …. story The Metamorphosis,
Prompt 1: In my lecture, I discuss social class in the story in “The Dancing Girl of Izu” in broad terms. But look at an incident or an interaction I did not discuss. Explore the class implications of that interaction. How does it deepen our understanding of one or more characters’ class, and how might that understanding give us a larger sense of the story as a whole?
Prompt 2: Many (not all) of you are about twenty years old, give or take few years. And even if you’re quite a few years older, you remember what it was like to be twenty. Think about where the narrator of “The Dancing Girl of Izu” is, emotionally, socially, or intellectually, in this stage of his life. Did you have experiences, or did you have thoughts and feelings, that corresponded to his in meaningful ways? Or was your “twenty-or-so” experience entirely different?
Prompt 3: We read “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” together as part of my lecture on the poem, but we couldn’t possibly explore every image in great depth. Is there a particular image or even group of lines that particularly appeals to you? What are you seeing and thinking that, perhaps, we did not fully explore together? And how might your observations help us understand the poem in a new light? …story The Dancing Girl of Izu and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Prompt 1: I imagine most of you will find this story emotionally gut-wrenching. I do. And of course, the reason you might find it so is obvious. The death of a child, in horrific circumstances, is a terrible thing. But for an author to narrate the death of a child and create an emotional response in a reader is a pretty easy thing and not, I think, what makes a story a work of serious literature. In my judgment, though, and in that of your anthology’s editors, this is certainly a work of serious literature. Beyond the devastating emotional impact, what, for you, makes this a story that appeals to your mind as well as to your heart? (Of course, you may disagree with me completely. You might not find it a gut-wrenching story, or you might think there isn’t much here in the way of mind-appeal. I feel pretty sure I would disagree with you, but I and I’m sure your classmates would all certainly be glad to hear your thoughts about why the story might not work for you in the ways I’ve described.)…..story And of Clay Are We Created
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