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West Chester University

Spring 2006 and Fall 2005

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Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

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Course Syllabi and Announcements
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements and Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements and Assignments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2008)
  A Reading of THE TEMPEST

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Rites of Passage (Spring 2006)
  Goals of the Course
  Fundamental Questions about Literature
  Valuing Literature
  Critical Thinking and Reading Literature
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Literature as ART
  Ambiguity
  Approaching the Art of Fiction
  Defining the Short Story
  Evaluating Short Fiction
  Craft of Fiction: PLOT
  Craft of Fiction: CHARACTER
  Small Group Exercise
  ARABY by James Joyce
  WHERE ARE YOU GOING, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? by Joyce Carol Oates
  Our RITES OF PASSAGE Theme
  A note about GIRL
  POE and the art of STORY OF A HOUR
  THE YELLOW WALLPAPER
  YOUNG MAN ON SIXTH AVENUE
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #1
  Fiction and Ambiguity - Your Questions
  Writing Workshop - Short Fiction
  Poetry Journal Project Assignment Sheet
  LITERARY SYNTHESIS PROJECT
  Defining Poetry
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry
  Drama and Tragedy
  Study Questions: DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2006)
  Paper #4 Assignment Sheet
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources Worksheet
  Selecting Information
  Evaluating Arguments
  CASEBOOK PROJECT Assignment Sheet
  Approaching Persuasive Writing
  Topic Development - Profile Essay
  Generating Ideas for the Profile Essay
  Paper #2 Assignment Sheet
  Profile Exercise
  Analyzing THE FIVE BEDROOM, SIX FIGURE ROOTLESS LIFE
  Objective Writing: Selected Readings
  Writing Workshop: Paper #1
  Expressive Writing in the NYTimes
  Writing Effective Introductions and Conclusions
  Paper #1: IDENTITY
  Expressive Writing
  Open Letter Exercise and Examples
  EMERSON on Individuality vs. Conformity
  Literature related to IDENTITY
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2005)
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  Franz Kafka's BEFORE THE LAW
  Analyzing WAITING FOR GODOT
  Approaching WAITING FOR GODOT
  Paper #3: Assignment Sheet
  Paper #4: Independent Project
  The Problem of Stability in BRAVE NEW WORLD
  UTOPIA/DYSTOPIA Links
  Analyzing Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD
  A Reading of Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST
  From today's news (11/3/05)
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #2
  Goodbye to Dante's Imaginary World
  Stepping Through Dante's Inferno: Cantos 10-34
  Stepping Through Dante's Inferno: Cantos 1-10
  INFERNO: Questions/Analysis: Cantos 32-34
  INFERNO: Questions/Analysis: Cantos 18-31
  INFERNO: Questions for Analysis: Cantos 12-17
  INFERNO: Structure
  INFERNO: Questions for Analysis: Cantos 1-5
  INFERNO: Analyzing Canto 1
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Approaching Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
  A Little Help with Dante's INFERNO
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #1
  Notes on LEAF BY NIGGLE
  Responses to LEAF BY NIGGLE
  ON FAIRY STORIES: An Essay by Tolkien
  Notes on Axolotl
  Reading Ovid's Tales
  From Myth to Literature: Approaching Ovid's Tales
  Notes on THE EYE OF THE GIANT
  Functions of the Genesis Tales
  Analyzing Mythic Tales
  Defining Mythology
  Filtering the Introduction to FANTASTIC WORLDS
  Commentary on LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI by Keats
  Commentary on DARKNESS by Byron
  Handout: Imagination Poems Set
  What is Imagination?
  Our Course Theme: Imaginary Worlds
  LIT 165 Assignments: Fall 2005
  LIT 165 Announcements: Fall 2005
  Imaginary Worlds: Course Syllabus

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Fall 2005)
  Paper #4: Independent Thinking/Reading/Writing
  Casebook Preparation Checklist
  Casebook Assignment Schedule
  Evaluating Sources for the Casebook
  Casebook Project Assignment Sheet
  Notes on Rational Argument
  Argument
  Assignment Sheet: Objective Writing
  Reviewing Elements of the Profile Essay
  Writing the Profile Essay
  Readings: Objective Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Expressive Writing
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  About SKIN DEEP
  Emerson on Individuality vs. Conformity
  Mind-map: Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Assignments Page
  Announcements Page
  WRT 120 Course Syllabus for Fall 2005

ENG Q20: Basic Writing

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

 
Two questions I’d like to pursue to study this tale:

1.    What features does it have in common with the two Genesis tales we studied last week?  What makes it a “mythic” tale?
2.    What makes it different from the two Genesis tales? 

Features the two tales share?
  • Explanation of death
  • Both narratives/stories
  • Both stories contain “mythic” elements, fantastic elements (impossibilities; magical stuff; reversals)
  • Cosmological and sociological functions both seem at work in all the tales.  You find significant answers to fundamental questions, mysteries; you get a sense of the moral code in each story.
  • Both tales have enigmatic things happening. Why does Eve eat the apple?  Why does the boy want to bring the Giant back to life, even after he’s discovered that the Giant has killed people?  You have to really think about it.

Differences?
  • The Genesis stories serve a metaphysical function, but in “The Eye of the Giant “ there’s no metaphysical function at all.  No image of “God” is presented.
  • In the Genesis tales women bear the responsibility for bringing death into the world, whereas in the African tales (this one and one I didn’t assign), it’s the male who’s to “blame.”

For further consideration:
If you know, as the hearers of this tale would know, that Krachi and Salaga were two important ports in the western European and North American slave trade, and that, as colonial ports they were also the site of western-style hospitals, how might it change your understanding of the meaning of the story?  Can you see how it might be understood from the perspective of someone inside Togo culture?  The story functions as a special kind of social glue.  It’s mainly a sociological tale, communicating the moral code that the community shares.  It does serve at least one major cosmological function, however—it explains Death.  Why do we die?  Does it make sense?  Well, yes, in fact, it makes a lot of sense.  Here’s why we die.  

What are some of the hallmarks of the mythic in this tale?

Its narrative content: there’s a story with a beginning, middle, and end—something happens—and at the heart of that story, there are characters working through a conflict.  The boy is hungry.  There’s not enough food.  That’s a problem he’s trying to solve.  There’s a measure of ambiguity, but the tale as a whole expresses a clear moral code. 

  • The Giant is deadly; don’t bargain with it, even for food.
  • Cannibalism is taboo. 
  • The appetite for meat is morally suspect, so beware.  See how the boy’s addiction to meat causes him to bring the Giant back to life when it was defeated?  That appetite is what brings death to threaten us.
  • The village makes its important decisions communally, and the elders know best.
  • ETC.

It’s fantastic elements:  the Giant; the fire that kills the Giant; the magic powder that brings the dead bones back to life; the dead Giant at the end of the tale “winking and blinking” people to death.

 

 

 

     

 


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