January 23

Responding to Critical Analysis

An analysis, whether literary or rhetorical, contains specific elements. Author Jennifer L. Holder-Kirwan writes the article “Looking into the Self That is No Self: An Examination of Subjectivity in Beloved” in an ordered format. Re-read two or three of her paragraphs (Start at ‘Unraveling Beloved’s Identity’ [page 2]) and explain how she structures her body paragraphs. Think about the structure as it applies to the different terms you know: topic sentence (assertion), concrete detail (evidence), commentary (analysis), and conclusion.

Write a brief response to her body paragraph organization. Make sure you include everything you know to include when responding to a text.

January 23

Gettysburg Address

Here is a copy of The Gettysburg Address. Read the speech carefully, looking at President Lincoln’s control of syntax. Explain how his syntax (it could be repetition, anastrophe, or any other element) helps to achieve his purpose. Remember this speech was given very quickly after an extememly bloody Civil War battle. You can write 2-3 paragraphs. No more than three. Proofread before you post. Good luck.

January 14


Click the last link on this page for a didls guide.

Go back to the passage and take one of your points of analysis from your chart; choose diction, detail, figurative language, syntax, or imagery. Once you determine which element you will address, find one adjective that describes what type of diction, detail, language, syntax, or imagery you find.

Write one paragraph. Write it as a response that includes author, title, and any other element you need to respond correctly. Focus on your one topic, your concrete detail(s) and write out the paragraph following a triple entry journal format.

After you introduce the passage, apply the element you wish to analyze. For your topic sentence, explain how and why the author uses this device. Integrate the cd: summarize the quote with context, and then transition into your analysis. Remember to tie your analysis to your topic sentence. No loose ends.

In Beloved , author Toni Morrison uses descriptive detail to compare Sethe’s horrific past to her desire for a harmonious present and future. Sethe invites the “girls, screaming with laughter, [to] join her on the ice…making a circle… .” In a cirle they unite as a family, losing themselves in a moment of frivolity. Although they precariously stand, then fall atop a sheet of frozen water, the moment stands as a contrast between the unpredictable, violent horrors of their past. At one point, all three “sail[ing] happily on a frozen creek.” They relinquish all their fears, anxiety and hopelessness to enjoy the brief simple pleasure of their own company. They let loose to laugh and interact more comfortably than ever before, Sethe having made up her mind to “lay it all down, sword and sheild.” Morrison’s details emphasize how few moments like these Sethe and her children ever enjoyed: a moment to laugh, so simple, yet vital. (203-205)

January 8


After our discussion about memory and the possible consequences of repressing our real selves and experiences, what do you think we should do with painful, difficult memories? Think about it on a personal level, then on a societal level.