February 22, 2008 Archives
- John Donne's "Song: Go and Catch a Falling Star"
- Blythe, Hal and Charlie Sweet. "Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.'" Explicator 62.2 (2004) 108-110. (The full text of this article is available through the SHU library website. Last time I gave you a link to the exact page, but this time I'm asking you to demonstrate you can find the article on your own. You can start by going to the Reeves Library Home Page and clicking the "Find Articles" button.)
Blythe and Sweet make a specific argument -- an non-obvious claim about Eliot's poem (and they bring in Donne's work for comparison).
In English, we defend our claims by quoting evidence (usually from the literary work we are studying) in order to SHOW the point we want to make.
But some observations don't count as non-obvious claims. Let's imagine a story about a protagonist who uses ice cream flavors to sort out all her relationships.
- Ice cream is mentioned a lot in this story.
- There is foreshadowing in this story.
- Lucinda's mild surprise at learning that her aunt ("the craziest, freeest woman" in Lucinda's life) eats only vanilla ice cream prepares the reader to understand Lucinda's total shock at learning "Aunt Vivian punched a time clock and paid her bills" just like all the other unimaginative and barely distinguishable members of her family.
Your agenda item can be any passage from Blythe and Sweet's article, but your reflection paper should:
- Quote the main claim or argument (the thesis) that Blythe and Sweet set out to prove.
- Quote at least one important piece of evidence the authors use to support their claim.
- Find an important
paragraph in Blythe and Sweet's article, and analyze it. Note that Blythe and Sweet don't summarize the works they discuss, or discuss whether they agree with the opinions presented in the poems.
- What do
Blythe and Sweet spend their time talking about?
- How do they work
their own opinions into their article?
- How do they communicate the
idea that their claim is worth arguing -- that it's not so obvious that
everyone would automatically see it their way?