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Thursday, September 22

September 22, 2016

Spongebob: Today we discussed our fifth archetype: the one we saw in opening of Take the Money and Run, played by Woody Allen’s character, Virgil Starkwell. He is an Outsider, a character who is set apart in some way from others, a character who can’t (or won’t) fit in. The key is the apart-ness here.

If, like Virgil, he is a character who tries but FAILS to fit in, we can call him a Misfit. Other Misfits: Napoleon Dynamite, Charlie Brown, Luke Skywalker, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Harry Potter (the last three begin this way, before evolving into something else).

If the Outsider tries NOT to fit in, then he or she is a Bad Boy/Girl. Examples: James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, Bender from The Breakfast Club, Janis Ian from Mean Girls.

Homework for Thursday (no class Tuesday because of our guest speaker, Madison Taylor):

Pick a book, a TV show or a film. Try to identify at least four of the five archetypres we’ve identified in this single work. Give the subarchetype. Also give at least a couple of lines of defense: why is this character the archetype (and subarchetype) you chose? (This is especially important if you choose a work I’m not familiar with, which is certainly possible.)

Critical Reading: Today we crawled out of the rabbit hole that is Saussure and talked more about what critical read is, and what some goals of it ought to be. If you were absent, get these notes from a classmate. In your notes, you added “context” and “filter.”

In class we did an in-class activity involving Louis Wain’s cat paintings. The point of this was to see how some outside information (context) can affect the way you view and interpret a text – in this case, three cat paintings.

Your homework is to research Flannery O’Connor’s life and work. This should remain a primarily biographical inquiry, as we will first be looking at one of her stories through a biographical filter. You do not need to read any of her work – just research her life and her career for now. Type or write down your findings in your own words. Please do not simply copy and paste material from a website, tempting though I’m sure it is.

 Siren: Editing first edition copy. Remember the stuff about quotes. Get them up high and don’t be afraid to set them up with a preceding graf. E.g.

But other students felt that punishment should be given to their peers who fail to stand for the pledge.

“I’d like to see those pinko freaks lit on fire,” said junior Al Anon. “They make me sick.”

Style: Today we talked about Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. Here are the board notes:


Your assignment for Tuesday is a little more dictated than usual: write 4 Italian sonnets that are connected in some way. Tonally and linguistically they may be quite different from EBB, but the rhyme scheme should be the same. Typed, as usual, due at the beginning of class on Tuesday.

Reading for Writers: Today we set the order for next week’s presentations. Here’s the list:

  1. Karis
  2. Jay
  3. Faith
  4. Patrick
  5. Sam
  6. Marena
  7. Cecil
  8. Ziv
  9. Cora
  10. Kayla
  11. Liv
  12. Carter
  13. Nova
  14. Sara
  15. Eliot
  16. Hannah M.
  17. Bailey
  18. Hannah A.

The rest of class was yours to work on either your presentation, or to read your Salinger book, which must be read by October 11.

Survey: Poetry: We reviewed the four non-rhyming sound devices. A few people earned extra credit.

Then you got a partner and started writing a song, to show me you understand true rhyme, slant rhyme and internal rhyme — as well as how to count syllables. Please bring them back tomorrow — you’ll have time to work on them in class, and I’ll be collecting them at the end.

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