Tag Archives: close reading

Marriage in Quicksand

Last week, we discussed in groups each of Helga’s romantic interests.

James Vayle

Robert Anderson

Axel Olsen

Reverend Mr. Pleasant Green

What passages stand out in the novel as we think about each relationship?

What passages stand out about marriage in general?

What passages stand out about having children?

The New York Times published an article last month for Women’s History Month about women whose obituaries they did not publish at the time of their death but who now they would have memorialized; Nella Larsen was one of the women. Read the section of the article about her.

Discussing Quicksand

In class on Monday, we discussed chapters 3 and 4 in Quicksand in depth but didn’t devote as much time to chapters 5, 6, and 7. For Wednesday, you are reading chapters 8-12. To drive our discussion forward, please find a passage we haven’t yet discussed from chapters 5-12 that stood out to you, quote it, and write about it–such as what stands out, what you want to understand better, how it connects to another passage in the novel or in something else we’ve read or that you’ve read, how specific details in the passage add to the general understanding of the passage, or anything else that you want to address. You can write this as a short comment (quotation plus 100-150 words), and comment back to another classmate’s passage as well. We’ll generate a great collection of passages to look at further.


Finishing with Faulkner; moving along to Gilman

Three of you have volunteered to post for Monday’s class (meaning post by end-of-day on Friday). Are there two or three more volunteers to post as well? If so, please respond here with a comment letting me know you intend to be one of our posters. Everyone should respond to your classmates’ posts by Monday at 10am. Try to generate a conversation, rather than just a series of agreements!

If you need to remind yourself of what we’re doing, re-read this semester’s blogging assignment.

If you want to know more about what I’ve asked you to think about, read all previous homework assignment posts, or your classmates’ homework posts.

Here are some thoughts to get our conversations started:

An unreliable narrator is a narrator that the reader cannot trust to be truthful or fully depicting the story. Use that term to consider any of the narrators we have encountered so far, using quotations from texts to support your argument.

Choose three quotations from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper” that convince you that the protagonist is an unreliable narrator and explain why for each.

Choose three quotations from “The Yellow Wall-Paper” that present the married couple’s relationship, and explain what you understand about John as a character, and about the protagonist as a narrator for the way she depicts John.

We might use the words utopia and dystopia to describe the two short stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that we read. What do those words mean? Which story is utopian and which is dystopian? Why?

How do the different settings come into play in these two short stories by Gilman? In what ways might we read the settings as similar but the inhabitants of those worlds as different?

Is Malda a reliable narrator in “The Cottagette”? why or why not? Incorporate quotations into your answer to support your argument.

What unfinished business do we have about “A Rose for Emily”? Use this opportunity to focus our attention on a particular passage or series of passages that you want to insist we get to before we move on to focus more on other texts.

What unfinished business do we have about any of our texts from this semester? Use this opportunity to focus our attention on a particular passage or series of passages that you want to insist we get to before we move on to focus more on other texts.

I’m very interested in reading about your thoughts on these two stories next week!