Read 3 Works Total
Sister Carrie by Theodore Drieser
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
(In addition to the books above, choose one from the following list.)
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Black Boy by
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Your assignment is designed to help me know you both as a reader and a writer. As you read, please analyze the novels and answer the following questions in depth for each novel. You must use complete, grammatically correct sentences. Be prepared to continue studies of the novels during the semester.
The answers to your questions should be turned in via the Turnitin.com website. Please see Mrs. Gilesís webpage on the school website for specific instructions. Should you encounter any difficulties, please email Mrs. Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consider the following questions about yourself as the reader:
1. What are the key features of the work that strike you? What words seem important? What images stand out most? What does the work make you think about?
2. How does the work make you feel? What mood does it put you in? Can you say why?
3. What did you like about the work? Why? What did you not like?
4. Does the work remind you of an incident or person in your life?
5. How did you views change as you read the work? Did you change your mind about anything? What ideas were challenged or tested by reading this work?
6. What is your overall response or reaction to this work? What in you and what in the work connect to make this reaction?
Note that the questions under this head fall roughly into three subsets: questions about the structure of the work, questions about the characters or speaker, and questions about the idea or lessons or philosophy of the work (themes):
7. How could the work be classified as to genre or style? What expectations do you have about such a work?
8. What does the title suggest about the people, events, and ideas of the work?
9. What is the setting or situation? Who is talking to whom, in what circumstances or surroundings? From what vantage point is the work narrated?
10. How is the work organized into chapters or acts or stanzas or parts? What is the content and purpose of each part? What is the progression of thought from beginning to end (problem-solution, for example)?
11. How is figurative language (metaphor and the like) used to make special comparisons, substitutions, exaggerations, ironic meanings, contradictions, and paradoxes?
12. How is imagery used: descriptions, use of detail, key images with value as symbols?
13. How is language used: diction (word choice), connotations, double meanings or puns, key words, repetitions?
14. What patterns do you see in the work: parallels or changes in any of the elements above, shifts in tone, changes in pace, rhythm, form, or anything else?
15. Who are the significant characters of the work? What are they like in terms of identity, personality, behavior? What are/were important experiences in their lives?
16. What motivates each character (or the speaker)? What are their goals? What means do they use to try to achieve them? What important decisions do they make? How do they act upon these decisions?
17. What kinds of conflicts are characters involved in? How, and to what extent, are these conflicts resolved? How do the resolutions affect characters? How do characters change during the work?
18. How do characters influence and affect each other? How are charactersí values, attitudes, and actions related to the norms or standards of the society within the work?
19. What characters can be considered good? In what ways? What characters can be considered evil? In what ways?
20. What does the work say about people? What people and/or actions seem to be approved of? To be condemned? Who and what is praised or blamed?
21. Are judgments about people or actions made on the basis of consequences or results, or on the basis of intentions or motives?
22. What forces seem to shape or control human events? do people seem to have free will? does fate control everything? Are events and outcomes determined by biological or social forces?
23. In what ways is the work about the concepts of good and evil, right and wrong, justice, morality, or ethics? What, if anything, does the work say about how people should act?
When thinking about connections, consider the following:
24. Does any part of the work remind you of a folk tale, a myth, or a similar kind of story, or of a person or event or place in history?