I. How to begin: Read the class information on determining narrative themes or

by | Mar 18, 2022 | English | 0 comments

I. How to begin: Read the class information on determining narrative themes or watch the video.
II. How to get started writing: When reading the story and preparing to write E2, make a list of objects, sounds, touch sensations, and odors or tastes in
the page margins or on a separate page. Using Mark Twain’s “Chapter
4-6” as an example, what notes could be added to the list?
Objects (people): Mississippi river, gracefully curved steamship, Hannibal, boat pilot, Haley’s Comet
Sounds: singing, screams, silence and voices, whirring and rattling sounds
Touching Sensations: hot summer days, cool river water, wind through the trees
Odors and Food Tastes: ship men, river smells and lush greenery, oil burning ship engines
III. Next, choose one or two details in
the story and argue as your thesis what those symbols suggest as a
theme. For example, what does the young cub pilot’s ambition symbolize?
(A symbol is language that connects something to
something else that is beyond it, enlarging its contexts so that it
stands for an idea or concept outside of its own nature.) The boy’s
ambition symbolizes, like the raw American wilderness, the theme of
territorial expansion as well many other possibilities. It’s important
to understand how narrative details symbolically enlarge thematic
meanings. Anyone familiar with cowboy movies will recall the wild west,
disguised as lawless and chaotic, represented the necessary evils of
wayward young men. In this way, Twain’s story rewrites the American
story of unlimited progress based on the ambitions of young boys who
took huge risks growing up.
IV. A clear understanding of narrative
details–objects, sounds, sensations, and smells–gives readers a good
sense of connective themes. The comparisons between the innocent boy
pilot and evil men he encounters (via the boat pilot training and
Haley’s Comet) bring depth and resonance to Twain’s story. Readers learn
that Twain’s life is caught up in his identity as the writer Samuel
Clemons; the author has a new twist on the story of young man in America
because he associates his new fame and celebrity as essential to
defining a literary beginning in the wilderness.
V. A mythic, allegorical, universal
ideas, and themes are found in narrative form (events ordered into a
beginning, middle, and end) and represent social or cultural patterns or
explain natural events through the use of the supernatural and the
extraordinary. To prepare for writing Essay 2, think about how the
biblical story of Eden relates to Twain’s novel. Certain symbols create
themes and new myths in the story of young American men. Remember, I am
discussing an example: you choose your thematic topic based on one of
the readings listed for this assignment.
VI. Now, begin:
choose a story, settle on one or better two sensory details, and argue
that the theme (of your choosing) reflects in those details. Write a 2
page draft in which you identify your sensory details and explain how
they work together to build a theme or reveal a universal theme. In your
first draft subject heading, type your theme in one
word. The essay must include one or two lines from the story (KISS–keep
it short and simple–one quote per paragraph) to prove your opinions.
Make your Essay 2 draft 1 available to a peer editor quickly and
reply (write 10-20 sentences) in response to a classmate’s draft;
perhaps ask a question or make a comparison to your own writing. Submit
an E2 draft in the Discussion forum in two weeks on Sunday. Develop the
draft into an 800 word analytical essay before the final due date.
As with all the writing for this class, students cite quotes from the
story as evidence to argue opinions or ideas, using MLA format. An
argumentative thesis statement is also required in the first paragraph
and the essay of 800 words must be typed in 12 point Times New Roman
font with 1″ margins all around the pages. The Turnitin % matching in
the Dropbox cannot exceed 15%. There is a no tolerance policy for

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