Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground Parts one and two
For this assignment i chose Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground parts one and two to write about
Option 1: Unreliable Narrators
Choose a text with an unreliable narrator and contrast the narrator’s version of what happens with your own reconstruction of events. Your reconstruction of the plot should be based on clues within the text such as contradictions within the narration or impossibilities that the narrator doesn’t account for.
What does the narrator leave out or misinterpret? How do we know?
What lines of text let us know that something is wrong or missing in the narrator’s version?
Option 2: Defamiliarization
Choose one text from the reading list for this course and describe how the author defamiliarizes the content. Define defamiliarization using quotations from the lecture slides or other scholarly source and then describe how the author of your choice does this in a given work of literature.
What would normal readers expect to find?
What in the text does might the reader find surprising or unfamiliar?
What conventional wisdom does the author defamiliarize?
How does the author’s depiction of a person, institution, society, object, etc. force the reader to reconsider it?
What descriptive terms seem unusual or inappropriate? Why?
Option 3: Theory of Mind, Part 2
Discuss the use of theory-of-mind by characters and the effects it has on the plot in one of the texts we have read since essay 1 (Sarmiento, Machado, Coleridge, Rossetti, Hugo, Dostoevsky, or Chekhov).
Describe how one character’s knowledge of another character’s thinking causes events in the plot.
Cite passages of dialogue that reveal the mental states of the characters.
Compare what one character thinks to what another character thinks he/she thinks.
Identify plot events that depend on one character misunderstanding another’s thinking.
You may include the author’s use of theory-of-mind, also. (optional)
Every essay (in this class or any other) must contain an original thesis and support for that thesis.
Thesis: The thesis of a literary essay will be your interpretative claim about one or more texts. Avoid vague generalizations or speculation about what a text means. Your claim must be supportable.
Vague and unprovable thesis: “I believe that Frankenstein is all about how human beings shouldn’t play God.”
Qualified and Provable thesis: “Mary Shelley’s protagonist, Victor Frankenstein expresses noble ambition, but he often fails to consider the long-term effects his actions will have on other people.”
Support: The support for your thesis must come primarily from the text, itself. You may use outside sources, though these are not required.
If you do use outside sources, these should be scholarly sources and not unqualified, general sources such as Wikipedia or Sparknotes.
Simply repeating your claim in different terms does not qualify as support.
Use quotations, and then explain how the quotation supports the claim. Do not use drop-quotes, long quotations that are inserted as if their relevance was self-evident. Describe what that quotation reveals or why it is significant.
Format & Requirements
Must be posted online by Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 11am. Class attendance on that day is still mandatory.
File type: Microsoft Word (DOCX) or Adobe PDF
Basic font (Calibri, Cambria, Times New Roman), 11 or 12 point
One inch margins
Use MLA or APA citation format within the text and in the Works Cited or Reference list at the end. Other APA/MLA requirements are not necessary (such as title page).
You will be graded on your ability to formulate an interpretive claim about the reading and support it with quotations from the text. Base your interpretation of the text in the text. Avoid speculation and overgeneralization.
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