The Muscle Mystique

The Muscle Mystique

Writer. 5th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1-285-43801-6

(1)Read Barbara Kingsolver’s personal narrative. “The Muscle Mystique,” on pages 155-157 in The College Writer, and respond to the following questions about its opening, middle and closing sections:

1. Review the opening few paragraphs and explain how the writer introduces her subject and sets the tone for the essay. Cite words and phrases that you find interesting, engaging, or funny.

2. Find two or three passages between the essay’s opening section and its closing section that you consider reflective writing and explain how they enrich the text.

3. Kingsolver ends her essay with a suggested license-plate inscription that relays her bodybuilding goal. Was this ending effective in your enjoyment of the piece? If not, why not?

(2)Read the essay “Call Me Crazy, But I Have to Be Myself” by Mary Seymour, page 153-154 in The College Writer. In this powerful essay, the author narrates a very personal, very painful reflection about her past and its connection to her present. After reading the essay, respond to the following questions:

1. What purpose does Seymour identify for writing the essay? What other purposes might be served by publishing this piece for Newsweek’s readers?

2. What does Seymour want the reader to know and to understand about herself as a person who is “mentally ill” and a “functional member of society”?

3. Personal narratives are often written long after the event described within them. What do you think Seymour has learned from her past experiences and her ongoing challenges with bipolar disorder? How does she feel about herself and others as a result of the wisdom gained by having bipolar disorder?

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