When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. -William James
Piggy, Ralph, and Jack make, or do not make, significant decisions in the first 3 chapters of Lord of the Flies. What are the common decisions they are learning to make? What are some of the mistakes they have made related to their decision making? What decisions have they made, or not made, to reinforce their fate? What values are revealed by the decisions they have made? According to Jack, Piggy, or Ralph, what is worth fighting for?
Perhaps you’d like to discuss the little’uns, instead. How have the decisions of others affected them? What role does emotion play in their decision making? Can their “going along with the crowd” be justified?
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How do isolation and loneliness affect how we perceive ourselves?
Is Horatio a nihilist? A Christian existentialist? Something else? Does he reveal his “imperatives“? How does he respond when evidence challenges his “imperatives”?
Consider “Postulates 1-4.”
How do characters respond when evidence clearly contradicts their ideals?
While viewing/reading/blogging, keep the usual “Cornell” notes with pen and paper. Blog your response to textual issues arising from class discussion. Link your blog to online sources: wikis, etexts, guides, discussions, imdbs. Synthesize don’t plagiarize: hyperlink all sources. Refer to “Improve Your Critical Thinking” suggestions.
Refresh your skills by looking again at notes from our discussion on Bloom: Knowledge=>Comprehension==>Application==>
Ask for the “Strong Verbs” handout if you’ve misplaced yours.
PS: linguistic multi-taskers will excel.
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas père
Winesburg, Ohio; a group of tales of Ohio small town life by Sherwood Anderson
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
The Virginian, Horseman of the Plains by Owen Wister
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
My Antonia by Willa Sibert Cather
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Portrait of a Lady — Volume 1 by Henry James
The Portrait of a Lady — Volume 2 by Henry James
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Moby Dick, or, the whale by Herman Melville
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Mark Twain once shrewdly observed that a person who chooses not to read has no advantage over a person who is unable to read. In industrialized societies today, however, the question is not who reads, because nearly everyone can and does, but what is read. Why should anyone spend precious time with literature when there is so much reading material available that provides useful information about everything from daily news to personal computers? Why should a literary artist’s imagination compete for attention that could be spent on the firm realities that constitute everyday life?
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