Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Prompts for Abbey & Darwin, Week 3

Prompt #1

Note: This does, indeed, follow on our conversation today, and you could conceivably reuse material from this week - but remember that now you need to address the book as a whole, including the end of it.

Is Abbey a mystic? If you believe that he is, you should argue that he is using at least 3 passages carefully selected from through the book. You should be able to define what his mysticism is and why it matters to your reading of the book.

Prompt #2 (Creative)

Write a dialogue in which you and Edward Abbey are the characters. This is fiction, and it may be entertaining, but it should have a purpose. You are going to create a dialogue which concerns the one thing you find most interesting, challenging, or problematic in Abbey (What does the Juniper Tree mean? Why, if he is an atheist, or “earthest,” does he talk about God so much? Etc.) The role of your character in the dialogue is to articulate why your question is important; Abbey’s job is to explain/justify/expand himself in your best approximation of his voice.

Prompt #3 (Research)

Abbey makes many, many reference to particular literary works. Most are subtly introduced and briefly discussed - their role isn’t always entirely clear. Identify, find and read the work in question (if it’s a whole book, find and read 20+ relevant pages; if it’s a poem or essay, read the whole thing). Briefly present/summarize your findings, and begin an argument which explores the role of the cited work within the larger work.

Note: I gave the basics of MLA citation in the first set of prompts; you can also just use the style guide I ordered for the class.

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