Sophomore English

Welcome to Sophomore English! Recognizing both contextual (i.e. historical, biographical, cultural) and formalist (i.e. literary devices, techniques, elements) approaches to literature, English 10 requires a more informed and insightful discussion of literary craft. Through the study of craft, students make grammatical and stylistic choices in their writing in order to produce clarity, concision and cohesion ultimately leading to more purposeful, powerful, and elegant prose. In addition to analytical essays, students complete written and visual creative projects that provide another means of literary interpretation as well as self-expression.

Due 5/24: Godot and PBA

1. Waiting for Godot–Complete Act I.
2. PBA Prep–Continue working on your PBA thesis. You must have a new version of your thesis tomorrow (unless you have heard otherwise from me personally).

Due 5/23: Thesis Statements and Godot

1. Class Forum–Post your thesis statement!
2. Waiting for Godot–Read up to p. 35 (stop after Lucky’s monologue). Referring to Lucky’s monologue, Beckett said, “The threads and themes of the play are being gathered together.” Keep that in mind. Good luck!
3. By the end of the week, everyone should have summarized my essay feedback.

Due 5/22: Godot and PBA

1. Waiting for Godot–Read and annotate up to p. 29 (stop with “Simply wait.”)

2. PBA–Monday, second stage of PBA is due: Evidence! Considering your grounds for comparison/frame of reference begin gathering evidence from each text (If you do not have one of the texts, no worries. I will have copies in class on Monday). The evidence should be typed! Review the comparative essay handout with a focus on organization of essay.

Thesis statements are due Tuesday!

Due 5/18: Godot and PBA

1. Godot–Read and annotate up to the end of page 13 (Stop just before Pozzo enters the stage).

2. PBA–Continue working toward an argumentative position.

Comparative Thesis Workshop:

The theses below give you various templates that may be used in a comparative thesis. Key transition words for a comparative thesis: while, whereas, although, despite, however, on the other hand
While author a uses (device), author b uses (devices) to illustrate (similar theme).
Through the paradoxical relationship between the natural and fabricated worlds, both author a and author b suggest (similar theme).
Author a uses (device/tool) to suggest (theme); whereas, author b uses
(device/tool) to illustrate (a more complex treatment of prior theme).
Some sample comparative thesis statements that may or may not reflect

1. Sylvia Plath and Jean Paul Sartre display in The Bell Jar and No Exit that materialism, propriety, and the search for purpose briefly relieve the hell caused by the unceasing presence of others, yet ultimately prevent one’s understanding of their true self.

2. Unlike Ivan, who fails to see suffering as a condition for freedom, Winston in seeing so liberates the whole humanity at the presence of death—for it is only when men are deprived of all rights were they able to attain true liberty and discover meaning in life.

3. Tolstoy offers an escape from the fragility of life’s mortality with the acceptance of God, but through the existential vacuum Beckett suggests that any distraction from life’s wretched condition acts not as a salvation but damnation to a meaningless life.

4. Self-deceptive Estelle in Sartre’s No Exit and impressionable Esther in Plath’s The Bell Jar both turn to others to define their identity in a cycle of inauthenticity, thus condemning themselves to suffer mental imprisonment.

5. Under an absence of religion, the parallel between Estelle’s and Connie’s ego, and human interaction as a sculptor of identity, illuminate that internal and external values cultivate maturity; man thus must coerce himself to act solely on a basis of responsibility.

6. Through the parallels of Vonnegut’s usage of non-linear time to reveal war’s absurdity and Beckett’s usage of non-sensical time to reveal life’s absurdity, both texts expose human self-condemnation of cyclical suffering.

7. The characters of Mary O’Hare, Roland Weary, and Paul Lazzaro along with Campbell’s monograph in Kurt Vonnegut’s S​laughterhouse Five​ parallel the Eurasia/Eastasia conspiracy in George Orwell’s 1​984,​in conveying that war is a product of unaddressed, internal societal faults as opposed to the consequence of foreign conflict.

Due 5/17: Godot

1. Godot–Read and annotate up to the line “People are bloody ignorant apes.”

2. PBA Prep–Continue to work with your grounds for comparison. By the end of the week, you should know what your argument(s) may be.