Reflection / Peer Response. A Lead-up to Blogging. Blogging. What is a blog? What does it sound like?. Reflection / Peer Response.
Reflection / Peer Response A Lead-up to Blogging
Blogging What is a blog? What does it sound like?
Reflection / Peer Response • In order to prepare for our Hamlet blogging assignment, we are going to get some practice writing “academic reflection” pieces and responding to our peers using content from The Wars. You are to write a personal journal response to ONE prompt for TWO of the FIVE books of The Wars, according to our seminar schedule. You are to choose ONE of those 2 reflections for assessment.
Academic Reflection • One paragraph long (approx. ¾-1 page) • Informal but academic in nature, like an opinion paragraph • Has to include appropriate textual support and references • You willbe sharing your response with classmates in your group and responding to theirs. You will also be responding to the responses given to you by your peers about your reflection
Reflection Prompts Book 1 • What do you think about Findley’s use of “heteroglossia” (the coexistence of different kinds of voices/texts within a work, especially a novel)? Is it effective or just confusing? Why do you think he does this? • Based only on what you’ve read so far, do you think that Robert Ross is a hero or a villain? Provide support for your answer. What, according to you and the voices in this book, constitutes “heroism“? • What is your impression so far of Robert Ross’ connection/affinity for animals? • Describe Robert’s trial by water in this part of the book. • Why does Robert’s mother tell him to kill the rabbits, and what might be the larger significance/symbolism of this act?
Reflection Prompts Book 2 • Analyze how the opening sentence of the second part of the book is related to themes we have been discussing in class. • The fog is symbolic in part 2, as it is in a number of other works of literature. What does it symbolize in this case? • There are references to many different kinds of birds (especially crows) in Book 2. What do you think the significance of birds is? How do they differ from Robert’s affinity towards animals so far? • In Book 2, Findley plays with form again, reengaging in “heteroglossia”. Compare your reaction to it in this Book compared to the first. Has your impression changed? Is it more effective now that you know more about the story or Robert? • On page 87 Bonnycastle asks, “Are you saying we’re absurd?” How is the depiction of war in Part 2 “absurd?” • What are your first impressions of Lady Juliet d’Orsey? Use specific reference from the text to back up your answer. • What is your impression of the relationship between Harris and Robert? What do you think Findley is trying to say about the nature of “love”?
Reflection Prompts Book 3 • In Book 3, while the type of narration doesn’t change, we once again have a change in format. Why do you think that Findley changes the format to this style? How does this change affect your reading of Book 3? • Explain how Part 3 features a trial by earth and then a trial by air for Robert. • Describe how the “normal” linguistic oppositions of sane/insane and friend/enemy, to name only two, are subverted (switched up/mixed up) in Robert’s experience of war. • On page 131, it is explained that the German did NOT shoot Robert because a bird sang. What is your interpretation/explanation of this? • Discuss your impressions of the end of this chapter as it pertains to Robert discovering Rodwell’s sketchbook and Robert releasing a toad. • Discuss your impressions of the character development/characterization in book 3 of either Rodwell or Mrs. Ross.
Reflection Prompts Book 4 • What is your personal impression of Juliet d’Orsey? What type of woman is she? Making reference to Juliet as an adult (during her interjections to reading her diary entries) and as a 12 year-old during the war (based on her entries themselves), describe your personal response to her character. Provide evidence to support your impression/opinions. • What is your personal impression of Barabarad’Orsey based on the evidence of her and her relationship with both Robert and Taffler in Book 4? Provide evidence to support your impressions. • How is Book 4 different from the rest of the books so far? What effect does this have for our reading of the story and why do you think Findley does this? • What is your impression/reaction to Taffler’s attempted suicide? Knowing what you do of his character, do you identify with his pain/despair? • On page 156, Juliet says about Robert that “his temper...was terrible.... I don’t know why. But he had a great deal of violence inside...”. Why is Robert so angry? What does this do to your impression of his character? Making reference to the way that Juliet childishly describes the physical aspects of the relationship between Robert and Barbara (on page 160), explain what this means for Robert’s psychological journey. • At the end of Book 4, Clive says (about his generation and the war): “I doubt we’ll ever be forgiven. All I hope is—they’ll remember we were human beings” (162). What does this mean to you? How does it relate to the larger themes explored by Findley in this novel? • Book 4 ends with: “SO FAR, you have read of the deaths of 557,017 people—one of whom was killed by a streetcar, one of whom died of bronchitis and one of whom died in a barn with her rabbits” (162). What is your impression of this? Why does Findley end Book 4 this way?
Reflection Prompts - Book 5 • Just after his moment of self-reflection, looking in the mirror and considering what he has become, Robert is raped by fellow soldiers. Why has the author included this episode in the book (i.e., what is its overall significance to theme and plot)? • Consider why Juliet gives Robert a candle when he leaves her house, as well as what is suggested when it ends up being lit in the air attack. • Explain how Robert’s experience with the horses is a trial by fire which subverts the “normal” linguistic oppositions of man/animal and sane/insane. • Consider the scene with Robert and the horses, how this “frames” the novel, and what is gained by this artistically. • Consider why Marian Turner adopts “Not yet” as her motto and considers this “the essence of Robert” and “the essence of what it is to be alive” (195)? • Analyze the symbolic significance of horses, and of setting them free, and how this relates to other themes in the text.
Blog Responses Continuing the Conversation
Blog Responses • You must circulate your blog and get EACH group member to comment on it • You must respond to your group members’ blogs • Responses should be academic in nature (both in terms of language and content) and strive for continued deep thought, analysis and insight • Responses should be a minimum of half a page (single spaced)
What to Write • Anything that strikes you as interesting about the response, but it must be deep and academic and on topic • You may respond to what people have written in previous responses (like a sort of written conversation), but you should ALSO directly address the opinions/insights laid out by the original reflection • Give your name at the end of your response
How to Write • Informal but academic • More than just “good job! I agree! Nice blog! Way to go”- Amy • I agree because... • I disagree because... • True, but have you considered that... • That’s a really good point. I hadn’t considered that... • You seem to forget that... • But what about... • This resonated with me too because... • I felt similarly at this point because... • I had a completely different reaction to this part because... • Pose a question that forces the original blogger to think deeper, defend, explain, justify further, answer in some way • You may wish to provide evidence/concrete examples/quotations from the text
Response to the Response • Once you have several responses, you have one last task—Respond to their responses! • You should answer any questions posed, address ALL concerns/ideas/issues raised • Provide further insight • You could continue to defend your original opinion, perhaps with evidence/quotations/concrete examples • You could change your mind and explain WHAT about the responders’ insights helped you see things their way • Explain yourself, continue to reflect, demonstrate ongoing analysis and depth of thought
Response to the Response • Minimum ¾ of a page • Still informal, but academic • Last chance to sum up your thoughts, opinions, feelings, insights, ideas (so impress me—it will be the last thing I will be reading!) • Type up your blog (no required format but please transcribe any written responses) and submit it: ROUGH DRAFT: TWO DAYS AFTER THE SEMINAR FOR THAT SECTION! FINAL (TYPED): @ END OF The Wars UNIT!
Assessment • You get marked on your original blog and your response to the responses • I will also be checking to see that you responded to three different blogs in an appropriate/deep/academic way • You will be marked on your ability to reflect, provide insight, formulate an argument (Thinking), demonstrate knowledge/thought about the themes/symbols/structure/characters in the book (Knowledge), as well as make connections within the book and between the book and your life (Application) • Spelling, grammar and sentence structure count! (Communication)