Week 1 (January 8-11): Read The Death of Ivan Ilyich, p. 280 in our anthology. Look at my blog entry for September 24, 2007 for discussion and blog questions. As you read this story and the discussion questions, think about the story’s central message. In what ways is Tolstoy’s story critical of bourgeois Russian culture? Is Ilyich meant to be a unique or a representative character? We will discuss questions 1 through 6 beginning Wednesday afternoon through Friday and finish our discussion Monday and Tuesday morning. Blog entries are due by Sunday. No quiz this week.
Week 2 (January 14-18): Read The Metamorphosis, p. 317. Look at my blog entry for November 1, 2007 for a possible blog idea. As you read this story, think about the possible levels of interpretation (Freudian/phychoanalytic, cultural, mythic, historical, and so on) that the story, or parts of it, lend themselves to. What do you see as the significance of Gregor’s transformation? What emotions does Kafka dramatize through Gregor’s plight? Is the story more about Gregor himself or the family situation of which he is a part? We will begin discussion Tuesday afternoon and continue through Friday. Blog entries are due Friday, with a vocabulary quiz over lessons 16-18 also scheduled that day.
Week 3 (January 22-25—No school Monday, MLK Holiday): Read Oedipus The King, page 1285. Also read my Introduction to Tragedy (Wednesday, September 5, 2007 on my blog) and the questions at the end of the play. This is one of the most famous plays in all of Western literature. Why do you think that is? How does Sophocles give the play both philosophical and psychological depth in addition to developing the emotional tension which is central to the experience of all drama, especially tragedy? What does Oedipus’ story represent? How does it raise issues relevant to all human life? This week, half of you will blog on some aspect of this play (entries due Friday), while the other half of you post comments on 5-10 of your classmates blogs (be polite, be respectful, be responsive to others’ ideas—comments due by Sunday). Multiple choice quiz Friday.
Week 4 (January 28-February 1): Read Antigone, page 1324 in our anthology. Look at the links from my blog entry of September 18, 2007 and the questions at the end of the play. Why is Antigone’s dilemma important? What does it represent? Which character, Antigone or Creon, best fits the definition of the tragic character from the Introduction to Tragedy? Blog entries, for those who did not write the week before, are due Friday. Comments (5-10) from those who blogged last week are due Sunday. Vocabulary quiz Friday, covering lessons 19-21.