- Slides: 40
Text Analysis: Basics 2005 Spring Graduate Writing II
Outline & Main Points • Main Argument – should suggest the scope and structure of your paper; – Needs re-consideration – should comes with a clear definition of terms. e. g. the Lost Generation; – should be followed by a response to current scholarship. • Structure & Coherence – use logical transitions to avoid gaps.
Outline & Main Points (2) • Analysis – – The quote is unrelated to the analysis. – Be close to the text. – Straighten out the different semantic levels the text involves or categories your analysis works with. (e. g. Beloved – Beloved’s different identities; different readings of history; Lady Oracle –Joan at different ages ) • Context -- avoid sweeping generalization about the social background. • Language –local errors, sentence structure, professional tone.
Main Argument-- does not suggest the structure (1) • As pieces of memory of African Americans are recollected through the process of Beloved’s retrospect, my analysis here proposes to release black people’s traumatic memory from history and an infant phantom’s nostalgic desires for her loss under an assumption that they can get rebirth from the images of life and death in this sort of feminine writing. • 1) androgynous figure; 2) going back to the mother & Africa; 3) repetition as chorus and against linear history
Rev. Main Argument and Structure (1) • As fragmentary memories of African Americans’ experience of the Middle Passage are recollected and connected with her personal sense of loss, Beloved’s soliloquy not only evokes the individual and collective trauma of loss, but also asserts her and the race’s right to own their identity and “origin. ” • 1) loss on the individual and collective levels; • 2) assertion on the individual and collective levels. • Other clues: “I am not dead. ”
Main Argument and Structure (2) --scope • Hamlet, one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, deals not only with young Hamlet’s individual dilemma but also with the nation’s destiny accompanying a series of suspicions aroused by the emergences of the ghost. In order to present how the play creates an uncertain and suspicious atmosphere to intensify Hamlet’s gloominess and his conflict with Claudius and also foreshadow the tragic ending, the intention of this paper is set to analyze the first Act of the play bit by bit so as to see the buildup of its atmospheric designation.
Rev. Main Argument (2) scope broadened • Hamlet, one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, deals not only with young Hamlet’s individual dilemma in life but also with that of his nation’s. The motivation and justification of both his procrastination and final revenge have been topics for endless analyses and debates. This paper argues that Hamlet is conditioned to do both, as is shown first in the atmospheric setup in Act I, and then in the monologues which embody contemporary social discourses. The play, first of all, creates an uncertain and suspicious atmosphere to intensify Hamlet’s suspiciousness and desire to choose and clarify. Hamlet’s monologues, on the other hand, reveal ideologies of family hierarchy to which he firmly subscribes. Both the atmospheric designation and the monologues, then, reveal how Hamlet’s tragedy is that of one suffering from the conflicting ideologies of identity as a social role and as one formed with individual choices.
Main Argument and Structure (3) –not supported • (On “Winter Dreams”) • I merely want to present how Fitzgerald presents the same theme: “the loss of dream” (? ) in a shorter length in this story, and Fitzgerald almost has “completed a man’s whole life” in nineteen pages successfully by using metaphorical elements with colors, smiles, names, and seasons (? ) to convey his hidden criticism(? ) that the environmental force causes the loss of dreams.
Main Argument and Analysis (3) “ Winter Dreams” -ref • Why-- “Nor, when he had seen that it was no use, that he did not possess in himself the power to move fundamentally or to hold Judy Jones, did he bear any malice toward her. “ • Dexter’s responses: “When autumn had come and gone again it occurred to him that he could not have Judy Jones. He had to beat this into his mind but he convinced himself at last. He lay awake at night for a while and argued it over. He told himself the trouble and the pain she had caused him, he enumerated her glaring deficiencies as a wife. Then he said to himself that he loved her, and after a while he fell asleep. ” . . . • Judy’s approach and Dexter’s response: "I wish you'd marry me. " The directness of this confused him. He should have told her now that he was going to marry another girl, but he could not tell her. He could as easily have sworn that he had never loved her. .
Rev. Main Argument and Analysis (3) “ Winter Dreams” • Why does Dexter love Judy Joans without marrying her? If he does not want to marry her, why does he then break the engagement with his fiancée? What makes him, in other words, lose his dream? In this paper, I argue that the dream of marrying a beautiful upper-class woman gets broken not only because Judy is superficial and insincere, but also because Dexter does not have “the power to move fundamentally or to hold Judy Jones. ” The power, I think, is more emotional than economic. In this materialistic society, Dexter loses his dreams because neither the target nor the dreamer is capable of realizing it. • Structure: 1) Dexter’s dream (colors); 2) Judy’s superficiality; 3)Dexter’s self-adjustment and subsequent coldness; 4) society’s indifference and focus on appearance and pleasure-seeking.
Main Argument(4) –need reconsideration • As a result, I would like to argue that his conventional images of a woman and economic power interfere her path to search for freedom. (Jane Eyre) a bit one-sided (Rochester conventional and Jane independent. )
Main Argument (4) --ref • Jane Erye • “While arranging my hair, I looked at my face in the glass, and felt it was no longer plain: there was hope in its aspect and life in its colour; and my eyes seemed as if they had beheld the fount of fruition, and borrowed beams from the lustrous ripple. I had often been unwilling to look at my master, because I feared he could not be pleased at my look; but I was sure I might lift my face to his now, and not cool his affection by its expression. “
Main Argument (4) –ref 2 • Jane Erye • Chap 2 – Jane—aware of her plain appearance--"had I been a sanguine, brilliant, careless, exacting, handsome, romping child—though equally dependent and friendless—Mrs Reed would have endured my presence more complacently; her children would have entertained for me more of the cordiality of fellow-feeling; the servants would have been less prone to make me the scapegoat of the nursery"
Main Argument (4) –ref 3 • Jane Erye • Chap 23 –Jane: "Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong -- I have as much soul as you, -- and full as much heart. . . Rochester: “You—poor and obscure, and small and plain as you are—I entreat to accept me as a husband" [and she does accept him. ] • Chap 24 --"Do you remember what you said of [his French mistress] Céline Varens? —of the diamonds, the cashmeres you gave her? I will not be your English Céline Varens"
Main Argument (4) –ref 4 • Jane Erye • Chap 38— • “Reader, I married him. . ‘Mary, I have been married to Mr. Rochester this morning. ’“ • “I meant to become her[Adel’s] governess once more, but I soon found this impracticable; my time and cares were now required by another--my husband needed them all. ”
Rev. Main Argument (4) • The story of Jane as a “poor, obscure, plain and little” orphan, I argue, is one of insistent but uncertain self-assertion as well as ultimate domestication. On the one hand, Jane Erye seeks to assert her economic independence and maintain her equality with Rochester in love, while the latter insists on his masculine authority. On the other, although the story ends with humbling of Rochester and their happy marriage, altogether Jane’s “growth” is not a growth beyond the 19 th-century ideologies of “beauty” but rather that into wifely responsibilities. • Structure: 1) Jane’s obscure background + plainness; 2) Jane’s pursuit of economic independence; 3) tug-of-war: Jane assertion vs. Rochester’s domination; 4) Red Room, Bertha, and Jane’s ultimate submission to social ideology of marriage and beauty.
Definition • Briefly speaking, if the meaning of life can be measured by two mediums, the process, or the outcome, the idea “existence is prior to essence” focuses on the process rather than the outcome In the epigraph on The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway quotes from Ecclesiastes, “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever…The sun also ariseth, and the sun goesth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose…according to his circuits…” (1). The quote cannot explicate the concept of life more: life is a circle, where there is no ending and no beginning; since every point in a circle can be a start and can be an end, counting on the outcome (vague) becomes useless.
Rev. Definition • The Sun Also Rises opens with two epigraphs: Gertrude Stein’s “You’re all a lost generation, ” and the lines from Ecclesiastes, “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever…The sun also ariseth, and the sun goesth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose…according to his circuits…” (1). Is it true that nothing is new under the sun and all human lives run in their definite route? That the characters, being part of these circles of life and death, are completely lost to the meaning of life? The meaning of life, I argue, is not pre-given; rather, one’s existence itself determines one’s meanings. This paper examines the choices the protagonists make in the novel and argues that its ‘meanings’ reside not in the ending, but rather in the process of choice-making, and, more importantly, the human concern and grace maintained in the process.
Argument --a response to current scholarship. • The Sun Also Rises – – not all the characters are Hemingway’s heroes ; – agreeing with Hemingway? – the controversies around Brett
II. Structure and Coherence • Buried Child – • Thesis: Through the subtle exchanges in dialogue and the characters’ use of symbols, the family is shown to be imprisoning, rife with power struggle which ultimately leads to a possibility of regeneration. (end of one paragraph) • (next par. ) Shepard sets the setting in Midwest, Illinois. From the beginning of the play, the setting is dark and a little weird. The family and the house seem to be isolated from the outside world and fragmentary inside.
Rev. Structure and Coherence • Buried Child -- Thesis: Through the subtle exchanges in dialogue and the characters’ use of symbols, the family is shown to be imprisoning, rife with power struggle which ultimately leads to a possibility of regeneration. (end of one ¶) • (next ¶) In the dark and gloomy background of the Midwest, the family and the house look lifeless and isolated, with dialogue suggesting hidden conflicts and a buried secret. • (next ¶)(transition: from the gaps in dialogue to the secret hidden beneath. How it is revealed. ) • (new ¶: Symbols of covering and constraints get used differently and suggest different meanings. )
Structure & Coherence –Buried Child • . . This means that, in his mind, [Dodge] is covered with dark cloud, because of his wife and son’s betrayal. • (¶) However, in Act III, the sun comes out. It represents the truth comes out (mechanical transition; loose sentence structure & repetition). (Suggestion: which represents the disclosure of truth. ) When the sun comes out, Halie is the one feels delightful. She can see a hope and a bright future. Here, sun is the symbol of hope and new life. Consequently, rain and sun provides a contrary symbolic meaning to produce effects and mental states for characters. • (¶)(Gap^)“Corn and corn field are also important symbols in the play. In first act, when Tilden brings plenty of corn into the house, no one believes that is from their own corn field. Nobody can see the field, except Tilden. Corn field can be the symbol of their past and their family duty. ”
Rev. Analysis –Buried Child • . . This means that, in his mind, [Dodge] is covered with dark cloud, because of his wife and son’s betrayal. • (¶) Besides the dark cloud, the other symbols are used and interpreted differently by different characters. Corn and the corn field, for one thing, can mean secrecy, family tradition as well as power of regeneration. In the first act, when Tilden brings plenty of corn into the house, no one believes that is from their own corn field since it has been neglected. This “miraculous” growth of the corns in the field suggests the regenerating power of Nature, which neither human neglect nor meddling can stop. In Tilden’s hand, the corn, on the other hand, becomes a means of disclosure as he husks the corn and throws the husks at his father, just as from the field he finds the corpse of the buried child. (next page)
Rev. Coherence –Buried Child (2) • (¶). Finally, if the sun are life-giving, the rain that comes with dark cloud is, too, in an indirect way. When the sun comes out in Act III, Halie feels delightful and sees a hope and a bright future. Here, the sun is the symbol of hope and new life. Towards the end after Dodge dies, however, she says to Dodge that it must be the rain that causes the growth of the crops, the rain that apparently hides and constrains, but “takes everything straight down deep to the roots” to allow growth and regeneration.
Buried Child –Ref. • I've never seen such corn. . Tall as a man already. This early in the year. Carrots too. Potatoes. Peas. It's like a paradise out there. . A miracle. Maybe it was the rain. . I've never seen a crop like this in my whole life. Maybe it's the sun. Maybe that's it. Maybe it's the sun. (BC 64 -65)
Analysis (1): quote unrelated to the analysis. • He concludes that Dexter breaks his fiancée’s heart and leaves alone away. He loves Judy, but he does not marry her, because he realizes that he cannot possess her. It is only a matter about his life attitude rather than a matter about love affair. Fitzgerald decpicts, “Dexter was at bottom hard-minded. The attitude of the city on his action was of no importance to him, not because he was going to leave the city, but because any outside attitude on the situation seemed superficial” (233). By this conclusion, readers realize that Dexter decides to keep the loss of dream in his mind to replace keeping after to the dream.
Rev. : Analysis (1): an analysis built around the quote. • Winter, at the end, is symbolic of the hardened heart of Dexter not only breaks his fiancée’s heart, but also protects himself against being hurt by Judy, one he loves but cannot possess. He is also indifferent to what others would think of him, and, as he is leaving the city, “any outside attitude on the situation seemed superficial” (233). Only the knowledge of Judy’s becoming an unattractive housewife brings tears to his eyes, and the memory that "long ago, there was something in [him], but now that thing is gone. ”
Analysis (2): Be close to the text • And do not ignore related aspects (which can be mentioned briefly it were not your focus). • 1. Since darkness is an image analyzed as part of the uncertain and gloomy background, darkness as Hamlet’s (external and internal) color of mourning should not be ignored.
Analysis (2): Be close to the text • 2. Hamlet: “When Claudius claims young Hamlet to be his cousin and his son, and ask him to cheer up, we can notice that he is reluctant to be in the position of a son as he states that he has been “too much in the sun/son. ” (Act I, ii, 63 & 67) (see next page)
Analysis (2): Hamlet –ref. 2. Hamlet: But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son, -- HAMLET [Aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind. KING CLAUDIUS How is it that the clouds still hang on you? HAMLET Not so, my lord; I am too much i' the sun. (see next page)
Analysis (2): Be close to the text • 2. Hamlet: “When Claudius claims young Hamlet to be his cousin and his son, and ask him to cheer up, Hamlet is reluctant take it as he first says in an aside that being called a son is “a little more than kin, and less than kind. ” Further, he puns on the word sun to say that he is not beclouded but is “too much in the sun, ” suggesting both his unwillingness to be Claudius’s son and his knowing the crime (Act I, ii, 63 & 67).
Analysis (3) –analysis without support; quick switching between different levels. • Beloved • “The sun” forcing Beloved to close her eyes is not just to blind her but to burn her in the drought of the land as a tyrant (249). The sun is also related to the feeling, “heat, ” in fever or disease which externalizes psychological and historical traumatic anxiety of African Americans. Although the sun might burn her to death, Beloved’s crying out her desires is a “speaking out” on the one hand a resistance to death, even a search for life on the other.
Rev 1. Analysis (3) – clarification of semantic levels • “The sun” forcing Beloved to close her eyes is not just to blind her but to burn her as she, like the other slaves, stands there as commodities to be bought (249). Amidst the description of the hardship the slaves go through in the Middle Passage and afterwards, including hunger, death and rape, Beloved, on the other hand, inscribes a story of love and origin. She said that she cannot find “[her] man the one whose teeth [she] have loved a hot thing. ” Whether the man is the one who is on top of her dead, or raping her, she loves him as they are companies in the Middle Passage. The sun here, then, is related to love. Moreover, Beloved re-tells the story of a ‘beginning’: ” In the beginning I could see her I could not help her because the clouds were in the way. ” Through this re-telling, she makes visible or present the lineage from Sethe’s mother, to Sethe and then to her.
Rev 2. Analysis (3) – clarification of semantic levels (2) • “The sun” forcing Beloved to close her eyes is not just to blind her but to burn her as she, like the other slaves, stands there as commodities to be bought by their white masters (249). Amidst the description of the hardship the slaves go through in the Middle Passage and afterwards, including hunger, death and rape, Beloved, on the other hand, inscribes a story of love and origin. She said that she cannot find “[her] man the one whose teeth [she] have loved a hot thing. ” Here “a hot thing” can refer back to the sun, but it also connotes a loving heart that is associated with the man and later the woman who jumps off the ship. Whether the man is a dead corpse or a rapist, whether the woman is Sethe or another unknown woman, she loves them all the same as they are companies in the Middle Passage and they form a community of African American slaves. • The other way Beloved re-tells the story is to re-inscribe an origin, a ‘beginning, ’ when she can see “her”--the mother. Through this re-telling, she makes visible or present the genealogy from Sethe’s mother, to Sethe and then to her. This genealogy is not just of Sethe’s family, but also that of Black female slaves.
Analysis (3) -ref • I am not dead the bread is seacolored I am too hungry to eat it the sun closes my eyes those able to die are in a pile I cannot find my man the one whose teeth I have loved a hot thing. . . • In the beginning I could see her I could not help her because the clouds were in the way
Analysis (3) –classification (2) • • 1) 2) Analysis of mother-daughter relations in Lady Oracle Joan -- possible categories: symbiotic relations in early childhood; e. g. the mother’s makeup scene; Childhood and Teenage Socialization with an extended schizoid-paranoid stage: a) b) c) d) 3) -- early failure in socialization: ballet; -- her failure in synthesizing her feelings of love/need and narcissism/destructiveness: -- e. g. the dream, -- Battling with Mother on eating; taking on a mother-role outside; Gradual Separation from the Mother: a) b) c) Simultaneously, she distracts herself with fantasies and surrogate mothers, e. g. fat lady and ---. Turning point (1): breakup with the mother fantasies creativity; Turning point (2): the mother’s death; a delayed depressive stage.
IV. Context -- avoid sweeping generalization about the social background -- e. g. discussion of Jane Eyre in relation to the “images” of Nineteenth-century women -- e. g. discussion of Ernestina in The French Lieutenant’s Woman in relation to the typical images of Victorian women.
V. Language: local errors • (Article) : e. g. the first act; the Lost Generation • Wrong expression: Metaphoric study • (WORD FORM): in retrospect; retrospection
Language: usage & Sentence Structure • The different social positions are also barriers to interfere her to voice herself freely in front of Rochester, because a governess, an ambiguous position in society (wrong apposite), is required to be equipped with abundant learning, but ironically her status is merely regarded as a servant. (parallelism) • Correction: The discrepancy between Rochester’s and Jane’s social positions make it hard for Jane to voice her opinions in front of Rochester. As a governess in her ambiguous social position, Jane is required to be learned as a teacher as well as humble as a servant. (parallelism)
Language: Professional Tone • I am especially interested in. . . • Through the description of her appearance, the reader will have no difficulty to associate her image with stereotypical Victorian women. When the reader appreciates the portraits of the nineteenth-century ladies, he or she will discover easily that Ernestina’s features are very similar to theirs. • (Either avoid such kind of general description or give examples. To find examples, you can either use Thomas Sully’s portraits-http: //www. artcyclopedia. com/artists/sully_thom as. html -- or start from here: Women as Subject in Victorian Art -- Representations of Women http: //www. victorianweb. org/gender/arts 2. html. This page, however, does not include images of Victorian ladies. )