Introduction to Literature

Reading in the Digital Age

The Work for Week 2

Unit Theme: Culture and Identity

Week 2 Focus: Fiction and Nonfiction


My Week 2 Rundown



(Terms to Know: Narrator and point of view.)

This Week’s Reading


Before you begin this week’s reading, review the discussion prompts for this week: Considering the Clash of Cultures in Literature and How Fiction and Nonfiction Function. The following texts will serve as the basis for this week’s discussion:

  • Required:
    • Introduction to “Culture and Identity” section, Literature: The Human Experience (hereafter LHE) 524-25.
    • (Fiction) “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, LHE 526-33.
    • (Fiction) “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, LHE 566-67. 
    • (Fiction) Individual choice: Read at least one of the remaining stories in the “Fiction” section of “Culture and Identity” in LHE.
    • (Nonfiction) “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell, LHE 694-99. 
    • (Nonfiction) “Ironed Blue Sky, 88° F” by Abeer Hoque, LHE 710-13. Read this in conjunction with William Blake’s “The Tyger” (LHE 130), which Hoque responds to in her essay.
    • (Nonfiction) Individual choice: Read at least one of the remaining essays in the “Essays” section of “Culture and Identity” in LHE (this includes “African Literature: What Tradition?” by Es’kia Mphahlele).

  • Supplemental
    • “One View of Culture,” in which I talk about several principles that can be used to talk about culture.
    • (Strongly encouraged) “Reading Fiction,” LHE 6-11. Review the questions listed on pages 10-11 under “Exploring Fiction.” You might want to dog ear these pages and return to them as we discuss fiction throughout the semester.
    • (Strongly encouraged) “Reading Essays” LHE 30-36. Review the questions listed on page 36 under “Exploring Essays.” You might want to dog ear these pages and return to them as we discuss nonfiction throughout the semester.
    • (Audio) Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” read by Miette of “Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast.”
    • (Video) “Girl by Jamaica Kincaid – Film Interpretation for ENG4UN-01” by Dilani Pieris.
    • (Video) “10 Questions for Jamaica Kincaid,” Time Magazine interview with the author.
    • (Video) “‘Shooting an Elephant’ by George Orwell” read by harveydinio.
    • (Web page) “Abeer Hoque” on KQED’s “The Writer’s Block” (San Francisco” reading her short story “Swing State.”


Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.
  • If you haven’t done so already, add your Twitter username to the document on the flipside of this link.



*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.


1 Comment

  1. I read Girl and Ironed Blue Sky 88 F. As I read Girl I could see a young girl being described as what her mother did not want to become a slut. It sounded to me as if her mother had that title. Her mother was a hard working women that did things her own way and wanted to pass it on to her daughter and had high hopes she would turn out to become someone great. As a women a women in the past had a certain role play and that was very important that they took good care of the house and made the meals correct. The mother’s biggest fear was that her daughter was going to become a slut and not a wonderful young lady. I feel that Jamaica Kincaid wrote a straight to the point text. Girls turn into ladies and they have a lot of things that they need to learn to become a modest well rounded lady.
    Reading Blue Sky 88 F. I feel that Abeer Hoque was an interesting young boy. He was smart, and looked at the bigger picture. He was not scared to learn but did forget some of the things taught. This thesis was about the students learning and the uniforms that choose for them. Pleats and checkers were the choice that they were given. The culture was a small town strict rules and full of high expectations. This little boy in the classroom seems nervous, as if he had heard how mean this teacher Mr. Eze is. He was worried about his cane he walked with and the poem he had to recite.
    I enjoyed both text fiction and non-fiction I just placed myself in the narrators point of view.

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