What do you think makes a work of literature (novel, short story, essay, play, or poem) powerful or memorable enough to stand the test of time?

As with the first reflection, plan to write a total of at least 400 words, and feel free to write more if you are so inclined. Follow the outline below. I’ll be using the same scoring criteria as last time (insight and idea development); again, the more specific you are, the more convincing and compelling your work is likely to be [Show me, don’t tell me.]

1) In the first paragraph, revisit the question you considered in the first reflection. Why do we read? And in particular, why do we still read old books? Has your experience in class thus far altered or expanded or complicated your answers? Why/how so or why not? You could also, either instead of or in addition to some of the above questions, consider why (in light of what you’ve been learning and doing this semester) many schools require students to take a literature course to satisfy Core requirements.

1) Interview 2-3 people that you know and report the results. Ask them these questions:

Why do you think we read literature? What do we gain from it?

Why do you think people still read literature written a long time ago?

What do you think makes a work of literature (novel, short story, essay, play, or poem) powerful or memorable enough to stand the test of time?

Is there a work of literature that you’ve read that made a big impression on you, that has stuck with you or that really challenged you to see the world differently?

2) Then answer the same questions for yourself.

I have attached the first reflection I did with the questions listed above and the readings I have done in class are the following:

Lady Audley

Mill, from On the Subjection of Women

Darwin, from Origin of Species

Darwin, from Descent of Man

Goblin Market

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


2) In the second paragraph, think about what you’ve learned about Victorian literature (a specific text or in general) and/or the Victorian world. Which of this learning has been most significant or impactful? [The following questions are prompts; you don’t need to answer them all] What has most prompted you to see or understand something differently? What learning (readings or class activities or independent work) is most likely to stay with you and why? What connections have you been able to draw to things you’ve learned in other classes?

3) In the third paragraph, discuss what you have learned about yourself through your work in this class. For example, what have you learned about your values, your interests, yourself as a learner/reader/writer/thinker? If you wish, you can also discuss the goal/s you’d like to set for yourself for the remainder of the course (qualitative goals, not quantitative, meaning what you’d like to KNOW or be able to DO, not the grade you’d like to earn).

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