Discussion Forum Instructions:
- Post a response to all four prompts below.
- Participation is worth 30% of your grade. Active participation in the weekly discussion is expected.
- You must meet the minimum word count for each post to get full credit.
- All posts must be completed by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. No makeups are allowed.
- Use only the assigned readings to respond to the discussion posts.
- Your post must include at least one quote from each text used to receive full credit.
CLASSMATE POST POST 2
I have to say, that honestly, I found Edgar Allan Poe’s story The Fall of the House of Usher interesting, but not engaging. I’m not sure if it was because there were some distractions during the reading (which I read again), or because the old style language is so difficult to follow at times. Perhaps it was a little of both. I definitely liked the theme of the story; being very dark and psychologically dreary. I think that the reason Poe’s work is still popular is because he excelled so greatly at creating a setting and theme that most people don’t regularly experience in their life. No doubt, from time to time, the average person feels creeped out or sad, or sees an old decrepit house. However, the way Poe paints things is exceptionally vivid, but in such a gray and colorless manner. My favorite part of the story was when he was creating the setting, at the very beginning. Poe’s first line is “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher” (Poe, 2013, p.702). Just that first sentence contains at least nine words which set the stage for a very depressing story: dull, dark, soundless, oppressively, alone, singularly, dreary, shades, melancholy. If anybody were to read just those words, they would immediately be taken to a rather dark mindset. And he managed to use them all at once! Overall, I did enjoy the story, though; particularly the end, when the house crumbled.
Poe, E. (2013). The fall of the house of Usher. In N. Baym, W. Franklin, P.F. Gura, J. Klinkowitz, A. Krupat, R.S. Levine … P.B. Wallace (Eds.), The Norton anthology of American literature (Shorter 8th ed.) (pp. 702-714). New York, NY: Norton. (Original work published 1839).
Post 2: Reply to a classmate regarding post 1; be sure to offer a new quote or idea to keep the conversation flowing! Be sure to quote, cite, and reference from the text(s) using appropriate APA format. Your post must be at least 150 words.
CLASSMATE POST POST 4
After reading The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, and Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar, I noticed a similar theme: that of feeling imprisoned. Both writers convey a deep sense of unhappiness at being oppressed, which is understandable as Chopin was female, and Dunbar was African American. In Sympathy, Dunbar says (2013, p. 1809) “I know what the caged bird feels….I know why the caged bird beats his wings/ Till its blood is red on the cruel bars……When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore/ When he beats his bars and he would be free” – and it is quite clear he is referring to a feeling of imprisonment and oppression. Similarly, in The Story of an Hour, Chopin (2003, p. 1610) writes “She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!”” , and the feeling of immense freedom doesn’t get much more clear than that. She also writes “There would be no one to live for here during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers…” (Chopin, 2003, p. 1610). The character feels like she is finally free of her dull and unhappy marriage. Such a feeling of imprisonment, in both samples of text, surpasses the struggles of being either a female, or an African American. It is an infringement of basic human rights. While the theme of imprisonment and oppression was clear in both texts, the difference between them was that Dunbar’s text was a steady stream of sadness, while Chopin’s text had ups and downs, which ultimately resulted in a sad ending.
Chopin, K. (2013). The story of an hour. In N. Baym, W. Franklin, P.F. Gura, J. Klinkowitz, A. Krupat, R.S. Levine … P.B. Wallace (Eds.), The Norton anthology of American literature (Shorter 8th ed.) (pp. 1609-1611). New York, NY: Norton. (Original work published 1895).
Dunbar, P. (2013). Sympathy. In N. Baym, W. Franklin, P.F. Gura, J. Klinkowitz, A. Krupat, R.S. Levine … P.B. Wallace (Eds.), The Norton anthology of American literature (Shorter 8th ed.) (p.1809). New York, NY: Norton. (Original work published 1899).
Post 4: Reply to a classmate regarding post 3; be sure to offer a new quote or idea to keep the conversation flowing! Be sure to quote, cite, and reference from the text(s) using appropriate APA format. Your post must be at least 150 words.