Friday, September 18, 2015


In-class partner work on Swift's "A Modest Proposal"
Discuss Candide post-it thesis statements
A few notes:

  • Avoid using "proves" in your essay. Fiction rarely proves anything. :-) Instead, use "suggests," "contends," "asserts," "reveals"
  • Avoid "you" and "your" in formal writing. Instead, use the first-person plural "we," "us," "our," or third-person singular "people," "society"
  • Keep the focus on the author's choices, not "the reader's" reactions. Try to use the author's name twice as often as the names of any characters.
  • Introductions should include a hook, context, and your thesis. For more help on these components, ask!
  • Your goal is a solid, plausible literary analysis and interpretation of Candide. It should serve as a model for you for the rest of the year.
  • Body paragraphs should incorporate direct/specific evidence (cited in parentheses by page number) and analyze both how Voltaire communicates themes and how he uses language to provoke "thoughtful laughter"
  • The thesis should include not only a discussion of Voltaire's theme, but also why Voltaire uses satire to help convey this theme: What is special about satire that allows it to "pave the way" for this particular conversation with his audience? How does satire function here: does it let him speak challenging truths to people in power? Does it hold up a mirror to society and cause us to reflect gently on our own foibles? Does the exaggeration help us imagine a future or world not too far from our own if we don't change our ways? What's the specific aim of this particular use of satire??? Refer to our Satire Notes for help.
HW: Typed draft of Candide essay due in class on Tuesday. If you need help this weekend, consider sending a chat request through Remind or ClassDojo! I might get to it more quickly that way :-)

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