Tuesday and Wednesday March 21-22/17

We will continue with what we were working on yesterday.


If you have completed the formalist analysis, then go ahead and read this:

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 3, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut. She published her best-known short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” in 1892. One of her greatest works of non-fiction, Women and Economics, was published in 1898. Along with writing books, she established a magazine, The Forerunner, which was published from 1909 to 1916. Gilman committed suicide on August 17, 1935, in Pasadena, California.

During a period in her adult life, Gilman became depressed and was prescribed the “Rest Cure” developed by a doctor named Weir Mitchell. The cure, which was prescribed almost exclusively for women, had three core elements: isolation, rest, and feeding, with electrotherapy and massage added to counteract muscle atrophy.  The patient was instructed to lie in bed for 24 hours each day, sometimes for months at a time, with a special nurse who would sleep on a cot in the room, feed her, and keep her mind from morbid thoughts by reading aloud or discussing soothing topics. Visits from family and friends were forbidden. The day was punctuated by electrotherapy and massage, sponge baths with a “rough rub” using wet sheets, and frequent feedings. The diet consisted of milk alone for the first week, or, if milk was not tolerated, 18 or more raw eggs per day.  The patient would pass into a state of placid contentment, described by several contemporaneous textbooks: “Brain work having ceased, mental expenditure is reduced to a slight play of emotions and an easy drifting of thought” (2, p. 44). The fat would “roll up in the face, and subsequently over the body” (3, p. 140). When restlessness set in, exercise would be gradually introduced and the patient would eventually resume communication with her family and return to a healthy lifestyle. For Mitchell, at least, “healthy” for women included strict limits on “brain work,” which he felt imposed nervous strain and might interfere with “womanly duties.”


Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Monday March 20/17

Welcome back!

Today I’m going to briefly review the concepts of Formalism and then you are going to read the short story The Yellow Wallpaper and analyze it from a Formalist point of view.


If you are away, you can read the short story online here. When you are done, complete the following: Yellow Wallpaper Formalist

Please check the updated calendar as we’ve made some changes. Note: the literature circle meeting has been moved to next week.

You’re welcome.

Friday March 10/17

First, I’ve made updates to the calendar again that I want to talk to you about. Then I’m going to introduce Formalist literary criticism to you  and you can add it to your notes, but you should know that this type of literary theory is exactly what you’ve always been doing in terms of analyzing texts.

Formalist Literary Criticism by Danika Barker on Scribd

Then we will use the rest of the period for reviewing any concepts or issues you’re struggling with in this course.

How to take those blog posts to a level 4

Clarity: write clearly. Err on the side of simplicity even if you think it means your writing won’t sound “scholarly.” Blog posts are informal but I need to be able to understand what you’re saying. Pay attention. Re-read your writing. You can always edit a post after it’s published.

Evidence from the text: Use quotations and include page references to show me that you’re incorporating your reader’s journals.

Make references to things discussed in your literature circle meeting.

Keep the end in mind. You are trying to find interesting things to discuss in your comparative essay that you write for your CCA. So if you want a level 4, it’s not enough to just answer the prompt. You need to use the prompt as a jumping off point to develop your own ideas.

Tuesday March 7/17

Today we are finishing Pocahontas and then you will use your notes to write an informal 1 paragraph analysis of the movie.

Remember, before the break I need you to submit your analysis of Transients in Arcadia. I will show you how to do that at the start of the period today. If you’re away, text me and I will send you your log in instructions for Sesame. Remember, to send me a file, you click on “Snap” and create a snap (which allows you to upload the file.

Friday March 3/17

Hi everyone,

I have you reader’s journals marked so I will give those back and speak in general terms about what I’d like to see from you next time.

  1. If you’re not prepared, you don’t participate. It’s not fair to your group members. And you certainly don’t use your literature circle meeting as an opportunity to finish your work. If I see you doing that, you will receive a zero for the meeting.
  2. Please ensure you’re clearly delineating between your summary of plot events and your THINKING about the novel. Questions, and analysis should go on the right. If you’re just jotting down something that happened in the book, it goes on the left.
  3. Dig deeper. Avoid the obvious. Don’t just identify something as a symbol or make not of interesting word choice. Try to draw conclusions about the author’s choice.

Next I want to talk about some words and phrases I’d like you to avoid putting in your writing. This is something I made last year, so it’s not a reflection on anything I’ve read from any of you so far:

Now I’d like to return to Postcolonial literary criticism. I know there were some internet issues yesterday due to the black out so I’m not sure how much Mr. Flumerfelt was able to cover.

Any time left over will be for your analysis of Transients in Arcadia. This must be submitted digitally before the March Break. I will show you how to do that today.