Monthly Archives: October 2018

British Soc & Mod Novels Blog Post 3 (Lord of the Flies)

Lord of the Flies – William Golding (1954)

Blog posts due and presentation day: Wednesday, November 7

  • Group 5: Is Ralph’s or Jack’s leadership better for the island?
  • Group 6: How does Golding show WWII through the novel?

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing Lord of the Flies. Feel free to make your post a reply to someone else’s post if you like. Choose one topic for your presentation or for online discussion or your paper. One topic per group. A narrow, focused discussion is usually more interesting.

What is the importance of ___________ in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

  1. The conch shell
  2. Piggy (the boy)
  3. Piggy’s glasses
  4. Ralph’s leadership versus Jack’s
  5. The gender of the characters–why no girls?
  6. The fire
  7. Scars (on people, or on the land)
  8. The pointed sticks
  9. The “littleuns” (the younger children)
  10. The naval officer

Writing English Essays: Peer Edit Feedback

Responsive feedback — blog post for Writing English Essays students

Please write about two paragraphs, or 200 words, thinking about the peer edit we did in class October 17. Sample ideas: What did you do?– Was it productive?– What did you learn about your writing?– What did you learn about other people’s writing?– How do you feel your writing can change or grow over the semester?

British Soc & Lit 2 Blog Post 3 (Hitchhiker’s Guide)

Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) [Only the first book in the series]

Blog posts and presentations due: Thursday, November 8

  • Group 5a: Why is there no racism or discrimination among the “people” in this novel– or are the Vogons an exception?
  • Group 5b: Podcast: Why “42”?

Write a post here of about 200 words discussing one of these questions; or make your post a reply to someone else’s post. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. The book is silly, but are there any values that are taken seriously in it? What are they?
  2. There are few actual family or life-long relationships in the novel. What does the book say about family, or friendship?
  3. There is no racism or real discrimination against different species or life-forms in the novel. Why do you think this is so?
  4. Is it possible that the major events in the story aren’t random, but are somehow planned by the ship’s supercomputer? What do you think?
  5. Arthur Dent is a fairly normal, dull person in comparison to the strange people around him. Is this true? If so, why would the author write him this way?
  6. At several times Trillian feels sorry for Arthur and defends him or protects him. Why do you think she does this?
  7. What joke do you think the novel makes about governments, or the way organizations are run?
  8. There are hints in the book that Slartibartfast helps Arthur and the others to escape the mice and the police. Do you agree? Why might Slartibartfast do this?
  9. Choose another topic or theme in the book you feel is important. Why is it important?

PowerPoints for Review

Here are some PowerPoints used in class for review. Please don’t use ppts as a replacement for attending class.

British Soc & Mod Novels Blog Post 2 (Brave New World)

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (1932)

Blog posts and presentations due: Monday, October 22

  • Group 3: Is the World State… actually so bad?
  • Group 4: Where is John really the most “free”– in the reservation, in the World State, or on his own?

Write a post here of about 200 words discussing one of these questions; or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Discuss the satire and humor in Brave New World.
  2. Discuss the historical meaning of the character names (Marx, Lenina, Ford, Bernard [Shaw]). Why does Huxley use them?
  3. It seems in some ways like a seductively good idea– isn’t everyone well off and safe in the World State? Why are Bernard and Helmholtz unhappy, and are they right to be?
  4. Are there things in life better than being happy? Why are they denied in the World State?
  5. Huxley once complained that a society where people were controlled through childish pleasures wasn’t much different from California! Do you think there are cultures now that are too much like the World State?
  6. Discuss how factory production (even of people) is depicted or satirized in the novel.
  7. The role of sex and love in the novel. Do you find the novel offensive? Why?
  8. Discuss the castes of people in the novel. Is it true that a society of only high intellectuals would be a disaster?
  9. Is John really more “free” in the savage reservation than the people in the cities?
  10. Is pain really necessary for the possibility of true happiness?

British Soc & Lit 2 Blog Post 2 (Murder on the Orient Express)

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie (1934)

Some help with locations and French expressions at this website.

Blog posts and presentations due: Monday, October 15

Group 3: TED-style Talk

Write a post here of about 200 words discussing one of these questions; or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Discuss the ending. Did the ending shock you?
  2. The plot changes quite a lot during the snowstorm when the train is stuck– what happens? Does the snowstorm symbolize something to you?
  3. M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine seem rather stupid compared to Poirot. Is this true? Why?
  4. Poirot relies mainly on psychology and logic to solve crimes. How is detective work different today? (Such as in TV shows like CSI)
  5. Are the characters likeable? Do you sympathize with any one of them more than others?
  6. Are the ethnic stereotypes simply a product of Christie’s time, or do you think she is making a statement by using them?
  7. Why was the story set on a train? Is there any symbolism to the train?
  8. Is the book funny in places? Are there any humorous characters?
  9. Does Ratchett deserve to be murdered? Are the people on the train wrong to do so?
  10. Does Poirot do the right thing in hiding what happened to the police?