The Bluest Eye

Posted: October 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

The introductory PowerPoint based on Morrison’s afterward can be found here: The Bluest Eye

Remember, you will need to annotate this one for a grade.  Keep your eyes open for patterns and motifs such as those outlined in the PowerPoint.

The story originated from an experience in which a little girl Morrison knew wanted blue eyes and Morrison found herself hating the girl, not the society that convinced her of this narrow conception of beauty.  This book is a way of exploring where these concepts of beauty and ugly come from and the racial contempt encapsulated in such an anecdote as this.   Use this information to help guide you in your annotations as you decode the text.  Morrison uses a lot of the structuralist stuff we talked about from How to Read Literature Like a Professor, so be on the lookout for those patterns, too.

This is also a very emotive text.  Another GREAT annotation idea is to jot down the emotion you are feeling at each anecdote or episode — do you pity and sympathize with the character?  Are you angry at them?  Or are you content, happy, jocular . . . Then try to figure out HOW Morrison evokes those emotions in the reader and WHY you think she does this?  How does it help her purpose or theme?

There’s an audiobook of Morrison herself reading The Bluest Eye on youtube which you might find a helpful tool too.  Stay tuned for more. . .


all the worlds a stageThe advent of feminism and psychoanalytic criticism in the 20th century has forever influenced the way we look at Hamlet; therefore, we’ll be looking at the women of Hamlet through these lenses and discussing the retroactive interpretation many directors have placed on the play as a result.


Hit more to see the handout and some of the videos.

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insantiyAs we begin reading Hamlet, I thought I’d highlight just a few of the numerous resources on the play:

Chop Bard is an entertaining podcast (well, at least to lit nerds like me) that you can listen to online or download in itunes.    If you’re looking online, scroll down to Hamlet, which begins with episode 21.

Another great audio source is  Librivox has hundreds of open source titles available as audiobooks for free.  The readings are by volunteers, so some are better than others.  The three versions of Hamlet they offer aren’t the greatest recordings I’ve found on Librivox (Elizabeth Klett’s Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Turn of the Screw are fantastic), but they might be helpful.

Click through the page break for more:

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sample-screenplay-pagePart of your Hamlet project will require writing a script for your video (written portion due October fourth).  So how do you do that?

Probably the easiest thing to do is to use a screenplay template in your word processing program or Google Doc to help with formatting.

Additionally, scriptologist has a great overview of how to format a screenplay.

Writers Store has a great annotated visual you can use to see how it all plays out.  And both BBC and have nice instructional examples.  More on how to format a script after the page break:

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In class we’ve been talking about sound devices 2017 that you need to apply on the assignment Song annotation and translating early modern English which needs to be done in your notebook by 9/20.  There will be a sound device quiz that day, too.  On Friday, September 15th we’ll annotate Hamlet’s first soliloquy in class AP English 12 Hamlet Act I Soliloquy Assignment  which should also be kept in your notebook.  (Check yourself: Act I Soliloquy scansion for correct scansion).

The source play for Hamlet was originally a revenge tragedy in which the son (Hamlet, Jr.) had to avenge his murdered father, but the challenge in getting to the king was this big ol’ bodyguard.  Shakespeare replaced the character of the bodyguard with a much more effective form of a bodyguard: conscience  — “thus conscience does make cowards of us all” (III.i.91).  So why is this important?  It establishes the play as one focused more on contemplating human psychology than one focused on plot and action.  In fact, it’s often seen as a play of inaction.  Knowing this should help us identify some of the subjects and motifs of the play, such as:

  • The relationship between thought and action
    • Appearance vs. reality — spying and deception
    • Mirrors / glass / reflection
    • Madness (true or feigned)
    • Duty: personal vs. moral vs. national . . . and, of course, the ethics of revenge

Secondly, if you think about the historical context of the play, there’s some really interesting stuff going on.  We (well, we the audience, so England) have a female monarch, we just finished bloody conflicts over Catholicism vs.  Protestantism (Thanks a lot Henry VIII! :)) and sticking with Catholic iconography and practice at the time the play was performed could have dire consequences.

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rhyme timeHaving trouble figuring out the meter and sound stuff we’ve been doing in class?

1. Don’t worry, you won’t have to perform scansion on a test or quiz.  I just want you to have some experience with it and see just how much great poets put into their work — how  everything in a great work contributes to meaning.

2. There’s a pretty helpful survey of meter, rhythm, and prosody in the introduction to chapter 12 of Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense (the blue and red textbook we’ve been using in class) and I found a nifty outline of said intro here.

Aaaaaand, if you want to “go hard on that tetrameter” like M.C. Lars, the sound notes from class are chillin’ back here.: sound devices 2017

Thanks to Carl Runyon of Owensboro Community College, notes from Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense can be found after the break . . .
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SnapeCollege Admissions Essay: One of the first things we’re doing is writing college admissions essays and resumes.  Here’s a great (and short) article on admissions essays: writing the essay sound advice from an expert.  Or you can read it here.  Bring prompts to class to work on.  (If you aren’t applying to a college that requires an entrance essay, use the 2017 common app).  A polished draft of one of your entrance essays is due on September 18.

Why?  You might ask . . . in many cases it won’t make or break your admission chances, but the entrance essay is an opportunity to introduce yourself, in your voice, and bring out things that don’t normally appear on an application or resume (so don’t just repeat your resume).  Here’s a good article SHOWING what the admissions essay can do:


“Hidden Gold in College Applications.”

Resume (also due September 18): As far as resumes, there’s a wealth of information out there — search for it!  Resumes have changed a lot since your parents or I learned how to do them, namely by becoming more dynamic, so I encourage you to do some research on your own beyond what we tell you.  Look at examples and use templates to format your resume properly and attractively.

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