You are reading a brief article, five essays, and two books. You are
writing five reflections, two essays, and keeping a reading journal.
The article and essays, or links to them, can be found at http://dkonkoly.blogspot.com You also will find other helpful materials there.Plus, you can use the comment option to pose questions to each other and reply!
You will have to get the two books through the library, buy them, or share them.
Reading and Reflecting as a Writer
the article “What Do Students Need to Know about Rhetoric?” to
UNDER THE INFLUENCE Paying the price of my father's booze By Scott Russell Sanders
Source: HARPER'S, Nov. 1989, pp. 68-75
My father drank. He drank as a gut-punched boxer gasps for breath, as a
starving dog gobbles food--compulsively, secretly, in pain and trembling. I use
the past tense not because he ever quit drinking but because he quit living.
That is how the story ends for my father, age sixty-four, heart bursting, body
cooling, slumped and forsaken on the linoleum of my brother's trailer. The story
continues for my brother, my sister, my mother, and me, and will continue as
long as memory holds.
In the perennial present of memory, I slip into the garage or barn to see my
father tipping back the flat green bottles of wine, the brown cylinders of whiskey,
the cans of beer disguised in paper bags. His Adam's apple bobs, the liquid
gurgles, he wipes the sandy-haired back of a hand over his lips, and then, his
bloodshot gaze bumping into me, he stashes the bottle or can inside his jacket,
under the workbench, between two bales of hay, and we both pretend the moment
has not occurred.
Ozick uses imagery and personal stories to illustrate the differences between
her and her mother’s form of excellence. She is able to show the contrast
between herself and her mother vividly because the subject is something she
knows very well. What can one know better than their own life?Ozick is very self-aware, admitting her
own flaws and struggle for perfection. She also recognizes that her mother’s
life was lived fully and that it had its own form of excellence. She understands
that she will never be like her mother; she is too concerned with the trivial
things and perfect details to live lavishly. She is the snail, trapped inside
the confinements of flawlessness.
Ozick uses stories of things her
mother did when she was growing up to make the character seem familiar and
endearing. A reader of this essay will relate to the differences between Ozick
and her mother, a woman who, “…thought herself capable of doing anything, and
did everything she imagined. But nothing was perfect” (302). For example,
In reading “The Death of a Moth” it
is easy to just go along with the story but a closer look allows one to see how
Virginia Woolf connected with the reader. In the first sentence the reader relates
to the feelings of the writer. The author includes the reader by using the word
“us”. This use of wording makes the reader imagine that they have felt the
emotional sense they feel on autumn nights and understand it, whether they have
actually experienced it or not. The observation of the surroundings, of the
moth, the day, and the farm establish a context in which the reader is put into
the particular scenario with the author. Therefore, one is able to feel where
Woolf is coming from.
the appeal of ethos when describing the pity felt towards the moth. The moth is
pathetic, being enthralled in happiness with only being able to do so little,
yet she connects the creature to something more significant. The sympathy felt
is mixed with warmth;