Archive for August 15th, 2011

Figure 29: Essay Excerpt on De Quincey, “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, ” Thomas De Quincey

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Sample Excerpt

De Quincey now through the opium is having nightmarish dreams.  He refers to the Malay as a fearful enemy (456).  He asserts that if he should ever have to leave England and live in China, among their manners and modes of life and scenery, he shall go mad (456).  In this dream, his journey of prejudice leads him to make several more references to the Chinese (Oriental):

A young Chinese seems to me an antediluvian man renewed . . . man is a weed in those regions (Asia) . . . I am terrified by the modes of life, by the manner  . .  . and want of sympathy placed between us by feelings deeper than I can analyze.  I could sooner live with lunatics or brute animals. . . . (456)

De Quincey resolves his nightmares by offering the reader a slight abstraction of the Oriental dreams.  Before, the dreams had been moral and spiritual terrors, but now the main agents were ugly birds, or snakes or crocodiles, especially the last; “The cursed crocodile became to me the object of more horror than almost all the rest” (457).

Figure 29: Essay Excerpt on De Quincey, “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,” Thomas De Quincey

Revision Considerations

In the space after the quote, analyze the quote before moving forward into other discussions of the De Quincey’s work.

Develop a line-by-line analysis of the quote. Note the structure of the sentences and the author’s attitude.

 Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Figure 28: Essay Excerpt on the Sisters and Macbeth, Macbeth

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “No/No, Not Exactly; Maybe; Perhaps; Negative Sign (-).”

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Sample Excerpt

And since the Sisters shape Macbeth’s destiny, their act seems hostile, because both Macbeth and his wife are terribly destroyed (Rosenberg 20).  But their act seems hostile from the very beginning when the witches refuse to answer Macbeth’s questions regarding the prophecy (Wills 45). They take Macbeth’s life into their own hands, so to speak, but never give him a reason for doing so.  History suggests that [b]attlefields were magnets for witches—for the same reason that shipwrecks were, or gallows, or prostitutes’ lairs.  They were all good places for collecting the most vital ingredient for witches’ work—dead body parts, and especially dead bodies outside consecrated ground.  (Wills 38) So their presence on the battlefield when they first issue the prophecy is called “necromancy” (Wills 39) and this is used in Act Four, “. . . which helps delude Macbeth . . .” (Wills 42) into believing that his fate is secure.  The witches never tell Macbeth about the consequences.  Instead, they take his passion of ambition and turn it around to fit what they want accomplished. And they do this by first setting Macbeth’s ambition free to make it seem that destiny is on his side.

Figure 28: Essay Excerpt on the Sisters and Macbeth, Macbeth

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Table 9: Constructing a Deductive Argument, Light in August

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Logic and Articulation.”

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Table 9:  Constructing a Deductive Argument, Light in August

 1.  Premise The role of Burch within the novel, as a revealer of truth, contradicts Faulkner’s construction of Christmas.
 2.  Premise  As creator-narrator, Faulkner uses Burch to classify Christmas, to reveal his racial heredity.
   
 3.  Conclusion These contradictions represent a double consciousness in Faulkner that illustrates his inability to reconcile the nature of his character, Joe Christmas, with that of the nature of society, to include his perspective.
 4.  Conclusion In this instance, Faulkner’s double consciousness is a weakness because it involves a dual depiction of Christmas’s struggle with identity and the other members’ preservation of social norms.

As you now see that in removing the first three conclusions, we do not have any real example to which to refer. We need textual evidence of a relevant example in order to make sure that “These contradictions” refers to something specific. Any example within Faulkner’s work that reflects Christmas’s self-perception and what Burch perceives will be sufficient enough to make our case here.

It is not necessary to go into detail and add the example here because within Faulkner’s novel you can easily find any example of “perceptions” of Christmas, what characters say about his mulatto skin, and the racial epithets the townspeople use to refer to him in contrast to “what” Christmas considers himself to be within the context of the work.

Click here for Table 7: Exercise in Deductive/Inductive Reasoning, Light in August.

Click here for Table 8: Deductive Reasoning for the Last Conclusion (Essay), Light in August.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 8: Deductive Reasoning for the Last Conclusion (Essay), Light in August

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Logic and Articulation.”

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Table 8:  Deductive Reasoning for the Last Conclusion (Essay), Light in August

 1.  Premise The role of Burch within the novel, as a revealer of truth, contradicts Faulkner’s construction of Christmas.
 2.  Premise  As creator-narrator, Faulkner uses Burch to classify Christmas, to reveal his racial heredity.
   
 3.  Conclusion But just as Faulkner creates Joe, he creates Burch.
 4.  Conclusion So, if he is able to have Burch classify Christmas, then shouldn’t Christmas be able to classify himself?
 5.  Conclusion And shouldn’t Faulkner also be able to classify his character without Burch as a way of bringing certainty to Christmas’s life?
 6.  Conclusion These contradictions represent a double consciousness in Faulkner that illustrates his inability to reconcile the nature of his character, Joe Christmas, with that of the nature of society, to include his perspective.
 7.  Conclusion In this instance, Faulkner’s double consciousness is a weakness because it involves a dual depiction of Christmas’s struggle with identity and the other members’ preservation of social norms.

The last two conclusions represent the end of what should be a deductive argument, but the reason why this paragraph is not a deductive argument is because of the first three conclusions.  If we remove the first three conclusions, then we will have a deductive argument; we will have conclusions that are dependent upon their premises (i.e., according to Engel, conclusions that follow from its premises).  Let’s remove them.

Click here for Table 7: Exercise in Deductive/Inductive Reasoning, Light in August.

Click here for Table 9: Constructing a Deductive Argument, Light in August.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 7: Exercise in Deductive/Inductive Reasoning, Light in August

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Logic and Articulation.”

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Table 7:  Exercise in Deductive/Inductive Reasoning, Light in August

 Premise The role of Burch within the novel, as a revealer of truth, contradicts Faulkner’s construction of Christmas.
 Premise As creator-narrator, Faulkner uses Burch to classify Christmas, to reveal his racial heredity.
 Conclusion But just as Faulkner creates Joe, he creates Burch.
 Conclusion So, if he is able to have Burch classify Christmas, then shouldn’t Christmas be able to classify himself?
 Conclusion And shouldn’t Faulkner also be able to classify his character without Burch as a way of bringing certainty to Christmas’s life?

The paragraph begins with a debatable argument, a topic sentence (first premise) that causes us to think more about the subject. The second sentence is an extended example, a move from the general to the specific. The connection between these two sentences causes us to believe that we are moving toward a deductive argument. However, in the first conclusion, this is where we switch to an inductive argument. The last two conclusions confirm our assumption here.

The sentences of Table 7 represent an inductive argument, one where the conclusion is likely to follow from its premises, but not always. Whereas in deductive arguments the conclusion can be valid or invalid, in an inductive argument, the conclusion can be classified as either good or bad, strong or weak (Engel 41). In Table 7, the conclusion, in its connection to at least the first premise, is weak because in the premise Burch is a revealer of truth; but in the conclusion Burch is disregarded for Christmas.

One doesn’t have anything to do with the other. It is likely from the premise Burch doesn’t always have to be the revealer of truth and that Christmas will become more self-aware and classify himself. However, it is not for certain either man will. Now let’s add the rest of the paragraph to the table.

Click here for Table 8: Deductive Reasoning for the Last Conclusion (Essay), Light in August.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Figure 27: Essay Excerpt on Burch, Light in August

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Logic and Articulation.”

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Sample Excerpt

The role of Burch within the novel, as a revealer of truth, contradicts Faulkner’s construction of Christmas.  As creator-narrator, Faulkner uses Burch to classify Christmas, to reveal his racial heredity.  But just as Faulkner creates Joe, he creates Burch.  So, if he is able to have Burch classify Christmas, then shouldn’t Christmas be able to classify himself?  And shouldn’t Faulkner also be able to classify his character without Burch as a way of bringing certainty to Christmas’s life?  These contradictions represent a double consciousness in Faulkner that illustrates his inability to reconcile the nature of his character, Joe Christmas, with that of the nature of society, to include his perspective.  In this instance, Faulkner’s double consciousness is a weakness because it involves a dual depiction of Christmas’s struggle with identity and the other members’ preservation of social norms.

Figure 27: Essay Excerpt on Burch, Light in August

What can you deduce from reading just the first set of sentences?  Before we analyze the paragraph, let’s first place it within a table (Table 7) to determine its premises and what type of conclusion(s) it has.

Questions

1) What truth or truths does Burch reveal?

2) Can a person classify him or herself or are classifications by society projected onto people? 

3) What are these contradictions?

4) Just because Christmas doesn’t know who he is, but Burch knows Christmas’s heritage, doesn’t mean that these are contradictions. This is irony. Each person sees him or herself differently. This entails perception, self and social. Now what is the impact of double consciousness on this assumption?

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 6: Example from the Chapter “The Nature and Scope of Logic,” S. Morris Engel

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Table 6:  Example from the Chapter “The Nature and Scope of Logic,” S. Morris Engel

Deductive Inductive
All the beans in that bag are black. All these beans are from that bag. All these beans are therefore black. All these beans are from that bag. All these beans are black. All the beans in that bag are therefore black.

Engel makes a distinction between both terms.

An inductive argument has a conclusion that is based on probability that can never be certain; elements within the conclusion can have some truth to them, but the truth depends upon whether or not the probability is high or low (41). Engel states, “In inductive arguments, we assert in the conclusion a fact not itself contained in the premises” (41). In contrast, the conclusion of a deductive argument is reached by reasoning from general to specific; “. . . the premises in a deductive argument contain all of the information needed in order to reach a conclusion that follows with necessity” (Engel 41).

In other words, in a deductive argument, we need the premises to match the conclusion, because the conclusion is dependent upon the premises. However, in an inductive argument, we need the premises, but the conclusion is determined based upon likelihood. It is likely that all the beans in that bag are therefore black, but not certain.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Figure 26: Essay Excerpt on Christmas, Light in August

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Lacks Clear Continuity; Lacks Coherence.”

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Secondly, Christmas doesn’t represent, physically, the image of a typical Negro in southern society.  He epitomizes the burden of miscegenation, because it is a problem that affects the histories of characters within the novel (and within all the novels being discussed).  It complicates the stories and Christmas’s history.  Every time he tells someone that he is part Negro, specifically in speaking to Joanna Burden, when they ask him if he is certain, he says in reply, “ ‘I don’t know it” (Light 240).  On the other hand, miscegenation also plays a significant function in Faulkner’s narratives in that it illustrates the possibilities in reconciling and repairing the division between black and white citizens.

It is, in fact, the cause-effect of a contradiction that is present within the south.  “Southern society typically and publicly abhors racial mergings through integration, cohabitation, or miscegenation.  Yet Faulkner’s narratives repeatedly present a world in which blacks and whites eat, live, and often sleep together despite Jim Crow laws and spoken categories of racial differentiation” (Snead 156). The contradiction lies in the narrative depiction of socially marginalized individuals, but also in the harmonic nature of the interpersonal relationships implicit within these lines. Faulkner paints a two-sided coin.  In one instance, he depicts the social constraints invoked by segregation. In another, he demonstrates the possibility of repairing continuity to communities, which works against his (the) role of a social genealogist.  Is Faulkner uncertain about the construction of his characters?  No, because each character still fits within a certain framework, in a social position. 

Figure 26: Essay Excerpt on Christmas, Light in August

Questions

1) Why does Christmas say “I don’t know it?”

2) Does Christmas deny or agree with the fact that he is a product of miscegenation?

3) If miscegenation affects the histories of characters within the novel, then how does miscegenation function as a bridge that closes the gap between the black and white citizens of the novel?

4) Isn’t Christmas supposed to know his heritage? If he doesn’t, then on what does he base his lack of knowledge?

5) What is miscegenation? Does Faulkner use miscegenation as a method or way of bringing two different social groups together? Or does Faulkner just present the south and its contradictions?

6) What is the connection between Faulkner’s characterization of Christmas and Christmas as a character who isn’t confident and/or certain about his background?

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 5: The Five C’s Checklist: Claim, Check, Contour, Communicate, Criticize

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Table 5:  The Five C’s Checklist:  Claim, Check, Contour, Communicate, Criticize

The Five C’s Primary Secondary
 Claim What is my claim? What do I believe? What do I think about the subject? Do I have any concerns? What are the author’s claims? What are the assumptions? How does the author feel about the subject? What concerns does the author have?
 Check How do I want to support my claim with at least 3 reasons of my own about why I believe what I believe? What are the author’s reasons for what he or she believes about the subject?
 Contour How do I want to structure the body paragraphs of my argument? Can the three 3 reasons function as separate body paragraphs? Is there a clear match between my 3 reasons and the reasons the author provides? Or is there a difference between one of my reasons and the author’s reasons?
 Communicate In what ways, by what method, do I want to show a specific reader the importance of my argument? Who is my reader? How do I want to help my reader throughout the process? In what ways, by what method, does each author show a specific reader the importance of his or her argument? How does each author help the reader throughout the process of reading the argument? How does each author use language? Does the author write rhetorically?
 Criticize What method can I use to engage the reading? What method can I use to engage the reader in reading my argument? Is each author persuasive in his or her method to persuade me about their beliefs on the subject? Or has the author not persuaded me?

 Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 4: Socks and Drawers Comparison Table

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Lacks a Clear Argument.”

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Table 4:  Socks and Drawers Comparison Table

Outline John Quincy James Jones
Claim It is important to keep socks separate from other clothing in a separate drawer. Socks need to be near the underwear in the same drawer so they are easy to retrieve since both go on underneath the body.
Reason #1 Socks are easily contained when they are separate from other clothing. Since I am always in a hurry in the morning to go to work, I need to be able to find the socks.
Reason #2 When my socks are in one place I don’t have to search for a match. When my socks are in the same drawer as the underwear, I don’t have to search for a match.
Reason #3 I like organization.  I like to categorize.  I like everything in its place. I like everything in one place.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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