Figure 32: Essay Excerpt on the Subject of Genealogy and Faulkner’s Double Consciousness

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Meaning of This?

You may access the comment by clicking on the “M” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

First, the study of genealogy—of cultural patterns/social constraints and charting the impact of familial values—suggests that it can, indeed, carry and reveal meaning. The ability to remain consistent in the process of determining the beginning of things requires (on the part of the genealogist) an attention to detail and specifics. Genealogy is proactive in its effort to procure and record vital information that demands one’s familiarity with the “history of morals, ideals, and metaphysical concepts” and the historical process (Cahoone 246).  It plays an even more specific role in the idea that it doesn’t stand in opposition to history (Cahoone 242). It is categorical in nature; and regardless of its ability to duplicate documents and historical information, genealogy operates “on a field of entangled and confused parchments, on documents that have been scratched over and recopied many times” (Cahoone 241), producing a precise and an accurate account of the impact of social values and cultural patterns upon all individuals and humanity.

Figure 32: Essay Excerpt on the Subject of Genealogy and Faulkner’s Double Consciousness


1) The student doesn’t define how she will use a particular term within the context of her essay.

2) In addition, the student personifies the term within the context of her essay.

3) The original author doesn’t personify the term.


1) In what way does “genealogy” carry and reveal meaning?

2) Is the effect here similar to a person carrying and revealing something, as if the something represents, for example, a purse?


1) “Genealogy” is not a person. “Genealogy is proactive . . .” is an example of personification.

2) It is much simpler to change “genealogy” to “genealogist.”

3) How do we know that “genealogy” is categorical in nature?

4) What does it mean to be “categorical in nature?”

5) What is the definition of “category” within the context of the paragraph?


The best solution: Paint a picture.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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