Asimov and Chiang
Please read Isaac Asimov’s short story “Reason” p.160-176 and Ted Chiang’s short story “Exhalation” p.742-756 in The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. Then choose one of these short stories for your initial post.
Please make sure you post the initial response by Tuesday of Week 2. Here are the instructions for the initial discussion post:
1) Write a CLAIM (in essence, a working thesis) in a sentence or two about what the the story reveals about the underlying social message of what it means to be human. In other words, how does the story shape/reflect social messages about the values, behaviors, or relationships of being human?
2) Write a PARAGRAPH in PIE (Point, Illustrate, Explain) format (see below).
First, find at least one passage of 1-4 sentences from the story that seems to support your claim. Then, state the specific arguable POINT you are making about how the passage(s) supports your claim in a sentence or two. Note that the point is not a mere rewording of the claim but may simply relate to one aspect of the claim or be a more specific point about the claim. Note also that the point should go beyond summary and is in essence, a mini-claim.
Second, introduce the passage in a sentence or two by setting up the context in which the passage appears. In other words, BEFORE you quote the passage(s), first make sure to explain who is speaking and about what. Tell your reader a bit about what is happening at this point in the story where the passage(s) appear.
Third, integrate and quote one or more brief passages of 1-4 sentences that ILLUSTRATE your point and cite its page number, using MLA format. Please see the attached handout for guidelines for integrating and quoting fiction. Conventions for Writing about Literature.doc
Fourth, EXPLAIN how the quoted passage helps the reader understand the point. In other words, make sure to connect the quoted passage back to the specific point that you have illustrated with a quoted passage in this paragraph. Your explanation should go beyond mere paraphrasing or plot summary.
This is an example of what your post will look like. Please note that the example is based on a different story and different social message than the novel and social message that you have been assigned. Also, I’ve used two quoted passages as illustrations, but it’s fine if yours has just one quoted passage as illustration. Mine is more PIEIE than it is PIE!
On the surface, Cinderella seems to be a simple story about a young woman whose wishes come true. However, the story also reflects cultural expectations of women’s behaviors and goals and defines expectations of “goodness” for women.
The story conveys the message that women should limit their goal in life to being beautiful. Cinderella’s sisters spend countless hours dressing for the ball because they know their only value is in their appearance. Even Cinderella, the heroine, is thrilled by the finery her fairy godmother gives her, exclaiming, “Oh, it’s beautiful!” (5) and “it’s more than I ever hoped for” (6). In fact, Prince Charming falls in love with her “at first sight” not because of her personality but because of the beauty that her new clothes give her. This is evident in his bored reaction to the string of women paraded in front of him and his sudden interest in Cinderella before he speaks a word to her. Before their first waltz had ended, “Both had found true love” (75). The message is that a woman’s worth is in the way she dresses and the way she looks, and thus, little girls who listen over and over again to Cinderella’s story may very well be encouraged to grow up to become women who strive only to improve their appearances.
In addition, please reply to 2 other posts by Thursday of Week 2 with at least 4 sentences for each post. Note that you won’t be able to see other posts until you make your own initial post! Some options for replies: discuss what new insights you gained from the post, connections to your own post, or alternative ideas. Please keep in mind the reading about “Debate and Dialogue” as you write your replies and try to reply in the spirit of dialogue rather than debate.
For discussion feedback, I will read all your posts and fill out an individual rubric. Although I won’t usually give feedback to individual discussion posts, please do refer to the announcements as I will pull out threads from the discussion to give a general class feedback on each discussion. If you have a specific question about your discussion post that my general announcement doesn’t address, please feel free to email me!
Please note that if you are using a smart phone or tablet that hitting the “done” button on your phone or tablet will not work! You need to make sure that you click on the “reply” button in Canvas for your responses to actually be posted. Here’s another piece of advice: nothing is more frustrating than spending a lot of time typing out a post and having it disappear through a glitch in Canvas or forgetting to click on the “reply” button, so to avoid this potential frustration, I’d suggest typing out your posts in a word document first and then copying and pasting the posts into the reply box in the discussion forum.