Reading Response Guidelines
For each Reading Response, you will discuss each assigned reading in 2-5 sentences for a total of 50 words or more
1.) What is the theme or moral of what you read and why do you feel this way (include at least one specific quote for each work and/or reference at least one specific passage or part – and the page number for fiction or drama or line number for poetry).
2.) What is your opinion of each work you read? Did you like the work and why or why not? How did the work make you feel and at what part? Be specific
3.) Would you consider this work to be literature – why or why not – and would you recommend others read this work? Again, be specific.
The more detailed you are in your responses, the easier the reflection essays will be when you write them -and subsequently the research essays.
In “Oliver’s Evolution” by John Updike, the theme is each person makes their own life, no matter the hardships they have encountered or what kind of parents or upbringing they have had. Updike adds an added thesis of expectations and how when we find someone who is worse off than ourselves, it is a true demonstration of character if we can rise above in order to help those weaker than ourselves, as Oliver did with his wife and children. He became a better parent than his parents and a better man than many in society today by taking responsibility for his decisions and actions and doing what he knew was right to help those who needed help and couldn’t save themselves. In doing so, he also saved himself. I loved this story and found the theme to be completely accurate. I also like how short the story is and how easy the writing was to follow. I would consider this story literature because it has a so many significant themes and really grabs and sticks with the reader, letting them understand more about themselves.