Literature Homework

Phase 2 Discussion Board
Deliverable Length: 2 parts: See Assignment Details
Details:

Reminder: Initial Discussion Board posts due by Wednesday, responses due by Sunday

Students will be expected to post their first initial discussion board posting by Wednesday of each week. Discussion posts will be graded and late submissions will be assigned a late penalty in accordance with the late penalty policy found in the syllabus. NOTE: All submission posting times are based on midnight Central Time.

Students are expected to post their responses to peers by Sunday. NOTE: All submission posting times are based on midnight Central Time.

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In your text, read “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, a fictional story taken from the novel, The Joy Luck Club. This is another piece about the American Dream and the experiences of different ethnic groups that must live simultaneously in two cultures. Immigrants need to master the “and”—the ability to hold on to their origins and yet adapt to the new worlds they find themselves in. In “Two Kinds,” Amy Tan writes about Jing-mei, the protagonist, being a Chinese woman establishing herself as an American. Write your reactions and insights about this piece, answering the questions listed in the Primary Task Response section.

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

  1. What does the title refer to? Note the first sentence and the last. Comment on how the writer takes you back to where Jing-mei began.
  2. How does the author provide a portrait of her Chinese mother’s suffering and values without directly describing them? Do you think the Jing-mei’s point of view is realistic, highly biased, or both? Is the first person voice—as she is telling the story—effective as a technique? How might the story be different if told by the mother, the father, or an invisible narrator?
  3. What does the piano symbolize? Comment on the meaning of the piano in the Jing-mei’s life—first in childhood and then later when she looks back from the perspective of time.
  4. What lessons did the Jing-mei learn about herself and her heritage? Was she a genius?
  5. What is your own experience of maintaining an identity that is different from the dominant culture? Have you ever experienced having to live in two different cultures? If this does not strike a chord in your own life, talk about someone you know who is an immigrant and deals with keeping a heritage and identity while becoming part of the cultural norms of American society.
  6. What is the role of literature in providing a mirror of the iconic American experience—that of being an immigrant, so that immigrants and American-born citizens both can gain greater understanding and empathy and know that they are not alone in their struggles?

 

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