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Part A

  • List the best 3 pieces of fiction you’ve ever read. Fictional pieces include stories, essays, novels or poems, and not biographies, documentaries, or how-to books.
  • What did you like about them?
  • Define literature in your own words.
  • Comment on why you think literature is valuable or, if you don’t think so, why it is a waste of time. 

Part B 

This assignment begins the process of exposing you to various forms of short fiction.

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  • In Literature, a Portable Anthology, Read the short story “What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie.
  • Write a brief thought piece addressing the Primary Task Response section listed below.

As in each Discussion Board, you will post your assignment and respond to 2 colleagues’ essays. Engaging in dialogue with fellow learners is one of the best ways to deepen your learning experience.

Read 2 other students’ postings, and discuss how their experiences relate to yours. Discuss how the “story” and literature can provide learning and insight about our own lives and our world.

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 600–700 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 are the main points of this piece? What do you think the author wanted the reader to take away from it?
  2. What are the images the author conjures for the reader?
  3. What does the grandmother’s regalia symbolize?
  4. How does the author use the element of surprise?
  5. What is the view of human nature, as portrayed in the story (in the character of the speaker, the people he encounters, and the pawnbroker)?
  6. Summary: In what ways does this story affect you? Have you had any similar experiences? What did you take away with you from this piece? Comment on the impact that a brief story can have on the reader. 
  7. Include a brief personal reflection on what you got out of the short story “What You Pawn, I Redeem.” What does this story offer about alternative viewpoints on the American Dream?   
  8. Comment on what you think the author’s point was, why he was motivated to write this story, and whether it was successful. Do you relate in any way to the experience of the author? Please share any personal story that this brings up for you and post.

 

Literature homework help