AGENDAExam 2: TermsPresentation: Introduction to Essay #3 How to write a response to literatureDiscussion: Stone Butch BluesIn-class writing: Thesis, outline, and bodyparagraphs
Take 20minutesTo finish your exam. If youfinish early, feel free to stepoutside.
Essay #3Stone Butch Blues offers manyways to read the challenges ofgrowing to adulthood. Each of theconflicts Jess and her friends facespeaks to readers differently, andfor this reason, I offer you severalchoices. In a thesis driven essay of1000 to 1500 words, respond toone of the following prompts. Youneed only the primary text for thisessay, but you may use others ifyou want to incorporate additionalsupport. Remember, you can alsodraw on your own experiences andknowledge to discuss, explain, andanalyze your topic.
Topic: Choose OneExplore Jess’s coming of age All people are subject to society’sthrough moments of both demand for conformity. This, as we discussed in class, has bothintentional and unintentional positive and negative outcomes.passing in Stone Butch Blues. For this essay, trace that demandShow how these passing for conformity by identifying themoments shape her into the social pressures that influenceperson she ultimately becomes. Jess; explain how the socialConsider both hir experiences pressure to conform contributes to her growth, development, andand those of people she ultimate identity.encounters. Consider multiple settings and Think about not only who social groups, for example, passes, but for whom they home, school, work, bars, and hospitals. are passing. Think about who has power and Use textual evidence to show how and why that power is the moments of passing; wielded. analyze those moments to Use textual evidence to show prove how they shape, the moments of social pressure; influence, or change hir. analyze those moments to prove how they shape, influence, or change hir.
Or one of theseFor this essay, explore instances Jess interacts with medical personneland methods of resistance to in various ways throughout the novel.oppressions based on gender For this essay, explore Jess’sidentity development, experience with doctors, nurses, clinics, hospitals, and psychiatricsocioeconomic structures, race, institutions. Show how her genderand sex (or combinations of these identity influences the treatment shemarkers) in Stone Butch Blues. receives (or doesn’t receive); analyzeDiscuss how moments of and explain the effects of herresistance contribute to Jess’s experiences on her social,identity development. Consider psychological, and physicalJess’s masculinity, her working- development. Consider multipleclass status, her Jewish heritage, encounters with health professionalsher female body and expected or visits to healthcare facilities. Think both about her primary care but alsosocial role, and her lesbianism (or how she sees others treated.combinations of these identitymarkers) and the moments of Think about the authority ofprejudice, discrimination, medical professionals and how that authority influences socialviolence, or inhumane treatment values.based on them. Use textual evidence to show the Think about how Jess resists encounters with medical these oppressions. professionals; analyze those Use textual evidence to show moments to show how Jess internalizes the experiences. the moments of oppression;
HOW TO WRITE ARESPONSE TOLITERATUREAdapted from a handout from The WritingCenter, University of North Carolina at ChapelHill
Interpretations of fiction are generally opinions, but not all opinions are equal.A good, valid, and interesting interpretation will dothe following: avoid the obvious (in other words, it won’t argue a conclusion that most readers could reach on their own from a general knowledge of the story) support its main points with strong evidence from the story use careful reasoning to explain how that evidence relates to the main points of the interpretation.
Be Familiar with the TextA good paper begins with the writer having asolid understanding of the work that he or sheinterprets. Being able to have the whole text inyour head when you begin thinking throughideas will actually allow you to write the papermore quickly in the long run. Spend some time just thinking about the story.Flip back through the book and consider whatinterests you about this book—what seemedstrange, new, or important?
Explore Potential TopicsEven though you have a list of topics from whichto choose, you must develop your owninterpretation.Consider how you might approach each topic. What will your answer to each question show about the text? So what? Why will anyone care?Try this phrase for each prompt: “This bookshows ________________. This is importantbecause ______________________.
Finding an AngleThink about ways into the text; trycompleting this phrase for each prompt“This book shows ________________.This is important because______________________.
Select a Topic with Plenty of EvidenceNarrow down your list of Jot down all the events orpossible topics by elements of the story thatidentifying how much have some bearing on theevidence or how many two topics that seem mostdetails you could use to promising.investigate each potentialissue. Don’t launch into a topic without considering all theKeep in mind that options first because youpersuasive papers rely on may end up with a topic thatample evidence and that seemed promising initiallyhaving a lot of details to but that only leads to a deadchoose from can make your end.paper easier to write.
Jot down all the events or elements of the story that have some bearing on the two topics that seem most promising. Topic One: Medical Personnel Topic Two: Resistance Mental institution when Resisted Annie Oakley Jess was young outfit. Mastectomy Fought with police Women’s clinic Resisted wearing a dress to Ro’s funeral
Developing a WorkingThesisBased on the evidence that relates to yourtopic—and what you anticipate you mightsay about those pieces of evidence—compose a working thesis. Think about whatyou want to show the reader.
Thesis Possibility:This book shows that Jess’s resistance to oppressionbased on gender identity development, socioeconomicstructures, race, and sex contributed to Jess’s growth anddevelopment because it made her strong. This isimportant because it shows that resistance is not futile,that resisting oppression liberates people from it.
Write Out a Working Thesis Try this phrase again: “This book (orFeinberg) shows ________________.This is important because_____________________. Remember, this will probably change some as your insights develop into a more complex idea.
Make an extended list of evidenceSkim back over the story and makea more comprehensive list of thedetails that relate to your point.As you make your notes keep trackof page numbers so you can quicklyfind the passages in your book againwhen you need them.
Take into account components of fiction• Plot: Think of this as the "who did what to whom" part of the story. Stone Butch Blues is a bildungsroman (this is just a German term for a novel that is centered around the development of its main characters). Jess’s development is essential to the plot.• Point of view: Who is telling the story and what does the narrator know or not know? Can the reader trust that person to give an objective account, or does that narrator color the story with his or her own biases and interests?• Character: This refers to the qualities assigned to the individual figures in the plot. Consider why the author assigns certain qualities to a character or characters and how any such qualities might relate to your topic. Consider symbols associated with characters.• Setting: This is the environment in which all of the actions take place. What is the time period, the location, the time of day, the season, the weather, the type of room or building? What is the general mood, and who is present?
Select your evidence• Once you’ve made your expanded list of evidence, decide which supporting details are the strongest. First, select the facts which bear the closest relation to your thesis statement. Second, choose the pieces of evidence you’ll be able to say the most about. Readers tend to be more dazzled with your interpretations of evidence than with a lot of quotes from the book.• Select the details that will allow you to show off your own reasoning skills and allow you to help the reader see the story in a way he or she may not have seen it
Refine your thesisNow, go back to your working thesis and refine itso that it reflects your new understanding of yourtopic. This step and the previous step (selectingevidence) are actually best done at the sametime, since selecting your evidence and definingthe focus of your paper depend upon each other. Dont forget to consider the scope of yourproject: how long is the paper supposed to be,and what can you reasonably cover in a paper ofthat length?
ThesisIn Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg describesthe development of protagonist, Jess Goldberg,through a series of moments of resistance to asociety that cannot, or will not accept hir. Thisbook shows that social pressure, oppression,and violence act not only as forces ofconformity, but also as powerful sources ofagency; they can inspire people to challengeinjustice in pursuit of liberty.
Organize your evidenceOnce you have a clear thesis you can go back to yourlist of selected evidence and group all the similar detailstogether. The ideas that tie these clusters of evidencetogether can then become the claims that you’ll make inyour paper. As you begin thinking about what claims youcan make (i.e. what kinds of conclusion you can cometo) keep in mind that they should not only relate to all theevidence but also clearly support your thesis. Onceyou’re satisfied with the way you’ve grouped yourevidence and with the way that your claims relate to yourthesis, you can begin to consider the most logical way toorganize each of those claims.
Interpret your evidenceAvoid the temptation to load your paper with evidence from yourstory. Each time you use a specific reference to your story, besure to explain the significance of that evidence in your ownwords. To get your readers’ interest, you need to draw theirattention to elements of the story that they wouldn’t necessarilynotice or understand on their own. If you are quoting passageswithout interpreting them, you’re not demonstrating yourreasoning skills or helping the reader. In most cases, interpretingyour evidence merely involves putting into your paper what isalready in your head. Remember that we, as readers, are lazy—all of us. We don’t want to have to figure out a writer’s reasoningfor ourselves; we want all the thinking to be done for us in thepaper.
Introduction: Directed Summary (We will discuss this next time we meet)Transition to Thesis Statement (We will discuss this next time we meet)Thesis StatementSection A Body Paragraph 1 Body Paragraph 2Section B Body Paragraph 3 Body Paragraph 4Section C Body Paragraph 5 Body Paragraph 6Counterargument (We will discuss this next time we meet)Conclusion (We will discuss this next time we meet)
Thesis: This book shows that social pressure, oppression, and violence act not only as forces of conformity, but also as powerful sources of agency; they can inspire people to challenge injustice in pursuit of liberty.Section A: Social Pressure is a powerful source of agency that works to inspireJess to challenge injustice.Par 1: Social pressure from the larger social construct that inspires Jess to challengeinjustice.Par 2: Social pressure from inside of the lesbian community that inspires Jess tochallenge injustice.Section B: Oppression is a powerful source of agency that works to inspire Jessto challenge injustice.Par 3: Gender expression oppression inspires Jess to challenge injustice.Par 4: Discrimination/oppression at work/hospital/school inspires Jess to challengeinjustice.Section C: Violence is a powerful source of agency that works to inspire Jess tochallenge injustice.Par 5: Emotional/Mental Abuse (violence) inspires Jess to challenge injusticePar 6: Physical Abuse (violence) inspires Jess to challenge injustice.
HOMEWORK• Reading: Begin M Butterfly• Writing: Finish and post in-class writing. • Outline • Tentative Thesis • Essay Sections: Section Sentences • Body paragraphs with topic sentences and evidence (quotations) with explanations.