AGENDAExam 2: TermsPresentation: Introduction to Essay #3 How to write a response to literatureDiscussion: Stone Butch BluesIn-class writing: Thesis, outline, topicsentences, and body paragraphs
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 ze ultimately becomes. Jess; explain how the socialConsider both hir experiences pressure to conform contributes to hir growth, development, andand those of people ze ultimate identity.encounters. Consider multiple settings and Think about not only who social groups, for passes, but for whom they example, home, school, work, b ars, 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 the moments of social pressure; shape, influence, or change analyze those moments to prove how they shape, influence, or hir. 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; Document her responses and
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 ______________________.
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 notfutile, 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.
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 andrefine it so that it reflects your newunderstanding of your topic. This step and theprevious step (selecting evidence) areactually best done at the same time, sinceselecting your evidence and defining thefocus of your paper depend upon each other.Dont forget to consider the scope of yourproject: how long is the paper supposed tobe, and what can you reasonably cover in a
ThesisIn Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg describesthe development of protagonist, JessGoldberg, through a series of moments ofresistance to a society that cannot, or will notaccept hir. This book shows that socialpressure, oppression, and violence act notonly as forces of conformity, but also aspowerful sources of agency; they can inspirepeople to challenge injustice in pursuit ofliberty.
Organize your evidenceOnce you have a clear thesis you can go back toyour list of selected evidence and group all thesimilar details together. The ideas that tie theseclusters of evidence together can then become theclaims that you’ll make in your paper. As you beginthinking about what claims you can make (i.e. whatkinds of conclusion you can come to) keep in mindthat they should not only relate to all the evidencebut also clearly support your thesis. Once you’resatisfied with the way you’ve grouped your evidenceand with the way that your claims relate to yourthesis, you can begin to consider the most logical
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• Post #19: Finish and post in-class writing. • Outline • Tentative Thesis • Essay Sections: Section Sentences • Body paragraph topic sentences and evidence (quotations). Explanation notes are optional.