AGENDAExam 2: TermsPresentation: Introduction to Essay #3How 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 ofthe conflicts Jess and herfriends face speaks to readersdifferently, and for this reason, Ioffer you several choices. In athesis driven essay of 4-6pages, respond to one of thefollowing prompts. You needonly the primary text for thisessay, but you may use othersif you want to incorporateadditional support. Remember,you can also draw on your ownexperiences and knowledge todiscuss, explain, and analyzeyour topic.
Topic: Choose OneExplore Jess’s coming of agethrough moments of bothintentional and unintentionalpassing in Stone Butch Blues.Show how these passingmoments shape her into theperson ze ultimately becomes.Consider both hir experiencesand those of people zeencounters.Think about not only whopasses, but for whom theyare passing.Use textual evidence to showthe moments of passing;analyze those moments toprove how they shape,influence, or change hir.All people are subject to society’sdemand for conformity. This, aswe discussed in class, has bothpositive and negative outcomes.For this essay, trace that demandfor conformity by identifying thesocial pressures that influenceJess; explain how the socialpressure to conform contributesto hir growth, development, andultimate identity.Consider multiple settings andsocial groups, for example,home, school, work, bars, andhospitals.Think about who has power andhow and why that power iswielded.Use textual evidence to showthe moments of social pressure;analyze those moments to provehow they shape, influence, orchange hir.
Or one of theseFor this essay, explore instances andmethods of resistance to oppressionsbased on gender identitydevelopment, socioeconomicstructures, race, and sex (orcombinations of these markers) inStone Butch Blues. Discuss howmoments of resistance contribute toJess’s identity development. ConsiderJess’s masculinity, her working-classstatus, her Jewish heritage, herfemale body and expected socialrole, and her lesbianism (orcombinations of these identitymarkers) and the moments ofprejudice, discrimination, violence, orinhumane treatment based on them.Think about how Jess resiststhese oppressions.Use textual evidence to show themoments of oppression; analyzethose moments to showresistance.Jess interacts with medical personnel invarious ways throughout the novel. Forthis essay, explore Jess’s experience withdoctors, nurses, clinics, hospitals, andpsychiatric institutions. Show how hergender identity influences the treatmentshe receives (or doesn’t receive); analyzeand explain the effects of her experienceson her social, psychological, and physicaldevelopment. Consider multipleencounters with health professionals orvisits to healthcare facilities. Think bothabout her primary care but also how shesees others treated.Think about the authority of medicalprofessionals and how that authorityinfluences social values.Use textual evidence to show theencounters with medicalprofessionals; analyze thosemoments to show how Jessinternalizes the experiences.Document her responses and explainher behavior.
HOW TO WRITE ARESPONSE TOLITERATUREAdapted from a handout from The WritingCenter, University of North Carolina at ChapelHill
Interpretations of fiction aregenerally opinions, but not allopinions are equal.A good, valid, and interesting interpretation will dothe following:avoid the obvious (in other words, it won’t argue aconclusion that most readers could reach on theirown from a general knowledge of the story)support its main points with strong evidence from thestoryuse careful reasoning to explain how that evidencerelates 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 fromwhich to choose, you must develop yourown interpretation.Consider how you might approach eachtopic.What will your answer to each questionshow about the text?So what? Why will anyone care?Try this phrase for each prompt: “Thisbook shows ________________. This isimportant because______________________.1. Passing2. Conformity3. Resistance4. Interactionwith medicalprofessionals
Select a Topic with Plentyof EvidenceNarrow down your list ofpossible topics byidentifying how muchevidence or how manydetails you could use toinvestigate each potentialissue.Keep in mind thatpersuasive papers rely onample evidence and thathaving a lot of details tochoose from can make yourpaper easier to write.Jot down all the events orelements of the story thathave some bearing on thetwo topics that seem mostpromising.Don’t launch into a topicwithout considering all theoptions first because youmay end up with a topic thatseemed promising initiallybut that only leads to a deadend.
Jot down all the events or elements of thestory that have some bearing on the twotopics that seem most promising.Topic One: MedicalPersonnelMental institution whenJess was youngMastectomyWomen’s clinicMilli to the veterinarianfor broken armTopic Two: ResistanceResisted Annie Oakleyoutfit.Fought with police inAlleyResisted wearing adress to Ro’s funeral
Developing a WorkingThesisBased on the evidence that relates to yourtopic—and what you anticipate you might sayabout those pieces of evidence—compose aworking thesis. Think about what you want toshow the reader.1. Passing2. Conformity3. Resistance4. Interaction with medical professionals
Thesis Possibility:ResistanceThis book shows that Jess’s resistance tooppression, based on gender identitydevelopment, socioeconomic structures, race,and sex, contributes to Jess’s growth anddevelopment because it makes hir strong. Thisis important because it shows that resistance isnot futile, that resisting oppression liberatespeople from it.
Write Out a Working Thesis Try this phrase again:This book (or Feinberg) shows________________.This is important because_____________________. Remember, this willprobably evolve as yourinsights develop into amore complex idea.1. Passing2. Conformity3. Resistance4. Interaction withmedicalprofessionals
Make an extended list ofevidence Skim 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 canquickly find the passages in yourbook again when 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 yourthesis statement. Second, choose the pieces ofevidence you’ll be able to say the most about. Readerstend to be more dazzled with your interpretations ofevidence than with a lot of quotes from the book. Select the details that will allow you to show off yourown reasoning skills and allow you to help the readersee the story in a way he or she may not have seen itbefore.
Refine your thesis Now, 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 your project:how long is the paper supposed to be, and whatcan you reasonably cover in a paper of thatlength?
Refined Thesis: ResistanceThis book shows that social pressure,oppression, and violence act not only asforces of conformity, but also as powerfulsources of agency; they can inspire people tochallenge injustice 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 ABody Paragraph 1Body Paragraph 2Section BBody Paragraph 3Body Paragraph 4Section CBody Paragraph 5Body Paragraph 6Counterargument (We will discuss this next time we meet)Conclusion (We will discuss this next time we meet)
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.Thesis: This book shows that social pressure, oppression, and violence actnot only as forces of conformity, but also as powerful sources of agency;they can inspire people to challenge injustice in pursuit of liberty.
HOMEWORK• Reading: Begin M Butterfly• Post # 19: Writing: Finish and post in-class writing.• Outline• Tentative Thesis• Essay Sections: Section Sentences• Body paragraphs with topicsentences and evidence(quotations) with explanations.