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Possibilities for Class Direction

Like Abby, the first thought I had for this class was something like Harry Potter, or a current mainstrem novel that appeals to the masses, such as Twilight.  Using Twilight as a starting point, I would try to find the influences that created the storyline and gave the author inspiration for writing the novel itself.  For example, relating it to a classic like Dracula.  Although this is a typical course descrption, there are ways to create more levels to it.  Taking from Tara's post, using the history of when these novels were written and integrating that into our understanding of why these ideas came up.  One difficulty that I would try to avoid with this course is bringing excess philosophical conversations into classes.  I know, personally, that is where I am having the most difficulty in finding connections to the conversation topic, or even relevant points to contribute to the class.

That being said, the more we discuss the contexts and character traits of the characters in Sorrows of an American, I am begining to understand more and more why Professor Dalke chose this novel.  Everytime I am seeing comparisons (convergence) and dissimilarities (divergence) between chosing Whitman and Hustvedt.  For example, the relatibility to the experiences of the characters can be compared to the generality of Whitmans descriptions of people.  I feel as though these convergences and divergences are helping me further understand not only the direction of the course, but the texts themselves.  Had I read Whitman by itself, for the purpose of this class and with the intent of analyzing the piece of work, I do not think I would have appreciated it.  Especially when it is paired with  Hustvedt, I am finding more layers and meanings in both texts that I would not have come to understand had they been read alone.  


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