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Notes Towards Day 17: Continuing Prodigal Summer

I. A Day of Choosing: Election Day!

relevant issue---->
A California Ballot Measure Offers Rights for Farm Animals
Proposition 2 would require that animals be provided room to turn around, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs

"a well-intended initiative for animals with some very negative unintended consequences for people,” the ballot measure is being pushed by “wealthy, narrow-minded elitists” who do not understand its real-world consequences]

Cf. The Paradox of Choice:
what does the novel tell us about choosing?
who chooses? what part of what selves?
how much choice/free will does it give the characters?
"Most people lived so far from it, they thought you could just choose, carnivore or vegatarian, without knowing that...just clearing the land...had killed about everything on half the world" (323).
"It didn't matter what she chose. The world was what it was, a place with its own rules of hunger and satisfaction. Creatures...would go their own ways, of their own accord" (365).
(That's the quote for this week's forum-->
does it matter what you choose??)

II. Second big choice this week is what to do with this paper...

Re-write last week's 3 pp., correcting technicalities
(quotes! p. #s for quotes! works cited!)
AND expanding on your original reading of the novel to 6 pp:
how can you do this?
--build a "turn" into the argument:
use Kingsolver to critique the critic
(ex: Lydia on Garnett as unhappy "satisficer")
--add another critic (surprise: no one used Pollan....)
--"enter" the conversation yourself:
where do you stand in the conversation you set up,
last week, between novelist and critic?

III. Reading two samples
(supplied by Michelle and Anna)
and advising them on next steps/filling in....
(do all of us, in small groups, on Thursday)

IV. using other/earlier texts to read the novel
(a "top-down" approach,
vs. last week's "bottom-up" one...)

O's Dilemma:
177: "I don't love animals as individuals...I love them as a whole species...they should have the right to persist in their own ways"

293: "despair...for all the things people used to grow and make for themselves before they were widowed from their own food chain."

323: "You can consider the costs of your various choices."

348-9: "specializing makes life more risky. If their food dies, they die."

V. Can we choose what kind of story
we tell about what happens?
Does this story get revised during the process of its telling?

87: His eyesight had clouded to cataracts so slowly that his mind has learned how to fill in details like fence wire, tree leaves, and the more subtle features of a face."

Not exactly ambiguous figures, but an example of
the mind guessing / developing its own stories....

304: Cole Widener..stolen by death...It was a Greek tragedy.
322: the undercurrent of tragedy that went with farming.
And the hallelujahs of it, too....

437: There was no plan to speak of...all these scattered accounts were really parts of one long story, the history of a family that had stayed on its land. And that story was hers now as well.

One way to read the novel:
as a re-interpretation
of the story of
what is "normal," what is "right" in farming...
about making different choices....