JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT: “THE CIRCUIT”
Literary critics zoom in on particular words and phrases in order to unpack them and find the deeper meaning in a text. For your first Journal assignment, then, identify and discuss what you feel is the most powerful statement made by Panchito, the narrator of this week’s story, “The Circuit.” Of all the sentences in this story, which one do you think holds the greatest significance and why? Does it represent an overarching theme of the story? Or does it reveal something important about Panchito’s character? Or perhaps you believe that it conveys a lesson you feel the author is trying to teach us as readers? Or maybe it contains key symbolism that illuminates the story’s message?
To complete this assignment successfully, be sure to do all of the following:
Present your quotation early and clearly–and place it inside quotation marks.
Do not quote more than one or two sentences–the shorter the quotation, the better, since it will encourage you to focus.
Discuss the denotations and connotations of single words within the quotation.
Get very specific by zooming into particular words and phrases and their importance, and then connect them to what you think are the larger themes or message of the story as a whole.
(Note: Please don’t use the final line of the story, since we’ll have discussed that together as a class on the Blog!)
The best Journal entries are creative, lively, intellectually ambitious, and curious. They take risks rather than playing it safe. Have a personal experience you want to weave in to illustrate a point? Go for it! Have a metaphor of your own that shines some light on an idea? Use it! Be interesting, and be yourself–tell me what you’re really thinking and don’t imagine that there is a formula I want you to use. There isn’t!
Minimum word count: 300 words (more is great!)
The journal entry should include 1 quotation from “The Circuit”–no more, no less
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