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59 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Name three parallels between Star Wars and The Odyssey
1. Odysseus/R2D2-C3PO both take journey to a foreign place
2. Telemachus and Like both have childhood without a father
3. The force controls the galaxy, the gods control the characters in the Odyssey
List traits of an epic hero
1. Unusual circumstances surround the epic hero's birth
2. destined to be great from a young age
3. epic hero is tested to prove his worthiness
4. call to action, leading to a journey
5. has unusual strength and also a weakness
6. often accompanied by a sidekick
7. usually has a mentor or guide
8. not invincible
9. quest includes descent into darkness (literal or metaphorical)
10. attains enlightenment
11. after task is accomplished, returns home, a leader of his people
hasidism means...
"pious one" in Hebrew
Hasidism stresses
joy, faith and ecstatic prayer, accompanied by song and dance
The hasidic ideal is to live a hallowed life in which...
...the most mundane action is santified
Hasidism is sometimes confused with
Before a quote, do not use a comma. Use a...
When writing an essay, avoid personal words. What does this mean?
e.g., pronouns like "I" and "you"
Elements of a personal narrative
1. focus on one event in a person's life
2. are highly descriptive
3. take the 1st person point of view
4. have strong voice
5. have a narrative structure (beginning middle end)
6. convey emotions experienced at the time
7. take place in one seting (time period and location)
8. include a reflection
9. can take the past or present tense
10. reveal the author's personality
A noun is a naming word. It names a person, place, thing, idea, living creature, quality, or action.
A verb is a word which describes an action (doing something) or a state (being something).
An adjective is a word that describes a noun. It tells you something about the noun.
Part of speech: Adverb
An adverb is a word which usually describes a verb. It tells you how something is done. It may also tell you when or where something happened.
Part of speech: pronoun
A pronoun is used instead of a noun, to avoid repeating the noun.
Part of speech: Conjunction
A conjunction joins two words, phrases or sentences together.
Part of speech: Preposition
A preposition usually comes before a noun, pronoun or noun phrase. It joins the noun to some other part of the sentence. Examples:
on, in, by, with, under, through, at
Part of speech: interjection
An interjection is an unusual kind of word, because it often stands alone. Interjections are words which express emotion or surprise, and they are usually followed by exclamation marks.
part of speech: article
An article is used to introduce a noun. Examples:
the, a, an
Types of nouns
Proper nouns are the names of specific things, people, or places, such as Chicoutimi and Christine. They usually begin with a capital letter.

Common nouns are general names such as person, mansion, and book. They can be either concrete or abstract.

Concrete nouns refer to things which you can sense such as clock and telephone.

Abstract nouns refer to ideas or qualities such as liberty and truth.
sentence structure: simple sentence
Ice melts.
The ice melts quickly.
sentence structure: compound sentence
Canada is a rich country, but still it has many poor people.
complex sentence
A complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. Unlike a compound sentence, however, a complex sentence contains clauses which are not equal. Consider the following examples:

My friend invited me to a party. I do not want to go.
My friend invited me to a party, but I do not want to go.
Although my friend invited me to a party, I do not want to go.
Uses of colons
Some uses of the colon are purely conventional--after the greeting in business letters (Dear Mr. Johnson:), between the hour and minute in expressions of time (2:30 a.m.), between a title and subtitle (George Washington: A Man of His Time), and between book and verse numbers in biblical citations (I Corinthians:2-5)—and those uses will not be discussed in this handout. But other uses of the colon have a grammatical purpose, and since those uses are the ones that are most often misunderstood, they are the ones we will consider.

Colons (:) can be used as sentence connectors in several ways: to introduce lists or series, including bulleted lists; to introduce quotations, including block quotations; and, in special circumstances, to join two sentences to create a compound sentence.
The main rule for correctly punctuating with colons is
to make sure that what comes before the colon is a complete grammatical construction (usually a complete sentence)
To test whether you have used a colon correctly or incorrectly, delete the information after the colon to see if what is left is a sentence that can stand alone.
If the information does stand alone, then you have used the colon correctly.

If the information that comes before the colon cannot stand alone, then you shouldn’t use a colon there.
We often use colons to set up lists or series of items when we want to emphasize the list or series for some reason. We use the colon in such cases to point to the information that comes after it. But the main rule for using colons still applies: the information that comes before the colon must be a complete sentence.

Give an example
The AMA has identified four major symptoms of drug abuse:

* Red eyes,
* Problems with comprehension,
* Withdrawal from social interaction, and
* Depression.
If you haven’t already noticed the pattern, let me say again, when you use a colon to introduce a quotation, the information that comes before the colon must be a complete sentence.

Give an example:
Ex.: Frederick expresses his concern about heart disease: “Deaths from heart disease in America will increase five-fold in the next twenty years.”
use a semicolon to:
link two independent clauses

Some people write with a word processor; others write with a pen or pencil.
use a semicolon to:
link clauses connected by conjunctive adverbs or transitional phrases:

But however they choose to write, people are allowed to make their own decisions; as a result, many people swear by their writing methods.
Why Should Your Essay Contain A Thesis Statement?
* to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
* to better organize and develop your argument
* to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument
How to Tell a Strong Thesis Sentence from a Weak One.
1. A strong thesis takes some sort of stand.

2. A strong thesis justifies discussion.

3. A strong thesis expresses one main idea.

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.
Odyssey theme:
The power of cunning over strength
If the Iliad is about strength, the Odyssey is about cunning, a difference that becomes apparent in the very first lines of the epics. Whereas the Iliad tells the story of the rage of Achilles, the strongest hero in the Greek army, the Odyssey focuses on a “man of twists and turns” (1.1). Odysseus does have extraordinary strength, as he demonstrates in Book 21 by being the only man who can string the bow. But he relies much more on mind than muscle, a tendency that his encounters showcase. He knows that he cannot overpower Polyphemus, for example, and that, even if he were able to do so, he wouldn’t be able to budge the boulder from the door. He thus schemes around his disadvantage in strength by exploiting Po1yphemus’s stupidity. Though he does use violence to put out Polyphemus’s single eye, this display of strength is part of a larger plan to deceive the brute.
Odyssey theme:
The pitfalls of temptation
The initial act that frustrated so many Achaeans’ homecoming was the work of an Achaean himself: Ajax (the “Lesser” Ajax, a relatively unimportant figure not to be confused with the “Greater” Ajax, whom Odysseus meets in Hades) raped the Trojan priestess Cassandra in a temple while the Greeks were plundering the fallen city. That act of impulse, impiety, and stupidity brought the wrath of Athena upon the Achaean fleet and set in motion the chain of events that turned Odysseus’s homecoming into a long nightmare. It is fit that the Odyssey is motivated by such an event, for many of the pitfalls that Odysseus and his men face are likewise obstacles that arise out of mortal weakness and the inability to control it. The submission to temptation or recklessness either angers the gods or distracts Odysseus and the members of his crew from their journey: they yield to hunger and slaughter the Sun’s flocks, and they eat the fruit of the lotus and forget about their homes.
Odyssey theme:
Home, wandering, and fidelity:
The title of The Odyssey has given us a word to describe a journey of epic proportions. Throughout his travels, Odysseus' central emotion is loneliness. We first encounter him as he pines away for home, alone on Kalypso's beach, and he is not above weeping when thinking of home at other points. He also endures great loss through the deaths of his brothers-in-arms from the Trojan War and his shipmates afterward. Loneliness pervades the emotions of other characters; Penelope is nearly in constant tears over her absent husband, Telemakhos has never known his legendary father, and Odysseus' mother explains that loneliness caused her death.
Odyssey theme:
Odysseus' most prominent characteristic is his cunning; Homer's Greek audience generally admired the trait but occasionally disdained it for its dishonest connotations. Odysseus' skill at improvising false stories or devising plans is nearly incomparable in Western literature. His Trojan horse scheme (recounted here and written about in The Iliad) and his multiple tricks against Polyphemos are shining examples of his ingenuity, especially when getting out of jams.
Odyssey theme:
Thinking of hospitality as a major theme in a literary work may seem odd to modern readers. In Homer’s world, however, hospitality is essential. Fagles and Knox (p. 45) refer to hospitality as a dominant part of “the only code of moral conduct that obtains in the insecure world of The Odyssey.”

Arriving strangers may be dangerous or harmless, and residents are wise to be prepared for trouble. Often, however, strangers are but wayfarers, probably in need of at least some kind of help. Similarly, the residents themselves—or their friends or kin—may, at some time, be wayfarers. Civilized people, therefore, make an investment in hospitality to demonstrate their quality as human beings and in hopes that their own people will be treated well when they travel. Furthermore, communications are very primitive in Homer’s world, and strangers bring and receive news. It was through visitors that the Homeric Greeks learned about and kept abreast of what was happening in the world beyond their local areas.

Hospitality, or the lack of it, affects Odysseus throughout the epic, and the reader can judge civility by the degree of hospitality offered. Odysseus’ own home has been taken over by a horde of suitors who crudely take advantage of Ithaca’s long-standing tradition of hospitality. Telemachus and Penelope lack the strength to evict them, nor can they hope for much help from the community because the suitors represent some of the strongest families in the area. In his wanderings, Odysseus receives impressive help from the Phaeacians and, initially, from Aeolus. Circe is of great assistance after Odysseus conquers her, and the Lotus-eaters might be a little too helpful. On the other hand, the Sirens are sweet-sounding hosts of death, and Cyclops (Polyphemus) makes no pretense toward hospitality. In fact, Polyphemus scoffs at the concept and the gods that support it.
Odyssey theme:
Another personal virtue that is a major theme in the epic is loyalty. The most striking example of loyalty in the epic is, of course, Penelope, who waits faithfully for 20 years for her husband’s return. Another example is Telemachus, who stands by his father against the suitors. Odysseus’ old nurse, Eurycleia, remains loyal to Penelope and her absent master. Eumaeus, the swineherd, and Philoetius, the cowherd, are exemplary in their loyalty to their master and his possessions. Also an excellent if humble host, Eumaeus makes his king proud as he speaks respectfully of the royal family and abhors the invasion of the suitors.

In contrast are goatherd Melanthius and maidservant Melantho. Melanthius has become friendly with the suitors and insults Odysseus while the king is still in disguise. Melantho goes even further, sleeping with the enemy, showing disrespect for the queen, and insulting the beggar/Odysseus. The loyal servants are rewarded; those who betray their master are dealt with more harshly.

This issue, however, can be complicated because many of the people from whom Odysseus expects loyalty are actually his property. Even his wife, Penelope, literally belongs to her husband. As abhorrent as that may seem to a modern reader, possession is part of the justification for a double standard when it comes to sexual fidelity. Penelope is expected to be absolutely faithful to her husband. Given the account of the battle in the hall at the end of the epic, one might well imagine what would happen to her upon Odysseus’ return if she were not. Odysseus, on the other hand, is not bound by the same expectation of fidelity.
Odyssey theme:
enelope and Odysseus especially embody the theme of perseverance. One of the reasons that they are well matched is that they are both survivors. Odysseus has been absent for 20 years, 10 at the Trojan War and 10 more in his journey home. According to the most aggressive of the suitors, Antinous, Penelope has persevered against the invaders for about four years (2.96), playing one against another and confronting them with cunning, most notably exemplified in her ruse of weaving a shroud for her father-in-law, Laertes.

Odysseus’ perseverance is legendary, especially in the section of the epic involving his wanderings (Books 9–12). Through the use of guile, courage, strength, and determination, he endures. Perhaps the most difficult test of his perseverance as well as his loyalty is the seven years he spends as Calypso’s captive, a situation he can neither trick nor fight his way out. Even when the beautiful goddess-nymph tempts him with immortality, Odysseus yearns for home.
Odyssey theme:
Poseidon and Odysseus are the most noticeable representatives of the theme of vengeance. In order to escape from the cave of the Cyclops (Polyphemus), Odysseus blinds the one-eyed giant (Book 9). Unfortunately, the Cyclops is the sea god Poseidon’s son; Odysseus has engaged a formidable enemy. Poseidon can’t kill Odysseus because the Fates have determined that he will make it home. However, the sea god can help to fulfill his son’s wish that Odysseus should arrive in Ithaca late, broken, and alone, his shipmates lost, and his household in turmoil (9.590–95). In one of the more controversial sections of the epic, Poseidon takes his frustration out on the Phaeacians whose only offense is following their tradition of hospitality by sailing Odysseus home (13.142 ff.).

Odysseus’ vengeance is formidable when it is directed toward the suitors and his disloyal servants. He demonstrates impressive tolerance as he endures, in disguise, the insults and assaults of the suitor Antinous, the goatherd Melanthius, and the maidservant Melantho, for example. Each will die a gruesome death. In a surprise attack (Book 22), Odysseus kills the suitors’ leader, Antinous, first with an arrow through the throat; he then kills smooth-talking Eurymachus, the other leading suitor, with an arrow in the liver. Melanthius and Melantho die more slowly after the slaughter of the suitors. Odysseus is avenging the suitors’ lack of respect for and the servants’ lack of loyalty to his office, his property, and his family.
Asher Lev theme:
The Conflict between Art and Religious Community
My Name is Asher Lev is about Asher's development as an artist with a focus on the conflicts this raises for him with the religion with which he has been raised. When Asher is younger, this conflict is more external. His artistic impulse drives him to do certain things of which others in his community disapprove. The story explores how a younger Asher deals with impulses that he does not completely understand and with a community that often chastises him for succumbing to them.
Why do you think some spirits stay on Earth?

To haunt us Unfinished business
To help us
As Asher grows, the conflict becomes more overt. He makes more conscious decisions about which trade-offs he wants to make. Toward the end of the book, the conflict becomes one not only of Asher's art, but of his need to express his feelings through it. The only way Asher knows of expressing his mother's pain is through a Christian symbol. Asher's art has led him to adopt a world that is antithetical to his Ladover society, to derive meaning from Christian symbols.
For much of the book, it looks like a balance can be found between religion and art. While Asher is on the fringes of the society in which he grew up, he is at the fringes of that society. However, at the explosive end of the book, these two worlds collide and Asher chooses the world of art over the community of his parents.
character: Asher Lev
narrator; Ladover Hasidic Jew; grows from a four year old boy to a graduate of college; a prodigious artist (painter).
character: Aryeh Lev
Asher's father; works for the Rebbe traveling to Vienna and Russia to build yeshivas and save Jews from Stalin's persecution.
character: Rivkeh Lev
Asher's mother; spends half of the novel attending college, majoring in Russian; goes to Europe with Aryeh, to help him, for the second half of the novel
character: Jacob Kahn
Master of art, unobservant Jew, to whom Asher is an apprentice and learns to become a great artist.
character: Anna Schaeffer
Gallery owner usually described as a "greedy, old woman" by Jacob Kahn, although they are good friends. She hosts all of Asher's shows and is responsible for his fame.
Character: Reb Yudel Krinsky
A Russian Jew rescued from Siberia by Asher's father, he plays a pivotal role in Asher's understanding of his fathers work in helping others all over the world.
character: Rebbe
The Rebbe is probably the most important character in the book, in the sense that it is he who orders Aryeh to travel all over, and it is he who first understand that Asher's gift needed to be developed under the tutelage of a great artist.
character: Yaakov
Rivkeh's brother, he is never spoken of in detail. His death in a car accident in Detroit while on a mission for the Rebbe, though, threw Rivkeh into her depressive state, since they were close during their childhood.
Chaim Potok's central themes:
This book explores Potok's central themes of conflicting traditions (in this case the tradition of Judaism and the tradition of art), father versus son, contentedness with one's life versus peace in the family (the Jewish value of "shlom bayit"), and the traditional Jewish world versus secular America.
Asher Lev plot summary
This is the story of Asher Lev, a boy born with a prodigious artistic ability into a Hasidic Jewish family in 1940s Brooklyn. During Asher's childhood, his artistic gift brings him into conflict with the members of his devoutly religious sect, who value things primarily as they relate to their faith and who consider art to be at best a waste of time and at worst a sacrilege. It brings him into particularly strong conflict with his father, a man who devotes his life to serving their leader the Rebbe, travelling around the world bringing the teachings and practice of their religion to other Jews, and who is by nature incapable of understanding or appreciating art. In the middle is Asher's mother, who in Asher's early childhood was severely traumatized by the death of her brother, killed while travelling for the Rebbe; she suffers anxiety for her husband's safety during his almost constant travelling. Asher's father declares the gift to be from the realm of the demonic, especially when he finds his son neglecting his studies and copying paintings of nude women and crucifixions of Jesus, and he tries to suppress Asher's drawing and painting. Yet the gift will not be denied. Finally the Rebbe intercedes and permits Asher to study under one of the greatest living artists, Jacob Kahn, a non-observant Jew who is an admirer of the Rebbe. Asher grows up to be a formidable artist as an apprentice of Jacob Kahn, and even his father cannot help but be proud of his son's success. However, the gift finally calls upon Asher to paint his masterpiece--a work which uses the symbolism of the crucifixion to express his mother's torment. This imagery so offends his parents and his community that he is sent into exile in Paris.
element of fiction: plot
Plot refers to the series of events that give a story its meaning and effect. In most stories, these events arise out of conflict experienced by the main character. The conflict may come from something external, like a dragon or an overbearing mother, or it may stem from an internal issue, such as jealousy, loss of identity, or overconfidence. As the character makes choices and tries to resolve the problem, the story's action is shaped and plot is generated. In some stories, the author structures the entire plot chronologically, with the first event followed by the second, third, and so on, like beads on a string. However, many other stories are told with flashback techniques in which plot events from earlier times interrupt the story's "current" events.

All stories are unique, and in one sense there are as many plots as there are stories. In one general view of plot, however—and one that describes many works of fiction—the story begins with rising action as the character experiences conflict through a series of plot complications that entangle him or her more deeply in the problem. This conflict reaches a climax, after which the conflict is resolved, and the falling action leads quickly to the story's end. Things have generally changed at the end of a story, either in the character or the situation; drama subsides, and a new status quo is achieved. It is often instructive to apply this three-part structure even to stories that don't seem to fit the pattern neatly.

conflict: The basic tension, predicament, or challenge that propels a story's plot
complications: Plot events that plunge the protagonist further into conflict
rising action: The part of a plot in which the drama intensifies, rising toward the climax
climax: The plot's most dramatic and revealing moment, usually the turning point of the story
falling action: The part of the plot after the climax, when the drama subsides and the conflict is resolved
element of fiction: character
In fiction, character refers to a textual representation of a human being (or occasionally another creature). Most fiction writers agree that character development is the key element in a story's creation, and in most pieces of fiction a close identification with the characters is crucial to understanding the story. The story's protagonist is the central agent in generating its plot, and this individual can embody the story's theme. Characters can be either round or flat, depending on their level of development and the extent to which they change. Mrs. Mallard, in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” though developed in relatively few words, is a round character because she shows complex feelings toward her husband, and her character develops when she envisions the freedom of being widowed. Authors achieve characterization with a variety of techniques: by using the narrative voice to describe the character, by showing the actions of the character and of those reacting to her, by revealing the thoughts or dialogue of the character, or by showing the thoughts and dialogue of others in relation to the character.

protagonist: A story’s main character (see also antagonist)
antagonist: The character or force in conflict with the protagonist
round character: A complex, fully developed character, often prone to change
flat character: A one-dimensional character, typically not central to the story
characterization: The process by which an author presents and develops a fictional character
element of fiction: setting
Setting, quite simply, is the story’s time and place. While setting includes simple attributes such as climate or wall décor, it can also include complex dimensions such as the historical moment the story occupies or its social context. Because particular places and times have their own personality or emotional essence (such as the stark feel of a desert or the grim, wary resolve in the United States after the September 11th attacks), setting is also one of the primary ways that a fiction writer establishes mood. Typically, short stories occur in limited locations and time frames, such as the two rooms involved in Kate Chopin’s "The Story of an Hour," whereas novels may involve many different settings in widely varying landscapes. Even in short stories, however, readers should become sensitive to subtle shifts in setting. For example, when the grieving Mrs. Mallard retires alone to her room, with "new spring life" visible out the window, this detail about the setting helps reveal a turn in the plot. Setting is often developed with narrative description, but it may also be shown with action, dialogue, or a character’s thoughts.

social context: The significant cultural issues affecting a story’s setting or authorship
mood: The underlying feeling or atmosphere produced by a story
element of fiction: point of view
Point of View
Style, Tone, and Language
Symbolism, Allegory, and Image


Point of view in fiction refers to the source and scope of the narrative voice. In the first-person point of view, usually identifiable by the use of the pronoun "I," a character in the story does the narration.
element of fiction: style, tone, language
Style in fiction refers to the language conventions used to construct the story. A fiction writer can manipulate diction, sentence structure, phrasing, dialogue, and other aspects of language to create style.
element of fiction: theme
Theme is the meaning or concept we are left with after reading a piece of fiction. Theme is an answer to the question, "What did you learn from this?"
types of imagery
visual imagery: Imagery of sight
aural imagery: Imagery of sound (e.g., the soft hiss of skis)
olfactory imagery: Imagery of smell (e.g., the smell of spilled beer)
tactile imagery: Imagery of touch (e.g., bare feet on a hot sidewalk)
gustatory imagery: Imagery of taste (e.g., the bland taste of starchy bananas)
What is a literary essay?
In the literary essay, you are exploring the meaning and construction of a piece of literature. This task is more complicated than reviewing, though the two are similarly evaluative. In a review you are discussing the overall effect and validity of written work, while in a literary essay you are paying more attention to specifics.

A literary essay focusses on such elements as structure, character, theme, style, tone, and subtext. You are taking a piece of writing and trying to discover how and why it is put together the way it is. You must adopt a viewpoint on the work in question and show how the details of the work support your viewpoint.

A literary essay may be your own interpretation, based only on your reading of the piece, or it may be a mixture of your opinions and references to the criticism of others, much like a research paper. Again, be wary of plagiarism plagiarism and of letting the opinions of more experienced writers swamp your own response to the work. If you are going to consult the critics, you should reread the literary work you are discussing and make some notes on it before looking at any criticism.
When writing a literary essay
Try to write about something you find interesting that also addresses the concerns and preoccupations of the course.

* Give your essay an interesting title that has something to do with the position you are taking.

* Assume intelligent readers who have read the material (though they'll need reminders).

* Keep your tone straightforward and your explanations concise. Write as directly and clearly as you can, but remember that "simple" does not mean "simplistic."

* Don't retell the story. Plot is of limited value in literary essays and is usually used only to set up the context of the quotations you plan to analyze. Instead, express an opinion about what you've read. Don't be afraid to take risks to interpret. Aim for a thesis that not everyone would agree with. Don't assume there's one correct view; in literary study there isn't. This does not mean that ANY position you take about the text is correct; some arguments fit the evidence better than others, so beware! You can assert any view that arises from thoughtful discussion and convincing analysis of textual evidence.

* Explain your arguments thoroughly and patiently. Don't expect the reader to grasp your claims easily.

* Organize your paragraphs according to the development of your argument, not according to the chronological order of a text. Cover one aspect of your argument per paragraph or section (set of related paragraphs) of your essay. Use transitions to show how sections are logically connected to each other and to your thesis.

* Don't try to say everything you've figured out about the readings in one essay. Select only those quotations that advance and support a particular thesis. Set up quotations with a brief reminder to readers of what is happening in the text at that point. Integrate quotations into your essay so that everything reads as coherent sentences. Keep quotations as brief as you can (see the brief style guide).

* Use present tense to show that literary works and the issues they raise are still alive. Not "Othello was..." but "Othello is...."

* Show that you care about your work by proofreading carefully for small errors.