Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Student work on Laura Chester's "True or Untrue, Grit" from RANCH WEIRDO

For Kellie & Olivia’s papers:

I am not going to include commentary and compliments here, since I did throughout the papers, but here are the assignments:

  1. I think what Kellie’s paper is missing (besides another revision of things noted throughout) is another layer of analysis (a paragraph or two) that transitions away from tone. I would like to hear from you all about what you would do and why it would fit. (You don’t have to write the essay, just informally write what you would focus on.)

  2. I would like all of you, after reading Olivia’s paper, to come back to her intro and write the end of her intro: write what you think 2-5 sentences would help introduce the themes, ideas, and techniques addressed in her paper.
Olivia Kahn on Laura Chester's 'True or Untrue, Grit' With Commentary

Kellie Leonce on Laura Chester's 'True or Untrue, Grit' With Commentary

Make sure you label your comments for when you post in the comment stream by Monday, January 5th by class. You will be graded on the MHS Open Response rubric as a homework grade.


Stephany J. said...

Part 1

Upon reading Kellie’s critique of Laura Chester’s “True or Untrue, Grit” the essay had potential to be bumped up to the next score. Kellie would have the tendency to reintroduce the aesthetic features in the text throughout the essay. Though it was useful, she should try to cut back on doing it so often. Mr. Gallagher illuminated how specific statements within the essay needed to be changed to create a sense of sophistication. Although, the writer shows how Nora’s environment influences her course of action, its attempt to keep a cohesive thesis throughout the account was a bit obscure when attempting to comprehend the purpose. Even through Grit’s presence in the short story contained humor it contained a higher purpose. Another body paragraph could be used to further illustrate how Grit influences Nora instead of just using subtle statements. The way that the essay finished did not entirely feel complete. I actually kept scrolling down to read more. As a writer it is important to wrap up previous statements so that the audience is at least somewhat satisfied with the information stated.

Part 2

Chester’s use of profound imagery allows her to contrast the dream world of the protagonist from actual reality. The author’s use of irony assists the sharp contrast the apparent and the intended meaning of the text. By expressing an attitude that is initially disguised by what seems to be obvious, a humorous shift can be witnessed. Chester’s use of setting acts as a starting point to bring the Nora to realization so that she is able to reveal her true nature.

Kellie said...

Part 2
Along with the irony presented from Chester, it allows the reader to view Nora as her true self. The irony presented can be viewed in the style as well as imagery used by Chester. The alternative worlds Nora is placed in allows Nora to portray herself as who she really is in her New York life. The clash of New York and her new suburban home gives a comedic balance to the story, while also contributing to Nora’s dissatisfaction and constant unhappiness with her life.

Jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jess said...

Part 1:
This essay did a very good job of pointing out the moments of cultural differences in the story, but it would be even better if it had further analysis on why this cultural clash is significant, and what it says about either culture. Also, I liked the idea of ownership and belonging, and Nora's lack of appreciation, but it would be further strengthened by an addition of Grit's effect on these reactions.

Part 2:
The imagination of Nora and her ability to fill in the details of this dream land strengthen the contrast between modern urban life and nature. In addition to this, the other characters she invents add to her world.

Samantha J said...

Part 1

In Kellie’s essay the focus was mainly pointed on the cultural clash and the specifics of tone and what it conveyed. This was done very well, despite the small instances in which she could have focused more on analysis of what Chester was doing and how she achieved these points. I feel that it would have been helpful to focus less on tone, but take a deeper look at the differences between Nora and Grit, which emphasized the cultural aspect that Kellie choose to focus on. I felt that juxtaposing the two characters as people and not just through their cultures would aid in the development of the theme of belonging vs. ownership. Another thing that I think could have been given in the analysis was a look at how the setting of the piece influenced the story and the theme it conveyed. By taking a deeper look at the details provided about the setting I feel that Kellie would be able to make a stronger argument and give more supported circumstances of cultural clash. The paper had a strong analysis, but I think that including other techniques that Chester used would aid in showing the difference between ownership and belonging because she would be able to set the character of Grit into a scene of belonging and emphasize the idea that Nora did not fit in, but merely owned the land.

Samantha J said...

Part 2

The developments of her male characters create a tone of dissatisfaction with life, which they help to contrast by showing what she wants. Her usage of imagery establishes a dream like state in the narrator’s mind, which allows her to contrast what she wants and what she wishes she had. Through her techniques she juxtaposes the ideas of the city and isolation through a humorous narration, which allows her to reveal how she truly feels about her life.

Stephanie A. said...

Part 1

In Kellie’s essay, one of the main ideas she focused on was how the author addresses the issue of cultural stereotypes. She also focuses on how the topic of ownership and belonging and how the story was generally ironic as a whole. In order to transition away from just the tone of the main character of the story, I would elaborate more on how the cultural stereotypes created a clash between Nora and where she was and what made this so important to the story. Also Kellie mentions the interaction between the characters Nora and Grit to emphasize her points about the stereotyping, ownership and belonging, and irony of the story. I would add more about Grit and how he affected the story since Nora’s explication seemed more dominant and Grit’s part of the story also had an impact to the story as a whole.

Part 2

In exaggerating the clash between the rapid life of being a New Yorker with the contrast to living in a place completely opposite, the actions of the main character, Nora, help show how adjusting to what one isn’t familiar with can be a challenge. This parallel between the two different worlds, what is real and what is made up, and her life in New York and her possibly real life building her house in the desert, help to bring the character to a realization of how her life is and what she should appreciate.

Jackie said...

Though Kelly does a good job of pointing out the "culture clashes" in the short story, the essay would be further enhanced if she had more in depth analyisis of why the cultures clashed and how they clashed. She could have done this by talking about how the hispanic and Native American cultures drew from each other and coexisted in the story as well as how Nora's American city culture added to the cultures already there. She could have also added how the cultures affected Nora in the end.

Kelly also talks about the difference between ownership and belonging. I found this very interesting but again feel like she could have gone further into this by analyzing how Nora quickly gives up ownership to Rancho Weirdo so quickly and with very little hesitation. I would add why Grit belongs on the ranch and the affect that Nora's prescence has on him. Also, why Nora belongs in New York and the connection it has to her ownership of the ranch.

oliviak said...

I thought Kellie's essay was really well done. She had one or two main themes that she was able to connect and maintain throughout the entire work. However, it was too focused on the tone of the work and not really on the significance of everything that was included. I think if she had explained further the separation of cultures between Nora and Grit, her essay would have been stronger. Also, I think it would have been stronger if she had included the deliriousness of Nora and how she is the only one who actually sees Grit. She could have emphasized even further the irony, but also the meaning of it all. Each aspect emphasizes the fact that none of the events are factual. To enforce the cultural aspect of Kellie's essay, I think she could have also included the cultural diversity in the subway or how overheard conversations could be incorporated into Nora's thoughts and imagination.

Part 2

In my introduction, I think it would be helpful to add one or two more sentences about the irony that I brought up a lot in my essay. I would also include a small line on how pieces of the house in the west represent Nora's imagination. I think bringing these up would immediately show readers that my paper is a strong analysis of the short story instead of the weak introduction that I have now.

Jackie said...

My apologies, I posted in correctly, this post is in regards to Olivia's introduction:

To Olivia's introduction I would add how the author uses this irony and what it does. I would talk about what the author does to emphasize and show this irony as well as the significance it has on the them or meaning of the story as a whole.

Jackie said...

Alright, my apologies again, it seems I mispelled Kellie's name. Terribly sorry K-E-L-L-I-E.

Gbaby said...

Overall I thought Kellie did a nice job stating her point.she use irony to prove her point, but to me, I felt like she missing one thing or two, she should of talk more about "Grit" , because he was important character , and she should of explain the differences about Nora and grit,s he focus to much on the New Yorkers life,she should of talk about Grit life.What made Grit to pop into her imagination, and also to add what she thought of Grit overall,

hillary said...

Kellie based her essay mostly on Chester's humorous approach. She covers irony, sarcasm, and mockery, but could perhaps go further than focusing on the branches of humor. There was little said about Grit and his interaction with Nora. More analysis between the two characters would benefit her argument of cultural clashes and stereotypes. Her thesis would be more clearly developed. She could have even connected this to a human condition in her conclusion. The way Nora acted was because she "in fact knows that boundary between 'ownership' and 'belonging'." This must be true for many other people as well because it is a humanly instinct.

part 2:
The author also questions insanity through the irony of the story ending up in an unexpected twist of reality in contrast to imagination. Nora's fast-paced city life is dramatically contrasted with the simple ways of the Native American dream world. This contrast in setting allows the character to distinguish needs against desires.

Sandy. J said...

For Olivia’s paper:

1. The setting is A Native American Holy spot; it supports the idea of nature that Nora is conveying in her short story. The physical location is different from New York City’s chaotic lifestyle; the spot itself represents solace that the character was not able to find in New York City. The holy spot can be used as a tool for themes, one possible one could be the appreciation of human nature amidst a hectic lifestyle.
2. One thing I thing could help introduce themes is the techniques that the author uses to convey her message, such as setting. The tone also plays an important role, because throughout the story, she was paranoid and anxious because of the noises she was hearing, and the apparition she was subjected to. There could be a possible theme of imagination versus reality. It can also account for insanity and the factors that caused it.

Sandy. J said...

For Kellie’s essay:

In the short story “True or Untrue Grit” by Laura Chester, Kellie excelled at having a point and clearly proving it. Her perception of stereotypes on ethnicities was an interesting take on the story, and it was a clever thing she did. Although she did a good job focusing on tone, analyzing different techniques would have been helpful and compliment the essay more and the author’s overall meaning. I would analyze the different relationships between those cultures, and what Chester did to demonstrate that. Chester does have a mocking tone throughout the story, but focusing on her style and how she does it would better display what the author was suggesting about the topic.

Another layer of analysis I would add is what the stereotypes is suggesting about Nora herself. The story does center on her, and she plays a crucial role on the themes and the author’s message. It tells about the author’s intentions, it also shows the character’s attitude about the topic as a whole. Since New York is a bog and known to be a diverse city, she should be adjusted to different cultures. A really interesting take would be her stereotypes against those races, and what they actually are, which would be the equivalent to perception/imagination (what she imagines it to be) and reality.