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ENG 125 Week 1 DQs

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Week 1
DQ1 Question: Describe your personal relationship to literature and to reading. Begin by
considering the meaning of literature. What does the term literature mean to you? What makes
something literary in your own mind? If literature means different things to different people, who
defines what is and what is not literature?
Next, reflect on your relationship to reading and literature. What kind of reading engages/interests
you? What about that writing draws you in? Do you find meaning in reading certain writing? If so,
describe the satisfaction you draw from this process. Also consider how you read. Do you, for
example, take notes or mark text as you read, or do you simply absorb the material on a page?
There are no right or wrong answers to your response. This discussion is an opportunity to reflect
on what literature is to you, as well as to consider the many meanings that literature may have for
others in the class.
DQ1 Answer: To me, literature is something that tells you information about a topic or story. It
draws you in either by the cover of the book, someone else has referred you to it, or the description
on the back of the book. I have it in my mind that anything literary is legible of some form. This
could be a story, biography, self-help experience, a novel, a poem.
I, personally, do not have time to read for simple recreation. I do, however, read a lot for work, such
as documents, contracts, resumes and many other similar items. Due to the fact that I read so many
bland items during my work day, reading for fun when I get home is the very last thing I wish to do.
However, I do read to my son when I am in town and he wants a book read to him at bed time.
If I did not read so much for work, I would love to read more of my dirt bike magazines or some
"how-to" books. I love learning new things. Being an analytical person, reading is how I learn best,
rather than hands-on as a global person would. This is how I pick up and complete home
remodeling, by reading books that teach me how to do things around the house. Another genre of
book I enjoy, when I do have free time, is business biography. I love learning how multimillion
dollar business men and women got to where they are. I enjoy learning from their experiences and
taking away from the literature something that I can use in my every day life. Reading some of their
life stories about failure and poverty gives me hope that I, too, can succeed.
When reading any literature for pleasure, I do not take notes or high light any pages. I simply
absorb the information that I am reading. Normally, this type of literature is not something I must

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remember all of the facts about or report back to anyone. When it comes to class literature, I do
high light. This keeps me focused on where I perhaps may need to return in order to respond to the
class questions. These items are normally bullet points or important factors in the reading. High
lighting keeps me on track. I am definitely open to other alternatives for remembering important
factors. My wife likes to dog-ear pages and takes notes where possible. Being on the road, as I am
often, note taking would only add to the papers I would have to drag on a business trip with me.
An interest in what I am reading is what connects me to the literature. I believe in order to truly
enjoy literature, a person must first have an interest in what the literature is about. If a person likes
romance novels, then a book about a murder mystery perhaps is not for them.
DQ2 Question: Review the key literary terms and concepts presented throughout Chapters 1 and 2.
(See the end of each chapter for a glossary of terms.) Choose at least four of these terms to discuss
in your post. Then, find examples of these concepts in the readings from this week. Explain how
these examples demonstrate each literary concept as well as the effect which the given technique or
form has on a reading of the respective text.
DQ2 Answer: Imagination is what literature allows the reader to do by opening up new ideas. The
literature can set the tone for which it wants the reader to imagine or feel or it can leave the setting
open for the readers' minds to fill in the blanks and paint their own mental imagine for how the
story can be portrayed. In John Betjeman's " A Subaltern's Love Song", we are left a mental picture
of a bedroom with sports memorabilia and clothes scattered all over the floor. The picture that he
paints in his song is one that we could easily close our eyes and imagine. Although what I imagine
from this song could vary from what another reader may have taken away from the picture he
painted. There were details left out of this song which allows us, the reader or listener, to fill with
our own imagination. As an example, his song says "the scent of her wrap". Based on the previous
context of his song, I would guess this scent to be musky, something much like my grandmother
would wear. However, another reader may imagine this scent to be something sweeter. It is all in the
lack of information from this song that we are able to imagine this scenario based on the context he
provides.
Tone is the setting that the narrator or writer wants you to feel when reading their literature. It is a
biased way of them wanting you to perceive their work. In John Updike's "Dog's Death", the title
alone sets a sad tone. The first line "She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car" makes
the reader feel pity upon the dog. Throughout the writing, John Updike places phrases like "blood
was filling her skin" and "And her heart was learning to lie down forever". These phrases are meant
to make the reader feel as John Updike did as he wrote this piece. There was not anything positive

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in this writing besides the phrase "good dog" which still was his way of making the reader feel pity
on him and the dog. This poem pulled at emotions based on the tone that the writer set forth for the
reader.
Metaphors are used to compare something that someone may not understand to something that they
can relate and comprehend. In Kate Chopin's "The Story of an hour" she wrote "when a sob came
up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its
dreams." This gives the reader a visual image of how Mrs. Mallard acted when sobbing. Kate
Chopin compared it to an action much like a child weeping still in their sleep. Allowing the reader
two options of comprehension provides more insight on how the action looked or went about as
well as paints a visual picture for those unable to comprehend her initial statement "when a sob
came up into her throat and shook her".
Comparing two like items of which are not related, in order to share the comparison between the
two things allows the reader to experience not only the originally intended word and feeling but also
how is compares to another thing. This is called a simile. In James Thurber's "The Secret Life of
Walter Mitty" he writes that "The Commander's voice was like thin breaking ice". As a reader, this
simile allows you to understand that the Commander's voice was scared, crackled, full of negative
excitement, and perhaps high pitched. If we were to replace the phrase "like thin breaking ice" and
instead put in "scared, crackled, full of negative excitement, and perhaps high pitched" the reader
would not have as in depth of understanding of his voice because they may not know exactly what a
scared, crackled voice sounds like. With the comparison, or simile, this is a quick and easy way for
the reader to understand the tone of his voice. Ice breaking and the way his voice actually were are
two unrelated things that are used to be compared in order to allow the reader a comparison for
comprehension purposes.

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