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ENG 125 Week 5 DQs

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Week 5
DQ1 Question: Throughout this course we have explored the similarities and differences
between the literary forms of the short story, the poem, and drama. For example, one
major difference is that both poetry and drama frequently place a strong emphasis on
performance before an audience that is physically present, while the short story is more
commonly intended for individual reading.
With that said, it is important to remember that all literary works cannot always be easily
classified into a single genre. Moreover, literary works which might be classified as
belonging to one genre might possess many qualities more typical of other genres. For
example, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is classified as drama, but in many respects takes the
form of poetry. In other words, sometimes the differences between categories like drama,
poetry, and the short story are not so easily defined. Often a short story might contain
poetic or dramatic qualities, or a poem might include narrative and dramatic features.
In your post, summarize the major similarities and differences between the forms of
drama, poetry, and the short story. Demonstrate your ideas with textual examples from
the course readings. In your response, include at least one example of each literary form.
If you wish, you may also point to examples which indicate the blurring of literary genres
(e.g., the poetic qualities of Macbeth or the dramatic elements of Gift of the Magi).
DQ1 Answer: Poems have always been my favorite of all three forms of literature we
have learned about in this course. The rhythm one can expect or perhaps the rhyming, it
all intrigues me. This course has allowed me to explore poems further and read into
hidden meanings or symbolism. Short stories have never truly been this intriguing to me.
They do not rhyme or set forth a rhythmic tone that you can follow along.
Although any of the three forms of literature can be read out loud, poems are best to be
read to an audience. Short stories are best to be read to one's self. Plays and drama are
meant to be acted for an audience and read by actors. For this class, reading
Shakespeare's Macbeth was difficult. However, when I watched a clip from an actual

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performance on a popular web site, I found it to be more compelling! I felt the drama that
the actors were able to portray though the words that Shakespeare had written. When
reading it, I was not able to capture the very drama that they could present on a stage. It
was a visual image in my head opposed to in front of me. In this class, I also experienced
poems being read to me opposed to reading them silently to myself. I rather enjoyed this.
When hearing "The Pool Players" read by Gwendolyn Brooks, I connected to the poem
better. It provided a preface to what the poem was actually about. Had I not listened to
her preface, I would never have known this was about a pool room and the greaser-type
guys. This was something I had never considered in regard to reading a poem to myself.
Short stories are best to be read to one's self. This is mainly because the writer has one
path that they create for the reader to follow and it is an easy path to follow. There are not
any hidden meanings or benefit of reading these out loud.
Symbolism can be found in any form of literature, however it is more prominent in a
poem. When reading "Hills Like White Elephants", I initially could not depict any
symbolism. I had to read a few parts over again to understand if the writer, Hemingway,
was trying to get me to find a hidden meaning. When he wrote of the hills that "they were
white in the sun and the country was brown and dry", I started to understand more of the
underlying meaning, the symbolism which was ironic symbolism. White was to mean
life, however, in this case it meant a calm uncertainty. When reading the poem "Used to
Live Here Once", the symbolism was in nearly every line. Rhys wrote of colors to
express emotion in each scene. She described it as "a fine day, a blue day" that "had a
glassy look to it". The used of color in this poem allowed me to find the underlying
meaning that Rhys wanted to convey to me, the reader. In the play "Trifles", by Susan
Glaspell, I was surprised to even find symbolism in this drama as well. In the very
beginning of the play, Mrs. Peters says "I'm not-cold". This pause, this hesitation, along
with the word "cold" gave me the idea that Mrs. Peters was prefacing the audience for the
bitter or crass things we were about to watch her do.
Dialogue is an important part of a play, somewhat for a short story, and rare for a poem.
When watching a play, the audience is there to experience the dialogue that is written, for

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them to read to us through a real life experience. In a short story, we read the story and
the dialogue helps us along as the writer wants us to follow. In poems, it is rare to see
dialogue, as it is a pattern of words, rhythms, symbolism, and the like. If we were to read
Macbeth and replace all of the dialogue with phrases such as "and McDuff went on to..."
we would be seeing this story from third person instead of first person narrative. If we
were to read a story without dialogue, it, too, would be primarily third person, unless it
was written in first person which could indeed be an auto-biography. Poems,
being typically short in verbiage, does not require dialogue. We do not need to know
which person is speaking to whom because the purpose is to allow the reader to fill in the
blanks with their own experiences or version of what the writer is truly trying to tell the
reader through words.
DQ2 Question: All literature involves some kind of performance which is intended for
an audience. Sometimes, however, the performative quality of a work (i.e., the fact that it
is being presented to an audience) is more obvious than at others. Drama and poetry, for
example, tend to emphasize overt performance more than do short stories, which more
often are read silently and in solitude.
How is the more direct performative aspect of drama and/or poetry reflected in these
forms? (Consider for example, each genre’s uses of literary structure, language,
technique, and style.) How do these literary elements affect your reading experience?
In your post, identify key qualities of drama and poetry which emphasize their
performative qualities. Discuss how these characteristics shape your reading response.
Support your views with at least one example of a dramatic text and one example of a
poem.
DQ2 Answer: The style of writing of a play is what I look at first. In a play, the writer
gives very specific stage direction so that the audience or reader has a full understanding
of what the actor or actress is to do when the play is performed. In the play "Trifles", the
writer narrates "(The women draw nearer.)". The use of parenthesis allows me to see or
imagine an action opposed to just hearing it as part of a story. Additional to the style of

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