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Lecture

Bridgeport Lecture.odt

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Department
English
Course Code
ENG100H1
Professor
Urschel

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March 5, 2012 ENGC13 – Ethnic Traditions inAmerica Bridgeport Bus Religion, Ethnicity and Integration ➢ Essay  750 – 1000 words  What texts do the themes in the essay relate to  Just name the texts  Brief reference to a particular character  Select 1 journal and one article (8-9 pages minimum)  You don't have to pick a book from the list  How many texts?  1) Summarize the article  2) Then, relate it to the texts that we've read (a paragraph or two)  3) Brief paragraph about whether you recommend the article or not ➢ Last week: Feminist Issues in Bridgeport Bus ➢ How generational differences fit into the discussion of feminism ➢ Catholic Church structures family relations  Structures mother-daughter relationship  She manipulates her children through guilt – guilt is an important feature in Catholocism  Guilt makes you repent rather than challenge  This is something MaryAgnes' mother uses all the time – reminds her that's been brought up well in a relgious home and she should feel guilty about choosing dirty French books  Guilt works to sabotage MaryAgnes' professional aspirations because it contradicts what she's trying to do through her literary profession – pushes her into a subservient role  Happens with Mary Elizabeth  Suppression of own identity, aspirations and as soon as she questions things she's made to feel guilty about it  MaryAgnes has internalized this frame of reference – this way of talking about guilt  What counts in the family is the son – family is subservient to the son's goals – of course, parents determine what son's goal should be – mother does everything to get son to this position  Commandment from Exodus to honor parents – this the framework looming in the moral background  Eventually MaryAgnes is able to shift the burden onto her brother and follows her own desires in New York – but when mother stops making her feel guilty it's her brother's turn to do this   How does MaryAgnes respond to religious constraints?  She refers to what goes on in the home as her and her mother playing a cannibal game • How is this a way of counteracting religious language in the family? • There is this prejudice against Catholics – Eucharest = their view that bread is transformed into Jesus' body = sort of like cannibalism = satire • Here's a character who feels like she's being eaten up = horrific image • Cannibals are regarded as primitives  Dealing with hypocracy of Catholic Church  MaryAgnes tries to break out of cannibal game with her mother by taking literature courses and moving out  She uses literary education to subvert her mother  She refers to her mother as “literal-minded”  When mother suggests that MaryAgnes could meet men in a church background as opposed to library  In the end mother dies, and MaryAgnes has a child  MaryAgnes comes out as a winner but she also says “I was happy to give her the last word”.  What(How) did she mean by this?  Why does she propose this image of giving her mother her last word? • Sarcasm? Irony?  Does MaryAgnes ever really succeed in escaping Irish Catholicism – does she kill that with her mother when she gives her mother the last word, and then moves on to talk about herself? Or is the way she moves on heavily influenced by Catholicism?  She uses the word “sin” - shows that Catholocism still affects her thinking ➢ Catholocism as reference system  Even though she escapes this at home, the first few stories she writes are founded on biblical parables  Parable of the Ten Virgins (Gospel of Matthew)  She parodies this on “The foolish Virgin” and “The Wise Virgin”  Moving out from her mother's h
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