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ENGLISH 1A03 Study Guide - Final Guide: Alice Munro, Gas Gas, Green Paper

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Lorraine York
Study Guide

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September 11/2012
--> Introduction to Fiction (pg 39-58)
-editors say "short story is like a house:
--> houses have structures (the same layout)like books yet there can be various styles and all are different
--> houses can be personalized
--> each reader and writer can walk through a house and convey it "differently"
--> story's sequence of incidents arranged in a dramatic order
--> type of species of literature (literacy form)
-section on pg 43
--> "reading and analyzing short fiction"
--> "escaplist literature" and "serious literature"
--> ANY literature can be approached seriously
September 11/2012
--> John Cheever, "Reunion" (pg 162-165)
-Grand Central Station, Manhattan
-unified plot
-offers exposition
-story proceeds to complication
1) Style
-straight-forward style with one exception
-few flourishes of vocabulary
-foreign phrases and sentence structure
-the ratio of abstract to concrete words
-phrases from languages other than English(French and Italian languages)
-combination of phrases of politeness and rudeness
- first person point of view
-plain and/or elevated
-idea of telling someone to “go to hell”
polite form of GO
WHY? The father is attempting to impress the son, shows that the character has some sort of education and
potential, the father speaking formally emphasizes the distance between the man and the son

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-we can see that the man cannot be polite (no talent for sociability)
man mentions his club aka his sociability (this could be a lie because the man is not social…and he might just
want to mention a club to impress his son-however, there’s no evidence that the club doesn’t exist)
-very little speech from the son (only 4 lines)
isolated 4 speeches of the son
”I have…to get my train…goodbye”
speech charts the son’s emotions: hope, dismay…separation
2)Episodic Repetition
-emphasizes the father hasn’t changed at all (4 chances and the father hasn’t used them)
-son was excited to see the father, but at the end, it is the son who has to say “I have to go
3) Re-reading: revisiting rooms of the house
-pg 162 (1st paragraph)
reference is saying: it’s his doom
a prophecy he doesn’t want to accept
repetition in the story doesn’t only repeat four episodes but also there is repetition of the son’s repeating
September 14/2012
Alice Munro, “Boys and Girls” (pg 218-231)
-Initiation Story: “the main character, usually a child or an adolescent, undergoes an experience (or rite of passage)
that prepares him/her for adulthood
place, time: Huron County far past 1945
House/barn bedroom/ Hallway inside/ outside
pg 220 (WW2 references)
pg 224 (practices of killing horse for meat- “after the war…the farmer’s were…”
fictional place but based on this area
on-going antagonism of 2 genders (house is the domain of the women, barn is the domain of the man, character
trying to break this barrier by imitating her father)
-Masculinity + feminity = Culture divide
bedroom (Laird and narrator) was shared but as soon as puberty struck, the bedroom was divided
space of bedroom might suggest that those systems aren’t in place
rules divide boys and girls and the space they shared as kids (adult’s seem to regular a lot of the space: fences,
pens, gate…represent imagery of regulation**)
“we weren’t afraid of the inside we’re afraid of the outside”…might suggest something more
-Labour: rural, seasonal

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labour is divided according to gender (especially because of time period)
labour of narrator can only be defined as she is jokingly referred to as a man (pg. 222)
again, it’s evident that adult’s are reinforcing this division of labour
- narrator says “my mother doesn’t realize the way things really were” (pg 224)
but final twist is on the narrator herself because she is the one who doesn’t realize the way things actually were
-Parallel Episodes
dramatic structure: 2 horse shooting episodes
-why horses?
Horses are animals that are not divided by gender, serves as a focal point because hoses don’t need to be divided
by gender
horses communicate the narrator’s unawareness to gender
horses symbolize and associate with freedom
-stories of heroism on horses can relate to character
-pg 219 (Battle of Baladava-1854)
crime and war (1954-1856)
Britain upset about Russian interest in Romania (then part of Ottoman Empire)
British cavalry made offense against Russian troops (“charge of the light Brigade”)
673 men; less than 200 return- wounded, and over 500 British horses died
=Robert Gibb: “The Thin Red Line: painting she was thinking of…main focal point: a horse dying)
-Performing Gender: Boys AND girls
”Judith Butler: gender is in no way..a stable identity of locus of agency from which various acts proceed; rather it is
an identity tenuously constructed in time- an identity constructed through stylized repetition of acts
September 18, 2012
Donalde Barthelme, “The Glass Mountain” (pg. 232-238)
1) The Fragment
-directness of a fragment might be appealing to a writer
-every point in fragment is important
-leaves more to imagination (not everything is explicitly filled in)
2) Metafiction- the self-conscious exploration of the writing of fiction in fiction
artist also knows that there are “conventional means of attaining the mountain”
3) pg 236…makes reference’s to Andre Lang’s “The Glass Mountain”
…we are sent back to this previous text
greatly portrays the “happily ever after theme”
shows aspects of competitive world (individual competition, Andrew Lang’s version shows communities reuniting
again, the contemporary artist doesn’t think the “happy ending” fits in the contemporary world)
shows an alternate ending: throwing a princess off a mountain (showcases the treatment of women, seems very
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