A Literary Journey into Consciousness

March 27th, 2017

Exam Strategy

Posted by Krystal Dillon in Uncategorized

I decided to break this up by the three categories on the exam.

Genre

For the genre section I am prepared to write about four texts. I decided to break these texts up into two groups of two given that the exam may require me to write about two texts for one essay. In this section I am prepared to write about Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Virginia Woolf’s The Mark on the Wall. Specifically I will talk about these two texts and the genre of the elegy, using a lot of the secondary texts Yazmin provided in class. I will explain how these two texts transcend the conventions of the elegy. I am also prepared to write about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Buried Giant and the ways in which they complicate but work within the Arthurian tradition. Lastly, (this is a mixture of genre and theory) I can confidently write about Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain and its classification as a ‘dream narrative’. I can show how that specific genre allows him to do the type of critical work he aims to do with his piece.

Theory

For some reason my theory section is a lot stronger than the other sections, which I need to work on. But for theory I am prepared to do a Feminist theoretical reading of both Invisible Man, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Additionally, I am prepared to do a reading of Invisible Man, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and/or Gwendolyn Brook’s poems through DuBois’ ideas of Double Consciousness. I am also prepared to do a postcolonial reading (using Bhabha’s ideas of domestic spaces) of Incidents as well as The God of Small Things. 

Historical Context

History is the hardest section for me because I always find my historical sources bleeding into genre and theory. Also it tends to read as a history lesson whenever I center my essays around historical context. I think that I can work with Sui Sin Far’s Leaves From the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian and Junot Diaz’s Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I think that both of these are grounded in their given historical moments, Far’s piece with the ways in which Chinese-Americans had to navigate with racism in a U.S. context, as well as ideas of passing. I also wanted to use the historical context of Diaz’s book to talk about something similar with the anti-blackness alive in the D.R. (including the genocide and racism towards Hatian-Dominicans) affects the experiences of the characters with race in the U.S. as well. This may be easier given the mountain of historical info given in the novel itself especially about the Trujillo regime.



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