Food for Thoughts

Prose: novel and short story

  1.      Though plot may be said, at its simplest level, to be a sequence of events, what truly distinguishes prose fiction is the use of narrative disruption: impediment, detour, diversion, or digression. In at least two works in you study, how have writers created narrative disruption and to what effect?
  2.     “Successful characterization involves taking the reader to the heart, to the inner core, of an imagined person.” In at least two works in your study, discuss by what means and with what degree of success authors have tried to “take you to the heart” of their characters.
  3. A moral or a lesson is a common convention in stories. In what ways and for what purposes have at least two of your chosen authors either adhered to or subverted this convention?
  4.  this quote from Morrison really grabbed my attention: “I felt that nobody wrote about those black people the way I knew those people to be. And I was aware of that fact, that it was rare. Aware that there was an enormous amount of apology going on, even in the best writing. But more important than that, there was so much explanation…the black writers always explained something to somebody else. And I didn’t want to explain anything to anybody else! …If I could understand Emily Dickinson—you know, she wasn’t writing for a black audience or a white audience; she was writing whatever she wrote! I think if you do that, if you hone in on what you write, it will be universal…not the other way around!”