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Synthesis and Final Project

Page history last edited by Russell 8 years, 8 months ago


Thu/Fri, May 26-27


DUE: Qs from "A Good Man" per prev. lesson

HMWK: 1/2 to 1 page on a link you see among the three short stories from the week.

FOCUS: epiphany, grace, dark comedy, philosophy, psychopathy


We begin with a discussion of grace and its definition, attempting to apply a working definition to the characters in the story.


We move to comedy, the grotesque, and why it's darkly humorous that the misfit says that the grandmother would have been a good woman "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." 


A discussion of the Misfit's reasoning and why he seems so disturbed follows. We will talk a bit about O'Connor's beliefs and look for logic and illogic in the Misfit's dialogue. We will (likely) argue about whether the Misfit experiences a moment of grace in addition to the grandmother.


Finally, we begin looking for links among the three short-story texts: Omelas, Veldt, and Good Man

  • Characters
  • Subject matter
  • Aspects of plot (conflict, climax, etc.)
  • Theme
  • Narrative style, point of view 


Wed, May 25


DUE: "Good Man is Hard to Find" Questions (prev lesson)

HMWK: See below

FOCUS: Protagonists, antagonists, and conflict in non-traditional fiction


Discussion of O'Connor's short story:

  • Protagonist/antagonist
  • Conflicts
  • Plot development
  • Epiphany 



  1. Read the conversation between the grandmother and the Misfit from pg 601-end. With what issues does the Misfit struggle?
  2. Along with epiphany, many argue there is grace in this short story. Who receives grace, and when?
  3. Number four on the reading questions: Even if you don’t think there are funny parts, what parts might be considered funny by some? Free your mind!
  4. Number five on the reading questions: Focus on the question of whether the Misfit is a philosopher or a psychopath.


Tue, May 24


DUE: "The Veldt" responses, including the "parent consumption" question

HMWK: Read and respond to "A Good Man is Hard to Find" per lesson below

FOCUS: Linking texts through theme, character, plot, narrative style


What are your thoughts about:

  1. The fact that the parents are consumed? 5 min
  2. What the text seems to suggests about technological advancement? 5 min
  3. What the text seems to suggest about family and responsibility? 3 min
  4. The text overall? Like it? Dislike it? Why?



How might this text might relate at all to “…Omelas” 10 min

  • Plot? (setting, conflicts, climax, resolution, etc.)
  • Character?
  • Narrative style?
  • Theme?


Flannery O’Connor’s text “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”

  1. 1925-1964; wrote in “Southern Gothic” style with grotesque, “locally-flavored” characters; interested in morality, ethics
  2. Questions:
    1. Identify the conflicts in the text – consider conflict for each character and groups of characters
    2. Most stories have protagonists and antagonists. Who plays which role here? Explain.
    3. An epiphany is a moment of clarity. Who experiences epiphany? At what point?


Mon, May 23


DUE: "The Veldt" questions and response to theme

HMWK: Add one prompt:

  • What do you make of the fact the parents are consumed/devoured/eaten by the children's imagination?

FOCUS: A reminder of good writing practice, discussion


Assignments returned, grades discussed

Reminders of good writing habits

  • Opening "evils"
    • “One theme in the story of Omelas is sacrifice.”
    • “A very important theme in the story was compassion.”
  • Produce an opening that is appropriate to the text and assignment 
  • Support from the text
    • Use of quotes, paraphrase, summary to back and balance ideas
  • Full explanations
    • Did you explain/analyze everything adequately?
  • Closing - for heaven's sake, don't just end abruptly


Discussion: The Veldt

  1. Is there anything wrong with the children?
  2. Was there something wrong with the parents?
  3. What effects do you perceive technology has had on the family?
  4. What does the imagination of the children suggest about natural inclinations? Recall Freud, perhaps?


Added prompt:  

  • What do you make of the fact the parents are consumed/devoured/eaten by the children's imagination?


Fri, May 20


DUE: n/a

HMWK: "The Veldt" questions (at the end of the story) and prompt reply:

  • 1/2 to 1 page link from a theme to life. Consider any of the following:
    • Family relationships
    • Technology
    • The generation gap
    • Reality vs pseudo-reality
    • Effects of privilege

FOCUS: Work day


A shortened assembly schedule means a work day. The questions for "The Veldt" are in the packet, and the prompt for a theme is found under "HMWK" above. 


Thu, May 19


DUE: n/a

HMWK: n/a

FOCUS: Prom etiquette


Aren't you lucky? It's the first time in YEARS I've taught either juniors or seniors, so I get to present to you my lecture on prom etiquette. Everything from how to wear a suit coat to how to eat at a formal place setting! Have fun, and remember: Don't look like a schlub!


Tue, May 17


DUE: Omelas reading

HMWK: See below

FOCUS: Extracting theme and linking to personal experience (synthesis genesis)


Synthesis – a skill that takes skill!


You must be able to link multiple texts together, finding similarities in order to bridge them and make one overall statement. This skill begins with understanding the thematic elements in each individual text.


Case Study: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas


  1. WWYD? (What Would YOU Do?) and why?
  2. Themes:
    1. Civic duty
    2. Detachment
    3. Justice
    4. Compassion
    5. Sacrifice
    6. Responsibility
  3. Challenge: Make a link between your assigned theme and “real life” – For example: Where do we see “detachment” in our own lives? Do you see people making sacrifices for a greater good?


HOMEWORK: Take this story of Omelas. Make a connection between one of the themes and your own life’s goals/ethics/values/beliefs. Link it somehow to your own experience and understanding of the world. Be clear about specifics in the story and how they relate to specifics in how you see life/the universe/everything. (1/2 to 1 page)


Mon, May 16


DUE: n/a

HMWK: Read "Omelas" per lesson below

FOCUS: Test day


Poetry Final Exam


Read the story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” on the site www.miafarrow.org/omelas.html (or any other site that gives you the full text). It would be helpful for tomorrow’s discussion if you printed the text – it’s short.

  • Question: What does the text suggest about
    • Civic duty
    • Detachment
    • Justice
    • Compassion
    • Sacrifice
    • Responsibility



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