I can’t believe I’m already in the third week of classes! Ahhh! Life needs to slow down!
Of my three classes, I’m not gonna lie, this one is currently the most frustrating. The reading load is very heavy. (I had to read five books for classes this week alone.) This is my only non-creative class, so I have a hard time getting excited and geared up to go. It’s first thing in the morning. And I have no clue what I’m going to do my paper on.
In today’s class we discussed Robert Heinlein as one of the founders of YA science fiction. We read Rocket Ship Galileo (his first book) and Have Space Suit–Will Travel (one of his last books). Both books were about space travel. Galileo was especially ridiculous because it involves Nazis on the moon. But overall, I was pretty impressed with Heinlein as a writer and really enjoyed his books. I’m too tired to go into more detail than that, if you want more details… ask me.
Forms and Boundaries
This week we are looking at novels in verse and examining Nikki Grimes’ Dark Sons and Karen Hesse’s Witness. I especially loved Witness and wrote a fantastic forms analysis paper on how Hesse creates dynamic characters through undercutting and set-up. Here’s my opening paragraph/thesis for my essay:
Karen Hesse is a master of creating dynamic characters in her verse novel Witness. The reader observes Hesse’s wide cast of characters grow and develop over the course of the novel, especially the character of Leanora Sutter. One way Hesse accomplishes creating a dynamic character is through undercutting. The term undercutting is defined in Alexandria LaFaye’s The Primed Mind as “the depiction of emotion that shows the emotion and allows the reader to analyze it rather than leading the reader to a particular emotional conclusion through loaded language” (305). Another method Hesse uses to show character growth is set-up. LaFaye identifies three elements common in the set-up: backstory, foreshadowing, and revealing a character need (280). The set-up fully prepares the reader for the change they will witness in the character at the story’s culmination. In Hesse’s Witness, readers will observe Leanora change from hating white people to feeling empathy and respect for white people.