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Roadmap of Seminar

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Roadmap of Seminar

  1. Summary of novel

  2. Reading of novel

  3. Questions on the novel

  4. Biography of Luigi Pirandello

  5. "War"

  6. Questions on "War"

  7. Writing Assignment

  8. Presentations

Summary of Jane Eyre, Chapters 5, 6, 7 (copying not required)

  • Jane is sent to Lowood school, operated by Mr. Brocklehurst.

  • Mr. Brocklehurst's intention is to prepare the girls for a humble station in life by depriving them of comfort and affection

  • Jane meets Helen Burns, a warm, friendly, intelligent girl marked for special punishment and humiliation by Ms. Scatcherd

  • Not all teachers at the school are cruel. Ms. Temple, the superintendent, gives the girls as much comfort and affection as she can.

  • After some weeks absence, Mr. Brocklehurst returns to Lowood and tells the whole school that Jane Eyre is a liar (Mrs. Reed told that to him before she left Gateshead, her house)

  • Mr. Brocklehurst instructs all students not to speak to Jane for a day, and she is made to sit alone on a high chair

Reading Chapters 8 and 9 of Jane Eyre

Questions on the Novel (please copy)

  1. What are Jane's competing desires?

  • Justice  she is aggrieved at her continuing mistreatment

  • Avoiding loneliness  she was terrified of being locked up in the "Red-room" in chapter 2

  1. What does the character of Helen Burns add to the novel?

  • Helen represents a compromise for Jane, to avoid the loneliness of someone crusading for justice

  • Helen has created a spiritual relationship with her God, that allows her to dream of a place where she will find both justice and not risk loneliness

  • a very Christian idea: the more punishment a just person endures, the closer they get to heaven.

Biography of Luigi Pirandello (copy)

  • born in Agrigrento, Sicily in 1867

  • took a doctorate in philology at Bonn in Germany

  • settled in Rome, married, and taught university

  • his personal life fell apart when his family's business failed and his wife was committed to an asylum in 1918

  • to cope with his problems, he turned to writing and wrote many short stories and plays

  • Luigi Pirandello won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1934

  • He died in 1963

Read "War" silently

  1. How would you characterize the ending of this story… a realization, a denouement, or an epiphany?

  1. What desires motivate the fat traveler?

  1. Why is the atmosphere of the overnight train appropriate?

  • mourning is a kind of night journey. You never know when it will end

  • A journey from meaningless death to making meaning of a sacrifice or a struggle

  1. Is the man's conflict foreshadowed?

  • "[the fat traveler] was panting. From his bulging eyes seemed to spurt inner violence of an uncontrolled vitality, which his weakened body could hardly contain." (p.864)

Writing Assignment

1. Put two or three characters on a train, one of whom has a secret desire. Have the other characters bring that desire into the open indirectly. (3-4 paragraphs)

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