Reading Notebook- Novels

Directions: Novel

For each novel, answer the three (3) question(s), in at least 3-5 well developed paragraphs from the list below. Your answers should address each question, or issue, fully, using at least two quotes from the text to support your answers. Type your response and label appropriately. Further demonstrate critical thought, and also indepth critical thinking. The novels are Beloved, Jazz, Sula, and Song of Solomon all by Toni Morrison. 1. Firstly what artistic forms and elements of fiction are key and pivotal in this work? In other words, how and why does this text deserve notice or value as an artistic expression? What makes it uniquely African American?  2. “African American novelists are extremely deliberate as they recreate and revise conventional structures, ‘speak the unspeakable,’ and invite each reader to ponder the world created with the text (Graham in Cambridge Companion to the African American Novel 12).”

Further Description

How does this text speak to this quote? What “unspeakable” does this text speak? Discuss.  3. The Cambridge Companion text suggests that African Americans have always carried the burden of proving and reflecting upon their own humanity and that “rhetoric and strategies that have come out of a particular cultural discourse( 7)” have found their way into the novel. Identify and discuss some of these cultural rhetoric and strategies seen in the novel.  4. Identify a key passage or passages that reflect the author’s moral, political, artistic, or societal impetus for writing this text. What passage or portion of the text most clearly illustrates what the writer wants from the reader? Discuss and explain.

5. Toni Morrison, in Playing in the Dark writes, “Writing and reading mean being aware of the writer’s notions of risk and safety, the serene achievement of, or sweaty fight for, meaning and response-ability (xi).” In this novel, what has the writer, fought for, risked or asked the reader to be responsible for in the novel?

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