creative license beyond altering details W r i t i n g
The discussion is based on required readings found in Module 5.5. Specifically, be sure to read and take good reading notes about the stories and memoirs by Borowski, Erdrich, Crow Dog, O’Brien and Zabytko.
Choose and comment on two questions below. For additional practice, continue to include a quotation with correct citation in each of your answers, and add a reference at the end of your discussion post.
If six other students have already answered a particular question, then you must choose a new one!
- In “The Red Convertible,” why do Lyman’s efforts to bring Henry back to his former self fail? How does the symbolism of the red convertible mirror what is possible and not possible in the lives of the brothers? What factors make Henry’s rehabilitation so difficult?
- What did Zabytko’s narrator discover about himself during World War II that has since tormented him? How is it relevant in the narrator’s present, as he tries to help his son transition from being a soldier?
- Compare Erdrich’s fictional account of Indian lives with Crow Dog’s autobiographical account. Which text do you find more compelling? Why?
- Compare Zabytco’s fictional account of a soldier’s struggles with O’Brien’s autobiographical account. Which text do you find more compelling? Why?
- Were the liberated prisoners in Borowski’s “Silence” justified in their actions? Why or why not? For this question, you will need to consider some historical background information.
- Nonfiction has come under greater public scrutiny, particularly after James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces was discovered to contain fabrications (for more information, go to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey). Other autobiographies that have raised questions include Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memories of a Boy Soldier and I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. Both O’Brien’s “If I Die in a Combat Zone” and Crow Dog’s “Civilize Them with a Stick” come from longer memoirs (for more information, go to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_O%27Brien_%28author%29 and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Crow_Dog). How important is accuracy in a longer memoir? Should memoir writers act like reporters and stick to the facts? Do they have some creative license beyond altering details to protect the privacy of others? If so, how much? Provide rationales for your guidelines.
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