Discussion Question Week 3: Lady Rokujô as a Mononoke in Tale of Genji First, re
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Discussion Question Week 3: Lady Rokujô as a Mononoke in Tale of Genji
First, read the following Wikipedia article on writing from a “real world” versus “in-universe” perspective when discussing fiction. Read it more than once and make sure you understand the difference before you begin your discussion question answers! Click here for the article.
NOTE THAT A “REAL WORLD” PERSPECTIVE IS NOT SIMPLY WHAT WE MIGHT THINK TODAY ABOUT THE EVENTS TOLD IN THE STORY. IT ATTEMPTS TO UNDERSTAND THE STORY IN TERMS OF THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT AT THAT TIME, THE GOALS OF THE AUTHO ETC. THAT IS WHY YOU WILL USE THE CRITICAL ANALYSIS QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT THE TEXTS IN THEIR HISTORICAL CONTEXT.
In 2-3 paragraphs give us:
a) An example of an “in-universe” explanation of Rokujô’s possession of Aoi no Ue in the “Heartvine” chapter from Tale of Genji.
b) A “real world” explanation for the same event. Note that a real world explanation writes from a contemporary viewpoint, while using what we know about the historical context of the text.
To formulate your “real world” perspective, use the “critical analysis” questions we use in class (Who is the author/patron? Who is the intended audience? etc.) to understand why the plot develops the way it does.
An excellent answer will look carefully at the differences between the fictional description of the labor exorcism in Tale of Genji, and non-fictional descriptions in contemporaneous diaries and descriptions of exorcisms in Catalpa Bow (see readings week 3a), using appropriate quotations from the text and readings to support your points about why the story of Rokujo’s possession of Aoi no Ue is written the way it is. Questions to consider: Why would the author of Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu, have made those changes? What is her goal here? How would her goals be different from real world/historical exorcists?
Note that although Wikipedia discourages you from presenting your own original ideas and interpretations, I DO want your own thinking when analyzing ghost stories, albeit supported by primary and secondary sources!
BASIC ELEMENTS FOR GETTING A “B” GRADE FOR TAKE-HOME EXAMS:
1. Will not simply summarize the text being analyzed.
2. Will be organized to make a clear argument.
3. Will include appropriate quotations from the texts to be analyzed (with page numbers). Quotations will be explained to show how they support your argument.
4. Will utilize secondary sources (readings, lectures, any outside sources), with page numbers, URLs, or dates (for lectures), to support your argument (see “Citation Form” below). If you use readings or other sources from outside of the course FOR THE TAKE-HOME EXAM, provide a bibliography at the end. Failing to properly cite sources will lower your grade.
5. Will not simply quote from secondary sources without explaining those quotations.
6. Will correctly distinguish between the author, translator, narrator, and characters in the story. For example, do not confuse Royall Tyler (the translator of Tale of Genji) with Murasaki Shikibu (the author of Tale of Genji). And do not confuse Murasaki Shikibu (the author of Tale of Genji), with the character Murasaki in Tale of Genji or with the narrator of Tale of Genji (an unnamed lady-in-waiting).
7. Will use SPELL CHECK and will be copy edited for common mistakes like “their/there/they’re.” Names, including authors of secondary materials, will be spelled correctly. Titles will be appropriately underlined, italicized, or in quotation marks (see “How Titles Should Be Indicated” below).
BASIC ELEMENTS FOR GETTING AN “A” GRADE
Will do everything above for a B Grade plus:
1. Shows independent and creative thinking about the issues or problems raised.
2. Style of writing is not only clear and well-organized, but is vivid and lively, showing elements of personal style.
3. Examples chosen support argument and are analyzed in concrete detail, rather than simply summarized.