For Amanda Smith ONLY
All of you are making a good attempt at directly addressing the material. For next week, I would like to see all of you work at explaining what the ideas mean to you. You are all doing a great job of pulling key concepts from the reading and then summarizing them. Now, take the next step. End every paragraph with “What this means to me is [you tell me].” Doing this will give your paper the critical thinking and writing piece we need in this course. As the course progresses, you should easily be getting 3 pages. Make sure you are fully developing your ideas. Most importantly, make sure you are using direct quotes from the reading. By pulling quotes out of the text, you destroy the narrative structure of the text, freeing yourself from summary. Then, as you explain why you chose that quote and how it makes your point, you are automatically doing analysis.
So far, in this course, we have practiced directed reading of texts in order to synthesize a definition that fits our own purpose. We will practice this for one more week. Then, we will take the next step…but one thing at a time.
For your next paper, Due , May 29 Wednesday by Noon, you will be looking at the primary ideas of Joseph Campbell, specifically, his idea of the monomyth. The first piece you will read is the Prologue to Hero with a Thousand Faces. Here, for the first time, Campbell outlined his theory of the hero myth. The second piece you will read is “Myth as Metaphor,” an interview Campbell gave near the end of his life. I find these two texts fascinating because we get to see how his ideas changed, solidified, and evolved over his long 50+ year career. So, your basic writing prompt is: “How did Campbell’s ideas change and/or stay the same between the time he wrote Hero and the time he gave this interview?”
You can organize your paper as follows:
Part 1: Prologue. How does Campbell define myth? Pick 2-3 key points that you feel exemplify your understanding of his definition. Use quotes and be sure to explain what these quotes mean to you in the context of your study of myth. You may also draw a connection between what Campbell is saying and what we just read and wrote about (keep in mind—Campbell was deeply influenced by Jung and Frazer which is why I thought we should have a grounding in those ideas).
Part 2: “Myth as Metaphor.” How does Campbell define myth? Pick 2-3 key points that you feel exemplify your understanding of his definition. Use quotes and be sure to explain what these quotes mean to you in the context of your study of myth. You may also draw a connection between what Campbell is saying and what we just read and wrote about (see above).
Part 3: Compare the two perspectives. In your view, how have Campbell’s ideas changed? How have they stayed the same? Be sure to offer clear examples from the text to make your point.
Part 4: Once again, take a paragraph and consider how your own ideas have changed, been supported, or even take some time to discuss ideas you have never considered. But, in any case, take a moment and reiterate your current working understanding of myth.
You are all progressing as you should be. So, keep it up and keep reading the material as deeply as possible.