“Grendel” Discussion Chapters 1-2

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For discussion and reflection (and maybe a journal entry or two):

  • Why does the ram make Grendel angry..why is he so angry period?
  • Contemplate Grendel as other characters from lit. Does he remind you of anyone? For me, it’s Holden from Catcher in rye, The narrator from notes from underground; what is genesis of frustration in all these characters?
  • What does Grendel think of the humans behavior as they’re observing him in the tree
  • Pg. 13– “I understood that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual brute enmity in which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears” discuss
  • Page 16 is crucial… “suddenly I knew I was dealing with the most dangerous creatures I had ever met— pattern makers”
  • Middle of 17 also.. “all that I had come to understand— the meaningless object ness of the world, the universal brutality
  • Why, at the bottom of 18, does he state aloud what perceptions he is experiencing?
  • What is meant by, “ I observe myself experiencing what I observe”?

Raymond Carver’s Cathedral as an analysis of perception

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Read the short story titled, “Cathedral” by the famous american author Raymond Carver linked here: cathedralraycarver

While reading the story, I want you to consider the following questions.  We’ll discuss these as a Socratic Seminar next class! 

  1. What role does perception play in the creation of knowledge in this story?
  2. What role does emotion play in the creation of knowledge in this story?
  3. At the end of the story, the husband is asked to describe a cathedral to the blind man.  Why does he struggle with this?
  4. While the blind man and the husband are drawing, what way of knowing is guiding their drawing?
  5. Discuss the ending. Why the change in emotion in the husband?