LITR221 – American Literature from Civil War to Present
Submission Instructions: Your main discussion post should be substantive (at least 300 words). Use quotations to support your points, but make sure to balance them with your own original ideas. Please engage two of your classmates in their forum posts to help further our conversation, responses to classmates should be in at least 100-150 words each.
This Week’s reading:
Read one of the following pieces from “Other Perspectives” in American Literature Since the Civil War.
“The Wrysons” by John Cheever
“Going After Cacciato” by Tim O’Brien
“Somewhere for Everyone” by John Grisham
“Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor
“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin
“The Angel Esmerelda” by Don Delillo
Part I: Unlike many of our authors in this class, video footage of Truman Capote abounds. Find a video of him. Post the link in the forum, and tell us a little about your perception of him. How might he have fit in 1960s Kansas, and how might the cultural differences, for better or worse, affected his ability “to get the story”?
Part II: As Truman Capote got to know many of the characters involved in the story behind In Cold Blood, his depictions were undoubtedly influenced. Select one character from the movie that you believe was portrayed in a different light and discuss why you think this character was skewed. Keep in mind that there are a lot of possibilities to consider. Capote’s own feelings could influence the work, the character may be too distasteful (for a variety of reasons), or the exaggeration could simply make a better read. Since we are dealing with a film, the possibility is also there that the change translates better to film. You are welcome to investigate this possibility as well. Please support your ideas. In this assignment, you may want to read other reports of the crime or excerpts from the book.
Part III: Choose one of the literary pieces this week (found in the “Other Perspectives” section of your text). Tell us about the point of view. Do you get the feeling that you are hearing from someone within the society being represented, or are you seeing what an outsider sees? It could even be a mixture, but whatever your conclusion, you will need to support it with examples from the text.