For this discussion, you will focus on how flashbacks and other literary devices are used in Willa Cather’s “Neighbor Rosicky” to communicate truths about human nature.
After completing the assignment, you will be able to:
- Identify examples of flashbacks.
- Explain how flashbacks and other literary devices are used to communicate truths about human nature.
- Apply literary discoveries about human nature to your own personal/professional life.
- Textbook: Pearson Custom Introduction to Literature
- File: Literary Glossary (2.3)
“Rosicky” is pronounced “Rozitske” with a long “o” (as in “rose”), a short “i” (as in “sit”), and a long “e” as in “sheet.” The “th” in Willa Cather’s name is unvoiced as in “thick” as opposed to “the.”
Read headnote on Willa Cather (pp. 74-75)
Read Willa Cather’s “Neighbor Rosicky” (pp. 77-101) and answer all of the following questions:
- List two character traits possessed by the character Anton Rosicky.
- Identify one conflict in the life of Anton Rosicky. Support your answer with specific reference to the story.
- Review the definition of flashbacks in the Literary Glossary (2.3). What insight into Rosicky’s character (especially his motivation) does the reader gain from his flashbacks about his life in London?
- Examine the parts of the story that come before and after the flashback to London. How do the flashback help the reader understand these events?
- What insight into Rosicky’s character (especially his motivation) does the reader gain from his flashbacks about his life in New York?
- Examine the parts of the story that come before and after the flashbacks to New York. How do the flashbacks help the reader understand these events?
- At one point in the story, Anton says the following, “I guess the only thing is for me to git a new one [heart].” How is this statement significant? Does it foreshadow a change in him by the end of the story? Explain your answer.
- Identify two things that Rosicky values, and evaluate them according to your own values and experience.
- Identify a universal truth about human nature that is suggested through the characters and events in this story.
- Draft a thesis statement for this story using the format you have learned in this class. Make sure to include two specific literary devices and a universal theme.
Your initial post is due by the end of the fourth day of the workshop.
Read and respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings, as well as any follow-up instructor questions directed to you, by the end of the workshop. Be sure to do one the following in each response to a classmate:
- Identify a portion of your classmates’ response to one of the above questions which you think is unclear or with which you disagree. Either ask a question that will help you better understand what your classmate intended to say, suggest a specific revision which you think would be clearer, or explain why you disagree.
- Analyze the thesis of your classmate:
- Inclusive: Has the writer included a universal theme?
- Specific: Are there any parts of the thesis that could be made more specific? If so, suggest how.
- Clear: Are there parts of the thesis you find unclear? If so, identify them.