Happy Snow Day to you all! I hope you all keep warm during the days to come. Now to talk about the beginning of my strategy for this exam.

Theory

For the theory section I’m still deciding on what my options are but I was interested in pursing Queer theory and how it connects to Fun Home. However, I’m still trying to figure out what other texts I can use with this because right not its not evident to me. I was also thinking about liminality and using Fun Home as well along with The Buried Giant. I did both my presentations on both works so I already have a sort of outline on how to use it for both works. If I need another work, I might also be able to use Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao because it also comments on the theme of identity and the difficulties of teenage years. I could be able to talk about how all three different characters (Bechdel, Edwin, and Oscar) deal with their liminal stages and how this affects their interaction with their environment and relationships with others.

Genre

I’m a little worried for the genre section because I want to reuse Fun Home. I don’t want to seem too repetitive but it could also work. I’m thinking about using Fun Home, “The Mark on the Wall,” and maybe Emily Dickinson’s “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain.” The genre of the elegy is evident in Fun Home but less so in the other two works. After doing the presentation with “The Mark on the Wall” as an elegy I realized that I could present a unique interpretation. I can definitely use Smythe’s work. I just have to be very careful to make sure my point are met. Dickinson’s poem could also be interpreted through the elegy. I will use Sack’s work to make my argument. Again, the elegiac form is not as evident in this poem as it in in Fun Home but there are still images, like the procession of mourners, and the lack of consolation that could comment on the genre. However, if it comes to it I could also use Milton’s Lycidas and maybe use it as a comparison to how the form of the elegy has transgressed and transformed.

Historical Context

For me this is the hardest section because I’m not sure how to incorporate the history into my essays without sounding like I’m writing a history book. I have thought about working with   Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl mixed with The Invisible Man and talk about slavery and division of class and race. I found this article titled “Nineteenth-Century African American Women’s Autobiography as Social Discourse: The Example of Harriet Ann Jacobs” by Johnnie M. Stover that discusses the marginalization of the black woman in literature but society as well. I could talk about how women are also marginalized in Ellison’s work and the ways that their status in society affected the way they presented the female character. However, I feel like I might be venturing into a more feminist point of view that leads more to theory so I’m still trying to see what I can do to avoid that. As of now, I think this is my less developed and the one I have the most trouble writing.

 

Flexibility and Modularity

The book I have the most knowledge or confidence in is Fun Home because I did my thesis on it, but also because it’s a book that encompasses so many different genres, forms, and theories. I know I can already use it with different text for the genre and theory section. With each section, expect the historical context, I try to have three texts that I can work with in case the question wants me to do more than two. I also feel like Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl can be used with theory and historical context, possibly also genre with the autobiography narrative. I have a lot more organization left to do but this is all a good start to get my ideas flowing, I hope.

 

Thank you for all and any feedback!