What is ‘reader response’ and how do I apply it to a Dickinson poem and a Whitman poem?

  

Lit 221
Part I: After reading the
lesson this week, compose a paragraph of ‘reader response’ to the Dickinson
poem and one of the Whitman poems. One paragraph each! Remember, ‘reader
response’ asks that you connect with the poem in some personal way.
Part II: Find another internet
resource ( this might be a text-based website or a Youtube video or a journal
article)that provides some additional insight or helps you understand any of
this week’s poems. Share the link and describe what the resource is and how it
helped you.
Part III: What lines from
“Song of Myself” describe, in your view, something important or
unique about American identity? Copy and paste the lines here and then discuss
your reason for selecting them in a paragraph.
Please
respond to all three parts. Initial responses should exceed 200 words. Feel
free to break up your responses to the three parts over separate posts or days
if you prefer to respond to them one at a time.

Introduction:In Lit 221 Part I, students are required to provide reader response to Dickinson’s poem and Whitman’s poem. This reader response involves establishing a personal connection with the poems. In Part II, students are required to find an internet resource that provides additional insight to the poem, which could either be a text-based website, a Youtube video or a journal article. Part III requires students to select lines from “Song of Myself” that describe American identity and provide justifications for their selection.

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Description:

Part I:

In Part I of Lit 221, students are expected to provide reader response to Dickinson’s poem and Whitman’s poem. The reader response requires students to establish a personal connection with the poems. This process allows students to engage with the poems beyond its surface level, which can create a deep understanding of the poem’s meaning.

Part II:

The Part II of Lit 221 requires students to search and find additional internet resources that could aid in their understanding of the poem. This could be a text-based website, a Youtube video or a journal article. The resources will provide additional insight into the poems, and students can share the link and describe how the resource helped them.

Part III:

In Part III, students are expected to extract lines from “Song of Myself” that describe American identity. This section is crucial as it allows students to understand the core values that define America as a nation. Students are required to provide justifications for their selections and discuss how the selected lines contribute to understanding American identity.

Objectives:
– To analyze and connect with the Dickinson and Whitman poems through a personal response.
– To find an external resource that provides additional insight in understanding the poems.
– To identify and discuss lines from “Song of Myself” that highlight important or unique aspects of American identity.

Learning Outcomes:
– Students will be able to demonstrate analytical skills in connecting with the poems through a personal response.
– Students will be able to locate and evaluate external resources that aid their understanding of the poems.
– Students will be able to identify and explain lines from “Song of Myself” that capture important or unique elements of American identity.

Explanation:
The objectives for this assignment are based on the three parts of the prompt given to the students. In Part I, students are asked to write a paragraph that analyzes and connects with the Dickinson and Whitman poems through a personal response. This objective aims to develop students’ analytical skills in connecting with literary works on a personal level. In Part II, students are required to find an external resource that provides additional insight into understanding the poems. This objective aims to enhance students’ research skills, critical thinking, and evaluation of various sources. In Part III, students need to identify and discuss lines from “Song of Myself” that highlight important or unique aspects of American identity. This objective aims to improve students’ comprehension skills in analyzing literary texts and identifying relevant themes and motifs.

Overall, the learning outcomes of this assignment are aimed at developing students’ critical thinking, analytical, research, and comprehension skills. By completing this assignment, students will be able to better appreciate and understand literary works, develop a sense of cultural identity, and improve their ability to analyze and evaluate various sources of information.

Solution 1:

After reading Dickinson’s “Hope is the Thing With Feathers,” I found myself feeling moved by her portrayal of hope as a persistent and unwavering force in the face of adversity. The image of a bird coming in the midst of a storm to provide comfort and reassurance is both powerful and comforting. I was reminded of times in my own life when hope has felt out of reach, but somehow managed to endure, often with the help of unexpected sources of support. Dickinson’s poetry can be challenging to interpret, but I appreciate how she allows her readers to bring their own experiences and emotions to the table.

Solution 2:

One of the Whitman poems that stood out to me was “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer.” I enjoyed how this poem critiques the prioritization of knowledge and abstraction over meaningful personal experience. The narrator, feeling stifled by the “proofs, the figures,” seeks solace outside in the fresh air and the stars. This idea of finding truth and beauty through individual sensory experience carries through many of Whitman’s works, and it speaks to a larger cultural trend towards individualism and anti-intellectualism in mid-19th century America. It was interesting to learn more about this context through a journal article I found on JSTOR, which provided historical and cultural background on the intellectual climate of the time. The article helped me contextualize Whitman’s poetry and appreciate the subversive nature of his ideas.

Suggested Resources/Books:

1. “The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition” edited by R. W. Franklin. This is a comprehensive collection of all of Dickinson’s poems, including variant readings and extensive annotation for each poem. It is an excellent resource for those interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Dickinson’s poetry.

2. “Walt Whitman: Complete Poetry and Collected Prose” edited by Justin Kaplan. This collection includes all of Whitman’s poetry, as well as a selection of his essays, letters, and other prose writings. The volume also includes extensive notes and historical background material.

3. “The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson” edited by Wendy Martin. This collection of essays provides a comprehensive overview of Dickinson’s life, works, and cultural context. It is an excellent resource for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of Dickinson’s poetry and its place in American literature.

4. “Walt Whitman: A Life” by Justin Kaplan. This biography of Whitman provides a fascinating look at the man behind the poetry, as well as an overview of Whitman’s literary and cultural legacy.

Similar asked questions:

1. What is “reader response” and how does it differ from other approaches to literary analysis?

2. What are some common themes in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman?

3. How did the poetry of Dickinson and Whitman reflect the cultural and societal changes of the 19th century?

4. How have Dickinson and Whitman influenced American literature and culture?

5. What are some of the challenges of interpreting the poetry of Dickinson and Whitman, and how have scholars and critics approached these challenges?

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