1. Please answer both of the Questioning the Text items on page 414. Yep, both of ’em. Don’t worry about the annotating and so on…just give some thoughts about the questions the prompt gives.
a. Barry’s humor obviously plays off gross stereotypes about men. Underscore or annotate all the stereotypes you can find in the essay.
b. Barry employs a lengthy analogy featuring his dog Zippy to explore the moral behavior of guys (p. 410). In a group, discuss this analogy, focusing on the observations that seem especially apt.
2. What is your overall opinion of this essay and why? Is it funny to you? Realistic? Some combination? Tries to be funny and fails? Is it insulting? Say what you think of the essay, and explain why you have that impression.
3. Since your final essay links up to this idea very closely, what can you say about this essay’s ideas when thinking about characters from The Great Gatsby? Do you see these traits in any of the characters? Which people at which times in the novel are guys, and when are they men?
(Your final essay for the semester is a reaction to the essay “Guys vs. Men” on page 405 of the textbook. Using that essay, do another bit of character analysis of Gatsby, Tom, Nick, and/or other characters of The Great Gatsby in view of the assertions of the essay. You could organize this paper several ways: perhaps you wish to discuss certain male characters one by one in order, comparing them to ideas in the textbook essay. Perhaps you wish to take the sections of the essay “Guys Like Neat Stuff,” etc one by one and stack certain characters of your choice up against those sections. Maybe you have other ideas of how to organize your discussion. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a consistent, coherent, flowing pattern of organization, and comment on characters of The Great Gatsby in comparison to that reading. Which characters are guys? Which are men? Are they both? What do you personally think of real life people such as this, as well as these fictional characters? Take the discussion where you will, so long as you organize things in a flowing way, quote from the source essay, quote from the novel, AND have an overall thesis statement that your paper strives to prove/illustrate/discuss throughout. Yes, in some ways this is a little similar to your “in class” essay, but there you were tackling whether or not characters were admirable…here you are synthesizing your response to the last textbook reading and its humorous content with character analysis from the novel.)
4. Do you know anyone in your real life that matches the descriptors of being a guy, as detailed in the essay? If so, relate an anecdote you don’t mind others reading.
5 .For your last Gatsby based discussion board question, please read my lecture for the week, and comment upon it in any way you wish. Did you notice any of those things I discuss as you were reading the novel? Do you disagree with the interpretations described there? Do you have other questions of any sort about the book now that you are done? Don’t try to get out of this by saying “I don’t have any questions”!
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