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Some Notes on THE ROAD

Some Notes on THE ROAD - E 316K Spring 2009 Dr Berry ROAD...

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E 316K, Spring 2009, Dr. Berry ROAD NOTES, AS PROMISED Remember that one of the goals of this class is to become better at close reading, and as such there is no substitute for a careful, thoughtful reading by you of this entire text. The Road : Use these notes and your own good observational and analytical skills to stretch your talents and what you have learned about literary analysis from our study this semester. Even though I will cite a particular mood and setting that beings the novel, I am starting these notes later in the novel, as as to cover what I didn’t (and not re-cover what I did). From the mythological, primal, preversion-of-science dream (nightmare) of a beginning, we move, with father and son, toward the road. I am beginning here after the cellar scene with the cornucopia of goods. From there to other “good guys” on the road. P. 161-175: the twosome meets another traveler. Any name? Any significance to him having a name? Think hard about this; it will come to you. Take a good look at this scene and in detail. Think about what this traveler is supposed to represent. Is he a a kind of village idiot in rags? A sage of the time? Does he recognize anything in the boy? Does he have a naturalistic take on his current surroundings and situation? This is definitely a big scene; look at it in detail (find others you find to be, quote, big scenes , and give them another detailed reading). Figure this out on your own; this is the essence of constructing your own perspective. (Remember Whitman’s great lines: “We have had ducking and deprecating about enough/Now I wash the gum from your eyes….”) Feel free to soar like a bird in your original, imaginative readings, but as ever, ALWAYS take your analysis back to textual details, to what’s offered you by the novelist as he stages his scenes and their messages. One more note on Ely: refer to p. 172; re-read. What might he mean, do you think, by the statement (which I’m cutting into here)?: “……[B]ecause to be on the road with the last god would be a terrible thing so I hope it’s not true.” A “train” scene that follows. Take a look at the beautiful passage on pp. 180-81.
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