Wait Till Next Year Memoir Doris Kearns Goodwin by liaoqinmei


									                                   It‖s your choice! The details
     Choose and read one memoir from the book list.
     In your bound “composition” notebook, complete a dialectical journal (two-column notes) in which you
        discuss your author's language and style. ALL entries should be handwritten in blue or black ink.
     Include at least twenty quotations in your journal notes. This handout has helpful information with a
        student-created journal sample to help with your written response.
     What is it about the writing that stands out and makes the work distinctive? The important part is that
        you, the reader, are reading something and then responding with analysis. Have a conversation with the
        text and with yourself.

Dialectic: “The art or practice of arriving at the truth by using conversation involving question and answer.”
Dialectical Journal: A written conversation with yourself about a piece of literature.

                                  How your Dialectical Journal Should be Formatted

 Label the left side of each journal page “CD – Concrete Details” and label the right side of each journal
    page “CM – Commentary.”
 The “CD” side is where you record examples: paraphrase, quotations, notes, direct quotes, summaries,
    evidence, support, images, etc. from the book. (Always accompany CD with page numbers.)
 The “CM” side is where you record corresponding analysis: reactions, ideas, opinions, comments,
    inferences, insights, questions, etc. from your head.

                               How to Choose Quotations for Your Dialectical Journal

Select quotations: Choose at least twenty quotations that stand out in the text for their effect; find quotes that
are significant to the theme of the work; select quotes that affect you as a reader.

Understand: Take some time to consider each quotation's relevance to both the section of the work in which it
is found and its relevance to the work as a whole.

Identify: Now begin writing: note the context of the quotation (where/when does it appear in the text?) and
categorize its status as a rhetorical or literary device.
Describe its significance: What makes this quote important? Stand out? What makes you, the reader, take
notice? For each quotation, use the D-I-D-L-S method to guide your journal response.
What in the world is D-I-D-L-S??? (so glad you asked!)

                       How to Analyze Each Quotation‖s Language and Style: D-I-D-L-S
        Just as each of us has a particular, unique way of presenting ourselves, writers have unique ways of
presenting themselves. Our personalities shine through the way we talk, the words we choose, the gestures we
use, the clothes we wear. A writer has only language to express his/her personality. The qualities below are
the basic elements of a writer's style.

Diction – The author‖s choice of words and their connotations.
What words does the author choose? Consider his/her word choice compared to another. Why did the author
choose that particular word? What are the connotations of that word choice? What effect do these words have on
your mood as a reader? What do they seem to indicate about the author‖s tone?

E.g. Author 1: Bill was unintelligent.            (relatively neutral, as far as lack of intelligence goes)
E.g. Author 2: Bill was a zipperhead.     (less of a low IQ, more like someone who acts like an idiot)

Images – The use of descriptions that appeal to sensory experience.
What images does the author use? What does he/she focus on in a sensory way? The kinds of images the author
puts in or leaves out reflect his/her style? Are they vibrant? Prominent? Plain? What effect do these images have
on your mood as a reader? What do they seem to indicate about the author‖s tone? NOTE: Images differ from
details in the degree to which they appeal to the senses.

Details – Facts that are included or those that are omitted.
What details are does the author choose to include? What do they imply? What does the author choose to
exclude? What are the connotations of their choice of details? What effect do these included and excluded details
have on your mood as a reader? What do these included and excluded details seem to indicate about the
author‖s tone? PLEASE NOTE: Details are facts or fact-lets. They differ from images in that they don‖t have a
strong sensory appeal.

E.g. An author describing a battlefield might include details about the stench of rotting bodies or he might not.

Language – Characteristics of the body of words used; terms like slang, formal, clinical, scholarly, and jargon
denote language.
What is the overall impression of the language the author uses? Does it reflect education? A particular profession?
Intelligence? Is it plain? Ornate? Simple? Clear? Figurative? Poetic? What effect does language have on your
mood as a reader? What does language seem to indicate about the author‖s tone?

E.g. This is the step I‖m most apt to skip.

Sentence Structure – The fashion in which the sentences are constructed.
What are the sentences like? Are they simple with one or two clauses? Do they have multiple phrases? Are they
choppy? Flowing? Sinuous like a snake? Is there antithesis, chiasmus, parallel construction? What emotional
impression do they leave? If we are talking about poetry, what is the meter? Is there a rhyme scheme? What
effect do these structures have on your mood as a reader? What do these structures to indicate about the
author‖s tone? PLEASE NOTE: Short = emotional or assertive; longer = reasonable or scholarly.

                                    How Your Dialectical Journal will be Assessed

A = Detailed, meaningful passages, plot and quote selections; thoughtful interpretation and commentary about
the text; includes comments about literary elements (like theme, diction, imagery, syntax, symbolism, etc.) and
how these elements contribute to the meaning of the text; raises many thought-provoking, insightful
observations; coverage of text is complete and thorough; journal is neat, organized and readable; student has
followed ALL directions in the creation/organization of the journal.

B = Less detailed, but good selections; some intelligent commentary about the text; includes some comments
about literary elements (like theme, diction, imagery, syntax, symbolism, etc.) but less than how these elements
contribute to the meaning of the text; raises some thought-provoking, insightful observations; coverage of text is
complete and thorough; journal is neat, organized and readable; student has followed ALL directions in the
creation/organization of the journal.

C = A few good details about the text; most of the commentary is vague, unsupported or plot
summary/paraphrase; some listing of literary elements, but perhaps inadequate discussion; raises few or
obvious observations; addresses most of the reading assignment, but not very thoroughly; journal is relatively
neat; student has perhaps not followed all directions in organizing and/or formatting the journal.

D = Hardly any good details from the text; all notes are plot summary or paraphrase; few literary elements,
virtually no discussion on meaning; no good observations; limited coverage of text/too short; did not follow
directions; difficult to read/follow.
F = No dialectical journal completed on day checked or collected.

                                             Dialectical Journal Student Sample

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Chapter 1 (p. 7) IMAGERY                     I found this sentence thought provoking and an interesting use of
“…what foul dust floated in the wake         imagery. By using strong visual imagery, Fitzgerald allowed
of his dreams that temporarily closed multiple interpretations of this sentence. “Foul dust” could possibly
out my interest in the abortive              relate to laziness since that is the reason why dust exists, a lack of
sorrows and short-winded elations of motivation to clean and tidy a room or place. Dust also suggests
men.”                                        an idea of aged existence. “In the wake of his dreams” could
                                             allude to a funeral, which is possibly a harbinger for a death in the
                                             story of a main character. “Abortive sorrows and short-winded
                                             elations of men” is a strong sentence to say “I don‖t care.” The
                                             use of “abortive” could also relate to the sudden and unexpected
                                             death of a character.
Chapter 1 (p.10) DETAILS                     Nick Carraway, a man from a prominent family, will not shame his
“My own house was an eye-sore,               family by living a “bad” life; he must make friends with the rich and
but it was a small eye-sore and it           become popular, which is the great American Dream. Under
had been overlooked, so I had a              normal circumstances, one would not buy a house that is an eye-
view of the water, a partial view of         sore, but the proximity to the affluent aids the decision. Pride is
my neighbor‖s lawn and the                   also present in the American Dream, and Nick can say that he lives
consoling proximity of millionaires—         with millionaires. In addition, Nick is new to New York, and living
all for eighty dollars a month.”             by millionaires is a great start to becoming a well-known man. The
                                             usage of the dash was very effective and emphasized the
                                             “privileges” Nick has compared to others. However, this urge to
                                             become popular with an upper class is destructive, for there is no
                                             limit to how popular one can be, so the hopes and dreams of
                                             people searching for an easy life can only be hopes and dreams.

Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir … Doris Kearns Goodwin
When historian Goodwin was six years old, her father taught her how to keep score for "their" team, the Brooklyn Dodgers. While
this activity forged a lifelong bond between father and daughter, her mother formed an equally strong relationship with her through
the shared love of reading. Goodwin recounts some wonderful stories in this coming-of-age tale about both her family and an era
when baseball truly was the national pastime that brought whole communities together. From details of specific games to
descriptions of players, including Jackie Robinson, a great deal of the narrative centers on the sport. Between games and
seasons, Goodwin relates the impact of pivotal historical events, such as the Rosenberg trial. Her end of innocence follows with
the destruction of Ebbets Field, her mother's death, and her father's lapse into despair. Goodwin gives readers reason to consider
what each of us has retained of our childhood passions. A poignant but unsentimental journey for all adults and, of course,
especially for baseball fans. (272 pages)

Waiting for Snow in Havana … Carlos Eire
At the start of the nineteen-sixties, an operation called Pedro Pan flew more than fourteen thousand Cuban children out of the
country, without their parents, and deposited them in Miami. Eire, now a professor of history and religion at Yale, was one of
them. His deeply moving memoir describes his life before Castro, among the aristocracy of old Cuba—his father, a judge,
believed himself to be the reincarnation of Louis XVI—and, later, in America, where he turned from a child of privilege into a Lost
Boy. Eire's tone is so urgent and so vividly personal (he is even nostalgic about Havana's beautiful blue clouds of DDT) that his
unsparing indictments of practically everyone concerned, including himself, seem all the more remarkable. (400 pages) (Review
from the New Yorker)

A Girl Named Zippy … Haven Kimmel
It's a cliché‚ to say that a good memoir reads like a well-crafted work of fiction, but Kimmel's smooth, impeccably humorous
prose evokes her childhood as vividly as any novel. Born in 1965, she grew up in Mooreland, Ind., a place that by some
"mysterious and powerful mathematical principle" perpetually retains a population of 300, a place where there's no point learning
the street names because it's just as easy to say, "We live at the four-way stop sign." Hers is less a formal autobiography than a
collection of vignettes comprising the things a small child would remember: sick birds, a new bike, reading comics at the
drugstore, the mean old lady down the street. The truths of childhood are rendered in lush yet simple prose; here's Zippy
describing a friend who hates wearing girls' clothes: "Julie in a dress was like the rest of us in quicksand." Over and over, we
encounter pearls of third-grade wisdom revealed in a child's assured voice: "There are a finite number of times one can safely
climb the same tree in a single day"; or, regarding Jesus, "Everyone around me was flat-out in love with him, and who wouldn't
be? He was good with animals, he loved his mother, and he wasn't afraid of blind people." (282 pages)

Glass Castle … Jeannette Walls
Starred Review. Freelance writer Walls doesn't pull her punches. She opens her memoir by describing looking out the window of
her taxi, wondering if she's "overdressed for the evening" and spotting her mother on the sidewalk, "rooting through a
Dumpster." Walls's parents—just two of the unforgettable characters in this excellent, unusual book—were a matched pair of
eccentrics, and raising four children didn't conventionalize either of them. Her father was a self-taught man, a would-be inventor
who could stay longer at a poker table than at most jobs and had "a little bit of a drinking situation," as her mother put it. With a
fantastic storytelling knack, Walls describes her artist mom's great gift for rationalizing. Apartment walls so thin they heard all their
neighbors? What a bonus—they'd "pick up a little Spanish without even studying." Why feed their pets? They'd be helping them
"by not allowing them to become dependent." While Walls's father's version of Christmas presents—walking each child into the
Arizona desert at night and letting each one claim a star—was delightful, he wasn't so dear when he stole the kids' hard-earned
savings to go on a bender. The Walls children learned to support themselves, eating out of trashcans at school or painting their
skin so the holes in their pants didn't show. Buck-toothed Jeannette even tried making her own braces when she heard what
orthodontia cost. One by one, each child escaped to New York City. Still, it wasn't long before their parents appeared on their
doorsteps. "Why not?" Mom said. "Being homeless is an adventure." (288 pages) (Review from Publishers Weekly)

―Tis … Frank McCourt
The sequel to Frank McCourt's memoir of his Irish Catholic boyhood, Angela's Ashes, picks up the story in October 1949. Now
back on American soil, this awkward 19-year-old, with his "pimply face, sore eyes, and bad teeth," has little in common with the
healthy, self-assured college students he sees on the subway and dreams of joining in the classroom. Initially, his American
experience is as harrowing as his impoverished youth in Ireland, including two of the grimmest Christmases ever described in
literature. McCourt views the U.S. through the same sharp eye and with the same dark humor that distinguished his first memoir:
race prejudice, casual cruelty, and dead-end jobs weigh on his spirits as he searches for a way out. A glimpse of hope comes
from the army, where he acquires some white-collar skills, and from New York University, which admits him without a high school
diploma. But the journey toward his position teaching creative writing at Stuyvesant High School is neither quick nor easy.
Fortunately, McCourt's openness to every variety of human emotion and longing remains exceptional; even the most damaged,
difficult people he encounters are richly rendered individuals with whom the reader can't help but feel uncomfortable kinship. The
magical prose, with its singing Irish cadences, brings grandeur and beauty to the most sorrowful events. (368 pages)

An American Childhood … Annie Dillard
Dillard's luminous prose painlessly captures the pain of growing up in this wonderful evocation of childhood. Her memoir is partly
a hymn to Pittsburgh, where orange streetcars ran on Penn Avenue in 1953 when she was eight, and where the Pirates were
always in the cellar. Dillard's mother, an unstoppable force, had energies too vast for the bridge games and household chores
that stymied her. Her father made low-budget horror movies, loved Dixieland jazz, told endless jokes and sight-gags and took
lonesome river trips down to New Orleans to get away. From this slightly odd couple, Dillard acquired her love of nature and taut
sensitivity. The events of childhood often loom larger than life; the magic of Dillard's writing is that she sets down typical
childhood happenings with their original immediacy and force. (272 pages) (Review from Publishers Weekly)

Don‖t Let‖s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood … Alexandra Fuller
Pining for Africa, Fuller's parents departed England in the early '70s while she was still a toddler. They knew well that the ir life as
white farmers living in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia at the time) would be anything but glamorous. Living a crude, rural life, the author
and her older sister contended with "itchy bums and worms and bites up their arms from fleas" and losing three siblings. Mum
and Dad were freewheeling, free-drinking, and often careless. Yet they were made of tough stuff and there is little doubt of the
affection among family members. On top of attempting to make a living, they faced natives who were trying to free themse lves of
British rule, and who were understandably not thrilled to see more white bwanas settling in. Fuller portrays bigotry (her own
included), segregation, and deprivation. But judging by her vivid and effortless imagery, it is clear that the rich, pungent flora and
fauna of Africa have settled deeply in her bones. Snapshots scattered throughout the book enhance the feeling of intimacy and
adventure. A photo of the author's first day of boarding school seems ordinary enough- she's standing in front of the family's
Land Rover, smiling with her mother and sister. Then the realization strikes that young Alexandra is holding an Uzi (which she
had been trained to use) and the family car had been mine-proofed. This was no ordinary childhood, and it makes a riveting story
thanks to an extraordinary telling. (336 pages) (Review from the School Library Journal)
Autobiography of a Face … Lucy Grealy
At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw
removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and
remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty
pleasure of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between
two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and
secretly to be perfect. (256 pages)

This Boy‖s Life … Tobias Wolff
Fiction writer Tobias Wolff electrified critics with his scarifying 1989 memoir, which many deemed as notable for its artful
structure and finely wrought prose as for the events it describes. The story is pretty grim: Teenaged Wolff moves with his divorced
mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a
bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have
been supposed. Deception, disguise, and illusion are the weapons the young man learns to employ as he grows up--not bad
training for a writer-to-be. Somber though this tale of family strife is, it is also darkly funny and so artistically satisfying that most
readers come away exhilarated rather than depressed. (304 pages)

The Complete Persepolis … Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during
the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her
high school years in Vienna facing the trails of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and,
finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous
and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up. Edgy,
searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom--
Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today. (352 pages)

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius … Dave Eggers
Literary self-consciousness and technical invention mix unexpectedly in this engaging memoir by Eggers, editor of the literary
magazine McSweeney's and the creator of a satiric 'zine called Might, who subverts the conventions of the memoir by questioning
his memory, motivations and interpretations so thoroughly that the form itself becomes comic. Despite the layers of ironic
hesitation, the reader soon discerns that the emotions informing the book are raw and, more importantly, authentic. After
presenting a self-effacing set of "Rules and Suggestions for the Enjoyment of this Book" ("Actually, you might want to skip much
of the middle, namely pages 209-301") and an extended, hilarious set of acknowledgments (which include an itemized account
of his gross and net book advance), Eggers describes his parents' horrific deaths from cancer within a few weeks of each other
during his senior year of college, and his decision to move with his eight year-old brother, Toph, from the suburbs of Chicago to
Berkeley, near where his sister, Beth, lives. In California, he manages to care for Toph, work at various jobs, found Might, and
even take a star turn on MTV's The Real World. While his is an amazing story, Eggers, now 29, mainly focuses on the ethics of
the memoir and of his behavior--his desire to be loved because he is an orphan and admired for caring for his brother versus his
fear that he is attempting to profit from his terrible experiences and that he is only sharing his pain in an attempt to dilute it.
Though the book is marred by its ending--an unsuccessful parody of teenage rage against the cruel world--it will still delight
admirers of structural experimentation and Gen-Xers alike. (496 pages)

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