English 955

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Online Assignment for Week 3
First, read the assigned essays from your Mercury Reader:
“Reading the River” by Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain, pp. 281-282 “Writing” by William Stafford, pp. 194-196
Then, answer the following questions:
In his essay “Reading the River,” Mark Twain had a point. What was his point? This point would be the theme or the thesis of the essay. Ask yourself this question: What did Twain want me, his reader, to know, think, feel, believe, or understand? I think the point to this story is how we observe things by our eyes and feelings. Mark Twain was observing the river and to him he was a like reading the river like reading a book.

In writing, describe a subject of your choice from the same two points of view Twain used: novice and expert. Begin by observing a familiar setting, person, or object, but with fresh eyes—describe what you see, hear, smell, taste, touch or feel, paying attention to the things you have—because of the familiarity—begun to take for granted. Write about what you think this phenomenon might say about everyday perception? When you observe something or somebody then you will notice things you've never notice about it or them before. I was observing my son today and I finally realized that there are somethings that have changed about him that I haven't notice before. Pick two words from each essay that caught your attention for some reason. What was the reason that you noticed them? How did the words impact the overall meaning conveyed by the essay? Twain—Word #1: acquisition-an asset or object bought, typically by a library or museum.

Twain—Word #2: opal-a variously colored semiprecious variety of silica.

Stafford—Word #1:nibble- take a small bite

Stafford—Word #2:realm-a community or territory over which a sovereign rules; a kingdom

In his essay, “Writing,” Stafford writes about “trusting that grace, or luck, or—skill” (196). Write briefly about grace, or luck,...
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