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Pigeon Feathers by John Updike Elements of Literature pp.105-123.

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Presentation on theme: "Pigeon Feathers by John Updike Elements of Literature pp.105-123."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pigeon Feathers by John Updike Elements of Literature pp.105-123

2 obscure 106-1 (adj) obscurely (adv) little known cowering 108-1 (adj) cower (v) only living things can cower unless word is used in a figurative manner *sporadic 108-1 (adj) sporadically (adv) sometimes without warning or advance notice retrospectively 108-1 (adv) retrospective (adj) based on memory affecting things past Commonly used: “In retrospect....” complacent 108-1 (adj) complaisant marked by self-satisfaction; “good enough” attitude agreeable; will easily follow directions or orders


4 *constituent 110-2 (n) constituency (n) a component or element; an essential part people who make up a supportive group *impudence 114-2 (n) impudent (adj) impudently (adv) “mouthy” Know how to pronounce! explicit 118-1 (adj)literally and obviously expressed *rapt 118-1 (adj) raptness (n) NOT “wrapped” “rapt in thought” “gave rapt attention to”; engrossed in *adamant 119-1 (adj) adamantly (adv) adamancy (n) unshakable or insistent especially in maintaining a position or opinion; insistent; unyielding

5 Strong writing Write about something personal, rather than general. Pay attention to EACH sentence. Do you have any “There is/are” “It is/they are” sentence beginnings? – Reword those sentences to avoid that pattern. Highlight all the verbs. If you notice that you tend toward weak verbs, change most of them. – Use strong verbs rather than adding adverbs. – Rid your writing of the helping verb would. Highlight (different color) repeated words—nouns in particular. Change words. Rewording may be needed. Highlight all the pronouns. Does each pronoun have a clear and near antecedent?

6 Near-Disaster One day when I was seven, I decided to swing by myself from the rope swing in our barn. I jumped from the hayloft, hanging on to the swing. I almost fell down to the ground because I almost let go. I learned that I could get hurt if I take some risks. Into the Wild Blue Yonder As a little sister to five brothers, I did my best to keep up with them, but one day I learned that taking a risk could lead to disaster if I chose to be foolish..... After that heart-stopping near-disaster, I decided to be less impetuous about my actions and to carefully evaluate my brothers’ actions and examples.

7 John Updike March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009 Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (the novels Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and the novella "Rabbit Remembered") which chronicled the life of Harry "Rabbit" A Rabbit Is Rich (1981) and Rabbit At Rest (1990) both received the Pulitzer Prize. Describing his subject as “the American small town, Protestant middle class,” Updike was well recognized for his careful craftsmanship, his unique prose style, and his prolific writing. He wrote, on average, a book a year. Updike populated his fiction with characters who "frequently experience personal turmoil and must respond to crises relating to religion, family obligations, and marital infidelity."

8 This is NOT a Christian story, though you will meet a character who seems to be looking for God. In this story look for... Erroneous philosophies Pressure from godless preacher Pressure from unregenerate family members Secular authors whose philosophies can lead to a breakdown of faith in God

9 In this story look for... Pantheism—Worship of nature Humanism— – Worship of man – Worship of science, technology, etc

10 Allusion as a Literary Tool What is an allusion? – a reference within a written work to something outside it – A writer using an allusion takes for granted that he has a reader with knowledge and experience similar to his own What were some allusions in “Pigeon Feathers”?

11 Irony as a Literary Tool What is irony? – the use of words to express the opposite of what one really means – incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the actual result What are some ironic incidents in “Pigeon Feathers”?

12 David’s Spiritual Journey reads H.G. Wells—is horrified questions Mother/listens to Father questions Rev. Dobson searches Bible observes dog—Nature is beautiful shoots pigeons buries pigeons and notices the intricacy of their feathers What is the resolution? What is David certain of now? Do you think that David becomes a believer? Why or why not?

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