Write 200 words:
Remember that your goal is to write an argument in which you interpret textual evidence to reach a conclusion about the text under consideration.
Think of your SP as a mini-essay and write it accordingly. Use all the conventions of standard academic writing: capitalization and punctuation, complete sentences, well-formed paragraphs, and so on. Whenever you employ textual evidence, be sure to provide a citation so that other learners may follow up on your ideas.
Once youve completed your SP, think about the contributions of the other participants in the forum. Find one or more that make you think more deeply, or with which you disagree, and write a Response Posting (RP).
Remember that although RPs are very short, you should pay attention to your writing in them. Do not write them the way you would a text or an email. Use proper capitalization and punctuation, and form complete sentences. Provide a citation for any textual evidence you use.
For a full description of my expectations for Substantive and Response Postings, see the Discussion Forum Expectations document in the This Course module. For more information on writing about literature and writing academic arguments, see the Useful Resources module.
Substantive Postings: These SPs, like last week’s, must be exactly two paragraphs in length. Carefully follow these directions, which differ from last week’s. (Read on for what RPs should do this week.)
1) Consider Margaret Cavendish’s “The Motion of the Blood” and “Of Many Worlds in this World.”
2) Choose one short passage from each poem, no more than one or two lines from each poem and as short as a few words. Copy those passages verbatim at the top of your posting. (The passages will not be included in the word count.)
3) Before you start to write, consider how the words in your passages reveal similarities and/or differences between the two poems. (As always, seek specific similarities and differences.) Consider as well what those similarities and/or differences might mean about the poems.
4) Then, devise and compose a thesis statement of one or at most two sentences that presents an argument about the comparison or contrast. That thesis statement must be the first part of your first paragraph. In the rest of that paragraph, but in no more than two or three more sentences, develop that argument, showing how it might be proved by the words in the lines you’ve chosen.
5) In your second and final paragraph, develop a counter-argument to the argument you presented in your first paragraph; this thesis statement must be the first part of your second paragraph. Then, in no more than two or three additional sentences, develop that argument, showing how it might be proved by the words in the lines you’ve chosen.
Do not attempt to reconcile the argument and the counter-argument, and do not add introductory or concluding or other material to your work. After you’ve finished your second paragraph, your work on this posting is done and you should stop.
Your mark will be dependent on the quality of both the argument and the counter-argument and the development of each of them. To achieve a satisfactory mark, you must follow these instructions exactly and you must engage with the words in your passages. Generalizations about the poems that are not supported by those words will not contribute to a satisfactory mark.
Remember not to draw on arguments that you have found on-line; use your own critical sense to develop your own argument.
Write 75 words: Response Postings: In your RP, comment on the relative strength of a classmate’s two arguments and/or the evidence they are bringing forward to support them. As always, be productive and collegial, please. Remember that RPs–even this week–need evidence to support them. (Only RPs that fulfill these requirements will receive satisfactory marks.):
But every beam is like a blazing ship, / The sun doth traffic to the earth in it.
The Motion of the Blood or poem 1 (lines 18-19)
Degrees of sizes within each box are found.
Of Many Worlds in this World or poem 2 (line 2)
Cavendish uses the size and scope of nature and objects as a way for us to imagine concepts beyond our physical world. The movement of blood coursing through our veins and the muscles in our bodies are compared to vast tides in the ocean that do ebb, and flow (poem 1, line 5). Our thoughts powerfully stream like the suns beams across space, with every beamlike a blazing ship (18) travelling across the expanses of Earth. On the other end of the size spectrum, Cavendish uses a nest of boxesthinner, and less, and less still by degree (poem 2, lines 1 and 4) to imagine tiny, infinite worlds within worlds nesting in the same way. She suggests entire worlds may be so small, no bigger than two pence (6) that they could fit on womens jewelry, while millions ofatoms may be in / the head of one small, little, single pin (13-14).
Cavendishs analogies focus less on size than on the use of everyday objects and surroundings which we are familiar with. Similes throughout the poems act as physical representations to help us understand concepts which might otherwise be too intangible or difficult to visualize. She writes thought, and matter comes from the sun / In streaming beams (poem 1, lines 13-14), allowing us to imagine matter as rays of sunlight. She compares thoughts to travelling ships and how we must guard against the possibility of being over-fraught (25) lest our thoughts, like the ships, sink with their own weight (26), perhaps a caution regarding burdening ones mind with over-thinking. She says worlds may exist as pendants in each ear (poem 2, line 16), meaning they are everywhere, even where you least expect them to be, and worlds within worlds would look just like unto a nest of boxes round (1). It isnt so much the size and scale of things but our familiarity with them which allows us to imagine both a metaphysical connection with the natural world and the existence of many worlds within this one.
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