Friday, November 1, 2013

To Test or Not to Test....

Change in plans: We are going to write an essay connecting Canterbury Tales to Today's Society - in lieu of a test. I rather have us make more meaningful connections between the reading and today. What has changed in 700 years? 

Gratitude to Mr. McCreary for inspiring this... 

The Canterbury Tales -  Essay Due End of Class Tuesday, Nov. 5th
If we view Chaucer’s tales as social satire, which of his tales do you think most effectively provides commentary on our current society? Consider the hypocrisies and abuses of power that he ridicules in the original tale, then think of ways in which these same forms of misbehavior exist today. Consider today’s state of marriage; what would Chaucer say about the divorce rate or same-sex marriage?
The best essays will stake a clear, specific claim in the thesis and will then provide specific textual support in well-structured body paragraphs. Your essay should:
1)     Provide evidence of Chaucer’s social satire in his original tale.
2)     Establish a clear link between your evidence from Chaucer’s text and real-life facts, figures, and/or examples drawn from current news stories.
NOTE: This means that you will be providing textual evidence from The Canterbury Tales as well as from reputable news sources such as Please stick with major news outlets (newspapers, TV network websites, etc.) and avoid the use of blogs and other media that are potentially less reliable. Also, please cite your sources using MLA format, both in the text itself and in the Works Cited section.
Essays should be approximately three double-spaced pages in length.

Essays will be due at the end of class on Tuesday, November 5th and must be posted to our Showcase blog – and a hard copy to me. Late penalties of one letter grade per day will be assessed.
Essay Brainstorming

Which tale will you choose?

Which estates or social practices are satirized within this tale and / or its prologue?

How does Chaucer satirize this estate? (Is there class conflict? Gender conflict? etc.) Find specific examples.

What example or examples from contemporary American society can you relate to Chaucer’s tale? Find specific examples.

Generate a draft thesis. Your thesis should indicate which of Chaucer’s tales you will cover, what elements of social satire you will address, and how these elements will be applied to contemporary society. Keep it narrow and specific!

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