Harvest Time!

Revised & Added Questions

A. Theme
I. Colonization and De-Colonization
National Cultures, Movement and Gender --
  • How does Gilead control its people and esp. women in The Handmaid's Tale?  How does the female narrator in The Handmaid's Tale reconstruct her identity in several ways?  (Answer this question by giving specific examples from the excerpt you have.)
  • II. Diaspora Identity and Gender
  • Compare "What is Worth Knowing?" with "dis poem" and/or "Dan is the Man in the Van."   How does knowledge (of different cultures) play different roles in these two poems?

  • Diasporas in the postmodern metropolis --It's no coincidence that we have films about postmodern cities, since the city is usually where immigrants converge (some of the cities used to be, or are, colonial centers.)   In the films Masala, Rude and The Adjuster we see different kinds of immigrants and city nomads placed in an urban environment.  Their lives as immigrants/nomads are influenced by their social position as well as the social/technological environment of the city.
    • Analyze the role (post)modern technology and media (e.g. T.V., video, photograph, radio, airplane)  plays in two of these three films and how they get to be related to the immigrant characters.
    IV. Distinct Cultural/Historical Elements of the Areas/Nations
  • The idea of duality in the poems and novel by Margaret Atwood.  (clue: in The Handmaid's Tale, you can talk about the complicated relationships between the dominant and the powerless, or the victimizer and the victim.)

  • The role of "family" in the texts about Chinese diaspora (e.g. "The Concubine's Children" and Double Happiness).

  •   Added:  III. Women's, Children, Working Class and Family in (Colonial) society
    B. Artistic Techniques
    --You can concentrate on one text or compare two.
         1.  The use of the non-realistic genres such as allegory, parody or the fantastic (e.g. "Christopher Columbus," Masala, The Handmaid's Tale, The Adjuster, "The Found Boat")

          2. Metafictional techniques in film or novel  --e.g.  the inclusion of an author or director in the text to thematize some issues about the relationships between fiction and reality; the use of intertextuality;

          3. Poetic language in narratives -- You can also analyze some  central symbols, such as airplane, house, the use of lyricism (in The Lonely Londoners) etc.