What is an American? How does American literature create conceptions of the American experience and identity? Video Comprehension Questions: What sources did the poets in this unit draw on for inspiration? Context Questions: What is the relationship between the two strands of modernism outlined in the video? How do they overlap? Exploratory Questions: How does William Carlos Williams's "This Is Just to Say" compare to Li Young Lee's "Eating Together"? What poetic strategies do the poems share?
How do place and time shape literature and our understanding of it? Video Comprehension Questions: What kinds of historical and social events influenced art between the world wars? How did these forces shape poetry? Context Questions: How did patronage by wealthy whites affect the African American artists in this unit? How did the Great Migration, which brought together black Americans from all over the country, lead to changes in the racial climate? How did those changes affect the poetry of the time? Exploratory Questions: What comparison can you make between William Carlos Williams's "The Red Wheelbarrow" and other poems you have read this semester? What is distinctive about Williams's poem especially in terms of style and language?
What characteristics of a work have made it influential over time? Video Comprehension Questions: What is imagism? What are the features of this movement? How did it influence other poets besides Pound and Eliot? Context Questions: What are the aesthetic differences between the two strands of modernism covered in this unit? How have changing race and class politics affected the reception of these aesthetic innovations by subsequent generations of writers? Exploratory Questions: How can you define American poetry? What other American literary figures might have been influenced by Williams, Eliot, and Hughes? What characteristics of their work do you see being continued in American poetry today?
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