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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   



11. Modernist Portraits

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
Activities
- Author
Activities
- Context
Activities
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Creative Response

  1. Poet's Corner: Choose a character from one of the prose works in this unit (e.g., "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," Quicksand, Trifles) and write a short poem from that character's point of view. You do not need to choose a main character. How, for example, do you believe Harry's wife ("The Snows of Kilimanjaro") would think? Or Minnie Wright, the absent focus of Trifles? How does the poetic form change the way you present information about the character?

  2. Journal: Chronicle a moment in your life using the style of Gertrude Stein. Describe the same people and things from slightly different angles and experiment with departing from typical meanings of words. What happens to your thinking about your subject when you use this technique?

  3. Journal: Imagine you are Nella Larsen and are considering your long-awaited third novella. What would this novella be about if you set it in present-day America? Where would you set it and what would happen?

  4. Doing History: Look at the images of World War I and read the accounts by soldiers. Choose one image and write a narrative account of what you think is happening in it. What would an onlooker see, smell, and hear? What might a soldier feel and think? What's happened just before this picture was taken and what will happen next?

  5. Multimedia: You have been asked to design a virtual museum exhibit that shows the principles underlying modernism in literature, art, and music. Using the archive, create exhibition "rooms" where visitors may read texts, hear music, and see artwork to help them better understand how these different art forms interpreted the principles of modernism. Write short explanatory notes to go with each image, text, or sound clip.



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