close reading and interpretation of literary criticism

we will be reading an article called “Telling Twice-Told Tales All Over Again: Literary and Historical Subversion in Bharati Mukherjee’s The Holder of the World” by literary scholar Pallavi Rastogi. We will be examining Rastogi’s thesis in that article which appears early in the article (268-9). Here is a screenshot of most of that sentence:

This sentence begins on the previous page and so Rastogi’s whole thesis sentence is as follows:

Keeping in mind some of the problems that regularly surface in Mukherjee’s writing, I argue that The Holder of the World marks a shift in the assimilationist stance advocated in such earlier works as Jasmine, The Tiger’s Daughter, and Wife and instead searches for a dialectic of intercultural negotiation through which mainstream American society is dramatically altered as much as it alters its own immigrant population. (269)

When we analyze this long, complex but coherent sentence, we realize that the thesis statement happens in the second half of it. When we remove the subordinate phrases in the sentence, we can see the core thesis sentence and thus Rastogi’s full thesis statement:

I argue that The Holder of the World… searches for a dialectic of intercultural negotiation through which mainstream American society is dramatically altered as much as it alters its own immigrant population. (269)

The work of your Final Essay will be to find out what Rastogi means by “a dialectic of intercultural negotiation” (269). While Rastogi’s syntax at the end of her sentence is subtle, we can see that her argument is that The Holder of the World presents a view that immigrants alter mainstream American society as much as mainstream American society alters its immigrants. Your Final Essay will explore your thoughts about this way of seeing the novel.

Close study of Pallavi Rastogi‘s “Telling Twice-Told Tales All Over Again: Literary and Historical Subversion in Bharati Mukherjee’s The Holder of the World” (2005)

The correct format of the Works Cited was as follows:

Works Cited

Mukherjee, Bharati. The Holder of the World, Knopf, 1993.

The correct format of the in-text citation is last name followed by page number with NO comma as follows:

(Mukherjee 254)

If you introduce the author’s name earlier in the cited sentence or paragraph, you do not need to repeat the name in your citation. In that case, your in-text citation would appear simply as:

(254)

This week, I want to practice our close reading and interpretation of literary criticism in preparation for the final essay.

Please complete the following task for this week’s Discussion Blog Entry:

  1. Copy by hand ONE (1) paragraph from literary scholar Pallavi Rastogi’s article “Telling Twice-Told Tales All Over Again: Literary and Historical Subversion in Bharati Mukherjee’s The Holder of the World” that you read last week. You may select the paragraph from which I quoted last week if you wish but I strongly recommend that you challenge your interpretive skills and tackle a different important paragraph from the essay. Please make sure to cite the page number of the paragraph. Underneath that copied paragraph, write an approximately 500-word explanation of the copied paragraph in mostly (see below) your own words.

Please remember the following:

ONE (1) point of this entry’s grade will be reserved for your use of at least TWO (2) in-text citations of a quotation or paraphrase from Rastogi’s article.

ONE (1) point of this entry’s grade will be reserved for a correctly formatted Works Cited.

Please cite the original text of the story using the information in the linked Works Cited file. Please scroll all the way to the final pages of the sample essay to find the information you need to cite this work correctly.

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