Comp Lit 30b, Assignment 2 (option 2)

The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish is due on Tuesday, November 24.

If you are unsure if your section instructor would prefer that you email the homework or place a physical copy in the departmental mailbox, please check with them.

You must complete this assignment if you did not write your second homework on Calderón’s Life is a Dream.

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Instructions: The purpose of the first homework assignment was to get you thinking about the elements of an essay. Write a brief analysis of The Blazing World that is no longer than two pages for this project. The objective is to convince your T.A. that your viewpoint is reasonable.

Here are a few things to remember:? No lengthy introduction paragraph is necessary. To ensure that your reader knows what to expect, it is sufficient to describe your idea clearly. Be careful not to summarize the plot in the “body” paragraphs. The text is recognizable to your T.A. Use quotations or make reference to the details (through direct quotes or paraphrasing) that firmly establish your stance and advance your argument. You also don’t need to include a lengthy conclusion. Prior to starting to write, it is always a good idea to create an outline. Format: double-spaced, with one-inch margins and a 12-point typeface. Publish a title page that includes your name and a title. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me or your T.A.

Select one of these subjects or suggest your own:
Remember that you don’t have to respond to all of the prompt’s questions; they are merely there to get your mind going on the subject.

Hybrid, hyphenated creatures like bear-men, bird-men, worm-men, and others abound in the Blazing World. If you decide to write about this subject, consider how Cavendish depicts both the animal and human sides of these creatures. Where do they fit into society? What perspective(s) do they hold? Why do males seem to be the only ones who resemble animals? Do you believe that they are “hybrid” in the same sense that we discussed Life Is A Dream, or do you believe that their hybridity works differently? (You can also use a quote from Life is a Dream as a point of reference). It is OK to concentrate on only one of these groups, such as the bear men, and to talk about one or two passages that you believe contain the most insightful information.
Here are some examples of passages that could be helpful if you write on this subject:
The Lady’s first contact with the animals of The Blazing World could be paralleled to Rosaura’s first encounter with Sigismund on pages 127-8!
The Blazing World’s inhabitants are briefly introduced on pages 133–4 (beginning with the phrase: “The rest of the residents of that world…)
(The bird-men and the bear-men) pages 140–144 On Tuesday, we will talk about these two groups in class.

2. Pets and microscopy

If you chose this subject, pay particular attention to pages 142–145, where the Bear-men bring out the microscopes and show the Lady a variety of bizarre objects, including little animals that have been magnified. Consider the Lady’s response to what she is witnessing. Why is she so alarmed by these observations? What does she possibly mean when she calls these pictures “monstrous”? What sort of remarks does she have about the microscope? I’ll post a couple of extra pictures on Gauchospace that we’ll also look at in the lecture on Tuesday (Robert Hooke’s Micrographia illustrations of the flea and the louse). When writing your response, you can, if you’d like, make use of these pictures.



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