Home button

English 2122 critical response topics, spring 2023

Note that critical responses must be turned in as hard copy (printed on paper), and they have a 200 word minimum (in the body of the response, excluding name, date, header, etc.): responses shorter than 200 words will not pass. Avoid plot summary or straightforward retelling of "what happens" in the work—see nugget 1.

Format your response according to MLA guidelines for margins, spacing, name, date, etc., headers, etc. as outlined on my "simple stuff" page. Note that I will not accept critical responses that have any errors in document formatting: responses submitted with any "simple stuff" errors in formatting will be returned to you ungraded, and you will have to fix the errors and resubmit your work to get credit for it. Works cited pages are unnecessary for critical responses. Even without works cited pages, do still follow the MLA conventions for documenting quotations as explained in Q1-4 on my quotations page.

1.1 Due tba: Discuss Blake's conception of innocence in two different poems from this day's readings, quoting each poem at least twice. Does Blake seem to view innocence positively or negatively?  Explain. Also comment on two or more of Blake's "Experience" poems, focusing specifically on how he characterizes experience as distinctly different from innocence.  You are not required to, but you might consider how poems are paired in depicting the two "contrary states of the human soul": the two "introductions," or "The Lamb" and "The Tyger," the two different "Chimney Sweepers," "The Divine Image" with either "A Divine Image" or "The Human Abstract," etc.  Include one or more quotations from each poem you discuss, following guidelines for citing poetry as explained in Q4.

On deck:


Previous critical response topics—no longer valid for submission: