Course information and assignments for Ms. Preble's West Hills English classes

Due April 12

 

Holden’s language was considered vulgar when Catcher in the Rye was published, and it is still one of the reasons that the book is banned today in some school districts. But his story, and his language, was authentic for him. It was honest.

 

For this assignment, I’d like to see you take a weekend or significant event (series of events) in your life (or make one up) and write a short story (I’m calling it a graphic novella) in spoken language. I’d like to  see you write in a kind of updated Holden Caulfield slang. Don’t be afraid of your language. This assignment is specifically designed to give voice to dialect and slang. I will be grading you on your ability to manipulate your SPOKEN language,  not on whether you’re writing  “proper” academic, Standard English. You can swear (as long as its not excessive), you can use double negatives—write like you talk, BUT make sure that it’s understandable. Notice that Holden is coherent, even if he has suffered a nervous break down and even if he is writing in slang, and Salinger is purposeful as an author.

 

The other major component of his assignment is the “graphic” part. This means that I’m looking for a picture book feel. You should have pictures that help us to understand your narrator and your story. You may freehand draw your own images, or you may cut and paste from magazines, take things from the internet, use your own photos. Ultimately, though, your graphics need to support your text in some way. You may be direct—i.e. you bought a dress so you show a picture of a dress—or more abstract. For instance, you are in a bad mood so you show a picture of a stormy sky or a nuclear bomb exploding.

 

 

REQUIREMENTS:

5-8 PAGES OF TEXT, DOUBLESPACED, OR MORE/ MUST BE TYPED IN A READABLE FONT, 12-14 SIZE FONT

 

5-8 PHOTOS/ILLUSTRATIONS/ COLLAGES/ ETC.

 

A CREATIVE COVER WITH A TITLE (NOT JUST MY GRAPHIC NOVELLA)

 

BE SURE YOU ARE THE MAIN CHARACTER, AND THAT YOU TELL A STORY ABOUT YOURSELF, ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THINGS, ABOUT SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU. ADD THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, OBSERVATIONS AS HOLDEN DOES. IT MUST BE IN FIRST PERSON (“I” DID THIS.)

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