Instructions for Group 2’s Second Blog Post

Osage warrior painted by George Catlin

Osage Warrior painted by George Catlin; Image via Wikipedia

For this blog response, you have a few different writing options. Choose only ONE of these topics to write your response. Be sure to make it clear which question you chose in the subject line of your post. Remember, this blog response is for Group 2 only!

  1. Discuss the depiction of Native Americans in this week’s readings. If you choose this option, you can focus on either:
    • Apess’ autobiography A Son of the Forest 
    • George Catlin’s Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians and his famous paintings of Native Americans (see Catlin on the resources page for a link to his artwork).
    • A comparison of Native American depictions in both texts
    • A comparison of Apess or Catlin to one of our previous readings

Some questions to consider include: How are Native Americans depicted in this text? To what extent does the writer promote/resist the ecological Indian stereotype (as discussed by Gerrard) and for what purpose? To what extent does Native American self-representation differ from EuroAmerican descriptions of Native Americans? How are Native Americans valued, especially compared to white Americans? What are Native Americans’ relations to nature in this text?

2. Write a rhetorical analysis of either William Apess’ autobiography or George Catlin’s Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians. What is the author’s purpose in writing this text? What are his main arguments? What strategies does he use to appeal to the reader? How does the author use the rhetorical triangle (logos, pathos, and/or ethos) to convince the reader of his position? How/where does the author anticipate and rebut counter-arguments? Do you believe these writing strategies are successful? Why or why not?

3. Write an ecocritical analysis of Apess’ or Catlin’s text. As you know, there are many directions you can take with this, but here are some questions you may want to consider: How does the text conceptualize nature? What are the characters’/authors’ relationships to nature? How (or, to what extent) do characters’/authors’ experiences with nature differ, and in what ways are they similar? In what ways do gender, class, and/or racial difference influence the way characters/authors’ experience and/or conceptualize nature in the text?

Remember, your posts should follow these requirements and guidelines:

  • Posts must be at least 300 words.
  • Posts must include at least one quote from the text. If you are writing about more than one text, then you’ll need at least one quote from each as support.
  • Stay focused on answering the prompt question above. Avoid repeating the question and be as specific as possible in your answer.
  • Please note that you do not need to answer every “thinking question” I have posted (the questions after the bold directive). These are just options, so you could focus on one or a few. Avoid writing a response that looks like a Q & A or laundry list of answers to these smaller questions; make sure your response flows smoothly and has unity.
  • Your response should make an argument, not summarize the text.
  • Use specific moments from the text(s) to support and illustrate your argument.
  • Be sure to introduce, quote, cite, and comment on all quotes.
  • Don’t forget to tag your posts! Before adding a new tag, check the “choose from the most used tabs” menu to make sure it is not already listed.

Group 2, your blog response is due by class time on Tuesday, September 27.

Group 1, blog comments are due by class time on Thursday, September 29.

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