I was going to wait to post the assignment until more of you had introduced yourselves - but it's time to post it, regardless. Here it is:
This assignment has two components.
1) Identify and quote a specific short passage -- no more than a sentence or two -- which, in your mind, represents or summarizes one of these themes in The House of the Seven Gables: narrative, technology, change, history, or democracy (you might also tackle a couple of these ideas together, with the right passage). Do your best to demonstrate why we should take this passage as representing the role played by these ideas in general in the book so far.
2) Respond to Hawthorne's conceptualization of narrative/technology/change/history/democracy using some contemporary issue, or something in your experience. Is this idea of history/change/democracy well-founded?
For example, you might identify some passage which addresses the nature of change (perhaps the nature of change in a democracy), then explore whether or not we experience change in this way, in our era of (at least supposedly) rapid technological development.
This assignment does not necessarily need to be structured like a standard essay, with an argument at the beginning, but the second part, at least, should include a clear argument.
p.s. I'll be mostly unavailable for questions this weekend, although I'll try to answer questions which are focused on the assignment itself. Here's what I'm doing (for the third time), if you care:
I will do my best to get to your other questions on Tuesday.
p.p.s. We will discuss group #2's peer responses to group #1's blog entries on Tuesday.