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Old School Tobias Wolff Essay

… ¶ … Old School by Tobias Wolff. Specifically it will discuss the theme of the novel. Wolff sets his novel in 1960 at a New England prep school, an unusual setting for a novel. It is set at a time when John F. Kennedy took office, before the Vietnam War, and a time when America was on the brink of change. Some readers might think the theme of the novel is the narrator's coming of age, but in reality, the novel's theme is learning to trust oneself and in our ability to do anything, whether it is good or bad, in life.

At first glance, the novel is a story of coming of age and learning what life will be about. Wolff writes, "I understood…. [read more]

Liberal Arts Ways of Knowing Term Paper

… ¶ … Tobias Wolff disagrees with others who say that studying the humanities is losing favor. He says, given the concerns of people today, it is even more important to study literature. He argues: "There is a need in us for exactly what literature can give, which is a sense of who we are, beyond what data can tell us, beyond what simple information can tell us; a sense of the workings of what we used to call the soul. People go where they can find that. They need to find that. In this secular and material culture, it's a kind of oasis." This paper, for the Life Arts Project, will review several pieces of literature to help me gain a sense of who I…. [read more]

Memoirist's Commitment to the Truth of Absolute Essay

… ¶ … memoirist's commitment to the truth of absolute importance?

It could be called the 'that's not how I remember it' phenomenon. Anyone who has tried to rehash a childhood event with a sibling knows that controversy often erupts: who received more Christmas presents? Who had the better grades? What color was our parent's first car? All of these are facts, yet because memory is imperfect it is very easy to misremember things. The emotional intensity of life as a child causes certain things to 'stick out' in one's memory, and other aspects of the world to recede. Yet this apparent 'misremembering' is also part of the experience of painting a portrait of the past. The fact that someone remembers his or her brother constantly…. [read more]

Zinsser, William. Writing About Your Life Essay

… ¶ … Zinsser, William. Writing About Your Life. New York: Avalon Publishing Group Incorporated,

Marlowe and Company, 2005.


Claim: Literary nonfiction is not only about citing factual information, although the information should be factual. It is about crafting a story, just like fiction


Important information in the title: Writing About Your Life suggests the book will instruct the reader about the art of writing memoir

Important info in the background material: The excerpt critically analyzes a seminal work of literary nonfiction; Tom Wolfe's the Right Stuff.

Sentence explaining author's claim and how he/she would respond to the prompt: Literary nonfiction is factual but also original in terms of the point-of-view adopted by the author.

Important parts of the text that specifically show claim/purpose/tone:…. [read more]

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