The Sunflower: Assigned Author Commentaries

 

Each student is responsible for reading and evaluating FIVE authors’ commentaries included in the back of The Sunflower. Students must begin with the one assigned to them below (according to their playing card), then they may select any other four authors in the book. The five assigned commentaries, as well as the entire novel, are to be read completely by the first date assigned on the syllabus (usually around session 12 or 13). Note: It is strongly suggested that you read The Sunflower first before any of the commentaries to ensure that your initial opinions of Simon’s experiences are your own. The views of the other authors may influence your thoughts, so it is necessary that you draw your own conclusions before considering others’ ideas.

 

Along with the reading of the five commentaries, students are expected to read the brief biographical information for their authors found at the very back of the book. Students are then asked to type up and submit all of the following information for each of their five authors:

 

·        Identify any relevant information pertaining to each author’s religion, gender, age, nationality, and/or race (based on what is explicitly stated or what you can infer).

·        Identify any relevant information regarding each author’s career or life’s work.

·        Identify other information provided that may connect each author in some way to the issues of the novel (i.e., genocide, prejudice, sociology, psychology, education, theology, etc.)

·        If any or all of the above information is not available in the back of the book, go online and “Google” each author by full name (in quotation marks) to see what similar information is available.

·        Return to each of the authors’ commentaries and underline the complete thesis statement of each essay. It may be a single sentence or many. It may comprise the first few sentences of the commentary, may be found at the end of an introductory paragraph, or may not occur until the very end of the entire commentary.

·        Identify and number all major points of support used by each author throughout their commentaries. These points must be clearly identified and distinct from all others. Do not renumber points which are repetitions of previously mentioned information. All distinct evidence or reasons should receive a separate number.

·        Finally, for each author’s commentary, write a 75-word evaluation in which you claim its effectiveness or ineffectiveness as an argumentative essay. You must justify your evaluation based on similar criteria of effective writing used to prepare your own essays (as in the first three sections of the essay feedback sheet online).

 

After you have completed the tasks below, feel free to supplement your viewpoint by reading as many of the authors as you’d like, though the assignment only calls for the reading of five. The more you read, the greater perspective you will gain in preparation for questions on the midterm and Essay Two.

 

Assigned Author Commentaries for The Sunflower: (read the one assigned below and any four others of your choosing) MU

 

A♥

 

Sven Alkalaj

2♥

 

Jean Amery

3♥

 

Smail Balic

4♥

 

Arthur Waskow

5♥

 

Alan L. Berger

6♥

 

Robert McAfee Brown

7♥

 

Harry James Cargas

8♥

 

Desmond Tutu

9♥

 

The Dalai Lama

10♥

 

Eugene J. Fisher

J♥

 

Edward H. Flannery

Q♥

 

Eva Fleischner

K♥

 

Matthew Fox

A

 

Rebecca Goldstein

2

 

Mary Gordon

3

 

Mark Goulden

4

 

Hans Habe

5

 

Yossi Klein Halevi

6

 

Arthur Hertzberg

7

 

Theodore M. Hesburgh

8

 

Abraham Joshua Heschel

9

 

Susannah Heschel

10

 

Jose Hobday

J

 

Deborah E. Lipstadt

Q

 

Primo Levi

K

 

Harry Wu

A

 

Albert Speer

2

 

Dith Pran

3

 

Lawrence L. Langer

4

 

Franklin H. Littell

5

    Martin Marty

6

    John Pawlikowski

7

    Dennis Prager