Mystery Text Assignment

Your goal in this assignment is to read a poem semiotically.  You can find that poem here.  When you hand in your typed semiotic reading on Tuesday, September 26, at the beginning of class, your document should include three sections:

  1. A diagram of the poem’s binary oppositions (e.g. the kind of double-columned worksheets that we’ve been doing in/out of class).  This will be no more than one (typed) page.
  2. A discussion of the patterns you’ve discovered in the poem via semiotic analysis.  This discussion can be divided into labelled sections (e.g. nature, undead, raw versus cooked, etc.).  Your goal here is to begin to generalize about how the binary oppositions within the poem work together.  This should be no more than two (typed) pages.
  3. A page that argues for an appropriate title for the poem. This title should, obviously, be based on the semiotic analysis you’ve done, and this section should answer the question: why this title? This section should be no more than one (typed) page.

Feel free to work together on sections one and two – –  the semiotic analysis and pattern sleuthing.  The last section should be your own.

A few logistical details:

  • include your name, the date, and our class (English 480) on each page;
  • proofread. I’ll follow the “three strikes and you’re out” rule as I read your document – – when I get to the third typographical, spelling, or grammatical error in your text, I’ll stop reading and evaluate only what I’ve read;
  • staple the pages of your assignment together.

Questions?  Let me know in class.