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Teaching the Works of Eudora WeltyTwenty-First-Century Approaches$
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Mae Miller Claxton and Julia Eichelberger

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496814531

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496814531.001.0001

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“Something Beautiful, Something Frightening”

“Something Beautiful, Something Frightening”

Using Welty’s Stories to Teach Critical Thinking in Undergraduate Writing Courses

(p.181) “Something Beautiful, Something Frightening”
Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty

Laura Sloan Patterson

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on teaching Eudora Welty’s short stories in the undergraduate writing classroom, including writing intensive or writing in the disciplines courses. Although some students may resist the complexity of Welty’s works on the first reading, the texts provide rich opportunities for learning literary close reading skills. The techniques outlined in this chapter work particularly well with “Petrified Man,” “The Purple Hat,” “No Place for You, My Love,” “A Visit of Charity,” and “A Worn Path.” Students receive a framework of “something beautiful” and “something frightening,” with those terms defined for the activity; through guided discussion they find examples of each category within the text. Next, students find examples of passages that might qualify as both beautiful and frightening, and a discussion of rationales for those choices ensues. More advanced students can close read assigned passages and visually chart their results to find emerging pattern in Welty’s work.

Keywords:   critical thinking, writing courses, close reading, lesson plan, short stories

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