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Holly- son's lit paper

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I do not know why but I cannot post on your son's paper. It just keeps asking me to sign in over and over even though my name is on the top.


Anyway, Yes, I wish you had put that was his first literary paper. That would have helped. Now honestly, if it is a freshman college paper, then yes it is a big huge F. However, this is his first attempt. You cannot fix everything. That is what I keep telling myself. I would concentrate on two things in his paper.


1. Organization. Did he use a graphic organizer? TOG has some great ones with Writing Aids. Have him fill that out.


2. This is a formal paper. Take out all slang, first person, colloquialisms, etc


That is it. That is all I would work on for this paper. So the next paper, he will make sure that he has a detailed outline or graphic organizer done BEFORE he can even start the paper. You must give him a grade on it and say it is ok before a word is written. Then he makes sure it is formal. After he turns that in, look at it and pick a couple of other things to work on.


Don't get discouraged. He did pretty well for his first literary analysis paper. I'll post what my son did for his 9th grade one for TOG.



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The Darkness Inside Us


Do you think you have a heart of darkness? Joseph Conrad thinks so. He develops the theme of darkness in his book Heart of Darkness through the characters of Kurtz, the Manager, and Marlow. Through these three Conrad shows us that we all have a heart of darkness, even when we think our motives are pure.


Kurtz is a perfect example of Conrad’s idea because he comes to Africa to help “civilize†the “savagesâ€, but by the end of the book, Kurtz is more of a savage than the people he came to civilize. When he first comes to Africa he actually did care about the people from Africa. Once he came to the jungle and realized the power he has, he sets himself up as a god to the native people. By the time he dies, Kurtz believes the company should, “exterminate the brutes!†He collects more ivory than all of the other stations combined by using extreme force. To Conrad, Kurtz is a representation of Europe, where at first people cared about the Africans, but when given power, became even worse than the Africans. Conrad uses Kurtz to show that all of us have a heart of darkness.


Conrad uses the Manger to show that all of us have a heart of darkness because he represents the companies that exploited Africa. The Manager is a scheming liar whose number one goal is to keep his job. He will do anything that he has to do to secure it. The Manager is concerned that Kurtz will steal his job and that Kurtz’s business practices will ruin the reputation of the company, even though the company was no better. He sabotages a boat so that supplies cannot reach Kurtz. Kurtz full understands this. When the manager says the boat came to save Kurtz, Kurtz replied, “Save me, save the ivory, you mean.†He is eager to hear about Kurtz’s death. Thus, Conrad uses the Manager to show that companies are not always as good and noble as they seem.


Finally, Conrad uses the character of Marlow to prove his point. Conrad does this by making Marlow see how impure his own motives are. Marlow goes to Africa to explore the “blank spaces†on the map. While Marlow does not succumb to the darkness in his heart, he does lie to Kurtz’s fiancé about Kurtz’s last words to keep her from a broken heart. As the story goes on, Marlow becomes more and more aware of the darkness in the surroundings and in his heart. Unlike Kurtz, however, Marlow is able to control it and remains decent. He is appalled at the waste of life at the outer station. Marlow never is the same after his journey; he goes back thinking that all civilization is a lie. Marlow represents the people who can control their heart of darkness some and can at least see it. Conrad does this to show us that even those who can partially control their heart of darkness still have one.


“The horror! The horror!†These are Kurtz last words. They represent Kurtz’s realization of how dark his soul his. Conrad frequently uses examples from Kurtz, the Manager, and Marlow to show the darkness inside us.

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This was his first literary analysis paper and you can see that he used first person. We talked about how you shouldn't use first person. Instead he could have said Conrad shows that everyone has a heart of darkness even when they think their motives are pure.


Shows insn't a good verb either. There are TONS of comments I could use to fix this paper. As I said, I tend to try to pick on or two to focus on for that paper. Anyway, this is an example of a 9th graders first attempt last year.



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