Kite Runner/ A Thousand Splendid Suns Journal Assignment English 112
During your class reading time of Kite Runner / A Thousand Splendid Suns (October 22- November 6 in English class), you will be expected to write THREE journal entries reflecting on Khaled Hosseini’s craft of writing. You have been given a sheet with multiple examples of craft of writing that you can consult.
You will do journal #1 in class on October 29 and then on October 30 you will share your journals in small groups and then pass them in.By Wednesday, November 4, you must have completed the additional two journals (for a total of three) and submit them.
As you read, take note of striking examples (passages or quotes – not just a word or sentence) of author’s craft. For each journal, you are to quote one of these sections you have noted at the top of your page, including page number, and write a response of at least TWO paragraphs (note that paragraphs are at least 5 sentences each). Your response will address why that particular example of author’s craft was effective/caught your attention. Reasons could include:
-something important was revealed about a character
**Please notify your teacher when you have finished journals 2 and 3 that so it may be checked off. You must pass them in when they are done, and no later than Monday, October 26.
***If three journal entries are not complete by October 26, you will complete them during noon hour either that day or the following day (following day applies to period 4 only).
**** You may wish to write about one or more of the same passages you choose for your theme sheet/passages template. This is fine.
Lastly, please do NOT highlight or make notes in any of the copies of The Glass Castle. Note significant passages and page numbers for your journals in your binder. We need to make these books last for several years. Thank you!
“Mom stood fifteen feet away. She had tied rags around her shoulders to keep out the spring chill and was picking through the trash while her dog, a black and white terrier mix, played at her feet. Mom’s gestures were all familiar – the way she tilted her head and thrust out her lower lip when studying items of potential value that she’d hoisted out of the Dumpster, the way her eyes widened with childish glee when she found something she liked. Her long hair was streaked with gray, tangled and matted, and her eyes had sunk deep into their sockets, but still she reminded me of the mom she’d been when I was a kid, swan-diving off cliffs and painting in the desert and reading Shakespeare aloud. Her cheekbones were still high and strong, but the skin was parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers exposed to the elements. To the people walking by, she probably looked like any of the thousands of homeless people in New York City.” Page 3
I was really moved by the imagery Jeannette Walls painted while describing her mother in this paragraph. First, I like how she started with “Mom”, so you know right away that it is her mother who is homeless, which seems quite shocking. Then, after telling us her mother is dressed in rags, she goes on to describe her in what I see as a loving way: “gestures were all familiar”; “childish glee”; and then the description of how, despite massive changes in her appearance, she still sees the mother she knew as a young girl. This version of her mother is someone you can tell Jeannette loved and respected because she describes her with admiration: “swan-diving off cliffs and painting in the desert and reading Shakespeare aloud.” In this paragraph, Walls portrays her mother as someone who is not diminished because of her homelessness, but rather retains a core integrity that she always possessed.
When I read this paragraph, it automatically caused me to think of my own mother. Even though my mother is not homeless, I relate to how Walls sees the mother of her youth in the now aged parent in front of her. It can be difficult to watch your parents age, and when I see my mother I always notice the now completely gray hair, the changing skin and features. Yet at the same time, these thoughts are always paired with memories of growing up with my mom. I don’t know if I’m exactly comparing how she was then to how she is now, or just making observations, but I know that with age, children can certainly gain a new perspective on their parents. At the same time though, we will always see them how they were, when they were a part of our lives on a daily basis, no matter how old they become.