For the blog post next Monday (4/8), students will offer a close reading of the last paragraph on page 108-109 based on Spivak’s postcolonial perspective.  What are the ideologies instilled through Felix’s western education, and why did the creature weep with Safie over the demise of the Native American population?  Does this strong identification between the creature and Safie imply that he is like a foreign colonized woman?  Take the time to introduce, explain, and contextualize the quoted passage, word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence, always alert to images, themes, and motifs that seem slightly odd or out-of-place and to significant omissions.  Categorize your post under “The Subaltern Monster Speaks” and don’t forget to create specific tags.


To help you with this post, here are 5 close reading guidelines worth considering:

1. Note key words or phrases that repeat in that passage.

2. Look for irony, paradox, ambiguity, and tension.

3. Note those words or phrases that seem odd or out-of-place.

4. Note any important symbols, motifs, and themes.

5.  Is there anything missing from the text that should be there?



Extra-credit assignment for participation grade only: write a brief comment to all student posts (excluding your own) that answers the following questions:

What is the most original idea in this post and how can your peer’s interpretation be enhanced or improved?



For inspiration, here’s an nineteenth-century illustration of the sati ritual, the Indian widow immolation in fire, which Spivak frequently cites as an example of the subaltern:

Handcoloured engravings by Frederic Shoberl from his work 'The World in Miniature: Hindoostan'. London: R. Ackerman, 1820's.

Handcoloured engravings by Frederic Shoberl from his work ‘The World in Miniature: Hindoostan’. London: R. Ackerman, 1820’s.