cultural and temporal (historical time) contexts in Washington Irving
If you remember anything from this class, I would like you to remember that “thoughts cause feelings.” What I
mean is that if you can change the way you think about something, you will very likely change the way you feel.
Literature enables us to think outside of ourselves…a symbolic shedding of our own skin to don another’s albeit
temporarily. When we look at the world from this different perspective, we often make connections and create
new meaning in our own lives as a result. The Personal Response Journal provides you with an opportunity to
explore the details of those connections in private and for course credit. This is not a journal where you need to
prove that you have read the stories by summarizing their plots, rather, it is a place for you to “open a vein,” in
many ways to work through some of life’s challenges.
Consider both the cultural and temporal (historical time) contexts in Washington Irving’s “The Spectre
Bridegroom” and Alberto Alvaro Rios’s “A Secret Lion,” then answer the following questions. Use quotes from
key passages in the stories to support your answers.
- How do you think culture influenced (or not) the writing of each of these stories?
- If we look at time as a constant, meaning that the human condition doesn’t change with time, what do you
think Irving has to say about the human condition in his story? Rios? What do they have in common?