Controlling Idea Regents Part 3 What is a Controlling Idea? • It is a statement that explains the common bond shared by two works of literature (based on given “focus”) • It is a sentence • It must be able to be supported by the two works of literature given Actual Task • You are given two literary passages (i.e. a poem and an excerpt from a short story) • The directions tell you what the passages are “about” (i.e. childhood memories) • Read the two passages, marking the text for later usage in your paragraphs (key ideas, literary methods/techniques, ideas, insights) • Answer the 5 multiple choice questions based on the texts • Write two paragraphs (test #’s 26 and 27) carefully reading the instructions given Directions for Paragraphs #26 Write a well-developed paragraph in which you use ideas from both passages to establish a controlling idea about human dignity. Develop your controlling idea using specific examples from both passages. #27 Choose a specific literary element (e.g. theme, characterization, structure, point of view, etc.) or literary technique (e.g. symbolism, irony, figurative language, etc.) used by one of the authors. Using specific details from that passage, in a well-developed paragraph, show how the author uses that element or technique to develop the passage. Controlling Idea Paragraph • Controlling Idea: A person possesses human dignity when he has a strong sense of selfworth and self-respect. #26 Controlling Idea Paragraph • First state the actual controlling idea (make it your 1st sentence) (RED) • Relate it to the first passage in a quick sentence (i.e. “In Passage I, by Anton Checkov, . . .”(GREEN) • Develop with specific support from the passage. • Repeat with Passage II A person possesses human dignity when he has a strong sense of selfworth and self-respect. In Passage I, by Anton Checkov, Mashenka shows her human dignity by standing up for herself and not allowing Madame Kushkin to humiliate her. When she first found Madame Kushkin searching through her belongings, Mashenka felt trapped because she was of a lower social status and got “the feeling that is so familiar to persons in dependent positions.” However, Mashenka “could not imagine a greater insult” than what Madame Kushkin did to her. Mashenka states that “it’s vile. . . it’s insulting . . . .” She knew she could no longer work for them and had to leave at once. She did this despite the fact that she had no place to go but back to her parents “who had nothing.” This was better than having her dignity taken away by working for someone who would go through Mashenka’s belongings because she didn’t trust her. In Passage II, by Isaac Singer, a small, frail old woman demonstrates her feelings of self-worth through her pride in and respect for the job she does. Despite her age, it was routine for the woman to walk with the “unwieldy pack” of laundry on her shoulder week after week to bring it home so she could clean it herself. Her pure strength and endurance allowed her to come back and uphold her duty as a washwoman. She never gave up, even when she became ill. “ . . . an inner obstinacy seemed to call out: No you may not fall.” Because of her pride she could not rest while she was ill. “She had been driven by an indomitable will to return the property to its rightful owners, to fulfill the task she had undertaken.” The old lady displayed her human dignity by showing the strength, pride and self-respect she had to face difficult challenges every day. #27 Literary Method Paragraph • First sentence (topic sentence) should give passage “title,” author, literary method and the idea it develops. • The remainder of the paragraph provides proof/support from the passage and explains how that proof support brings out/develops a larger idea Singer’s use of descriptive details in Passage II helps to create a vivid image of a woman whose dignity, self-respect and pride in her work are what is most important to her. He states that each “piece of linen sparkled like polished silver” to convey the thoroughness with which the wash woman did her job. The author also describes the difficulty of her actual task, from bringing water from a pump because she had no faucet to drying inside in her attic so thieves would not steal it. He exclaims, “Only God knows all the old woman had to endure each time she did a wash!” One particular winter, the author recalls, was so cold that “people were dying of the cold.” Even so, the old washwoman still did her job. When the author’s mother gave the old woman a cup of tea to warm her hands, , he notes, “Her fingers were gnarled from work, and perhaps from arthritis too. These hands spoke of the stubbornness of mankind, of the will to work not only as one’s strength permits but beyond the limit of one’s power.” This image conveys her great pride, strength and sense of duty. When the washwoman finally returns with the laundry, the authors says, “her face [was] as white as a linen sheet. . . it was as though a corpse had entered the room.” His physical description of her demonstrates that despite illness, she persisted in her job; she says, “The wash would not let me die.” This woman took such pride in what she did that she could not rest, or even die, until her job had been completed.