11. Discussion: Mark Twain Excerpt

Discussion 1 Start: Aug. 21. Finish: Sept. 1

Take a look at the following short excerpt, which comes from a short story by Mark Twain:

When I first begun to understand jay language correctly, there was a little incident happened here.  Seven years ago, the last man in this region but me moved away.  There stands his house – been empty ever since, a long house with a plank roof –  just one big room, and no more, no ceiling – nothing between the rafters and the floor. Well, one Sunday morning I was sitting out here in front of my cabin, with my cat, taking in the sun, and looking at the blue hills, and listening to the leaves rustling so lonely in the trees, and thinking of the home away yonder in the states, that I hadn’t heard from in thirteen years, when a bluejay lit on that house, with an acorn in his mouth and says, ‘Hello, I reckon I’ve struck something here.’ When he spoke, the acorn dropped out of his mouth and rolled down the roof, of course, but he didn’t care; his mind was all on the thing he had struck.  It was a knot-hole in the roof.  He cocked his head to one side, shut one eye and put the other one to the hole, like a ‘possum looking down a jug; then he glanced up with his bright blue eyes, gave a wink with his wings – which signifies gratification, you understand – and says, ‘It looks like a hole, it’s located like a hole – blamed if I don’t think it IS a hole.'”

In this story, called “Baker’s Bluejay Yarn,” the narrator is trying to convince a group of people that this bluejay did actually speak. What information in this short excerpt is strong evidence that maybe Baker is telling the truth? In other words, comment on specific images you find in this story that are convincing? There are plenty of examples, so each of you can easily find one or two to comment on. Then look at what your classmates have said and add to their ideas. What makes such a far-fetched story believable? For this module, discussion entries will be accepted after the module end date to give everyone an opportunity to get involved in the discussions.

I’d like everyone to submit comments on a regular basis. Don’t come in on one day, put in a bunch of responses and then disappear for the rest of the module. Come in daily or every other day and see if you can add to some of the discussion threads. Let’s make this fun and worth while.

Click on the New Post link at the top of this page to take part in the discussion.