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Alli H.
English Tutor and Editorial Assistant at Indiana Legislative Services Agency
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

What are some literary examples of characters undergoing a transformation -- literally or figuratively?

Alli H.
Answer:

A character undergoing a physical transformation, such as being turned into an animal, is sometimes just a funny, diverting plotline in literature, rather than a literary device. When physical transformations are meant to be taken seriously, they're often used in fairy tales and fables, and these physical transformations are often supposed to represent a change in the character's inner life. In Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, outer transformations are only used to symbolize the character’s inner transformation – or, conversely, to show that the character needs a jarring, external transformation forced upon them, in order to make the inner one happen. For Saladin Chamcha from The Satanic Verses and Gregor Samsa from The Metamorphosis, being turned into an animal is a manifestation of, and a way of dealing with, the characters’ issues with their fathers and with themselves.

Literature
TutorMe
Question:

In William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily," how does the Southern Gothic genre enhance the story? And what is the difference between Southern Gothic and traditional Gothic literary genres?

Alli H.
Answer:

The Southern Gothic genre is a perfect frame for "A Rose for Emily" because it allows certain elements to be highlighted that would not have been highlighted by a more traditional Gothic approach. "Classic” Gothic usually means creepy ghastly villains and shadowy castles, while Southern Gothic can mean beautiful-looking villains, and an excess of light can also be portrayed as creepy, as it is in "A Rose for Emily." This is to highlight how the Civil War Era South was a façade of genteel friendliness, where white people acted so formally to each other, but then behind this fake “light and beauty,” there is the unthinkable horror of slavery. This applies to the introduction to “A Rose for Emily” especially, where the Civil War South is being overshadowed by post-war progression. Industry is taking over the barbarism of slavery. And Emily herself is hiding perverse secrets inside her Southern Gothic house, secrets that will soon be found out by the funeral-goers.

English
TutorMe
Question:

What is an appositive phrase?

Alli H.
Answer:

An appositive phrase is a type of dependent clause. (A dependent clause is a clause that could not stand on its own as a complete sentence. For example, "When I was at the store earlier...") An appositive phrase adds more information about a noun, usually the subject of the sentence. In the sentence, "Mr. Brown, our chemistry teacher, assigned a new lab today," the appositive phrase is "our chemistry teacher" because it provides additional information about Mr. Brown, and it is not a complete sentence.

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