Week 3


14-04-2013 22:27:43

The supernatural. We traffic in the supernatural: our DB characters are demi-gods who only grow in power with time. The supernatural, the unexplained is also a driving force in literature. Some authors use the mysterious as a plot device: Edgar Allen Poe used the supernatural to frighten and terrorize his characters and readers. Others use forces from beyond as a theme in their stories: Greek poets and playwrights used fate as a weapon against their own heroes and gods, punishing them for their hubris. The supernatural need not be explained—sometimes it can be, sometimes it is beyond the minds of men—but rather accepted as fact, albeit vague and possibly misunderstood.

Pair 1:
“The Lottery Ticket” by Anton Checkov
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Pair 2:
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
"The Magic Shop" by J.M. Barrie

In the first pair, the supernatural force is fate. How do the characters handle their situations and emotions, which are beyond their control?

In the second pair, the supernatural force is magic. Did magic actually occur or was it all trickery? How does magic, a force they neither understand nor truly believe in, relate to the character's emotions?