The complexity of maturation on the example of Katherine Anne Porter’s The Grave

 

The complexity of maturation on the example of Katherine Anne Porter’s The Grave

 

Institution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eingereicht bei:

Erstgutachter:

Zweitgutachter:

 

eingereicht von:

Vor- und Nachname: Daniella Bekaj

Matrikelnummer:

Studiengang:

 

Anschrift:

E-Mail:

Ort, den 19.08.2019

 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.. 3

1.1 Research Question.. 4

1.2 Objective. 4

1.3 Structure of the paper. 4

2. Literary Analysis – Concepts of Maturation and Identity.. 5

2.1 Maturation process seen through Miranda’s life phases. 5

2.2 Opposing values encountered by Miranda. 6

2.3 Learning process of a human being seen through Miranda’s lens. 6

2.4 The use of re-visioning. 7

3. Didactic Analysis. 8

3.1 Storytelling As An Approach To Didactic Analysis. 8

3.2 Didactic Sequence. 9

3.3 Teaching Approaches And Methodologies. 10

3.4 Realization Of The Teaching Approach In The Classroom.. 11

4. Lesson Plan.. 12

5. Conclusion.. 13

References. 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Introduction

Teaching methodology plays a vital role in ensuring that the main idea of the lesson is explained well in classrooms. There are different types of teaching methodologies that are used for various types of subjects and genres. However, some are suitable for a particular genre, while others are not. It is essential to understand the right methodology before delving into the process of teaching it to the students.

There are many teaching methodologies as a part of pedagogical studies. But it is important to adopt a method that is relevant for the given subject matter. The right kind of methodology must be used in order to have more impact on the students. The nature of Porter’s account is such that it requires an engaging methodology so that students can relate to it more and have a deep understanding of the intriguing concepts mentioned by her. 

Precisely, reading of Katherine Ann Porter’s “The complexity of maturation on the example of Katherine Anne Porter’s The Grave” you get an impression of a simple but rather interesting story about a young girl named Miranda and her experiences with her brother. Nevertheless, despite the simplicity depicted across the entire story, it reveals a carefully and intricate developed literary structure which is purposely brought forth to highlight the complexities and ambiguities of the maturation process (Brandon, 1994).

With this as a background, the study focuses on Katherine Anne Porter’s book “The Grave,” which is a simple story of Miranda and Paul, who are siblings on a Texas farm. The story uses several literary devices that portray the obscurities that surround the maturation process. It highlights the complexities and obscurities that surround it. Hence, the work draws upon the experience of the protagonist Miranda and assesses how her account can be used to teach the process of maturation in classrooms.

“The Grave” by Katherine Anne Porter is a perfect literary work that shows the constant opposing values and dilemmas of life. Hence, it also connects the readers to work in the most artistic way and helps them understand the complexities that are involved with the human maturation process. 

The study uses didactic analysis as it seems like an appropriate teaching methodology to showcase how maturation can be taught in classrooms. In order to use it, the paper discusses different types of teaching strategies as well as methods so that the main themes of Porter’s account can be taught effectively in classrooms.

The next section highlights the research question, objective, and the structure of the study so that the expectations of the readers are set right from the very start. The section on the structure of the paper further clarifies how various sections of this work unfolds to offer a clear understanding and a strong foundation for the paper.

1.1 Research Question

How has art been used as an artifact in “The Grave” and what is the symbolism used in the book for the maturation process of the characters?

1.2 Objective

The main objective of this work is to assess how art has been used as an artifact in the book “The Grave.” It also aims to assess the symbolism that is used in the book to showcase the maturation process of the characters.

1.3 Structure of the paper

The structure of this paper is straightforward for the ease of the readers. After a brief introduction with a research question and the objective of the paper, it moves to the section of Literary Analysis that aims at explaining the concepts of maturation and identity. This section has several sub-sections that discusses how Miranda experiences maturation through various phases of her life. This is followed by her encounters of opposing values and how she deals with them in a way that shapes her personality and identity at a later stage. There are also sub-sections on reflection on Miranda’s life in terms of its relation to human life in general because every human being goes through a learning process. Finally, the last section discusses the use of revisioning in the book.

The next section on the book is a didactic analysis and starts by discussing the use of storytelling as an approach to didactic analysis. This is followed by didactic sequence, teaching approaches and methodologies as well as the realization of the teaching approach in classrooms.

After this, a lesson plan is given with details about the stage of learning, the description of student activities in a particular stage, materials used for guidance and support, and the social form. It clarifies the entire teaching process adopted in the classroom.

Finally, the conclusion summarizes all the basic arguments and the analysis of the study so that the readers understand the essence of the work completely.

2. Literary Analysis – Concepts of Maturation and Identity

This section discusses the concepts of maturation and identity, as discussed in Katherine Anne Potter’s book “The Grave.” In order to offer a good understanding in this section, it starts by tracing the maturation process of the protagonist Miranda through different phases of her life. Further, it moves on to analyzing the opposing values that she encounters during her maturation process and how these new encounters help in shaping her identity as well as self. The section after that assesses Miranda’s life as a reflection of the way human beings go through their lives and see it as a learning process. Finally, this section ends with an explanation of the use of revisioning in the book.

2.1 Maturation process seen through Miranda’s life phases

In a broader perspective of view, Ann Porter’s story revolves around a central paradoxical equation of life and death through a significant unifying factor. It is this unifying factor that not only does it enhance an aesthetic flow of ideas but also contributes to the seemingly the central theme of the story-i.e. the ambivalence and ambiguity of human maturation (Brandon, 1994).

Miranda maturation process through her life phases is an interesting one because of the way Potter uses symbolism all through the process. The objects that Miranda and Paul find symbolize life and death in various ways. It is interesting how a dove-shaped coffin screw symbolizes not just death but also peace. Hence, the use of paradoxes through symbolism is essential to note (Brandon 1994, 2).

On the other hand, when Miranda claims the wedding ring, it is a symbol of her femininity. The fact that the ring is round is a symbol of life’s eternal and cyclical nature as well as death because the ring belonged to her grandfather. This also indicates the fact that there is a cycle of generations (Titus 1988, 112).

Hence, Porter takes the readers through different phases of life through Miranda and shows the maturation process in a way that all human beings can connect with. It is very interesting how she uses small instances and pieces of objects and gives a deeper meaning to them. The way she uses simple symbols to highlight maturity is incredible. There is a lot of scope for using it in the classrooms and engaging students. It is a great way of engaging students and helping them understand the complexities of life and death as well as maturity. It is one of the most intriguing accounts where Miranda’s process of attaining maturity can be used for didactic purposes. It is very engaging for the readers and can be used effectively in a classroom setting.

The next section discusses another interesting aspect of this subject, which is that of opposing values and paradoxes that Miranda encounters during her process of maturation.

2.2 Opposing values encountered by Miranda

There is a complex interrelationship of opposing values and conceptions of innocence and youth. There is an opposition between naturalness versus maturity, artificiality as well as knowledge which has a further paradox of life and death. Hence, this work is a unification of aesthetics and themes that showcases the ambiguity and ambivalence, which is a vital part of human maturation (Brandon 1994, 3).

There is another instance where Miranda and her brother examine the dead rabbit and its babies when Paul unintentionally kills a pregnant rabbit. During this process, they understand the secrets of life and death. They use contradictory terms to describe the dead baby rabbits, which also highlights the paradox that is emergent in the story throughout. They understand the concept of mortality and how death is an important and natural part of living. In fact, both life and death are the same because the process of living is actually a walk towards your death (Brandon 1994, 7).

Miranda is an interesting character that goes through a tumultuous process of maturation (Stout 1987, 259). Porter uses this character in showcasing many different paradoxes that are prevalent in society and that every human has to go through as a part of their growing up process.

Hence, the next section discusses how Miranda’s account can be used as an anecdote where everyone can see the learning process of human beings in a more tangible way. This section showcases how every human being goes through various stages leading to death and how death is an integral part of human life.

2.3 Learning process of a human being seen through Miranda’s lens

Miranda’s life is a reflection of the way human beings go through life as a learning process. It is a journey from innocence to intelligence and maturity. Various sections in the book highlight the deeper meaning of life which most human beings can relate to because everyone goes through these life phases. They might be in a different situation or different circumstances, but they all have to go through the phase of reflection and paradoxes to finally come to a situation of understanding life and death (Birky N.D., 51).

The next section takes this view forward by applying a re-visioning method to go back to the text and assess it in a different light to understand how it helps Miranda in reaching her maturity levels.

2.4 The use of re-visioning

Re-visioning is a process of looking back and of seeing the same thing with a fresh vantage point or seeing old texts with a newly acquired perspective (Birky N.D., 51).  It is an utterly interesting approach for the purpose of this paper. Re-visioning can be an interesting process to revisit with a new lens or perspective to understand things better. There has been a lack of recognition of Porter’s work by the feminists of the 1970s despite the fact that “The Grave” is a work that depicts female sexuality in a very modern way (Riney 2007, 3).

To re-vision the book, the focus can start from the title itself. The title of the book is “The Grave,” which already signifies the biggest reality of life. Moreover, Miranda’s grandmother is a matriarch who transported the bones of her husband twice in new graves, and the last of the rural farm of Texas also prospered under her control (Birky N.D., 55).

Furthermore, the usage of symbolism when Miranda finds the silver dove and examines it closely is interesting. It showcases how Miranda discovers the breasts and vagina in the dove as she examines the body of the dove. This highlights her feminine side. However, when Paul shows the ring that he discovers and they consider it to be a wedding band with flowers and carvings in it, the symbolism of social covenant can be seen again here. Furthermore, the fact that Paul finds a ring, and Miranda exchanges the dove for the ring happily showcases her femininity again. She is also very happy about the fact that the ring fits her perfectly without any efforts. But Paul’s masculinity seems to question Miranda’s femininity (Birky N.D., 57).

Re-visioning, the story showcases how Porter establishes the differences in the two genders by highlighting their preferences. For example, Paul prefers hunting while Miranda likes to go for a walk. However, it is important to note that Porter also stresses upon the artificially created gender differences in the society by dressing both of them in a straw hat, shirt and a sandal that only differs in color. This type of clothing for Miranda is also symbolic of the patriarchal structure. Having lost her mother and living with a father who did not care much about the social norms, Miranda finds herself in the constant dilemma of working with her instincts that were quite aligned with the social customs or with what she observed on a regular basis. (Birky N.D., 58).

Hence, re-visioning can be a great methodology to be adopted for teaching in a classroom setting as well. Now, the next section will do a didactic analysis of Porter’s work and assess the best methodology to teach it in a classroom.

3. Didactic Analysis

This section does the didactic analysis. The first part of this section highlights how storytelling is used as an approach to didactic analysis. This is followed by a didactic sequence as well as teaching approaches and methodologies. Finally, this section ends with a part on the realization of the teaching approach in the classroom.

3.1 Storytelling As An Approach To Didactic Analysis

Often in literature, it is highlighted that an effective means to acquire critical reading are stories because stories are a result of a shared social context and also reflect upon certain social relations. Therefore, stories can be seen as something that forms a bridge between social norms as well as patterns and individuals. Hence, using storytelling methodology in classrooms has the potential to improve critical awareness on understanding social relations in society (Belet and Dala 2010, 1831)

Porter’s “The Grave” integrates didactic aspects through the roles and responsibilities of women in work. In so doing, the story goes against the conventional pervasive social structure that advocates for male dominance. Instead, it presents a patriarchal pattern whereby, both genders are a partial reality as well as a viable possibility (Brandon, 1994). 

Furthermore, Porter spent a great amount of time “learning to write,” and her major inspiration came from writers such as Laurence Sterne and Samuel Johnson (Unrue 2009, 182). Her stories are inspired by some of the profound human experiences. Therefore, the best methodology that can be adopted in the classroom to teach “The Grave” by Katharine Anne Porter is storytelling. There are many advantages of using storytelling as an approach. It is a known fact that stories leave a lasting impact on children when taught in the classroom. Moreover, there are several creative teaching strategies that can allow for the inclusion of storytelling methodology. They can be used as introduction, illustration, or tied to learning goals.

Storytelling also has the power to engage learners who are reluctant to participate in classroom activities. Other advantages, as highlighted by some studies, are that it helps students attain several viewpoints to understand a particular situation. Also, it gives them an opportunity to express themselves and defend their opinions. Hence, they also develop self-confidence through the process (Belet and Dala 2010, 1832).

Keeping the advantages of storytelling in mind, it is the chosen methodology for this study. The best thing about storytelling is that it gives a lot of inputs to children before asking for outputs. With the help of tools, they are also prompted to connect their personal experiences or stories. This also helps them engage in the classroom in a much better way. Moreover, the nature of this topic is such that there is a high chance that every student will connect to it. The topic of maturity is a sensitive one, but everyone goes through it. Therefore, teaching it using the storytelling methodology also ensures that children are able to understand it better and find it engaging.

The next section discusses the didactic sequence, which will highlight the teaching methods that will be used in the class.

3.2 Didactic Sequence

 It is essential to follow a didactic sequence to ensure that there is progressive learning in the classroom. With a storytelling methodology, if there are other tools like workshops and group discussions etc. are used, the teacher is saved from the danger of falling into the trap of just focusing on the content that is being taught. It also helps in organizing the entire study schedule, so there is no repetition, and there is a proper structure to the teaching (Pardo 2013, 33).

Similarly, the didactic sequence for the purpose of the paper would be divided into different phases. Various instances from Porters’ book can be used in the classrooms to help students relate to the content in a better way. It can help in making the class more engaging and interactive for the students.

Having a well-planned didactic sequence can ensure that the classes are more organized, and the teachers follow a set of class plans and work accordingly. If this is done, the classes can be more engaging, and the learning outcome can be better. A class plan is also designed, keeping in mind the topics that are in question. For the purpose of Porter’s account, an approach that can involve more students where they can connect with it and give their own account with relation to the protagonist would be ideal.

Therefore, the next section discusses various teaching approaches and methodologies that are available to teachers. It also highlights the methodology that would be ideal for teacher Potter’s “The Grave.” A lot of factors need to be considered before narrowing down on one methodology. The class plans and everything else is based on that, so it is an important part of the whole process.

3.3 Teaching Approaches And Methodologies

There are many teaching approaches and methodologies that can be applied to teach Porter’s work. Some of the examples are story-based methodology, communicative language teaching, constructivist learning, project-based learning, and much more (Zeki et al. 2016, 4).

In a story-based or storytelling approach for teaching, the focus is on giving a narrative of the fictional or the real character in a more gripping way. This approach also helps students explore their personal roles and makes sense of a lot of things in their lives (Koening and Zorn 2002, 393).

Similarly, the communicative teaching focuses on interaction within the classrooms and use of various methods and techniques that help in making sure that the students interact in the class. Furthermore, the constructivist approach focuses on how individuals understand or the nature of knowledge. In this process, a lot of ideas, events, and experiences are combined to offer an understanding of a subject matter (Zeki et al. 2016, 3).

The project-based learning methods focus on more practical aspects where the learners are given live projects to work on. This methodology is centered on students in a classroom setting that is dynamic. This methodology is engaging and helps in offering students a better understanding of the subject matter (Schindler and Eppler 2003, 220).

However, for the purpose of this study, it is better to focus on a methodology that is conducive to teaching Porter’s account. Since it is already and engaging story, a storytelling methodology is ideal for it. There can be other tools used along with this method. These tools can be in the form of group work, engaging group presentations, having worksheets, and home works. A combination of these tools with a storytelling methodology is ideal for the purpose of this study.

Once the methodology is finalized, the next section focuses on the realization of the teaching approach in the classroom. This section will discuss the step by step process that will be used to teach this subject in classrooms.

3.4 Realization Of The Teaching Approach In The Classroom

As mentioned above, storytelling as a methodology is appropriate for teaching in the class. It can be used along with some interactive activities. Studies show that the use of activities in the classroom ensures that participants actively engage in the discussions. Moreover, simple questions related to the discussions as well as questions related to their lives or how they relate to the theory is also very helpful (Intarapanich 2013, 309).

The first phase would start with the “warm-up” or the “lead-in” phase; the students will be given cues to develop ideas before the actual story is introduced to them. For example, maturity is an important aspect of this story so the students will be given the word maturity, and they will be asked to work around with it. This process will also give them a chance to ponder upon the topic and relate it to themselves.

The second phase would be that of elicitation in which the students will be asked to elicit their prior knowledge on the subject matter. This will be a continuation of the first phase, so it will help the students to develop more deep and critical thinking. This will be followed by the third phase, where teaching materials like handouts will be used, and students will be asked to work in groups. At this stage, Porter’s story will also be introduced to the students in more details, and with the help of handouts and worksheets, they will be asked to ponder upon some critical questions. Following this, each group will present their views and some of the basic things that they discussed during their group meetings. After this, there will be a review process based on the presentations made by each group.

Finally, students will be asked to work independently and given home works to assess their ability to work on it in a different context and then there will be practice to ensure that the ideas are clearly expressed and they have developed the competencies that the lessons aimed to give them.

The next section has a detailed lesson plan on how the classes will be conducted using the chosen methodology ad tools.

4. Lesson Plan

Phase

Description of the activity

Supporting Material and Guidance

Social Form

Time

Lead-in/Warm-up

Students will be given cues to develop ideas before the actual story is introduced to them

Maturity will be used as a cue for the students. They will develop it further

Presentation by teacher

1 hour

Elicitation

Students will be asked to elicit their prior knowledge on the subject matter

The teacher will ensure that the discussion keeps going by answering occasional questions in case the class is stuck

Blackboard & Mind maps with students and teachers

2 hours

Working on the learning material

Porter’s story will be illustrated, and students will be asked to work in groups

Handouts and worksheets

Group work

1 hour

Group Presentation

The groups will present their views and opinion on the topics from worksheets

Powerpoint presentations or simple presentations

Group presentation

1 hour

Learning Evaluation

A review process with the teachers and all the students

Discussion

Teacher and students together

1 hour

Independent Working

Evaluation to see if students can work independently

Homeworks

Take-home assignments

48 hours

Practice

Offer more reading material to expand their horizon

Optional work

 

1 hour

 

5. Conclusion

To sum up, it can be stated that using the right teaching method is essential for ensuring success in teaching. Although every teacher has their own style of teaching going through the methodologies and applying them effectively to the given topic can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience in a classroom. It is important to note that choosing the right methodology ensures that the classes are engaging and students get a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.  

In this paper, the teaching methodology for the account of Katharine Anne Porter’s “The Grave” has been discussed. This account is an important one because it focuses on the concept of maturity through its protagonist named Miranda. It is also an excellent literary piece to teach students about the maturation processes because of its use of symbolism. It uses some interesting symbols like a gold ring that not just symbolizes Miranda’s femininity but also the continuation of life which goes in circles. Moreover, the ring belongs to her grandfather, which is a symbol of going round and round through generations.

Similarly, there are other accounts like that of a dead rabbit or a dove-shaped coffin screw which not just symbolizes death but also peace at the same time. Hence, there are interesting uses of symbolism in her book. Use of symbolism in Porter’s story is primarily intended to pass across the meaning of how hidden wisdom can be discovered in the “The Grave.” The symbols used in the story stand at the center piece of knowledge- without them, the story would be not only tasteless but also vague  So, teaching it to the students using the right methodologies to engage them essential. This work gives storytelling as the right methodology and also proposes some other tools that can help in making it more engaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Belet, S. Dilek, Dala Sibel (2010). The use of storytelling to develop the primary school students’ critical reading skill: the primary education pre-service teachers’ opinions. Procedia Social and Behavioral sciences. 9. Pp. 1830-1834.

Birky, Berth Martin (N.D.). Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Grave” Women’s Writing and Re-visioning Memory. Journal for the Association for Research on Mothering. 4 (2). Pp. 51-64

Brandon, Michael Stephen (1994). A case study of Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Grave” from Formalist, Freudian Psychoanalytic, Post-structuralist, and Feminist Literary Perspectives. Univesity of Tennessee Honors Thesis Project

Intarapanich, Chutima (2013). Teaching methods, approaches and strategies found in EFL classrooms: A case study in Lao PDR. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 88. Pp. 306-311

Koening, Jill M. and Zorn, CeCelia (2002). Using storytelling as an approach to teaching and learning with diverse students. Journal of Nursing Education. 41 (9). Pp. 393-399

Riney, Erin Kelly. (2007). Feminist Re-visioning and women’s writing: The second wave’s effects on Katherine Anne Potter’s Literary Legacy. North Carolina State University. Pp. 1-120

Schindler, Martin and Eppler, Martin K. (2003). Harvesting project knowledge: a review of project learning methods and success factors. International journal of project management. 21 (3). Pp. 219-228.

Soler Pardo, B., Villacañas de Castro, L. S., & Pich Ponce, E. (2013). Creating and implementing a didactic sequence as an educational strategy for foreign language teaching. Íkala, revista de lenguaje y cultura, 18(3), 31–43.

Stout, Janis P. (1987). Miranda’s guarded speech: Porter and the problem of truth-telling. Psychological Quarterly. 66 (2). Pp. 259

Titus, Mary (1988). Mingled Sweetness and Corruption: Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Fig Tree” and “The Grave.” South Atlantic Review. 53 (2). Pp. 111-125

Unrue, Darlene Harbour (2009). A newly discovered children’s story by Katherine Anne Porter: Foretelling the Mature Canon. The Mississippi Quarterly. 62 (2). Pp. 181-184

Zeki, Kaya et al. (2016). Learning and teaching: Theories, approaches and models.  Cozum Egitim Yayinclik. Pp. 1-240

  

The complexity of maturation on the example of Katherine Anne Porter’s The Grave

 

Institution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eingereicht bei:

Erstgutachter:

Zweitgutachter:

 

eingereicht von:

Vor- und Nachname: Daniella Bekaj

Matrikelnummer:

Studiengang:

 

Anschrift:

E-Mail:

Ort, den 19.08.2019

 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.. 3

1.1 Research Question.. 4

1.2 Objective. 4

1.3 Structure of the paper. 4

2. Literary Analysis – Concepts of Maturation and Identity.. 5

2.1 Maturation process seen through Miranda’s life phases. 5

2.2 Opposing values encountered by Miranda. 6

2.3 Learning process of a human being seen through Miranda’s lens. 6

2.4 The use of re-visioning. 7

3. Didactic Analysis. 8

3.1 Storytelling As An Approach To Didactic Analysis. 8

3.2 Didactic Sequence. 9

3.3 Teaching Approaches And Methodologies. 10

3.4 Realization Of The Teaching Approach In The Classroom.. 11

4. Lesson Plan.. 12

5. Conclusion.. 13

References. 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Introduction

Teaching methodology plays a vital role in ensuring that the main idea of the lesson is explained well in classrooms. There are different types of teaching methodologies that are used for various types of subjects and genres. However, some are suitable for a particular genre, while others are not. It is essential to understand the right methodology before delving into the process of teaching it to the students.

There are many teaching methodologies as a part of pedagogical studies. But it is important to adopt a method that is relevant for the given subject matter. The right kind of methodology must be used in order to have more impact on the students. The nature of Porter’s account is such that it requires an engaging methodology so that students can relate to it more and have a deep understanding of the intriguing concepts mentioned by her. 

Precisely, reading of Katherine Ann Porter’s “The complexity of maturation on the example of Katherine Anne Porter’s The Grave” you get an impression of a simple but rather interesting story about a young girl named Miranda and her experiences with her brother. Nevertheless, despite the simplicity depicted across the entire story, it reveals a carefully and intricate developed literary structure which is purposely brought forth to highlight the complexities and ambiguities of the maturation process (Brandon, 1994).

With this as a background, the study focuses on Katherine Anne Porter’s book “The Grave,” which is a simple story of Miranda and Paul, who are siblings on a Texas farm. The story uses several literary devices that portray the obscurities that surround the maturation process. It highlights the complexities and obscurities that surround it. Hence, the work draws upon the experience of the protagonist Miranda and assesses how her account can be used to teach the process of maturation in classrooms.

“The Grave” by Katherine Anne Porter is a perfect literary work that shows the constant opposing values and dilemmas of life. Hence, it also connects the readers to work in the most artistic way and helps them understand the complexities that are involved with the human maturation process. 

The study uses didactic analysis as it seems like an appropriate teaching methodology to showcase how maturation can be taught in classrooms. In order to use it, the paper discusses different types of teaching strategies as well as methods so that the main themes of Porter’s account can be taught effectively in classrooms.

The next section highlights the research question, objective, and the structure of the study so that the expectations of the readers are set right from the very start. The section on the structure of the paper further clarifies how various sections of this work unfolds to offer a clear understanding and a strong foundation for the paper.

1.1 Research Question

How has art been used as an artifact in “The Grave” and what is the symbolism used in the book for the maturation process of the characters?

1.2 Objective

The main objective of this work is to assess how art has been used as an artifact in the book “The Grave.” It also aims to assess the symbolism that is used in the book to showcase the maturation process of the characters.

1.3 Structure of the paper

The structure of this paper is straightforward for the ease of the readers. After a brief introduction with a research question and the objective of the paper, it moves to the section of Literary Analysis that aims at explaining the concepts of maturation and identity. This section has several sub-sections that discusses how Miranda experiences maturation through various phases of her life. This is followed by her encounters of opposing values and how she deals with them in a way that shapes her personality and identity at a later stage. There are also sub-sections on reflection on Miranda’s life in terms of its relation to human life in general because every human being goes through a learning process. Finally, the last section discusses the use of revisioning in the book.

The next section on the book is a didactic analysis and starts by discussing the use of storytelling as an approach to didactic analysis. This is followed by didactic sequence, teaching approaches and methodologies as well as the realization of the teaching approach in classrooms.

After this, a lesson plan is given with details about the stage of learning, the description of student activities in a particular stage, materials used for guidance and support, and the social form. It clarifies the entire teaching process adopted in the classroom.

Finally, the conclusion summarizes all the basic arguments and the analysis of the study so that the readers understand the essence of the work completely.

2. Literary Analysis – Concepts of Maturation and Identity

This section discusses the concepts of maturation and identity, as discussed in Katherine Anne Potter’s book “The Grave.” In order to offer a good understanding in this section, it starts by tracing the maturation process of the protagonist Miranda through different phases of her life. Further, it moves on to analyzing the opposing values that she encounters during her maturation process and how these new encounters help in shaping her identity as well as self. The section after that assesses Miranda’s life as a reflection of the way human beings go through their lives and see it as a learning process. Finally, this section ends with an explanation of the use of revisioning in the book.

2.1 Maturation process seen through Miranda’s life phases

In a broader perspective of view, Ann Porter’s story revolves around a central paradoxical equation of life and death through a significant unifying factor. It is this unifying factor that not only does it enhance an aesthetic flow of ideas but also contributes to the seemingly the central theme of the story-i.e. the ambivalence and ambiguity of human maturation (Brandon, 1994).

Miranda maturation process through her life phases is an interesting one because of the way Potter uses symbolism all through the process. The objects that Miranda and Paul find symbolize life and death in various ways. It is interesting how a dove-shaped coffin screw symbolizes not just death but also peace. Hence, the use of paradoxes through symbolism is essential to note (Brandon 1994, 2).

On the other hand, when Miranda claims the wedding ring, it is a symbol of her femininity. The fact that the ring is round is a symbol of life’s eternal and cyclical nature as well as death because the ring belonged to her grandfather. This also indicates the fact that there is a cycle of generations (Titus 1988, 112).

Hence, Porter takes the readers through different phases of life through Miranda and shows the maturation process in a way that all human beings can connect with. It is very interesting how she uses small instances and pieces of objects and gives a deeper meaning to them. The way she uses simple symbols to highlight maturity is incredible. There is a lot of scope for using it in the classrooms and engaging students. It is a great way of engaging students and helping them understand the complexities of life and death as well as maturity. It is one of the most intriguing accounts where Miranda’s process of attaining maturity can be used for didactic purposes. It is very engaging for the readers and can be used effectively in a classroom setting.

The next section discusses another interesting aspect of this subject, which is that of opposing values and paradoxes that Miranda encounters during her process of maturation.

2.2 Opposing values encountered by Miranda

There is a complex interrelationship of opposing values and conceptions of innocence and youth. There is an opposition between naturalness versus maturity, artificiality as well as knowledge which has a further paradox of life and death. Hence, this work is a unification of aesthetics and themes that showcases the ambiguity and ambivalence, which is a vital part of human maturation (Brandon 1994, 3).

There is another instance where Miranda and her brother examine the dead rabbit and its babies when Paul unintentionally kills a pregnant rabbit. During this process, they understand the secrets of life and death. They use contradictory terms to describe the dead baby rabbits, which also highlights the paradox that is emergent in the story throughout. They understand the concept of mortality and how death is an important and natural part of living. In fact, both life and death are the same because the process of living is actually a walk towards your death (Brandon 1994, 7).

Miranda is an interesting character that goes through a tumultuous process of maturation (Stout 1987, 259). Porter uses this character in showcasing many different paradoxes that are prevalent in society and that every human has to go through as a part of their growing up process.

Hence, the next section discusses how Miranda’s account can be used as an anecdote where everyone can see the learning process of human beings in a more tangible way. This section showcases how every human being goes through various stages leading to death and how death is an integral part of human life.

2.3 Learning process of a human being seen through Miranda’s lens

Miranda’s life is a reflection of the way human beings go through life as a learning process. It is a journey from innocence to intelligence and maturity. Various sections in the book highlight the deeper meaning of life which most human beings can relate to because everyone goes through these life phases. They might be in a different situation or different circumstances, but they all have to go through the phase of reflection and paradoxes to finally come to a situation of understanding life and death (Birky N.D., 51).

The next section takes this view forward by applying a re-visioning method to go back to the text and assess it in a different light to understand how it helps Miranda in reaching her maturity levels.

2.4 The use of re-visioning

Re-visioning is a process of looking back and of seeing the same thing with a fresh vantage point or seeing old texts with a newly acquired perspective (Birky N.D., 51).  It is an utterly interesting approach for the purpose of this paper. Re-visioning can be an interesting process to revisit with a new lens or perspective to understand things better. There has been a lack of recognition of Porter’s work by the feminists of the 1970s despite the fact that “The Grave” is a work that depicts female sexuality in a very modern way (Riney 2007, 3).

To re-vision the book, the focus can start from the title itself. The title of the book is “The Grave,” which already signifies the biggest reality of life. Moreover, Miranda’s grandmother is a matriarch who transported the bones of her husband twice in new graves, and the last of the rural farm of Texas also prospered under her control (Birky N.D., 55).

Furthermore, the usage of symbolism when Miranda finds the silver dove and examines it closely is interesting. It showcases how Miranda discovers the breasts and vagina in the dove as she examines the body of the dove. This highlights her feminine side. However, when Paul shows the ring that he discovers and they consider it to be a wedding band with flowers and carvings in it, the symbolism of social covenant can be seen again here. Furthermore, the fact that Paul finds a ring, and Miranda exchanges the dove for the ring happily showcases her femininity again. She is also very happy about the fact that the ring fits her perfectly without any efforts. But Paul’s masculinity seems to question Miranda’s femininity (Birky N.D., 57).

Re-visioning, the story showcases how Porter establishes the differences in the two genders by highlighting their preferences. For example, Paul prefers hunting while Miranda likes to go for a walk. However, it is important to note that Porter also stresses upon the artificially created gender differences in the society by dressing both of them in a straw hat, shirt and a sandal that only differs in color. This type of clothing for Miranda is also symbolic of the patriarchal structure. Having lost her mother and living with a father who did not care much about the social norms, Miranda finds herself in the constant dilemma of working with her instincts that were quite aligned with the social customs or with what she observed on a regular basis. (Birky N.D., 58).

Hence, re-visioning can be a great methodology to be adopted for teaching in a classroom setting as well. Now, the next section will do a didactic analysis of Porter’s work and assess the best methodology to teach it in a classroom.

3. Didactic Analysis

This section does the didactic analysis. The first part of this section highlights how storytelling is used as an approach to didactic analysis. This is followed by a didactic sequence as well as teaching approaches and methodologies. Finally, this section ends with a part on the realization of the teaching approach in the classroom.

3.1 Storytelling As An Approach To Didactic Analysis

Often in literature, it is highlighted that an effective means to acquire critical reading are stories because stories are a result of a shared social context and also reflect upon certain social relations. Therefore, stories can be seen as something that forms a bridge between social norms as well as patterns and individuals. Hence, using storytelling methodology in classrooms has the potential to improve critical awareness on understanding social relations in society (Belet and Dala 2010, 1831)

Porter’s “The Grave” integrates didactic aspects through the roles and responsibilities of women in work. In so doing, the story goes against the conventional pervasive social structure that advocates for male dominance. Instead, it presents a patriarchal pattern whereby, both genders are a partial reality as well as a viable possibility (Brandon, 1994). 

Furthermore, Porter spent a great amount of time “learning to write,” and her major inspiration came from writers such as Laurence Sterne and Samuel Johnson (Unrue 2009, 182). Her stories are inspired by some of the profound human experiences. Therefore, the best methodology that can be adopted in the classroom to teach “The Grave” by Katharine Anne Porter is storytelling. There are many advantages of using storytelling as an approach. It is a known fact that stories leave a lasting impact on children when taught in the classroom. Moreover, there are several creative teaching strategies that can allow for the inclusion of storytelling methodology. They can be used as introduction, illustration, or tied to learning goals.

Storytelling also has the power to engage learners who are reluctant to participate in classroom activities. Other advantages, as highlighted by some studies, are that it helps students attain several viewpoints to understand a particular situation. Also, it gives them an opportunity to express themselves and defend their opinions. Hence, they also develop self-confidence through the process (Belet and Dala 2010, 1832).

Keeping the advantages of storytelling in mind, it is the chosen methodology for this study. The best thing about storytelling is that it gives a lot of inputs to children before asking for outputs. With the help of tools, they are also prompted to connect their personal experiences or stories. This also helps them engage in the classroom in a much better way. Moreover, the nature of this topic is such that there is a high chance that every student will connect to it. The topic of maturity is a sensitive one, but everyone goes through it. Therefore, teaching it using the storytelling methodology also ensures that children are able to understand it better and find it engaging.

The next section discusses the didactic sequence, which will highlight the teaching methods that will be used in the class.

3.2 Didactic Sequence

 It is essential to follow a didactic sequence to ensure that there is progressive learning in the classroom. With a storytelling methodology, if there are other tools like workshops and group discussions etc. are used, the teacher is saved from the danger of falling into the trap of just focusing on the content that is being taught. It also helps in organizing the entire study schedule, so there is no repetition, and there is a proper structure to the teaching (Pardo 2013, 33).

Similarly, the didactic sequence for the purpose of the paper would be divided into different phases. Various instances from Porters’ book can be used in the classrooms to help students relate to the content in a better way. It can help in making the class more engaging and interactive for the students.

Having a well-planned didactic sequence can ensure that the classes are more organized, and the teachers follow a set of class plans and work accordingly. If this is done, the classes can be more engaging, and the learning outcome can be better. A class plan is also designed, keeping in mind the topics that are in question. For the purpose of Porter’s account, an approach that can involve more students where they can connect with it and give their own account with relation to the protagonist would be ideal.

Therefore, the next section discusses various teaching approaches and methodologies that are available to teachers. It also highlights the methodology that would be ideal for teacher Potter’s “The Grave.” A lot of factors need to be considered before narrowing down on one methodology. The class plans and everything else is based on that, so it is an important part of the whole process.

3.3 Teaching Approaches And Methodologies

There are many teaching approaches and methodologies that can be applied to teach Porter’s work. Some of the examples are story-based methodology, communicative language teaching, constructivist learning, project-based learning, and much more (Zeki et al. 2016, 4).

In a story-based or storytelling approach for teaching, the focus is on giving a narrative of the fictional or the real character in a more gripping way. This approach also helps students explore their personal roles and makes sense of a lot of things in their lives (Koening and Zorn 2002, 393).

Similarly, the communicative teaching focuses on interaction within the classrooms and use of various methods and techniques that help in making sure that the students interact in the class. Furthermore, the constructivist approach focuses on how individuals understand or the nature of knowledge. In this process, a lot of ideas, events, and experiences are combined to offer an understanding of a subject matter (Zeki et al. 2016, 3).

The project-based learning methods focus on more practical aspects where the learners are given live projects to work on. This methodology is centered on students in a classroom setting that is dynamic. This methodology is engaging and helps in offering students a better understanding of the subject matter (Schindler and Eppler 2003, 220).

However, for the purpose of this study, it is better to focus on a methodology that is conducive to teaching Porter’s account. Since it is already and engaging story, a storytelling methodology is ideal for it. There can be other tools used along with this method. These tools can be in the form of group work, engaging group presentations, having worksheets, and home works. A combination of these tools with a storytelling methodology is ideal for the purpose of this study.

Once the methodology is finalized, the next section focuses on the realization of the teaching approach in the classroom. This section will discuss the step by step process that will be used to teach this subject in classrooms.

3.4 Realization Of The Teaching Approach In The Classroom

As mentioned above, storytelling as a methodology is appropriate for teaching in the class. It can be used along with some interactive activities. Studies show that the use of activities in the classroom ensures that participants actively engage in the discussions. Moreover, simple questions related to the discussions as well as questions related to their lives or how they relate to the theory is also very helpful (Intarapanich 2013, 309).

The first phase would start with the “warm-up” or the “lead-in” phase; the students will be given cues to develop ideas before the actual story is introduced to them. For example, maturity is an important aspect of this story so the students will be given the word maturity, and they will be asked to work around with it. This process will also give them a chance to ponder upon the topic and relate it to themselves.

The second phase would be that of elicitation in which the students will be asked to elicit their prior knowledge on the subject matter. This will be a continuation of the first phase, so it will help the students to develop more deep and critical thinking. This will be followed by the third phase, where teaching materials like handouts will be used, and students will be asked to work in groups. At this stage, Porter’s story will also be introduced to the students in more details, and with the help of handouts and worksheets, they will be asked to ponder upon some critical questions. Following this, each group will present their views and some of the basic things that they discussed during their group meetings. After this, there will be a review process based on the presentations made by each group.

Finally, students will be asked to work independently and given home works to assess their ability to work on it in a different context and then there will be practice to ensure that the ideas are clearly expressed and they have developed the competencies that the lessons aimed to give them.

The next section has a detailed lesson plan on how the classes will be conducted using the chosen methodology ad tools.

4. Lesson Plan

Phase

Description of the activity

Supporting Material and Guidance

Social Form

Time

Lead-in/Warm-up

Students will be given cues to develop ideas before the actual story is introduced to them

Maturity will be used as a cue for the students. They will develop it further

Presentation by teacher

1 hour

Elicitation

Students will be asked to elicit their prior knowledge on the subject matter

The teacher will ensure that the discussion keeps going by answering occasional questions in case the class is stuck

Blackboard & Mind maps with students and teachers

2 hours

Working on the learning material

Porter’s story will be illustrated, and students will be asked to work in groups

Handouts and worksheets

Group work

1 hour

Group Presentation

The groups will present their views and opinion on the topics from worksheets

Powerpoint presentations or simple presentations

Group presentation

1 hour

Learning Evaluation

A review process with the teachers and all the students

Discussion

Teacher and students together

1 hour

Independent Working

Evaluation to see if students can work independently

Homeworks

Take-home assignments

48 hours

Practice

Offer more reading material to expand their horizon

Optional work

 

1 hour

 

5. Conclusion

To sum up, it can be stated that using the right teaching method is essential for ensuring success in teaching. Although every teacher has their own style of teaching going through the methodologies and applying them effectively to the given topic can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience in a classroom. It is important to note that choosing the right methodology ensures that the classes are engaging and students get a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.  

In this paper, the teaching methodology for the account of Katharine Anne Porter’s “The Grave” has been discussed. This account is an important one because it focuses on the concept of maturity through its protagonist named Miranda. It is also an excellent literary piece to teach students about the maturation processes because of its use of symbolism. It uses some interesting symbols like a gold ring that not just symbolizes Miranda’s femininity but also the continuation of life which goes in circles. Moreover, the ring belongs to her grandfather, which is a symbol of going round and round through generations.

Similarly, there are other accounts like that of a dead rabbit or a dove-shaped coffin screw which not just symbolizes death but also peace at the same time. Hence, there are interesting uses of symbolism in her book. Use of symbolism in Porter’s story is primarily intended to pass across the meaning of how hidden wisdom can be discovered in the “The Grave.” The symbols used in the story stand at the center piece of knowledge- without them, the story would be not only tasteless but also vague  So, teaching it to the students using the right methodologies to engage them essential. This work gives storytelling as the right methodology and also proposes some other tools that can help in making it more engaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Belet, S. Dilek, Dala Sibel (2010). The use of storytelling to develop the primary school students’ critical reading skill: the primary education pre-service teachers’ opinions. Procedia Social and Behavioral sciences. 9. Pp. 1830-1834.

Birky, Berth Martin (N.D.). Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Grave” Women’s Writing and Re-visioning Memory. Journal for the Association for Research on Mothering. 4 (2). Pp. 51-64

Brandon, Michael Stephen (1994). A case study of Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Grave” from Formalist, Freudian Psychoanalytic, Post-structuralist, and Feminist Literary Perspectives. Univesity of Tennessee Honors Thesis Project

Intarapanich, Chutima (2013). Teaching methods, approaches and strategies found in EFL classrooms: A case study in Lao PDR. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 88. Pp. 306-311

Koening, Jill M. and Zorn, CeCelia (2002). Using storytelling as an approach to teaching and learning with diverse students. Journal of Nursing Education. 41 (9). Pp. 393-399

Riney, Erin Kelly. (2007). Feminist Re-visioning and women’s writing: The second wave’s effects on Katherine Anne Potter’s Literary Legacy. North Carolina State University. Pp. 1-120

Schindler, Martin and Eppler, Martin K. (2003). Harvesting project knowledge: a review of project learning methods and success factors. International journal of project management. 21 (3). Pp. 219-228.

Soler Pardo, B., Villacañas de Castro, L. S., & Pich Ponce, E. (2013). Creating and implementing a didactic sequence as an educational strategy for foreign language teaching. Íkala, revista de lenguaje y cultura, 18(3), 31–43.

Stout, Janis P. (1987). Miranda’s guarded speech: Porter and the problem of truth-telling. Psychological Quarterly. 66 (2). Pp. 259

Titus, Mary (1988). Mingled Sweetness and Corruption: Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Fig Tree” and “The Grave.” South Atlantic Review. 53 (2). Pp. 111-125

Unrue, Darlene Harbour (2009). A newly discovered children’s story by Katherine Anne Porter: Foretelling the Mature Canon. The Mississippi Quarterly. 62 (2). Pp. 181-184

Zeki, Kaya et al. (2016). Learning and teaching: Theories, approaches and models.  Cozum Egitim Yayinclik. Pp. 1-240

 

The complexity of maturation on the example of Katherine Anne Porter’s The Grave
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