Grade 11 Guiding Questions Collection 3
by Joyce Carol Oates
Read the argument “Against Nature” by Joyce Carol Oates. Then, reread the lines indicated with each question below.
Answer each question
, citing text evidence.
inscription on a building
, statue, or coin):
Why did Oates choose these two epigraphs to open her essay?
Lines 1–5: Read the author byline and identify Oates’s main purpose for writing.
Lines 6–14: Infer what Oates thinks about nature as a topic for writing. What is the author’s specific purpose in this essay?
Lines 80–97: What are the three brief narratives in these lines? Analyze and evaluate why Oates includes these stories at this point in her essay.
Lines 117–124: What claim does Oates make in these lines? How does it further her claims about nature? What evidence does Oates use to support this claim?
Lines 125–136: How do Oates’s comments about Thoreau in these lines connect to her ideas in the previous paragraph?
Lines 147–156: What examples of rhetorical questions are in these lines?
on the reader
; why did she use them?)
do these rhetorical questions produce?
Lines 160–178: How does the quotation from Wilde support Oates’s argument?
Lines 187–198: Summarize the idea Thoreau expresses. Is Oates convinced by Thoreau’s argument? Explain, citing text evidence to support your answer.
Lines 194–197: Consider Oates’s tone in these lines. How does the tone differ in the two sentences? What effect does her tone have on the essay?
Lines 229–239: Analyze the analogy. How is Oates’s “mystical” vision similar to nature writing?
Lines 252–253: Why,
at the end of her essay
, does Oates refer to Johnson’s quote from the epigraph?
Write down adjectives that describe Oates’s tone. Write down two adjectives that describe Emerson’s tone.
Write down words/phrases that helped create the tone for each author’s text.
Explain how the tones of the selections differ.
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