Mental Cases Passage
As Dr. Stanback explains in the lecture video “Contexts: Wilfred Owen,” Owen’s goal as a poet was to “warn” and be “truthful” about war. In many of Owen’s WWI poems, he focuses on the realities faced by soldiers battling on the front lines of WWI. In two of his poems assigned for Week 2, “Disabled” and “Mental Cases,” he focuses on what happened to some soldiers when they returned home from WWI. Some of the effects of war he describes are physical (bodily war wounds), but many are social, emotional, or mental. In both “Disabled” and “Mental Cases,” life is completely transformed for the soldiers who return home from the front lines: they see, think, and feel differently, and their relationships and social identities have fundamentally changed.
Your goal in this discussion board post is to analyze one short passage from “Disabled” or “Mental Cases” that illustrates an important aspect of the changed life that veterans faced as they returned home from WWI .
Because both “Disabled” and “Mental Cases” explore multiple ways that serving in the military during WWI transformed some veterans’ lives, it’s important that you focus on one short passage . In your response, you should discuss what specific aspect of the veteran’s life the passage depicts, and also analyze how and why that changed reality is significant in the contexts of the poem and/or Owen’s poetry more broadly. How did serving in WWI impact veterans once they returned home? To answer this question, you’ll need to analyze specific words, details, and/or imagery in your chosen passage — and even possibly aspects of form like punctuation — to explain their significance.
Importantly, in your analysis you must make reference to and build on material from one or more of this week’s lecture videos . Your goal should be to use the lecture material to deepen your analysis of your chosen passage. Many of you will choose to incorporate historical contexts covered in the lecture videos and/ or biographical contexts related to Wilfred Owen’s own experiences in WWI. Some of you may choose instead to reference material from the lecture videos on Owen’s poetry.
If you wish, you also may choose to very briefly reference other assigned poems by Wilfred Owen in order to deepen your analysis of “Disabled” or “Mental Cases.”
1) Choose a Quote from “Disabled” or “Mental Cases.” Place the quote at the top of the page before your discussion and analysis.
2) Discuss and analyze the topic according to the above directions (350-400 words)
3) Comment substantively on at least three of your classmates’ posts (minimum 50 words per comment)
1) Quote: Your quote may consist of part of a line from “Disabled” or “Mental Cases,” a whole line, or 2 – 3 lines. A quote longer than 2-3 lines should be condensed to include only the most pertinent sections. Please remember: the length of your quotation does not count toward your word count. Place the quote at the top of your post—before you begin your discussion and analysis.
2) Discuss and analyze: After your quote from “Disabled” or “Mental Cases,” you must then discuss and analyze what your quote suggests about the ways that serving in WWI impacted veterans as they returned home . Your chosen passage should allow you to analyze the impact of WWI on veterans in precise and specific ways —not in broad generalizations. Your critical discussion must be 350-400 words.
Your post must also show evidence of meaningful engagement with the lectures. Make sure that you extend and enhance, rather than simply repeat, what is in the lectures. We—and your classmates—want to know what youthink, and why. In other words, you can’t just offer a plot summary or a summary of the relevant lectures; instead, you should aim to use lecture material to extend and deepen your analysis of your chosen passage / poem.
Your post should be well thought out, and relatively free of grammatical errors. Remember that you can also schedule an online appointment with the Writing Center for extra credit, getting help on your discussion post in the process. Consult the syllabus for more information on this extra credit opportunity. You should compose your analysis in Microsoft Word or another word processing program so that you can spellcheck your post before loading it on Canvas. Also ensure that you fully edit your post before you load it into Canvas. When uploading your final post, please cut and paste it in the text box. Please do not attach a separate Word document.
3) Comment: After you post to each discussion board, you must comment substantively on at least three of your classmates’ posts. Each comment should be a minimum of 50 words , and you must go far beyond saying “Great job!” or “I disagree.” Instead, you might indicate if your classmate’s post taught you something, or made you think about the topic at hand in a new way. If you think a classmate’s post is strong, explain why you think it’s strong. If you agree or disagree with a classmate, explain why you agree or disagree. You also might want to indicate how your classmate’s post relates to your own. Do you have a similar or different approach to the text and/or to the topic?
Please note: rude or unprofessional comments will result in an automatic zero for your entire post. We want you to engage with your peers, but in a respectful fashion.
Please remember: the word count (350– 400 words) applies to your original post only, not the combined total of your quotation, post, and comments. Your post and comments will be graded together based on a simple 12-point rubric (see the Discussion Board Assignment Rubricfor details). Grades and comments will be available on Canvas about two weeks after the deadline. If you have any questions about this assignment, you can ask them in the designated Q & A Forum on Canvas.
As with all assignments, discussion posts and comments are due by Sunday 11:59 p.m. (CST). Late discussion posts will be accepted for 72 hours after the deadline until the following Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. All late posts will receive a 1-point deduction for lateness. Because this assignment requires that you respond to your peers, we ask that you try to complete and post your original response as soon as possible, ideally by Friday at the end of the week. This will allow the weekend for others to read and possibly respond to it.