The History of Jamaica

avoid plot summary, use quotes from Olive Senior’s “The Pain Tree” and Ana Menéndez’s “Her Mother’s House”  articles at least two and analyze the evidence.

1. In the short stories you are going to encounter protagonists attempting to reconnect and remember (as in “putting together again”) their Caribbean “home” spaces. How have their perceptions of their Caribbean homelands been shaped by their parents? What new perceptions do they gain and how does this transform their view of themselves and their history?
2. Victor Shklovsky argues that ostranenie (“making strange” in Russian, and also translated as estrangement/defamiliarization) is the essence of literature. Where in the two stories do we encounter descriptions of estranged perception? Analyze the significance of these moments in the stories. Be sure to consult and cite Shkovsky’s essay (especially his definition of ostranenie on page 80) to support your analysis.
3. For our annotation assignment we learned how to notice patterns and overlooked meanings that helped us understand “Sonny’s Blues” more fully. In “The Pain Tree” and “Her Mother’s House” what patterns, connections or implied meanings did you notice structuring the stories?

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