ENG 340:  Multicultural American Literature                                                                                                       My Year of Meats


Instead of study questions to prepare for our reading of Ruth Ozeki's My Year of Meats, we will use the Penguin Readers Guide appended to the novel.  Before you do the first reading assignment in the novel itself, please read "An Introduction to My Year of Meats" (pages 2-5 of the Penguin Readers Guide) and the 10 discussion questions (14-16 of the Guide). 


The final examination in class essay topics for this novel are derived from these discussion questions, so please review them carefully.  The discussion questions emphasize thematic concerns (the nature of truth; the role of the media in culture, for example), cultural, ethnic, and gender issues, and the politics of the novel.  These questions can help you to narrow your focus to points of interest through which you can develop an analytical thesis.


Early in your reading of the assignments, keep a list of the central characters and their relation to each other, stressing how they are described at their first appearance, and try to establish a focus for your essay that will allow you to take more directed notes as you continue reading.  To perform well on the final examination essay assignment, you will have to collect significant details that can be used to sustain your arguments.


Choose one of the following topics for your in-classfinal examination essay on My Year of Meats; whichever topic you choose, be sure to avoid Penguin Readers Guide suggestions that urge you to discuss your favorite character or that encourage you to write about your own experiences.  Instead, focus on analysis of the novel: