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Essay 1 Assignment: Recovering the Creature

(GWRIT 103-Pipkins)

In the world of knowledge, the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort...
- Plato The Allegory of the Cave

The consumer is content to receive an experience just as it has been presented to him by theorists and planners.... It is only the hardiest and cleverest of students who can salvage the sonnet from [the] package. It is only the rarest of students who knows that the sonnet must be salvaged from the package.... As Mounier said, the person is not something one can study and provide for; he is something one struggles for. But unless he also struggles from himself, unless he knows that there is a struggle, he is going to be just what the planners think he is.
- WalkerPercy The Loss of the Creature (594, 596, 600)

You have spent some time in your first writing sequence exploring and expanding Percy's concepts of "recovery" and "sovereignty"; you have thought about the ways in which Plato's allegory addresses some of the same concerns; and you have read Dinesen's Iguana as a way in which "recovery" might happen.

In each of the readings, we've come upon both explicit and implicit definitions for (and examples of) recovery. Now I ask that you turn the lens to your own experience and write your own"recovery." What has been your "Grand Canyon?" When have you "shot an iguana"?

Perhaps the best way to look for an experience to recover is to open yourself to what you might learn from writing that experience into the present; that is, think about something in your past (be it 5 minutes ago or 5 years ago) that seems to linger in your memory. Then sit down and write about it as specifically, sincerely, and as clearly as you can. (Re)capture the moment as Dinesen does in her journal: she spends a lot of time (2 full paragraphs in a short journal entry) looking at the iguana itself, its beauty, it s placement, its colors, as well as why she wanted to shoot it and what happened when she did. Only after she recaptures the moment can she open herself up to what she can learn from it. Think about Dinesen as a viable model to follow; Your ultimate goal is to wrest that event from the "many-tissued" package that Percy talks about. Your recovery should be no shorter than 3 pages, double spaced.

You will be evaluated on the degree of specificity and engagement with your subject as well as on the depth of your recovery (i.e. the conclusion(s) you make from the act of recovering the experience). You will need to attach the following to Essay 1:

Writing Sequence 1
Essay 1 Worksheet

Please be sure to give your essay a title and to head the papers as follows:

Course and time
Essay 1

Creative Title in Center of Page


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