LA Copperfield Guest Lecturer: Devin Griffiths

10 Comments

  1. The points that were brought up by professor Griffiths were very intriguing. I especially liked the discussion about the way that science and literature can affect one another. I am a person who tends to favor science and math and focuses less on writing. Once professor Griffiths started to mention this I was able to begin to see how in small ways literature has affected the way I think.

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  2. The main thing that I enjoyed learning through Professor Griffith’s lecture was the nature vs nurture because I seem to see nature differently and the actual way it was taught surprised me and just like the nurture, it came to teach me that surrounding’s are what define you. It’s just so intriguing the fact that we come to learn the actual representation of certain words within a book and genre.
    Questions:
    Does Copperfield interest with both nature and nurture through his journey?
    Is Bildungsroman used through all aspects of books or certain books?

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    • The fact that nature seems to be this form of predetermination of who you are doesn’t come to head for me because I saw nature as what makes up the world and with that you come to make up yourself and who you want to be. Nurture for me was this form of growth and development being embarked to you little by little to make who you are which I understood in some form but the way Professor Griffith’s attacked it made greater sense to me and emphasized this greater aspect of humans come up.

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  3. I enjoyed how Professor Griffiths explained the concepts of nature vs. nurture and how that coordinated with a hero’s journey. Specifically in David Copperfield, David decides to be the hero of his own life, and changes his environments. Professor Griffiths also correlated this idea with bildungsroman (growth; character development). I also enjoyed Griffith’s explanation of how a character takes control of his life, that is by: Managing how conditions affect you, choosing your environment, and choosing how to cultivate skills and abilities. I believe that this could apply to not only a character but any individual that wants to grasp to control of his/her life.

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  4. Professor Griffiths gave an intriguing lecture because he highlighted the bildungsroman genre in specific scenes from David Copperfield. The two scenes were when David decided to go with his Aunt Betsey Trotwood and the other when he was describing his voyage to her. I was able to understand, through the close reading, that Charles Dickens summarized the whole novel into one paragraph. Then, Professor Griffiths emphasized that in the paragraph in which David explained his obstacles to his aunt, the last sentence is narrated by older David. This helps me predict that because the paragraph is a reflection of the whole novel, older David has more input towards the end of the story. Lastly, Professor Griffiths talked about nurture vs. nature, and I now understand that the difference is that one is based on the genetics while the other is based on the environment. This contrast gives me a better understanding of David and that he has become into the type of person he is due to the events detailed in the story.

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  5. Professor Griffiths really went deep into explaining the concept of nature vs nurture and how it influenced a character. I thought about how a person’s environment could affect the way they turn out; how their character will be. However, what Griffiths said was something I resonated with, that the character does not necessarily have to reflect the environment that they are in. A person’s nature can overcome the nurture, or how the character is influenced by others. Professor Griffiths also explained the bildungsroman, where a character is essentially developed over time. David Copperfield is in fact a bildungsroman, because it has the main character David, go through a set of events that influence him and the decisions he makes later in life.

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  6. Professor Griffiths explained the difference between nature and nurture during his lecture and connected it with the genre of bildungsroman. This made me realize that I never really knew the difference between nature and nurture, but now that I have a clear understanding of it, I now see it in the novel. I see the growth that David Copperfield goes through, and the development he undergoes with time. Reflecting back on this lecture, I realized that I’m a person who follows nature and I don’t really follow the people I surround myself with, which is very interesting to think about.

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  7. The most important idea I learned from Professor Griffiths’ lecture was the establishment of bildungsroman, which is the growth of a character in a novel and how the historical context of science and literature influence each other. Johann Volfgang Von Groethe first, a scientist, introduced the bildungsroman. By context, this shows that having a ubiquitous imagination can convey that it’s not limited to books but knowledge overall. The applicability illustrates that the character can manage their conditions, choose their environment, or choose how to cultivate. These decisions display that a character has a choice in determining their fate.
    Moreover, I learn the constant usage of “I” can be tricky when reading the novel “David Copperfield” because it connects into the past David Copperfield and future David Copperfield. This idea associates to the term free indirect discourse that mix spectrum of thoughts all collectively become into one. Therefore, I have a question for Professor Griffiths, do you have any other strategies to identify which position David is located? Also, what was the first classic novel you read?

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  8. Overall, I really enjoyed how Professor Griffins got terms that are thrown around when talking about a novel and really simplifies it in a way that gives it more meaning than before; like genre, close reading, nature, and nurture. Genre is simply what is expected from the novel, close reading is what the novel tells us about itself as a whole, nature is the way that the character was born, and nurture is the conditions surrounding the character I found it interesting how he began his lecture with the fact that he began studying science when he was in college and then transitioned into literature, this change into a field that has little to no similarities and is basically polar opposites, and found a way to make the connects between these fields and then proceed to make these connections to the novel. It fascinated me when Professor Giffins compared David to a flower when covering the concept of nature and nurture. Like a flower, David was born with whatever characteristics he had and placed into an environment with this mother and Peggotty which was full of love and attention, but when Mr.Murdstone and his sister were introduced into his environment, things changed. The example that we covered in class that was an example of nurture within David was something that Idodnt even consider when reading the novel because I did not make the connection with the different passages until this lecture. The fact that Davids characters are going through all these hardships, is forcing him to grow up and he if realizing now that he can make choices for himself. And he does this by he decided that he is going to see his aunt Betsy and tell her his life story and ask for help. When he finally gets to his aunts’ house, we can clearly see the character change within David when there is a shift in his tone when speaking to her, at first, he is asking for help and later demands it.

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  9. I enjoyed the lecture from Professor Griffiths and I learned so much more information about genres given the short amount of time he had to lecture. One thing I learned more about was how there is never just one genre in a great work. The example he used was the movie “Deadpool”, which I enjoyed thoroughly. He said that while most people would see it as a superhero movie, others would see it as a comedy because of all the fourth wall breaking and jokes in the movie. However, its stated in the movie itself that it is a love story and all three of these genres combined to make “Deadpool”, David Copperfield is full of different genres and one important genre involved is called Bildungsroman which is the described as the morally growth of a character from youth to adulthood. Professor Griffith separated the word Bildungsroman by connecting Bildungs with Nature and growth and connecting Roman with Novel. I learned that Nature is described as the idea that you become you are based on who you are born as. This basically means everything that happens to you in life is already preprogrammed to happen. A question that I have for Mr. Griffith is can a work of literature have solely one genre in it and still be highly successful?

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