The dark night of the Soul assignment help

Important note::Time limit 2 hours writing from scratch 6 pages

Paper Two

What is to be done? What is to be done? Only those

utterly indifferent to the suffering of others can forestall asking this

question for long.

How—and in what limited ways—might reading and writing be made to matter in the new world that is evolving before our eyes?
–Richard Miller, “The Dark Night of the Soul,” in Ways of
Reading, 422 and 424

Consider the following passage from Richard Miller’s essay “The Dark Night of the Soul”:

makes Into the Wild remarkable is Krakauer’s ability to get some

purchase on McCandless’s actual reading practice, which, in turn,

enables him to get inside McCandless’s head and speculate with

considerable authority about what ultimately led this young man to

abandon the comforts of home and purposefully seek out mortal danger.

Krakauer is able to do this, in part, because he has access to the books

that McCandless read, with all their underlining and marginalia, as

well as to his journals and the postcards and letters McCandless sent to

friends during his journey. Working with these materials and his

interviews with McCandless’s family and friend, Krakauer develops a

sense of McCandless’s inner life and eventually comes to some

understanding of why the young man was so susceptible to being seduced

by the writing of London, Thoreau, Muir, and Tolstoy. Who McCandless is

and what becomes of him are, it turns out, intimately connected to the

young man’s approach to reading—both what he chose to read and how he

chose to read it. (429)
When Miller is writing about Krakauer’s Into

the Wild, he seems to suggest that what we read, and how we read, can

say something about who we are and about what we might become. This is a

very bold claim.

Part 1:
Richard Miller says that Jon

Krakauer as a reader can gain insight into “McCandless’s actual reading

practice,” and, as a result “get inside McCandless’s head” in order to

“speculate” about why McCandless lived and died as he did.

has provided you with an essay that may allow you to “get some purchase”

on his own “actual reading practices.” Choose two or three passages

that—for you–represent Miller’s work as a reader, as represented in

his essay. Use these passages to identify, interpret and illustrate

what you see as his “actual reading practices.” What does Miller do when

he reads? What does he read? And how does he chose to read it?
Part 2:

of a book that made a difference to you, that captured you, maybe one

you have read more than once, maybe one that you’ve made marks in or

that still sits on your bookshelf. Or, if not a book, think of your

favorite song or album or movie or TV show, something that engaged you

at least potentially as McCandless was engaged by London, Thoreau, Muir,

and Tolstoy. What was it that you found there? What kind of reader were

you? And what makes this a story in the past tense? How and why did you

move on? (Or if it is not a story in the past tense, where are you now,

and are you, like McCandless, in any danger?) Imagine this part of

your paper as being part of the conversation about reading that Miller

has begun about “how reading might be said to matter in the new world

evolving before our eyes”?

Part 3:
Finally, pull these

two parts into a complete essay. You can use headings or any other

framing devices that help you make these two parts into one essay on


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