Participation Portfolio 3


The participation portfolios have been a great way for me to keep track of my own progress. Between the last portfolio and this one, the state of the world has changed quite a bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift to an online learning environment has been a rough one for me, as this is the first time that I have experienced it. Although this has all put a strain on my studies, I have managed to make a few improvements which I will document in this portfolio.


I am always continuing to work on depth as it is one of my weakest categories. However, as I scroll through my blog, I notice a few posts in which I go deeper than usual.

In my post about the first portion of Rhinoceros in Love, I went in depth by choosing a simple passage and explaining how it is a true statement of a culture. Although I only wrote a few sentences about the passage, my connection of a passage to a cultural beauty norm is deeper than I usually find myself going.

In my post about the final portion of Oedipus the King, I explored the idea of literary endings. My post explained how the ending ties up every aspect of the play, which is something that is almost uncommon. Many endings are cliffhangers, and many do not give closure. I explained how this ending gives closure and leaves the reader with a sense of understanding. I have never really gone this deep in analyzing style, so I am proud of myself for doing it in this post.


This is probably my second weakest category, as I tend to find a pattern that works for me and stick to it, creating my comfort zone. However, there are a few posts in which I leave it.

I normally shy away from anything related to creative writing, because it is not my strong suit. However, in my post that connects How to Read Literature Like a Professor to Oedipus the King, I write about an aspect of creative writing that Foster points out in relation to creating blind characters. I acknowledged the difficulty that Foster presents with the topic, and explained that it is something that I did not know about. While I could have wrote more about the topic, the fact that I simply chose to write about it is an example of me leaving my comfort zone.

In the same post, I write about Foster’s mention of plays that follow Oedipus the King in a series. I normally stick to relating the the text to the drama itself, so this was definitely a step out of my comfort zone.


I improved on this aspect in my last participation portfolio, but it fell a bit short for this one. I am seeing potential for intertextuality that I unfortunately ignored and need to be more mindful of.

In my post that synthesizes peer posts about The Skin of Our Teeth, I mention Beth’s post about the play, in which she relates it to the children’s movie The Croods. I found this post to be interesting, so I could have added my own intertextuality to it by quoting another work in which I found relation to this play.


Although virtual discussion can be difficult in comparison to face-to-face, I feel that I have improved this aspect since my last portfolio.

In my post about the first portion of Rhinoceros in Love, my mention of Malu’s perception of his nose sparked a discussion in the comments about why the passage is significant in the play. I backed this up in our Canvas discussion board of the play.


This has always been something that I need to improve, and I was making strides to improve it for this portfolio, until the pandemic forced our school to switch to the virtual format. I have had more trouble keeping up with blog assignments than I did while in school, because I now have more responsibilities at home, and I am still at work as I am considered an essential employee. However, I have submitted all of the Canvas assignments on time, which is definitely an improvement. Now that I am beginning to become adjusted to this environment, I can improve this for our next portfolio.


Although I enjoy watching the context videos as they help me prepare to read world drama, sometimes I have trouble figuring out what to say about them. My post about The Cherry Orchard context and about Chinese Drama prove that I completed the assignments even with little to say.


This portfolio provides documentation of my progress over this past session. I will continue to work to improve the aspects in which I am lacking. By looking at this portfolio, I realize that I have improved at the close reading goal on the syllabus, as I have no posts in which I simply summarize.

Source: Participation Portfolio 3


Context for Chinese Drama

I love learning about history, especially world history, so these videos are always interesting to me. They always help to put what is to come in readings into perspective, and I think that I will understand Rhinoceros in Love much better because of this video. Certain aspects of world drama are almost impossible to understand without the context of the time and place in which the play was written.

Source: Context for Chinese Drama


Foster (Any Two Chapters)

The two chapters I chose in Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor are chapters 21 and 22.

In chapter 21, Foster states “At the end of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, the king blinds himself, which is very definitely a kind of marking—of atonement, guilt, and contrition—and one that he will wear throughout the subsequent play, Oedipus at Colonus.” I found this quote to be interesting because it foreshadows the play that follows Oedipus Rex. I personally did not know that there is more than one Oedipus play, and I am now interested in reading what follows what we read in class. In my previous post about the play, I talked about how the ending ties everything up and makes it seem as if it is truly the end, so I am interested to see how the next one picks up.

In chapter 22, Foster states “There are a lot of things that have to happen when a writer introduces a blind character into a story, and even more in a play. Every move, every statement by or about that character has to accommodate the lack of sight; every other character has to notice, to behave differently, if only in subtle ways” (Foster 210). This was surprising to me because it brought the difficulty of writing about a blind character to light. As someone who has only occasionally dabbled in creative writing, these are things that I never think of.

Source: Foster (Any Two Chapters)


Cherry Orchard Synthesis

Learning about the context of the second portion of the play was more interesting than I had expected, especially with the addition of peer thoughts. I had stated in my post that I had trouble finding comedic aspects in act one of the play, and Morgan seemed to have the same problem as me. I never find comedies as funny when I read them instead of watching them. Lauren mentioned in her post that she watched a YouTube video, and noticed all of the comedic elements of the play that way. Sometimes, I forget that plays are meant to be watched, and that I need to take the time to view productions of plays to understand them better.

Source: Cherry Orchard Synthesis


Context for The Cherry Orchard (Part 2 of 2) 13m

This lecture did a great job of preparing me to read the second portion of the play. What surprised me the most about it is the fact that the play is considered a comedy. I did not find the first portion of the play to be comedic at all. However, I normally find that reading a comedy does not carry the same effects as watching one, so I might try to watch a performance of the play online if I can find one. Overall, I am glad that I watched this lecture because it gave some insight for the rest of the play, and the play as a whole.

Source: Context for The Cherry Orchard (Part 2 of 2) 13m


Oedipus the King (Part 3 of 3)

In Oedipus the King (Part 3 of 3) I noticed this passage: “CHORUS: You residents of Thebes, our native land, look on this man, this Oedipus, the one who understood that celebrated riddle. He was the most powerful of men. All citizens who witnessed this man’s wealth were envious. Now what a surging tide 1810 of terrible disaster sweeps around him. So while we wait to see that final day, we cannot call a mortal being happy before he’s passed beyond life free from pain.”

I chose the ending of the play because it might be one of the best endings in drama that I have ever read. I read Oedipus in high school, but I must not have read as closely as I should have because I did not appreciate the ending. The ending of this play truly embodies everything that happened throughout its course. I think that I find this ending to be so well written because I am one who strongly dislikes cliffhangers, so I welcome an ending that simply ties everything up and leaves the reader with a sense of understanding.

Source: Oedipus the King (Part 3 of 3)


Oedipus the King (Part 2 of 3)

In Oedipus the King (Part 2 of 3) I noticed this passage: “CREON: Will you listen to me? It’s your turn now to hear me make a suitable response. Once you know, then judge me for yourself. OEDIPUS: You are a clever talker. But from you I will learn nothing. I know you now—a troublemaker, an enemy of mine.”

I chose this passage because in my opinion, it does a lot to show the dynamics of Creon’s relationship with Oedipus in just a few lines. Neither wishes to listen to the other’s ideas, and they both think that their way is the only way. They both have the type of personality which may be referred to as “my way or the highway,” and I think that this also goes a long way in explaining some of the events in the story.

Source: Oedipus the King (Part 2 of 3)