November 12 2009
My Literary Experiment
The instant you access the world wide web, a gargantuan amount of information can be stumbled upon in all the distinct types in which information can be presented, albeit essays, articles, stories, blogs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, among others. However, a big however in fact, is that anybody with basic knowledge onweb creation can upload any information and confidently state that every single word is the truth. Furthermore, it is utterly impossible to check for consistency and credibility in each and every bit of information, so its up to the person seeking said information to do some research on their own. Obviously the safest and more credible information can be found in websites that are from highlyacknowledged associations, universities, authors etc. Either way, just copying said information, apart from it being illegal, is not recommendable. The works found on these websites complement you as a writer or critic and help flesh out undeveloped ideas.
I have chosen Gradesaver.com as the test subject to my literary experiment. My objective is to find and reveal specific flaws orinconsistencies present in the works the website's writers have constructed. Keep in mind that the content in the website is what will be under scrutiny, not the web design, safety, eye candy; in other words, anything that comprises the visual and/or technical aspect. After a swift reading of any of the various interpretations, analysis or summaries, it becomes clear that the content in these works is of highquality. However, this does not automatically mean it is flawless, and careful reading and a critical eye help reveal a few notable issues.
The first element under scrutiny is the character list from the play “A Raisin in the Sun”. It distinctly lists every character in the play without really elaborating on any level. From a new reader's perspective, it may not be such a big issue not havingevery possible detail about the characters as it can lead to spoilers. Nevertheless, a number of articles in Gradesaver.com provide student and professional writers with clear and concise analysis concerning all aspects of any literature discipline. Writers then proceed to interpret their readings, allowing themselves to completely remove their doubts and obtain a vast amount of topics to writeabout. Due to its lack of content, the character list completely fails to bestow such knowledge into the minds of its eager readers. Here is an exact example on how the writer explains Walter Lee Younger from the play “A Raisin in the Sun”:
“A 35-year-old chauffeur who has a young son, Travis, with his wife, Ruth. The family lives in small apartment with Walter's mother and sister in the SouthSide of Chicago. Hansberry describes Walter as a lean, intense man with nervous movements and erratic speaking patterns. Played by Sidney Poitier in the original Broadway production.” (CL Gradesaver.com)
What important information can be retrieved from this block of text? Walter's age, his family members, where he lives and his physical appearance. Where is the detailed analysis on Waltersactions in the story? What about his motives? His view on life? None of the questions stated above can be answered from the miniscule amount of information the author provides. For a site that has such acclaim and even charges money for some written work, this is huge piece absent in its literary arsenal. From my standpoint as a writer, I would provide a lot more description on the characters. Forexample the author neither points out Walters obsession with money and living a high-class life or his need to provide his family with everything that they are missing, and then some, in order to prove to himself his capability of being the man of the house.
Along those lines surfaces a similar problem, omitting important information. Most likely not on purpose, many of the summaries...