The story, as told by Janie, has included the past, her young years of dreaming and feeling lonely while she sat under the pear blossom tree. Memory is given great importance.
I plan to assign a journal writing exercise on remembering a time when students were alone somewhere and thinking about life. Every journal entry should have the following:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PLACE
PURPOSE OR OCCASION
This journal should be kept for a week and each day those students who feel confident enough will be encouraged to share at least one part of their journal. For example: the place—a park, the swings, a field, a deserted train station, a bus, a room, a rooftop.
The Assignment is to try to make sense out of the remembered image. Ask three questions: Is it connected to a view I have about life? A current topic? or Is the image or memory connected to a concern that I have?
Present the class with Zora’s essay on “Figure and Fancy”. Ask the class if in an autobiography there is any fiction? What do they think?
Ask if memory is always reliable? Ask if this is a problem or a reality.