The Unicorn's Analysis

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Textual Analysis (Close Reading) What might the author be trying to suggest through this text? What could be the author’s message or advice? In “The Unicorn in the Garden,” Thurber suggests that men are so dominated by women that they must resort to cruel tricks to find peace. Note: Students often think there is only one right way to “read” texts. Assure them that any text might have any number of meanings; all they have to do is offer a reasonable interpretation. Rhetorical Analysis What strategies does the author use to deliver a particular message? By exaggerating the wife’s dialogue in “The Unicorn in the Garden,” Thurber suggests that women’s attitudes need to change before women will be able to communicate with men effectively. How does the author use the concept of audience to make the text more effective? Knowing that his audience is other middle-class males, Thurber “preaches to the choir” when he uses “The Unicorn in the Garden” to suggest that women make men’s lives miserable. Literary Analysis What literary or poetic elements does the author use to produce the text? What is the overall effect? Through successful use of imagery, Thurber suggests that the conniving husband of “The Unicorn in the Garden” acts in justifiable self-defense when he has his wife sent to the “booby-hatch.” Cultural Analysis How does the text illustrate an aspect of the culture that produced it? In what ways is the text a product of its times? How do modern readers react to it and why? Thurber’s “The Unicorn in the Garden” shows how problems caused by gender roles were such an expected part of American life in the 1940s that humor became an important coping strategy. Reader-Response Analysis How might the reader make meaning of the text by comparing it to personal experience? How might the reader use the text to
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