Writing Assignment #1

Critical Analysis of Denis Johnson’s “Dundun.” 

In a new Google Drive document [title: Dundun (Name)]:

Create a thesis that makes a claim/argument about the intention of Denis Johnson’s short story “Dundun.” What is the author trying to tell us (not the plot of the story)? Is the author asking us to acknowledge something within ourselves? Use ethics (consider yolo or Nietzsche’s eternal return) as a way to discuss the main character and the author’s final note to the reader. Use specific moments from the text (whether quoted directly or summarized) to prove your claim. 

In short: 

  1. Make an interpretive claim about the intent of the story. 
  2. Use an ethical claim to prove your point. 
  3. Find moments in the story that support your claim and explain how these moments work for your interpretation. 
  4. Discuss the author’s final remarks to the reader. 
  5. Use MLA format. 
When things, signs or actions are freed from their respective ideas, concepts, essences, values, points of reference, origins and aims, they embark upon an endless process of self-reproduction. Yet things continue to function long after their ideas have disappeared, and they do so in total indifference to their own content. The paradoxical fact is that they function even better under these circumstances.

Baudrillard, Jean. The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena. 1993. Trans. James Benedict. London: Verso, 2009. Print.