This is a three-part exercise. Please complete parts one and two, then respond to one of your peers for part three. Our goals here are to practice multiple skills: writing in different genres, developing a persona, writing for a specific audience, taking ownership of a tale, and reflecting on your rhetorical choices.
Part 1: Imagine that you are the Beast/animal character from https://genius.com/Angela-carter-the-tigers-bride-annotated.
Life is tough for a beast and dating feels nearly impossible—after all, your dates can never stop staring at your fangs! So you decide to write a letter to a dating and relationship advice column. What specific relationship concerns does your Beast have? Might you use some details from your chosen story (“Beauty and the Beast,” “The Pig King,” etc.) to illustrate these concerns? (Try to be specific so that we’ll be able to tell which tale you’re referencing.) Feel free to invent details as well! Be imaginative! How might you best demonstrate your ethos as the Beast? Pay particular attention to how tone and word choice shape your portrayal of the Beast. Is your Beast melancholy, ruminative, dispassionate, desperate, jocular, snarky, indignant, etc., or perhaps a combination of different tones? Your letter should be 2-3 paragraphs (500 words) long.
Part 2: Below your letter, write a brief reflection (at least one paragraph) on your rhetorical choices. What kinds of details did you choose to characterize the Beast, his/her thoughts and feelings, motivations, point of view, etc.? What tone (attitude toward the subject) did you try to create in your letter? How does this tone contribute to your overall message or to your larger rhetorical purpose? How did you try to convey this tone to your audience (consider word choice, sentence structure, organization, and your selection/omission of specific details)? Furthermore, who do you imagine is your intended audience for this letter? Keep in mind that relationship advice columns are often published in magazines or online, so consider where this type of advice column would appear in the real world and who would read it (beyond the relationship expert who replies to the letter). What rhetorical effects on the audience did you try to create–put another way, what kinds of specific emotions and values did you want your reader to experience and/or relate to?
Part 3: After you post your letter and reflection, please respond to one of your peers’ Beast letters as if you are a relationship expert. What advice do you have for the Beast? How might you console or motivate the Beast to improve his/her life? Again, consider your tone and voice. How are you demonstrating your expertise as the author of this advice column? Consider how you might use pathos, logos, and/or ethos in your response. Aim for 1-2 paragraphs in your response.
Come to class prepared to read (perform!) your letters and discuss your rhetorical choices.
see examples of real-world relationship advice columns, check out https://therumpus.net/2012/02/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-96-the-dark-cocoon/