ERIC Number: ED340027
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Double-Voiced Discourse: A Young Woman's Journal from a Nineteenth-Century Composition Class.
Weidner, Heidemarie Z.
The examination of the journal (written in 1875) of a student of the Patterson Institute, a "female college" in Kentucky, reveals a young woman with a divided self--one part accepting her teacher's demands, the other undermining the daily writing assignment and the school's rules through acknowledged deception, sly subversion, mockery, and open contradiction. The 15-year-old student's journal entries show a definite structure. They usually begin with a paragraph of "purple prose" along somber lines, followed by references to the weather, and then list daily happenings in relative order of importance. More than anything, however, the young woman is concerned with the writing and grading of the journals. The head of the school teaches rhetoric, and to assure academic performance, he plays on the girls' insecurities and need for acceptance. Although use of a daily journal for writing practice represented a pedagogical innovation, entries were supposed to demonstrate "thought" and convince through examples. The student's struggle for self-definition unfolds through her journal writing until she finally surrenders to her need for acceptance and conforms to her teacher's expectations. Are the classroom journals of today really a means of student empowerment or yet another way of socialization and acculturation? (NKA)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Kentucky; Nineteenth Century; Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).