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The Rhinoceros

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: May 18, 2004
Latest Update: May 18, 2004

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The Rhinoceros and Answerability
Debriefing our First Hypertext Poem

Discussion Questions

  1. Why the rhinoceros? What does it mean?

    • ugly - beautiful - the romanticism of Quasimodo and Victor Hugo, Pere
    • through the eyes of the beholder
    • normative expectations or the dominant paradigm
    • wild - tame
    • free - constrained
    • silenced - given voice
    • difference - intriguing - sets the imagination to work - Ionesco
    • Ionesco - why green skin? why not purple? or blue? Purple people-eating monster
    • Ionesco and violence, no need for violence, why? - apathy
    • notice the rhinos are running helter skelter - not united - not collaborative - but also not adversarial, at least not most of the time

  2. Think on these dimensions. Do others come to mind? Think on what they mean to the diversity of our world?

  3. How is the rhino portrayed on our rhino file? Mean, threatening, fascinating, pretty, ugly, caring, ruthless? Find and discuss other perspectives of the rhino. Links on the file will guide you.

  4. If the perspective from which you view the rhino can make so much difference, what does that tell us about our willingness to hold to our own perspective against all others?

    Consider that we see only one piece of the rhino, like the blind men trying to describe the elephant. We miss part of the beauty of the world in our perversity to guard our own perspective against all others.

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, May 2004.
"Fair use" encouraged.