Prompt: Commonplace and mind-read

Choose a single sentence from the second half of Mrs. Dalloway in which someone thinks about what someone else thinks. Commonplace it, citing it and tagging it as usual. Now add a paragraph in which you say everything you can think of about how the sentence works to represent thought: what it assumes, what it implies, what it highlights, what it leaves out; what grammatical resources it uses; what kind of thing “thinking” is in this representation; how this version of thought fits in, or doesn’t, with the rest of the novel; how it relates to the identity of the character thinking; how it represents the way that character represents others; whether it calls for our assent or our skepticism as to the validity of the representation; and so on (as far on as you can)!

You must write the paragraph to receive credit for this blog entry.

I will check the blogs on Tuesday morning. Complete the assignment by 8 a.m.

(Why “mind-reading”? This is the playful name sometimes given to the cognitive task of inferring other people’s intentions or beliefs, which earlier in the course, during our discussion of irony, we called “metarepresentation.”)

Author: AG

Associate Professor, Department of English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick