Any attempt to control the content and conversations of first-year composition classrooms has become increasingly complicated by social media and technology. Building on the types of textual difficulty explored by scholars like Mariolina Rizzi Salvatori and Patricia Donahue, Jeffrey Berman, and Alan Purves, this article considers the challenges presented to contemporary college-level readers by affectively difficult texts such as David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet. The article also explores the potential responses students express to difficult texts and encourages flexibility in the assumptions made about these reactions. By working through the importance of these questions, the author ultimately examines the potential benefits and best strategies of using difficult fictional texts in the writing classroom to help students investigate the nuances of verbal and written conversations such as those created by the #MeToo movement.

You do not currently have access to this content.