English 102 Final Essay: 3 Options; Choose THREE different characters from three different works—one short story, one poem, and one play—COVERED IN CLASS. Comparison and contrast should certainly play a part. Using CITED examples and quotes from the
Must be from this textbook : X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, 5th edition. Pearson/Longman, 2016.
Choose ONE of these three options—
OPTION 1 (Character Analysis):
Assignment: Choose THREE different characters from three different works—one short story, one poem, and one play—COVERED IN CLASS. Comparison and contrast should certainly play a part. Using CITED examples and quotes from the chosen works, analyze the character(s) keeping the following criteria (not necessarily ALL of them) in mind:
• point of view
• roundness (vs. flatness)
• dynamism (vs. stasis—i.e., dynamic vs. static)
• the limits/biases of their perspective (mental state, physical state, gender, race, etc.)
• setting (not just place, but time/history)
Be especially sure to keep in mind how the author goes about bringing such details/revelations about a given character STYLISTICALLY.
OPTION 2 (Imagery):
Refamiliarize yourself with CONNOTATION and IMAGERY (see pages 421-422, 431, 433, and 446).
Assignment: Discuss, via comparison and contrast, how WORD CHOICE and IMAGERY contribute to the common thematic goal of THREE different works—one short story, one poem, and one play—COVERED IN CLASS.
OPTION 3 (Archetypes):
Refamiliarize yourself with what an ARCHETYPE is; read it on pages 542-543 and 557 of your anthology.
Assignment: Consider an archetype discussed in class or argue for the existence of a particular new, undiscussed one of your naming. Discuss how THREE different works COVERED IN CLASS approach a similar archetype differently.
Length: 3 to 5 pages, MLA style
This is what individual anthology entries on your Works Cited page (completely separate page, with MLA-style pagination at top right) should look like: (the formula, then examples)
Last Name of Author, First and (if any) Middle Name of Author. Title of Work within
the Anthology (in quotation marks if a short story or a poem, underlined or
italicized if a play). The Full Name of the Anthology (underlined or italicized)
followed by the edition. Translator (Trans., only if the original work was not
written in English; first name first; if more than one, alphabetical by last name).
Editor (Ed., first name first; if more than one, alphabetical by last name). City
of Publication: Publishing Company, Latest Copyright Date. Pages that the
work occupies within the anthology (numbers only). Medium (“Print” or “Digital”).
(Notice how the entries are listed alphabetically according to the author’s last name, and how they are reverse indented; that is, indented the opposite of how you indent a paragraph, with only the first line NOT indented.)
Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction,
Poetry, Drama, and Writing 5thed. Trans. Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald. Ed.
Dana Gioia and X.J. Kennedy. Boston: Pearson, 2016. 690-732.
Must be covered in class, and here some details about what have been covered in class so far:
1. According to Aristotle’s Poetics, a play should follow three unities: UNITY OF ACTION (one main action with few or no subplots), UNITY OF PLACE (limited to one physical space), and UNITY OF TIME (cover no more than a 24-hour period). Also, according to the formula of the 19th-century “WELL-MADE PLAY,” a play should occur in real time, with no chronological leaps.
The strategies by which Susan Glaspell’s Trifles meets the credentials for THE UNITIES OF ACTION, TIME, AND PLACE and THE “WELL-MADE PLAY,” as well as how those strategies contribute to the plot and to the theme.
2. How ONE play and ONE poem differently address the discrepancy between traditional IDEALISM and modern DISILLUSIONMENT.
3. Chinua Achebe’s Michael Obi, from “Dead Man’s Path,” is a tragic character. How is a character from another work covered in class similarly tragic?
4. Poetry is a great way to try to express the inexpressible—or at least the complicated. Yusef Komunyakaa expresses a complicatedly sad and dark bundle of emotion and social commentary through his lyrical transformation of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial into a kind of Gothic object. Explain, focusing on imagery and word choice. (In doing so, be sure to keep his identity—that of an African-American Vietnam veteran—in mind.)
5. Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night” and Wallace Stevens’ “The Emperor of Ice-Cream” each address death differently, and both betray what might be expected. Explain, focusing on imagery and word choice.
6. Consider how a short story covered in class plays with the uncertainty of individual perception and subjective experience in the same way as Louise Bogan’s poem, “Medusa.”
7. Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee” and William Butler Yeats’ “Leda and the Swan” both use Romantic language and imagery to ironically disillusioning (even upsetting) effect.
8. How is Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” an example of the Southern Gothic? In particular, consider what the grandmother and the Misfit each represent.
Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” has been called “suburban Gothic.” Why? Also, how does Oates clearly take a page from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book when it comes to using ambiguity (such as in “Young Goodman Brown,” for example)?
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