Final Essay (HUM415)

If you have any questions about the final paper, please direct them to this post.

Choose one of the novels. Your goal is to produce a thoughtful, creative, and informed ideology critique of your chosen text. To do this you will need to

  1. research your novel AND
  2. use at least three of the theoretical readings we’ve discussed this semester.

Notably, the novel itself functions as a kind of critique. In other words, in telling a story (in constructing a storyworld, creating characters, and inventing and organizing events in the form of a plot) the novel constitutes an effort to describe and criticize the society in which it was made.

At the same time, the novel will unavoidably contain its own critical blindspots. Specific themes and other formal elements mobilized in the service of criticizing contemporary culture and society will thus also represent the text’s ideological limits– its contradictions and “common sense.”

The novel is both a critique and a symptom.

The indispensable reading you will need to consult before you even begin to write is the chapter on Ideology Criticism in Ryan and Lenos’s Introduction to Film Analysis. Their short essay is a perfect model for the kind of work that I want you to do.

4-6 pages. Consult the Paper Guidelines page of this blog. Due the day of the final exam: hard copy in class, ecopy by 6 pm.