Final Essay (HUM220)

Read the prompts very carefully. If you have any questions about the prompt, please direct them to this post.

Both of the prompts listed below should focus on the central question of how specific gothic materials and conventions are used by an author to explore/criticize/defend cultural values. Formulate a specific thesis statement and prove it with the text. Vague generalities will not be sufficient.

  1. The Black Spider. Identify specific narrative elements of this short novel and explain how they work to impart a moral education to the reader. You should have a total understanding of The Black Spider’s structure: a) its use of framing and embedded narratives and b) the overall plot and its most significant events. As with your first essay, you should also pay close attention to the symbolic dimensions of character, imagery, and diction.
  2. The Haunting of Hill House. Jackson’s novel represents an effort on the author’s part to unravel/trouble/criticize cultural values pertaining to sexuality and gender. What are these values? How are they treated? What specific narrative elements and particular gothic tropes does the novel use to do this work? What are the ultimate results? Email me a polished, 250 word paper proposal by Dec. 4 if you would like to pursue this prompt.

Consult the Paper Guidelines page for further instructions. Your final essay is due to ilearn by 9 am December 14. You are NOT required to turn in a hard copy. No late papers will be accepted under any circumstances barring a documented, life-altering emergency.

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