Monthly Archives: March 2016

Essay *Working* (HUM303)

I wanted to put this out there just to give you a heads up. We’re looking at a 5/19 due date probably. I will be revising this essay prompt in days to come. You are welcome to talk to me about any ideas you have for your paper.

Choose at least one of the following texts: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, The Heart of Darkness, and Mygale.

Your job is to write an informed, creative, and insightful interpretation of your chosen text(s).

You will need to

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Paper (HUM415)

4-6 pages. Consult the Paper Guidelines page of this blog.

Due MAY 3: BOTH a hard copy in class AND an ecopy to ilearn by 6 pm.

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

Instructions:

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

  1. research your novel’s social and historical context and critical responses to your novel. [NOTE: A simple google search will not be adequate for this task. You will need to use the databases provided by the library. NEVER use wikipedia on your Works Cited page unless you are writing a paper about wikipedia.]
  2. use at least two of the theoretical readings we’ve discussed this semester, one of which MUST be Hawkes.
  3. focus on formal aspects of the novel. In other words, consider the how as well as the what of the narrative.

Notably, the novel itself functions as a kind of critique. In other words, in telling a story (in constructing a storyworld, selecting specific language, 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.

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Easter, 1916

Easter, 1916

By William Butler Yeats 1865–1939

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

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Bumpy (HUM415)

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I give this 9 out of 10 points because the opportunity to link up my response with Timon or the Manifesto wasn’t pursued. Bumpy and Timon are both tragic figures in that their understanding of how the world works has been negated. Bumpy’s distress at his inability to “find the heart” resembles Timon’s predicament and the rage he fells at the irredeemable selfishness of Athen’s social order. More generally, Bumpy’s confusion could also be connected to the social vertigo of capitalism, the dizzying experience of a world in which “all that is solid melts into air.”