Take-Home Midterm Exam
Please select two or more of the following texts we have discussed the first half of the semester:
Choose one of the following three topics and write a 3-4 page essay (750-1,000 words) referring to and analyzing your selected texts. The questions are prompts to help you get started, not ways to structure your paper. Some texts lend themselves to certain topics better than others.
1) IDENTITY??"The biggest tension in modern thinking about the self has been between those who affirm an inner core of authentic selfhood and those who regard the self as socially conditioned. To what extent are the main characters in our readings defined by their societies, and to what extent do they learn and grow in conformity with or in opposition to those societies? Please discuss how the journeys the main characters undergo prepare them to return to their societies with a broader understanding of their “place” in that world if, in fact, they return with a better understanding. Make sure you choose two texts appropriate for this kind of exploration.
2) HEROIC JOURNEY??"Joseph Campbell characterizes the three stages of the heroic journey as (1) departure, (2) initiation, and (3) return. How well do the journeys of two protagonists fit this structure? How important is each stage to each hero/protagonist? What makes for the better representation of a hero? Why? How would you define “hero”?
3) GENDER??"How are men and women depicted in two of the texts? What do some of the explicit and implicit treatments say about the culture’s view on men and women? How do the authors use the relationship between the main character and another person or groups of people to highlight characteristics of the main character and his or her development? How conscious and articulate are the male and female characters about their social position?
4) MORALITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE??"The protagonists are often confronted with difficult decisions and compelled to navigate moral gray areas. How do they rationalize their decisions? How does their morality influence their sense of justice? Does the narrator, or the characters, influence your own sense of morality and justice?
Your essay should meet each of the following content requirements:
(a) address your chosen topic in the texts you select in a coherent and organized way
(b) compare your texts to each other
(c) incorporate critical perspectives using the “Questions for Textual Analysis” which
are posted on the Moodle site for our class
(d) follow the exam format found in the syllabus with no more than one inch
margins all around, free of spelling and grammatical errors, and with an accurate and
(e) document all secondary sources (if you use them) according to the Modern Language
Association (MLA) method of documentation
There are faxes for this order.
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