Respond to two (2) of the following prompts with essays of approximately 400-600 words (minimum). Be sure to adhere to the guidelines which follow the prompts:
Select any two (2) of the following:
Most of the works we have read thus far have contained elements of travel and exploration. Do some light research on travel literature as a genre. You may want to use Google Scholar, your local institution’s library, or the RODP Virtual Library (see RODP Bookmarks on the course home page). Any source you find and use should be appropriately cited, of course. Write a short essay assessing one of the works we have read purely as a work of travel literature. (By the way, to get a sense of travel literature, you might want to start with Wikipedia, a site which is great for giving an overview, but which may not be cited as a legitimate source.)
Consider the main characters in “Tartuffe,” Gulliver’s Travels,” and “Candide.” Select any two and compare and contrast them as literary figures. Compare = how are they the same; contrast = how are they different. Be careful that this essay does not turn into a simple list of characteristics. You should still have a specific focus (i.e., thesis). It may be that you want to focus on a specific trait and discuss how two characters are alike and different in regards to that singular part of their personalities.
One of the hallmarks of great literature is that it contains a particular timelessness. That quality is what qualifies it for inclusion into the canon, those works considered worthy of academic perpetuation, if you will. Select one of the texts other than “Life of a Sensuous Woman” and argue for its inclusion or exclusion from the canon. In other words, is there one of these texts that you could argue should still be read by college students in the year 2115? or should not be read by those students? You may want to do light research on the concept of the literary canon.
Two of the writers we read would be considered Eastern: Khan and Saikaku. Moliere, Swift, and Voltaire would be considered Western. Equiano would span both, in some ways. Discuss the ways in which Eastern and Western literatures differ using our reading list thus far as your (limited) sample. You may want to do light research on Eastern and Western thought of Eastern and Western literatures.
The word “essay” implies more than one paragraph. In general, you should consider writing at least three (3) meaty and thoughtful paragraphs for each of the two prompts you select. You may write more, but you should be careful not to write less.
Each essay should cite the primary source(s) and at least one secondary source. Primary sources are the actual works you are analyzing. For instance, if you are talking about “Candide,” then “Candide” is a primary source. Web sites like Wikipedia, Ask.com, and others like them are not acceptable secondary sources. You may start with them to get an overview, but don’t use them in your paper. See the first prompt for some direction in finding secondary sources.
“Essay” also implies that you are specifically focused. In other words, an essay about “Candide” should not be a rambling collection of everything you know about the story. It should maintain a specific focus throughout. This means that you should have a thesis statement, strongly implied if not implicitly stated.
All submissions should follow MLA guidelines and should cite any sources used. See Papers, Journal, and Assignment Format for specific formatting instructions. Also, be sure to look at any of the resources in “General Information” that might help you when writing about literature. If you do not remember MLA style from ENGL 1010 or 1020 and do not have access to a handbook, go to the Purdue OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide for assistance.
Submit your two (2) short essays to the Midterm Essay Exam dropbox.