Instructor: Ann-Barbara Graff
Office: Room 291
Office Hours: MWF 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Class Meeting Times: MWF 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
First Essay Topics
Choose one topic from the following list:
1. Discuss (artistic) compulsion in ONE of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," the Pygmalion stories, Ovid's "Tereus, Procne, and Philomela," or "The Lady of Shalott."
2. Discuss how an account by one author (for instance, Tacitus) differs from the account of another (for instance, Ovid or Warner). You might consider the impact of generic conventions, historical context, etc.
3. Women are perceived as victims and/or predators. Making use of TWO texts, discuss the dualistic or ambiguous role of women in "The Lady of Shalott, "Susanna on the Beach," "Bisclavret," "The Nun's Priest's Tale," or the Bluebeard and Cinderella stories.
4. Characterize and discuss Pygmalion's aethetic theory and its mythic status.
5. Discuss the theme of guilt and responsibility in Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
6. Discuss the conflict between social morality and the individual ideal in "The Ant and the Grasshopper" tales.
7. Reviews of the new movie Fight Club claim that it uses violence in a highly original way. The reviewers claim that in the film violence is not gratuitous or cliched but has both a purgative and restorative effect. If the reviewers had taken ENG110 they would know that Fight Club is not unique in it appreciation of violence. Compare and contrast the use of violence or violent imagery in two texts (without reference to Fight Club).
8. Explore how the reader's original responses to a character or theme are manipulated and forced to undergo transformation from antagonism to sympathy or vice versa.
9. Discuss one of the following recurring motifs: weaving, weeping, travelling, singing, or eating in TWO texts.
10. "Self-knowledge is often the product of intense suffering." Discuss with reference to the experience of the main characters in one of "The Nun's Priest's Tale," "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
11. Discuss the theme of the unlived life in "The Lady of Shalott" or "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
This assignment is worth 5 % of your total grade. The essay must not be more than 1200 words (5 pages, typed, double-spaced) and should be handed in on or before Wednesday November 10, 1999.
Penalties for lateness: Extensions should not be asked for and will not be granted EXCEPT in cases of serious emergencies, e.g., medical crisis. Late essay will be penalized 5% per day (including weekends and holidays).
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Posted 4 October 1999