ENG214S: The Short Story Collection
Instructor: Ann-Barbara Graff
Office: Room 291
Office Hours: MWF 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Class Meeting Times: MWF 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Final Essay Topics
Choose one topic from the following list:
1. Place plays an important role in a number of short story collections we have read this year. Joyce, Lawrence, Hemingway, Mansfield, Baldwin, Rushdie, and Lau each theorize place in a particular way to inform thematic concern(s), psychological understanding and character development, or aesthetic principles. Select one of Lawrence, Hemingway, Mansfield, Baldwin, Rushdie, or Lau and discuss the importance of "place" to the author.
2. A dead or dying body is a central image in several stories we have read. Compare the use of the corpse in several stories in one collection or between two authors.
3. Show how the comic tone in Rushdie's East, West qualifies the central (moral) issues in the collection.
4. Discuss how an author (or two) manages to win the reader's sympathy for unsympathetic characters or actions.
5. Going to Meet the Man and Fresh Girls and Other Stories might be described as ethnographic or sociological studies as well as aesthetic achievements. Discuss the implications, responsibilities, limitations, possibilities of this dual focus.
6. Analyze the means by which one author achieves (or attempts to achieve) narrative unity in his/her collection.
7. Starting with the proposition that there is an irresolvable tension between (a) stasis and dynamism OR (b) mind and body OR (c) irony and tragedy in the works we have read, what does this tension tell us, show, reflect, and how does it work within the tectonics of a collection?
8. Topic of your own design; however, I must approve your topic by March 6, 2000.
This assignment is worth 35 % of your total grade. The essay must not be more than 2500 words (10-12 pages, typed, double-spaced) and should be handed in on or before Wednesday March 29, 2000.
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 3 January 2000