Please choose only ONE of the following questions and write an essay about it. Include an introductory paragraph. Be as specific as possible by supporting your statements with examples from the text. Please write in clear, grammatical sentences. Proofread your essay. Your essay should be a minimum of 6 8 paragraphs in length. Please do not plagiarize in the final exam. Plagiarism results in failure in the course.
1. In this class we have come full circle. At the beginning of the term we read “The Second Choice” by Theodore Dreiser, a naturalist. (That is, an author who depicts common, ordinary characters, who are realistically rendered in detail and in locale as well as events that are deterministic — meaning that they happen as a result of socio-economic, hereditary, and environmental forces at work.) Banks is also influenced by naturalism and depicts marginalized people who are in the grips of forces beyond their control. Please provide an essay about “Black Man, White Woman in Green Boat” that supports this naturalistic view of Banks’s story or one that opposes it.
2. Discuss Carver’s “What We Talk About” in contrast to Updike’s “A & P.” Carver wrote about love — its many forms — some highly questionable. Updike’s narrator also experiences “love” — or is it lust, especially for Queenie? In your essay consider many different forms of love and how they are characterized, including the love of Laura and her husband, Nick, the narrator. We know that they hold hands, are physically affectionate and have no unkind or challenging words to say to each other or to anyone else. Contrast the different forms of love in Carver’s story with Sammy’s narration in “A & P.” Could that be a form of love as well — or is that an example of lust? In your essay compare these different forms of love and discuss what you believe the message of these stories are.
3. Two stories of suspense are Oates’ “Where are we going” and Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.” Analyze the nature of suspense in them and how much the narration contibutes to that experience by the reader.
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