Monday, April 09, 2007

Culminating Essay Prompt

Please post the prompt you have created for your Culminating Essay. Also include the list of works that you might address in the essay.

Finally, please read and comment on other students' prompts. Offer constructive criticism and and suggest additional literary works that we have read this year.

36 Comments:

Blogger Artimordia said...

Why does nearly every author make evil or simply bad behaviour somehow alluring or even glamorous? Using any applicable form of literature possessing merit, write a coherent essay addressing how authors make flight (escape, running away, etc.) into a delight.

The Odyssey
The Kite Runner
Something Wicked This Way Comes
King Henry IV, Part 1
Crime and Punishment
The Illustrated Man
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Metamorphosis
Oedipus Rex
The Tenth Circle
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
Beloved (?)
Dracula (?)
Slaughterhouse Five

4:03 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Katie--I suggest a slight change to this: Write a coherent essay addressing how AND WHY authors make flight into a delight.

Do you plan to write only about "flight" or also about evil and bad behavior? This prompt seems to limit you only to "flight."

Intriguing ideas and exciting possibilities spring from your prompt! I can't wait to read what you come up with.

8:51 AM  
Blogger mmacgregor828 said...

Doris Allen once said, "There will be no end to war so long as we continue to view our differences as differences." Authors often utilize war and hatred as themes or tools in their work. Utilize one or more of the following pieces of literature to discuss the reasons behind hatred and violence, keeping Doris Allen's quote in mind.

Beloved
Cat's Cradle
Tortilla Curtain
The Shipping News
Crime and Punishment
The Metamorphosis
Wuthering Heights
The Lottery
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
King Henry IV, Part 1
The Odyssey
King Lear
The Bluest Eye
The Count of Monte Cristo (?)
The DaVinci Code
Oedipus Rex

7:52 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Megan,

I love your prompt and can't wait to read your essay. Have fun!

7:53 AM  
Blogger nathan said...

Kahlil Bigran said, "The significance of a man is not in what he attains, but rather what he longs to attain." Using different works of literature assess the validity of this quote through how characters achieve their significance.

The Odyssey
Crime and Punishment
Eragon
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Sailing to Byzantium
The Triple Fool
Eldest
Bible
Beloved
King Henry, Part 1
Oedipus Rex

7:36 PM  
Blogger marcil said...

Anais Nin said, "Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings." Utilize one or more of the following pieces of work to validate or repudiate this statement.

The Odyssey
A Midsummer Night's Dream
King Henry IV
Crime and Punishment
NNNNN
Metamorphosis
Oedipus Rex
Beloved
Tortilla Curtain
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
The Bluest Eye

8:05 PM  
Blogger Nicole M said...

Charles Horton Cooley stated in his looking glass theory that all human beings base their self-image upon how they appear to others. Using one or more works of literary merit, determine the validity of this statement and disscuss how a person's self-image affects their actions and beliefs.


Oedipus Rex
Metamorphisis
The Kite RUnner
King Henry IV Part One
Crime and PUnishment
Portrait of the Artist as a Young
Man
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Odyssey
Beloved
Slaughterhouse 5

8:22 PM  
Blogger Emma VanV said...

The human mind is man's most powerful tool but can also act as his most significant obstacle. It is this complexity that is often the subject of many author’s works. Write a well-organized essay explaining how the main character in any of the following novels is inhibited by their own sanity or intelligence and the impact it has on their pursuits.
·The Odyssey
·King Henry IV
·Oedipus
·The Kite Runner
·Metamorphosis
·Slaughterhouse five
·Crime and Punishment
·Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
·The Accidental Tourist
·The curious incident of the dog in the night time
·Beloved

8:33 PM  
Blogger mleisy said...

Sensual living begets sins and an increasingly filuptious lifestyle. What role does God play in the human cycle of sensuality and sin? Does he lead us away from or down this path, or does he merely wait at the end of it? Use evidence from many eras of literature to show how others view God's role and possibly formulate your own conclusions.

5:53 AM  
Blogger mleisy said...

Oh and my lit:
Odyessy
Time
Portrait of an Artist
Crime and Punsihment
Beloved
Slaughterhouse five
Kite Runner
For One More Day
Metamorphosis
Oedipus

5:55 AM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Nathan--Excellent prompt!! My only suggestion is to remove the words "through how characters achieve their significance." That's rather self-evident; no need to state it.....

8:01 AM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Marci--Nin's quotation is excellent; profound and beautiful. Does it express your own idea? I assume that as you write, you'll evaluate and possibly modify her statement.

I can't exactly tell what your question is. Be sure to include it in the opening of your essay.

8:14 AM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Nicole--I love the way you're bringing psychology into this paper. Very interesting prompt. I assume you'll define/describe the "looking glass theory" for readers (like me) who aren't familiar with the concept.

Also, please be sure to remove the misspellings and agreement error from your prompt.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

Many authors use specific techniques to distinguish good versus evil. In Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment for instance, Razkolnikov is portrayed as a "good" man who does "bad" things. What defines a good person to you? In a well developed essay, describe the experiences, whether they be literary or personal, that have led you to this idea. Choose from the list of literary works to help you further describe your personal definition of a "good" person.
Crime and Punishment
Oedipus Rex
King Henry IV Part 1
Metamorphosis
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
Beloved
Tortilla Curtain
The Odyssey
The Kite Runner

8:44 AM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Emma--Your topic is intriguing, but the prompt comfuses me. Fix the pronouns--the agreement error and the ambiguous reference (it).

Also, you say that intelligence and sanity "inhibit" human beings. Does that mean that ignorance and insanity "free" these characters? I don't understand your idea. It doesn't make sense to me.

Please revise and clarify this prompt.....

9:03 AM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Matt--Your question (if I'm reading it correctly) concerns the problem of evil--truly a fascinating topic that has intrigued philosophers and writers for centuries. For generations, man has tried to figure this one out. Good luck and have fun with this prompt!

Does any religion believe that God "leads" man "down this path" of sin? Isn't that Satan's role? Don't most religions posit a force of evil that counters the force of good? That's one attempt to solve the problem of evil.....

Also, did you mean “voluptuous” when you wrote "filuptious"?

Finally, capitalize all pronouns that refer to God.

9:18 AM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Haley said...

Alan Dugan wrote, "I can nail my left palm/to the left-hand cross-piece but/I can't do everything myself./I need a hand to nail the right,/a help, a love, a you, a wife." The need to find friends is human instinct. Yet, each one of us chooses friends and judges people differently. In a well-written essay, explain how the author uses characterization to advise us on how to choose our friends. Use at least three of the works below.

The Odyssey
King Henry IV
Crime and Punishment
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Metamorphosis
Kite Runner
Tortilla Curtain
My Sister's Keeper
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Love Song: I and Thou
The Fice People You Meet in Heaven
The Secret LIfe of Bees

12:48 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Allison,

Your prompt focuses on an important topic. Organize the essay around the various characteristics of the "good person." Be sure to give the topic a unique, surprising angle. Avoid stating the obvious.

12:55 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Haley--A small suggestion is to remove the words "uses characterization to" from the prompt. No need to state this; it's obvious.

Be sure to offer a fresh slant on the topic. Avoid stating the obvious. Offer ideas that are surprising and new. Challenge yourself and your reader.

12:59 PM  
Blogger haley said...

Alan Dugan wrote “I can nail my left palm/to the left-hand cross-piece but/I can’t do everything myself./I need a hand to nail the right,/a help, a love, a you, a wife.” The need to find friends is human instinct. Yet, each one of us chooses friends and judges people differently. In a well written essay, explain how the author uses characterization to advise us on how to choose our friends. Use atleast three of the works below.

The Odyssey
King Henry IV
Oedipus Rex
Crime and Punishment
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Metamorphosis
Kite Runner
Tortilla Curtain
My Sister’s Keeper
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Love Song: I and Thou
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
The Secret Life of Bees

7:19 AM  
Blogger Danait said...

It is human nature to communicate emotions, concerns and desires to one another. However, when this communication is not present or is weak conflicts arise. Using one of the novels listed below organize an essay that discusses the issues that arise from a lack of communication due to fear or intimidation.


Kite Runner
The Odyssey
King Henry
Crime and Punishment
Oedipus Rex
Metamorphosis
The Bluest Eye
Portrait of the an Artist
Running With Scissors
Beloved
Slaughter House Five

7:15 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BLOGGER WORKS!!!!

Blood is often described as "thicker than water," making family ties something hard to imitate. Yet, family is sometimes found outside of one's blood line. Write a coherent essay addressing how authors define family both inside and outside of bloodlines.

The Kite Runner
The Odyssey
The Namesake
King Henry IV, Part 1
Beloved
Tortilla Curtain
Crime and Punishment (?)
Oedipus Rex

Any suggestions for mor literature?
Sorry this took me such a long time, it hasn't been an easy two weeks for me.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Danait said...

Haley-
I really like how you used the poem you taught to the class for your prompt. Your paper sounds like it realtes well to our generation. I also like how you include many books we have not read in class.

4:26 PM  
Blogger haley said...

Artimordia: I really like your prompt. I think your essy will be very interesting. In my own opinion, "bad behavior" seems so alluring because it's something different from myself and the norm. In general, I am pretty law-abiding, parent-obedient child. Seeing others behave badly allows me to live vicariously through them. ALso, correcting bad bahvior is a challenge, and who isn't up for a challenge? Who wouldn't want to take credit for perfecting someone?

Allison: Our essays deal with the same topic. I can't wait to see what your essay says about it!

5:35 PM  
Blogger Emma VanV said...

Marci-

I really like your prompt and am interested to see what you have to say about it! After looking at the list of literary works, the idea of dying love never really came to mind so I really want to see how you address those works. Even though it sounds hopeless I’m excited about the idea it brings up.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Sarah E said...

Charles M. Schwab once said, “The hardest struggle of all is to be different from what the average man is.” Is our society moving towards a greater time infused by revolutionary individuals and ideas, free from violence and prejudice, or are we simply marching into the darkness of conformity and ignorance? Utilizing one or more of the literary works listed below, construct a coherent essay discussing your opinion as to whether literature plays an active role in encouraging individuality or if literary messages stifle forward thinking.

The Kite Runner
King Henry IV
Beloved
Tortilla Curtain
Crime and Punishment
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
Pledged
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The DaVinci Code
Love Song: I and Thou
Brave New World

9:12 PM  
Blogger Aly A. said...

Anthony Brandt once said "Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." Families shape an individual and make them who they are, whether it is because of rebellion against the family or following it. Use one or more of the following pieces of literature to discuss the importance of family and the effect that family has on defining a character.

Beloved
Tortilla Curtain
Crime and Punishment
The Metamorphosis
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
King Henry IV, Part 1
The Odyssey
Oedipus Rex
East of Eden
For One More Day
Slaughterhouse Five
Blue Like Jazz

10:26 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Sarah--

The question about where we are headed is always interesting to contemplate. I wonder, though, if there is any argument about "whether literature plays an active role in encouraging individuality or if literary messages stifle forward thinking." Do you know any literature that stifles forward thinking???? It seems rather self-evident to say that literature encourages individuality.....

The first half of your prompt is good, but the question itself needs to be refined and refocused a bit so that it leads to complexity of thought....

12:10 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Danait-

Your prompt looks good. Have fun!

12:12 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Julie--

I really like your topic. Maybe devote your essay to more than a mere "definition" of family, however. Add an argumentative edge to this. Evaluate what is the "best" kind of family, for instance.

12:17 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:20 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Aly--

Your prompt looks great! I hope you enjoy writing about it.

12:20 PM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...

Julie--Another comment...

Look at Aly's list of books. She's also writing about family, so her list might be helpful to you.

(Metamorphosis and Oedipus Rex are about very dysfunctional families!)

12:23 PM  
Blogger nathan said...

Emma- your basis for your prompt is thought-provoking. I like how it addresses the irony and duality of the mind. It fits into practically every book we've read.

2:05 PM  
Blogger mmacgregor828 said...

Matt -

I like your question a lot, it seems really hard though! Your question fits perfectly with the literature we've read, but it seems like it's going to be difficult to come to a conclusion. My only suggestion: I'm not a fan of using "possibly" in instructions; pick formulate or don't formulate, and then you can follow your prompt more accurately.

3:38 PM  

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