Shifting Realities: First Paper Prompt

  First Close Reading Paper (800 – 1000 words, double spaced, Times New Roman): 

            If you are working with poetry, please choose from 5-10 lines to examine and make your argument. If you are working with not-poetry, please choose a single passage from the short nonfiction or from Never Let Me Go that you will be able to dive in to and will be able to support your argument. You will be able to use MLA or Chicago formats for this paper. Please include a works cited page for full points.

For this paper, please develop a strong argument that is well-supported through the active close reading (read: deep analysis of word choice, sentence structure, or tone of voice) of one or two passages. 

            Choose one prompt from below:

  1. Choosing any of our texts, please examine what the role of fantasy (or of a constructed circumstance like fantasy) plays for our speakers. 

    One character to pick might be is Kathy H in Never Let Me Go. What do her memories of the past provide for her? Can we trust that this is the past that occurred? What does she choose to remember and/or to tell us? If you choose this, please analyze who Kathy H is and what the sentence length, tone, or word choice (diction) might tell us about what kind of person she is – and whether or not she can be trusted as a narrator.
  2. Even Richard is constructing a kind of fantasy in his opening of Richard III – so, how does that fantasy differ from what quickly follows his monologue or what we know about his actions before the play opens? How does he use his language? 
  3. Examine how gender, race, or sexuality has informed the speaker’s view of their own identity and how they approach the world. What is the kind of world that they wish to project in their telling of it?
  4. Compare or contrast how Kathy H introduces Never Let Me Go versus how Richard opens Richard III. Please look at word choice (diction), tone, mood, alliteration, and etc. How does each narrator wish to inform the audience of their story? How do they represent themselves while doing so? 
  5. Or, if you would rather use any theoretical concept that is on the table, please analyze any poem we have covered or passage from Never Let Me Go using the ideas of: double consciousness, the Divided Feminine, toxic masculinity, the panopticon, the uncanny, or the historical context of the novel (like the cloning of Dolly the Sheep during the 1990’s) in order to make your point. 

            Did none of these prompts spark joy? Please email me with an idea or come talk during office hours. I really enjoy bouncing ideas around about literature and, more to the point, I am always thrilled to hear your thoughts! 

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