Choose One Question and Complete a 1.5 Page Essay
1. Pick two literary periods that we have studied this semester; they may be British or American or both. Describe characteristics of these periods. Then choose at least two authors from each period and demonstrate how their works reflect these characteristics. Give specific examples from the authors’ texts.
2. For many years, the literary canon was made up of mostly male writers. However, more and
more female writers are making up the canon, and they are being treated seriously by critics.
Examine how women are portrayed in literature. You may look at works by either male or female
writers. There is no one answer to this question. Look at various works to see how women are
portrayed. Be sure to offer specific examples from a variety of texts to support your ideas.
3. Nature is an important topic in literature for many British and American writers. Chose at least
two writers and explain how they treat nature in their works. What are the similarities? What are
the differences? Offer an explanation for these similarities and differences.
4. For this particular essay prompt you are expected to reflect on the role that imagination plays in the works of at least two authors from the course. How does imagination impact the ways in which the author of the work, or the protagonist within the work, sees the world around them? How does this reflect their inner-state of being? Is this a calm or tumultuous state? Ultimately, what does this reflection say about the particular work and the underlying themes that it represents?
5. The idea of independence or self-worth is a theme that runs through much of literature. Take at least two authors
from our anthology (or assigned readings) and compare and contrast their views of independence and self-worth. What
values or limitations are there in that independence/self-worth?