Essay Topics -- English 110 Take-Home Essay
Write an essay of no more than 1500 words (four to six typed double-spaced pages) on one of the following topics. Make sure that you have a focused argument, and that you write in a concise, direct style. Remember to support your argument with careful analysis of primary texts. Remember, too, that essays topics are always suggestions or starting-points for your work: it's up to you to focus your ideas and to establish your own approach to your material. Please follow the current MLA style for format and documentation.
1. In a letter from May 1906, James Joyce stated that, by writing Dubliners (the short story collection from which "Araby" is taken), he had "taken the first step towards the spiritual liberation of [his] country." With direct reference to the work of two of the writers on the course syllabus, discuss the presentation of the idea of freedom pr liberation. How do these writers confront the problem of limitation or restriction? What kinds of limits, and resistances, are at stake? Is writing itself a means of attaining freedom? In what sense?
2. No matter how carefully or artfully made, comic books, such as Watchmen, remain a form of popular culture; plays are designed to be presented in public, to a live audience. Poetry, however, rarely enjoys a broad readership. With reference to the work of two of the writers on the course syllabus, discuss the representation of the popular, or of audience, or of public space. How do these texts address their own reception?
3. Discuss the relationships between gender and power in the work of two of the writers on the course syllabus. How is masculinity or femininity produced or shaped by certain texts? How do these texts describe the exertion of power over men and / or women? What constitutes authority? What about resistance?
4. Most of the work we have examined this term deals with vision. The Latin word for poet, vates, literally means "seer" or...
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