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Choose one novel from the first set and one novel from the second set to read over the summer. In total, two novels will be read and written about.
The Great Gatsby
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The Color Purple
Jude the Obscure
While it is fine to look up contextual information about the novel – eg. location, time period, and author – please do not look up anything regarding the novel. In other words, do not consult Sparknotes, Cliffnotes, the internet or any other claptrap while reading these books. Read them using nothing more than your brain and your eyes. Take notes while reading.
By August 23 at 8:00 am, you will need to submit (via google classroom) two double- spaced, typed essays using Times New Roman, 12 pt. font and the margins on the page will be 1” all around. The essays will be between two pages and two and a half pages in length (NO MORE/NO LESS) while answering two of the three following prompts explicitly:
1. Writers often highlight the values of a culture or a society by using characters who are alienated from that culture or society because of gender, race, class, or creed. Choose a novel or a play in which such a character plays a significant role and show how that character’s alienation reveals the surrounding society’s assumptions or moral values.
2. The conflict created when the will of an individual opposes the will of the majority is the recurring theme of many novels, plays, and essays. Select the work of an essayist who is in opposition to his or her society; or from a work of recognized literary merit, select a fictional character who is in opposition to his or her society. In a critical essay, analyze the conflict and discuss the moral and ethical implications for both the individual and the society. Do not summarize the plot or action of the work you choose.
3. According to critic Northrop Frye, “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divisive lightning.” Select a novel or play in which a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others. Then, write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.
The first paragraph of each essay will contain a single sentence thesis that will be bolded or highlighted.