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Volume C of The Norton Anthology of American Literature

Midterm Exam (20%)

Essay Response: 3-4 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font, Times New Roman

Due Monday, January 28, 2019 at 11:00pm (CT)

Please select one of the following three prompts and develop an essay in response to it. Your

essay should have an introduction with a thesis, main body paragraphs with topic sentences, and

a conclusion that wraps up. You must also incorporate direct references to the literature in the

form of quotes and brief summaries. Remember: the stories are your objects of study. Use them

to substantiate and support your claims and observations. Secondary sources are not required;

however, if you do utilize an outside resource, then you must cite it according to MLA guidelines

(8th edition).

When you complete your exam essay, please upload it to the TurnItIn portal on Moodle.

Option One

Select one of the following regionalist / local color stories: Chesnutt’s “The Goophered

Grapevine” or Garland’s “Under the Lion’s Paw.” Develop an essay that discusses the

relationship between geography and human identity. Your essay should take into consideration

specific features of the story (e.g. its use of dialect), and you should illustrate how those features

communicate ideas about place and identity in American literature.

Option Two

Develop an essay that describes how and why Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story “The Yellow

Wallpaper” can be classified as Naturalist literature. Furthermore, describe how the story is

shaped by and responds to social and historical forces in the late-nineteenth century.

Option Three

After watching filmmaker Robert Enrico’s 1962 adaptation of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek

Bridge” (posted to Moodle), develop an essay in which you discuss how the short film reflects

and/or deviates from the Naturalist aspects of Bierce’s story. Do not evaluate whether the film is

“better than” or “worse than” the story. Instead, compare specific features of the story to specific

features of the short film and assess the extent to which the film portrays the principles of

Naturalist literature.


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