A Century Ends and a New Millennium Begins custom essay

To post, click on the Topic title to access the topic and then click the “Post New Thread” button. For each of the three parts, select one of the options presented.

Part I: a) In 1964, Joyce Carol Oates read a Time Magazine story about murderer Charles Howard Schmid of Tucson, AZ, titled “Arizona: Growing Up in Tucson.” Schmid was a Ted Bundy-type character. If you’d like to pursue this option, and reality crossing into fiction doesn’t bother you, how would you compare the non-fiction to the fictionalized version? Why were some details left out in Oates’s version? Why do you think Oates added other details that were not part of the non-fiction account to her story?

b) If you are familiar with the 2002 novel (and later the film version) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, compare the “entrapment” scene in which Susie Salmon is lured into an underground den to the scene in which Connie is trapped by a predator with identical motives. Did either girl stand a chance of escaping?

c) What is it about Connie’s personality that makes her a perfect target for Arnold Friend to prey on? What was it about the 1960s culture that may have contributed to Connie’s attitude and identity in the story? Is she in any way to blame for what happened to her?

You need only answer one choice (either a, b, or c above) of the three options provided.

Part II: a) Toni Morrison is one of the greatest living American writers. She’s won the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in literature. The language of her novels is lush, poetic, and rich in symbol and thought-provoking strangeness. Based on your limited reading of the single chapter “1922″ from her novel Sula (about the friendship of Nel Wright and Sula Peace), can you tell why she is such a widely admired author?

b) Why would Sula’s mother make a statement that she didn’t like her daughter even though she loved her? What do you believe she means by that statement?

c) Why do Nel and Sula watch Chicken Little drown? Consider the significance of his name and his death, especially in relation to the name of the neighborhood “Bottom.” (Helfpul background: In Part I of the book the name of the town is explained. White farmers who freed their slaves did not wish to share their good land in the Ohio valley. They tricked the free slaves by promising them the “best” land in the hills, where in actuality “planting was backbreaking, the soil slid down and washed away the seeds, and the wind lingered through the winter.” The farmers claimed that high up in the hills was “the bottom of heaven,” what God looked down on.)

You need only answer one choice (either a, b, or c above) of the three options provided.

Part III: a) What is the significance of the narrator referring to Robert throughout the story as “the blind man”? His wife calls him by his name, but the narrator does not. Explore the motif of “blindness” as it appears throughout–and not just the “physical” kind.

b) Although the narrator’s wife is an important character in the story (and the reason that the three characters eventually come together), she falls asleep on the couch between the blind man and her husband–thus enabling the two men to “connect” through uninterrupted conversation. Explain what Robert “does” for the narrator by encouraging him to draw a cathedral with his mind’s eye. What do you think the narrator means when he says the experience “was like nothing else in [his] life up to now”? The last few lines of the story are especially revealing.

c) Do you notice any similarities between Carver’s style of writing and Hemingway’s? If so, explain.

You need only answer one choice (either a, b, or c above) of the three options provided.

Please post no fewer than 300 words making sure to balance your answers to the three options for each author’s story. Use quotations from the stories to support your answers, but don’t let them dominate your post(s).

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