Choose one of the two prompts below and write a unified essay of 750-1200 words,

Choose one of the two prompts below and write a unified essay of 750-1200 words,
making direct reference to three works from our assigned readings. Develop a thesis
statement for your introduction that encompasses all of your references, and interpret the
references to show their relevance to the proof of your thesis. You should address most of
the particular ideas in the prompt directly, but you should also strive to show originality
in your response. Note the number of the prompt that you are using for your essay.
1. Praise and Blame. Who is to blame for a tragic ending? One of the ways to approach a piece of literature that contains a narrative is to figure out who the author intends for us to blame for what happens at the end. Often, the author hides his or her intentions, and gives us many possible characters who could be right or wrong. It is up to the reader to distinguish the motives and actions of each individual character. How does the search for the character to blame narrow the considerations we have for an interpretation for a work? Does the fact that the reader likes the character have any effect on whether the character is to blame? Does the consideration of blame only apply to main characters, or should secondary characters also be weighed? You can choose works from all three genres we have read this semester. For lyric poems, you might consider the speaker to be a character whom the author might want us to praise for something positive, or blame for something negative.
2. Carpe Diem. Whether defined as Latin for “seize the day,” or as the traditional
figure of speech in English literature for the nexus of love and death, carpe diem
and the urge to make the most of our opportunities in life pervade the literature
we have read this semester. How do the works you have chosen depict the
necessity of viewing the present moment as crucial and fleeting? How are the
speakers or characters affected by the pressure of time and the haunting sense that
life is passing them by? How do they attempt to seize their opportunities, and
how do your authors represent the consequences of their actions or inactions?
You may consider carpe diem in all three genres we have studied this semester
DO NOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES THE THREE WORKS THAT YOU CAN USE ARE GOING TO BE LISTED BELOW BUT DO NOT USE ANY OTHER SOURCES
Susan Glaspell, Trifles
Jane Martin, “Handler”, and “French Fries”
Sophocles Antigone
William Shakespeare Hamlet
Andrew Marvell “To His Coy Mistress”
Edmund Waller “Song” [Go, lovely rose!]
William Blake “The Sick Rose”
Robert Burns “A Red, Red Rose”
Henry Constable [My lady’s presence makes the roses red]
William Shakespeare [My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun]
Edna St. Vincent Millay [What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why]
— [I, being born a woman and distressed]
Samuel Taylor Coleridge “Metrical Feet”
Anonymous “Sir Patrick Spens”
Matthew Arnold “Dover Beach”
Derek Walcott “A Far Cry from Africa”
Adrienne Rich “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”
William Wordsworth “She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways”
Marianne Moore “Poetry”
William Carlos Williams “The Red Wheelbarrow”
Franz Kafka “A Hunger Artist”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children”
William Butler Yeats “Sailing to Byzantium”
Adrienne Rich “Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law”
Flannery O’Connor “Good Country People”
Stephen Crane “The Open Boat”
Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
Flannery O’Connor “Everything That Rises Must Converge”
James Joyce “Araby”
John Updike “A&P”
The Elephant in the Village of the Blind

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