Tuesday, August 13, 2013

essay assignment #1

Here is the prompt. Please comment with any questions, and post to your blog this evening. If you can, try to limit yourself to 40 minutes. We'll talk about working process and outcomes in class tomorrow (Wednesday, August 14).

*UPDATE: This is really hard to read on my machine, so here is the text of the prompt.

(Suggested time-- 40 minutes.  This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

Palestinian literary theorist and cultural critic Edward Said has written that "Exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience.  It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home; its essential sadness can never be surmounted."  Yet Said has also said that exile can become a "potent, even enriching" experience.

Select a novel, play, or epic (THE POISONWOOD BIBLE-- ed.) in which a character experiences such a rift and becomes cut off from "home," whether that home is the character's birthplace, family, homeland, or other special place.  Then write an essay in which you analyze how the character's experience with exile is both alienating and enriching, and how this experience illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole.  You may choose a work from the list below or one of comparable literary merit.  Do not merely summarize the plot.


  1. do you want the essay on our blog or is this a class assignment?

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