Here are some ideas to consider about each story as you prepare for the proctored final.
In your opinion is Arnold Friend mostly like Satan, the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood,” or just a plain criminal or psychopath? Give examples from “Where Are You Going? Where Have you Been?” to support your views.
What is the meaning of the advice the son gives his father in “The Shawl”? How does this advice heal the intergenerational trauma experienced by the characters? How is the story both true about the specific people in the story and about the Native American experience?
What are the causes of Gregor Samsa’s alienation and isolation in The Metamorphosis? What psychological and historical parallels are there for this story?
What is the nature of the conflict between Dee/Wangero and Mama in “Everyday Use”? Who is right?
In “Javi,” what reasons might Javi have for not staying with his mother? The author comments that he wanted to juxtapose a character who is beginning his life (Javi) with a character that is near the end of hers (the painter). What is the insight the reader gains through this juxtaposition?
What is the trauma of war as explored in “The Things They Carried”? How does O’Brien do justice to the experience of his fellow soldiers through this story?
Here are the instructions you will receive on the day of the exam. You will see the topics for the essay after these instructions only on the day of the exam. Please note that the topics will not be the same as the ones provided for you for study, but that those questions will prepare you for the exam.
Choose one of the topics below and respond to it in essay form. Your essay should have a clear introduction and thesis statement, at least two focused body paragraphs that have topic sentences, and a conclusion. Support the ideas in the body paragraphs with specific examples from the stories.
You will have two hours to complete the exam once you click below. At the end of the two hours, regardless of whether you have finished, the essay will be submitted.
Remember that the exam allows for no electronic devices or other aids, unless these are required through an ACCESS accommodation request. Write your own responses to the questions and structure them as best as you can within the two-hour limit.
This proctored final essay will be graded according to the following criteria:
20 points – Clearly articulated thesis statement (one or two sentences that responds to the prompt and gives the paper direction)
10 points – Clear topic sentences in the body paragraphs
35 points – Specific details, discussion, and examples from the stories in the bodyparagraphs
35 points – Grammar, mechanics, and style adhere to standard conventions