Instructions: Write your responses in ink and use an exam booklet. I strongly encourage you to read through the exam carefully and then to spend some time planning your response (suggested time for this activity: 15 minutes).
Section I (Suggested Time: 22 minutes): Choose three of the following four quotations. Identify the excerpt (author and text), then state the significance of the quotation (5 points each; 3 X 5 = 15 points).
A) "No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence"
B) He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.
C) "God in pity made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of your's, more horrid from its very resemblance"
D) "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!"
Section II (Suggested Time: 22 minutes): Choose three of the following four terms and explain the significance of each (5 points each; 3 X 5 = 15 points).
A) the sublime vs. the beautiful
B) The Modern Prometheus
Section III (Suggested Time: one hour): Choose one of the following two questions and write a detailed response in essay form. (30 points).
A) One could say that what we see in the progression from the epics of ancient Greece to the novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is a major shift in our relationship to the world and to others. This shift has been characterized as a shift from an oral culture to a literate culture, from a shame culture to a guilt culture, from a monarchical culture to a democratic culture, from a feudal culture to a bourgeois culture, from a polytheistic belief system to a monotheistic belief system, from a society of spectacle to a carceral society. Examining one text from the first half of the semester (Odyssey, Paradise Lost, Rape of the Lock, the Prelude) and two texts from the second half of the semester (Frankenstein, Heart of Darkness, Citizen Kane, Apocalypse Now, Things Fall Apart), discuss one or two of these cultural shifts in relation to three works.
B) The use of first-person narration raises significant questions about storytelling; it underlines the psychological reasons for telling stories; it makes us wonder about the reliability of the story being told; and it foregrounds the affect of a story on its audience. Discuss the significance of this narrational strategy (and perhaps of the related strategy of frame narrative) by discussing three texts, including at least one text from the first half of the semester (Odyssey, Paradise Lost, Rape of the Lock, the Prelude) and two texts from the second half of the semester (Frankenstein, Heart of Darkness, Citizen Kane, Apocalypse Now, Things Fall Apart). Note: not all of these texts include first-person narrations; one could, however, discuss the significance of differences between first-person and third-person narration.
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