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Literature

Q1. Explain why in Alissa Nutting’s story “Model’s Assistant,” the character of Garla could be considered a foil to
the speaker of the story.

Q2. On page 215 of the text, Toni Morrison discusses her story “Recitatif.” She writes “Soon as I say ‘Black woman….’ I can rest on or provoke predictable responses, but if I leave it out then I have to talk about her in a complicated way–as a person.”

This quote suggests that Morrison feels that, because of stereotypes, using a character’s race in a story sometimes threatens to turn that character into what?

An omniscient narrator

A stock character

A static character

An antagonist

Q3. Which of the following poems does not use first-person narration?

Adrienne Rich, “Diving into the Wreck”

James Dickey, ‘The Leap’

Brian Turner, ‘Jundee Ameriki’

Howard Nemerov, ‘The Vacuum’

Q4. Do you think that Gurov in “Lady with a Pet Dog” was a static or a dynamic character? What evidence from the text can you provide to support your choice?

Q5. WHich of the following is something that a formalist critic would want to study about the story “Good People,” by David Foster Wallace?

Consider why Lane Dean’s thoughts are presented only in the third person, and his girlfriend remains a flat character.

Find out more information about the real-life Joliet Junior College and what its campus ministry groups are like.

Because this is one of the last stories written before David Foster Wallace’s suicide in 2008, look into whether Wallace had had any similar personal experiences in his life that were haunting him.

Explore the gender relationships in the story, noting that Lane’s voice completely overpowers his girlfriend’s, and think about what that means for who has power in their relationship and in society.

Q6. In Walt Whitman’s poem “A Noiseless, Patient Spider,” explain why the spider is considered a *contextual* symbol. Don’t just explain what the spider symbolizes but also specifically why that is a contextual symbol.

Q7. Discuss the significance of the setting of “Barn Burning” to the overall themes of the story.

Q8. Why is the idea of a literary canon considered to be controversial?

Q9. Kate Chopin’s ‘Story of an Hour’ uses which of the following?

First-person limited omniscient narration

Third-person limited omniscient narration

Editorial first-person narration

Third person omniscient narration

Q10. Look back at Question 5. For the wrong answers on that question, identify which mode of criticism that answer would reflect (other than formalism). In other words, each of the answers in Question 5 represents one mode of literary criticism. Identify each one.

Q11. In Amy Tan’s story “A Pair of Tickets,” I would argue that we have an example of a story where the antagonist is not necessarily a character but rather is the setting–China–itself. Explain how that argument could make sense in this story.

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