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American Literature Written Tasks

Course written assignment: Choose two subjects from the list below and provide an
answer.
Delivery deadline: 26 May
Delivery address: ruxbontila@yahoo.com
Document title: name.amerlit (i.e. florea.amerlit)

1. What, in your opinion, does Poe want to prove by writing The Philosophy of
Composition? (two paragraphs)

2. How does Hawthorne manage, from the onset of the novella, to portray the
communitys sentimental engagement with Hester Prynne? That is, to create that
vacillation between abhorrence and adoration as the hallmark of the text, at the level of
both public and private relationships. (one paragraph)

3. Can Bartlebys I would prefer not to be a premonitory replica to nowadays teen digital
natives deep sense of loneliness experienced when one is sitting alone at the computer
screen mimicking friend-ing and being friend-ed? Can Bartlebys past and present
experiences be symptomatic of the loss of a sense of connectedness with others? What
does Melville/the narrator mean by ending the story with the words: Ah, Bartleby! Ah,
humanity! (two paragraphs)

4. Pamuk says, The art of the novel consists in the ability of speaking about yourself as if
you were an other and about an other as if you were him/herself. Exemplify Pamuks
say with one novel/short-story from the list of American literature readings. (two
paragraphs)

5. Frost believes in the power of dark sayingsspirit-enhancing challenges to those who


would interpret not just literature but life itselfto leave the clearing of to time. In the
light of the aforesaid definition, what clarification can a twenty first century youngster
and philologist bring to Frosts lines: Before I build a wall Id ask to know/ What I was
walling in or walling out,/ And to whom I was like to give offense./ (Mending Wall)
(two paragraphs)

6. Explain how Hillis Millers identification of an ethical impasseI cannot determine what
my ethical obligation to my neighbor is, and then act on that obligation, unless I can
identify him by telling his storyat the core of Melvilles Bartleby the Scrivener: A
Story of Wall-Street may be the key to an understanding of the Bartleby phenomenon
or syndrome. Can the recognition of the aforementioned ethical impasse solve the
dilemmatic Bartleby-lawyer relationship? (two paragraphs)

7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by Scott Fitzgerald is a conceptual metaphor


which reflects and refracts our desires and our fears in equal measure. In one page, on
the basis of textual evidence, agree or disagree with my estimation.

8. How do you read the epigraph on the front cover of Vonneguts book Slaughterhouse-
Five?
This is a Novel/ Somewhat in the Telegraphic Schizophrenic/ Manner of Tales/ of the
Planet Trafalmadore, / Where the Flying Saucers/ Come from. / Peace. (Vonnegut,
Slaughterhouse-Five)
(one paragraph)
9. Read Donald Barthelmes story Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby, and
discuss how narrative perspective contributes to generating meaning. (two paragraphs)

10. Explain and exemplify how the game of power and freedom translates at the level of
narrative in Nabokovs Lolita.(two paragraphs)
Note: Two answers are obligatory for you to get a grade in American literature.