Monday, April 09, 2007

Culminating Paper Thesis


Please post here your proposed thesis for your culminating paper. As we discussed in class, this could also take the form of a "Final Tuesday Writing" question about your big idea. Along with your thesis or question, please list the three or more works of fiction that you plan to use in your paper. Please post your comments by Friday, April 13, 2007.

57 Comments:

Blogger Justin L said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wed Apr 11, 11:44:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Justin L said...

Many writers often explore the paths humans take in life to examine the role of God and destiny in life. For example, some authors may say humans choose their own destiny ignoring God and others may say that God controls the destiny. Choose a novel or play in which such an examination takes place. Then, in a well written essay analyze the stance taken by the author and the methods utilized to create such an argument. Do no merely summarize plot.

The Kite Runner
Oediopus Rex
The Odyssey
Crime and Punishment
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
The Road

Wed Apr 11, 11:45:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Stacie C said...

Novelists commonly discuss the limits of mankind in their writings, and often include how God's presence influences the thoughts and moral limits of characters. In many books, writers especially focus on man's ability to perform acts of cruelty to which they would not be naturally inclined. In a well written essay, analyze the techniques that three authors use to justify the actions of their characters and express the characters' limits, including how the presence of a higher power affects their actions and struggles.


Crime and Punishment- Dostoevsky
Beloved- Morrison
King Henry IV- Shakespeare
Slaughterhouse Five- Vonnegut
Gotz and Meyer- Albahari

Thu Apr 12, 04:30:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

In Toni Morrison's, Beloved, Kahled Hosseini's, The Kite Runner, and Fyodor Dostoevsky's, Crime and Punishment, the main characters are all haunted by an event in their past. Sethe by her daughter's death, Amir by his betrayal or Hassan, and Raskolnikov by his murder of the pawn broker. These authors use the power of the past to illustrate the past's impact on the future and that the future can never be simply forgotten, it must be dealt with.

Thu Apr 12, 06:48:00 PM 2007  
Blogger dantonio said...

A common theme among literature is a characters struggle with their sense of morality. Often times others disbelieve and disagree with them. Choose 3 novels of plays in which a characters faces this kind of struggle and show how the author resolves the conflict within the character.
Crime and Punishment
King Henry
The Odyssey
Slaughterhouse 5

Feel free to edit/change question since i dont know if i like it

Thu Apr 12, 08:07:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Christy said...

At what cost is happiness achieved?
Through sacrifice in Toni Morrison's Beloved, self discovery in James Joyces's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and second chances in Mich Albom's For One More Day, happiness is achieved only after these "costs" are paid. All three authors present central characters, symbolic settings, and an illusory conscience to reveal the cost of happiness and the price of a free life.

Thu Apr 12, 08:20:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Maya R said...

A common human struggle is the inability to define oneself to the world - the identity search. One is affected by aspects of his setting, such as family, friends, religion, education, events, etc. Ultimately, each person must decide what aspects of his setting he will be affected by and how he will define himself to others.

To the Lighthouse
Kite Runner
Metamorphosis
The Odyssey
Beloved
Portrait of the Artist...

Thu Apr 12, 08:34:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Amy said...

Young men cast out by society often contain a surprising capacity for positive impact. Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, John Steinbeck's East of Eden, and James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man involve men that emerge from the shadows thrown on them by society to reveal inner brilliance. Raskolnikov, Stephen Dedalus, Cal Trask, and Howard Roark emerge as an extraordinary man, an artistic writer, a courageous individual, and an innovative architect. They shock the world around them by rising to success, whether that triumph be internal or external.

Thu Apr 12, 08:37:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Dayna said...

The extent to which guilt can alter people’s lives can be staggering, as it not only takes its own toll on a person’s will, but it also enables other detrimental forces to weaken the person as well, such as isolation, reluctance to face the past, and self-punishment. The protagonists in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Kim Edwards’s The Memory-Keeper’s Daughter, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved all wrestle with intense, life-altering guilt throughout the novels to demonstrate the extraordinary power of guilt in preventing people from living full, desirable lives.

Thu Apr 12, 09:27:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Emily M said...

(Books will have been introduced earlier in the intro-paragraph) Amir, Sethe and David are all haunted by their pasts, a specific, quick action that changed their lives permanently. These three characters suffer for years, regretting and attempting to forget their past. However, they illustrate that though redemption and forgiveness are difficult to seek, the soul is purer because of it.

Thu Apr 12, 09:30:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Brianna said...

Wow, Molly, yay for using the same books!!

Writers often must at least address forgiveness or redemption in order to solve conflict; however, many times the redemption itself is not the important part. Choose a novel or play, and in a well organized essay, describe how the author proves his or her point about the nature of redemption.

Beloved
King Henry IV Part I
Crime & Punishment
The Kite Runner

HELP PLEASE!!!!

Thu Apr 12, 09:31:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Eric said...

Henry David Thoreau suggested that man is ¾ at peace with himself and suggested that it would be easier for man to lower the denominator, our expectations, to achieve peace instead of increasing the numerator, or outward status. Assess the validity of Thoreau’s ideas by giving examples in literature of those who have searched for inner peace, and contrast those that succeed and those who fail.

Potential Books:
Macbeth
Things Fall Apart
Slaughter-House V
Great Gatsby
Go Dogs Go
All the Kings Men
Walden

Thu Apr 12, 09:32:00 PM 2007  
Blogger chennery said...

Choose a literary work in which a family loses a child (though the child may not actually die). Explain how the family changed after that point and how the child's loss affected individual characters. Analyze what the author is saying about family dynamics, and, ultimately, about society.

Crime and Punishment
Metamorphosis
Beloved
Poisonwood Bible
Peace like a River

Thu Apr 12, 09:39:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Kaeli said...

Writers often question different aspects of society. This can entail improvement in a weak or problematic area. Choose a play or novels in which the author examines the corrupting power of money.

Crime and Punishment
East of Eden
Candide

Thu Apr 12, 09:58:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Megan said...

A person’s life is constructed through the actions and feelings of themselves, others, and the environment surrounding them. Often time people have little or no control over the situations they are faced with; but rather gain authority from their reactions to those conditions. As we tumble down our humble paths we are faced with both adversity and delight; threatened to reveal our true character. Regularly the query of faith is brought to life through significant events that shape who we turn out to be. At the end of the road each person is faced with one fundamental question, “Was my life fulfilling?” Some may argue that a rewarding life involves a substantial amount of money or a rich amount of knowledge; but others sense life can not be truly gratifying without the presence of God to direct a path. Works including Crime and Punishment, The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Life of Pi all consider the idea inquiring God’s impact on a person’s contentment.

Thu Apr 12, 10:27:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Justin --
This is a good big question to explore. As you work through your essay, you'll need to arrive at some kind of conclusion, at least for yourself, which you may express either in your thesis or in your conclusion. You'll need to subdivide your topic of destiny. For example, what are the various ways destiny (or lack of it) manifests itself in the characters' lives?

Fri Apr 13, 09:33:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Stacie --
This sound like an interesting topic, though I'm still a little confused as to what your thesis will be. Is God a factor in limiting the characters, or helping them overcome their limits? Do the characters perform cruelties because of or in spite of God? Is your main point that cruelty can sometimes be justified?

Fri Apr 13, 09:57:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Molly --
This is a good topic. You'll need to subdivide it to prevent discussing each book in isolation. For example, are there two or three reasons that the past must be dealt with? Are there two or three ways that characters deal with the past?

Fri Apr 13, 10:00:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Dana A --
By "this kind of struggle," do you mean a struggle in which other characters disbelieve the main character's morality? Do you mean that the other characters challenge the main character's beliefs? I presume your conclusion will deal with how these conflicts are resolved.

Fri Apr 13, 10:03:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Christy --
It sounds like "central characters, symbolic settings, and an illusory conscience" will be your subtopics for examining the costs of happiness. I'm not sure "central characters" is a viable subtopic; every book has one. What is unique about these books? How do you define happiness?

Fri Apr 13, 10:06:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Maya --
This seems like a good question to explore. At some point your thesis or conclusion will need to assert "these are the factors that are most important in finding one's identity." That assertion might be the key to the organization of your essay.

Fri Apr 13, 10:07:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Amy --
I like this topic. I presume you will explore the different types of "shadows thrown by society" and the commonalities of the characters' triumphs.

Fri Apr 13, 10:09:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Dayna --
This is a good unifying topic for these three books. Somewhere in your plan you will need to address not only the different versions or effects of guilt, but the commonalities that will allow you to synthesize these characters' experiences.

Fri Apr 13, 10:11:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Emily --
This is a good topic. To prove that the chjaracters' souls are purer after they achieve redemption, you will need to do a "before and after" examination of their souls.

Fri Apr 13, 10:13:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Brianna --
Your thesis left me wondering, if redemption is not the most important part, what is? You'll need to decide that in order to fulfill your idea. You'll also need to define -- part of what?

Fri Apr 13, 10:14:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Eric --
I love this quote as a basis for your essay. It should work well to discuss it in relation to each of your characters. The challenge will be to formulate the conclusion that includes all their experiences.

Fri Apr 13, 10:17:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Chennery --
I like this topic! I would envision the first part of the essay examining the particular experiences of each family, and then the last part expressing the conclusions about families and society.

Fri Apr 13, 10:19:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Kaeli --
The corrupting power of money should make a good focus for your essay. You'll need to decide what subtopics to use to divide your paper so that you synthesize all three books.

Fri Apr 13, 10:20:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Megan --
Examining God's role in a person's contentment sounds like a good topic to explore. Of course, you'll need to define "contentment," and you'll need to devise two or three subtopics that allow you to consider all three books together.

Fri Apr 13, 10:23:00 AM 2007  
Blogger  said...

Seeing is believing. Many times in literature unbelievable or ficticious events occur. Why do sometimes humans choose to reject certain ideas yet accept others which may seem just as bizarre? Choose two or more novels or plays with characters that may experience such decisions. Then, in a well organized essay explain what can effect the path of human nature.

Life of Pi
The Odyssey
Metamorphosis
Beloved
Slaughterhouse 5

(I think this is a good idea but I kinda need some guidance on where to take it)

Fri Apr 13, 10:31:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Steph said:
Achieving normalcy has been a important goal in American society, often relfected in literature. Choose four works of literary merit in which the main character strives to achieve normalcy. Describe how the main character is different from his/her environment. In a well-organized essay, identify how the main character's quest for normalcy helped him learn more about his true self.
(Posted for Steph by Mr. Sale)

Fri Apr 13, 11:00:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Kylee said:
Through the characters portrayed in their novels and the writing techniques they use, Khaled Hosseini, Toni Morrison, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez prove that the obstacles one may face in society results in a stronger individual both mentally and physically.

Kite Runner
Beloved
100 Years of Solitude
(Posted for Kylee by Mr. Sale)

Fri Apr 13, 11:00:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Rachel said:
Seeing is believing. Many times in literature unbelievable or ficticious events occur. Why do sometimes humans choose to reject certain ideas yet accept others which may seem just as bizarre? Choose two or more novels or plays with characters that may experience such decisions. Then, in a well organized essay explain what can effect the path of human nature.

Life of Pi
The Odyssey
Metamorphosis
Beloved
Slaughterhouse 5

(I think this is a good idea but I kinda need some guidance on where to take it)
(Posted for Rachel by Mr. Sale)

Fri Apr 13, 11:01:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Steph --
This topic sounds like a good one. Your question seems to imply that trying to be normal is a good thing. Do your books show that this is so? Do all the characters achieve normalcy? What are the consequences of succeeding or not?

Fri Apr 13, 11:04:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Kylee --
Your topic suggests that you will need to do a sort of "before and after" picture of your characters. You may be able to find some commonalities in the types of obstacles they encounter. Your thesis seems to imply that obstacles are a good thing.

Fri Apr 13, 11:06:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Rachel --
This sounds like an interesting topic. I assume that you will explain both bizarre events that the characters believe and the bizarre events that they disbelieve. The last sentence seems vague and disconnected from the rest of your idea. Is the "what" in that sentence the bizarre events? Remember that you will address three or more books.

Fri Apr 13, 11:09:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Melissa said...

Socrates once said, “The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.” The philosopher was a social outcast—and a genius. His incredible intelligence cast him aside from the community. Choose a novel, play, or short story from the list below, and in a well organized, coherent essay analyze how the main character’s intellectual capacities tie in a direct level to their positions in society. Explain how the character is affected by other’s views of them and the burdens their intelligence brings.

The Glass Menagerie
The Odyssey
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Slaughterhouse V
Crime and Punishment
Metamorphosis
King Henry IV
Oedipus Rex
East of Eden

Fri Apr 13, 12:43:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Melissa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Fri Apr 13, 12:43:00 PM 2007  
Blogger SamS said...

Many people view religion and God as sitting in church listening to sermons, praying, doing community service, etc. However, the authors Ayn Rand, James Joyce, and John Steinbeck show through their characters Howard Roark, Stephen Dedalus, and Cal Trask that finding God and religion does not necessarily have to be through partaking in the structured ways of organized religion, but can be through different means, such as art and even sin.

Feel free to tear it apart, I know thats a pretty long sentence, and I'm also not sure if Cal Trask is the best character to be using for this idea, so any feedback you have is greatly appreciated!

Fri Apr 13, 01:07:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Melissa --
I love your prompt, and I think it will give you a good avenue to dicuss the books.

Fri Apr 13, 02:43:00 PM 2007  
Blogger matt p said...

To survive everyday life, an individual must cope with the people and occurences they encounter. People use a variety of coping mechanisms and techniques, big and small, to deal with their problems, and with varying degrees of success and side effects. Writers often explore these methods and their differing impact on people and their lives. Discuss, using the novels listed below, examples of characters coping with traumatic or painful experiences and the effects of their methods on the characters and their lives.

Catch-22
Crime and Punishment
Slaughterhouse Five

Fri Apr 13, 03:59:00 PM 2007  
Blogger sarahg said...

Okay, Mr. Sale, this is going to be a very rough, very short one...

Writers often explore the idea of exactly how justice is achieved, and why it is important. Is the justice that a society imposes truly just? In what ways do characters reach justice? In a well-organized essay, choose a novel or play and explain how a character does or does not achieve personal of societal justice.

Possible choices:
*The Kite Runner
*Crime and Punishment
*A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
*Beloved
*Slaughterhouse Five

Or something like that...

Fri Apr 13, 05:32:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Kelly said...

Sorry Sale,
I'm currently reading The Fountainhead and, in part due to my worries about debt and my future in business, I am absorbed with the concept of success. I aim to write a paper that will help me define success in my own mind, but I am having problems articulating a question and finding three books to unite the theme. So far, all I can come up with is:


As business gains prominence and the rich adorn every magazine, the nature of success solicits attention in modern philosophy. One facet of this duplicitous enigma is the concept of succumbing to societal ideals. These people shape-shift constantly, eager to use anyone as a foothold while circumventing conviction in their beliefs. The other facet consists of attaining a certain mental richness per loyalty to morals. Often, this form of success manifests itself as “fulfillment.” Is success dependent on society's perceptions? Can an internal achievement be considered a success, even if it is scorned by the public? At what point do compromises of ideology render literal achievements personal failures?
In a well organized essay, choose characters or motifs that depict the struggle between internal and monetary success... enter me at a complete loss.

Can you help me?

The Portrait of the Artist
The Fountainhead
Henry IV--?

P.S. It has taken me more than 2 hours to remember my password

Sat Apr 14, 02:18:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Sean K said...

In ancient Greece and in times before, philosophers struggled with the idea of “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose in life?”. People often look to religion, their family, and their morals to discover their purpose in society, which gives them meaning. Using several authors, explain how events that are both physical and mental shape the human mind and allow it to grow, in order for a person to truly say that they understand their purpose in society.

The Magus
Portrait of the Artist
Odyssey
JPod (maybe)

Sun Apr 15, 07:58:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Matt --
Looks like a good topic. You will need to look for commonalities among the coping mechanisms in the books.

Mon Apr 16, 07:39:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Sarah --
It will be crucial to define justice somewhere in your essay. That definition may in part dictate the structure of your paper. There may be different types of justice to address (e.g., human vs. divine). Overall, justice is a vastly important topic in western literature, so good choice.

Mon Apr 16, 07:43:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Kelly --
This part of your topic made good sense to me:
Can an internal achievement be considered a success, even if it is scorned by the public? At what point do compromises of ideology render literal achievements personal failures?

The struggle between monetary and personal success should make a good topic. You'll need to define each of these, and then show the consequences for characters who choose one over the other.

Mon Apr 16, 07:51:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Kendra said:
"Authors often emphasize the role of women and their inferior or substandard status and relationship to men. Using three or more novels of literary merit, explain the female status and the significance of the role authors put women in. Analyze how this strengthens or weakens society's perspective of women. "
(Posted for Kendra by Mr. Sale)

Mon Apr 16, 08:54:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Karen W Said:
The Novels Beloved, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Gem of the Ocean respectively trace a woman tied to her past, a man daunted by society and a paradoxical community united by individuals to collectively arrive at the conclusion that the journey to self discovery is necessary to obtain personal freedom.
(Posted for Karen by Mr. Sale)

Mon Apr 16, 08:58:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Sean K --
Your thesis is too broad. What else could influence the human mind besides physiacl and mental events? What book couldn't this apply to? Perhaps if you recast your thesis as a question, you could get to the heart of what you really want to write about.

Mon Apr 16, 09:03:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Kendra --
I wasn't quite clear on what your paper will assert. Are you saying that the depiction of women in the novels themselves has an effect on society's perspective of women? If so, that might be hard to prove. It would help to list the novels you plan to use.

Mon Apr 16, 09:08:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Karen --
To me, this is rather a ho-hum topic. "self discovery" and "personal freedom" are such broad ideas that they could apply to almost any book. What is the idea that you are really interested in?

Mon Apr 16, 09:12:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Kylee L said:
Through the characters portrayed in their novels and the writing techniques they used, Khaled Hosseini, Toni Morrison, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez prove that the obstacles one may face in society results in a stronger individual both mentally and physically.
(Posted for Kylee by Mr. Sale)

Mon Apr 16, 02:45:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Kylee --
This is a good beginning topic. You might need to tighten it down a bit to make it more argumentative. (In other words, would anyone argue that obstacles don't make us stronger?) I imagine this will require a sort of before-and-after description of the characters, in order to show that they are stronger after encountering the obstacles.

Tue Apr 17, 08:58:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Terry Sale said...

Sam --
The point that these books seem to make about finding religious meaning is a good one to examine for this paper. To make this topic truly interesting, you'll need to develop your "so what?"; what implications does this realization about finding religion suggest?

Tue Apr 17, 11:19:00 AM 2007  
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