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The Evolution of Weird in Literature

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ENG 1301: The Evolution of The Weird in Literature

Argument Essay – primary texts and secondary texts (criticism)

1250 Words / Value: 25%


To the best of your ability, respond to only one of the prompts posed below in an organized and carefully written argument essay. Your essay should have an introduction with a clear argumentative thesis statement, a conclusion, and 3 body paragraphs (5 total paragraphs). Your argument should be logical and convincing, relying on direct quotation from the text or texts you are writing about for support, and also demonstrating your understanding of the course theme or concepts you are writing about.

For this essay you must consult between 1-3 critical sources and incorporate the relevant ideas into your argument. Critical sources can relate directly to the texts or topics you are writing about, but do not have to, as long as indirect sources are incorporated logically into your work. Critical sources should enhance or supplement your own work and do not take the place of it. All ideas from chosen critical sources need to be carefully cited in MLA style just as the fiction does.

  1. Write an essay comparing representations of the feminine/femininity in three of any of the following course texts: “Feeders and Eaters” by Neil Gaiman, “White Rabbits” by Leonora Carrington, “Sredni Vashtar” by Saki,“The Ice Man” by Haruki Murakami, “The HellScreen” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Comparatively analyze your three chosen texts using athesis that answers this question: Which of the three texts challenges normative ideas of the feminine/femininity the most and why? For this answer you should consult a minimum of 1 critical source.
  • Write an essay comparing the use of the uncanny in any three separate works we have studied this semester. For this essay, you should consult Sigmund Freud’s essay “the uncanny” as your critical source. Which of the three texts uses the uncanny to destabilize readers/viewers the most and why? For this answer you should work with three primary texts and 1-3 critical text.
  • Write a comparative argument about monstrosity in any three texts or films. Which of the three features the most frightening or unique monster? (You can consider powers, presence, attributes, characteristics, words, actions, symbolism or any other defining feature of each of these monsters). Consult a minimum of 1 critical source.
  • Write an essay identifying three similarities between Stephen King’s “The Man in The Black Suit”, Clive Barker’s “In the Hills, the Cities”, and Algernon Blackwood’s “The Willows”. Which of the three stands out as the most effective weird tale and why? For this answer you should consult a minimum of 1 critical source.

Your responses are graded with three main considerations in mind:

1). That you are answering the question directly, clearly, and in complete and grammatically sound sentences, using a thesis statement and organized essay structure.

2). That you are working directly with the text or texts related to the question (this could include its language, images, characters, plot, main ideas or more complex elements like symbolism or other literary devices). Because this is a take-home essay, I am expecting sustained development of ideas, sound logic, attention to detail, and writing that is both stylistic and carefully edited.

3). That you logically connect the secondary criticism you have found to your argument, and accurately follow proper MLA protocol to document both primary and secondary text.



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