want you to choose one of the short stories I have analysed in Videos 11-13 and compare and contrast it to another literary work, film, television drama, painting or piece of music (for the sake of convenience, let us just say another ‘artistic work’). If you want, it can be more than one work.
The objective: to show how your reading of the short story has changed or developed your understanding of the artistic work you have chosen.
Think of this as a comparative study; you are exploring how your interaction with one artistic creation alters in some way your interaction with another.
How to begin?
Think about the structure I introduced you to in Video 11 when considering both the short story and the other artistic work(s) you select:
1. What is the theme or themes?
2. How do character/plot/setting/tone/language/style… communicate or help to develop the
You do not have to cover all of the above; just go through my video analysis of the story (adding to, or subtracting from, my own comments), and then start drawing links to the artistic work you have chosen.
Perhaps you are intrigued by the theme of female empowerment in “The Bloody Chamber” and see links to another film, television series or book that you are familiar with. But, then, perhaps “The Bloody Chamber” is saying some interesting things about gender and (female) maturation, or ‘Original Sin,’ or Fate that make you see the other artistic work (perhaps a character or a plot-twist) in a slightly different way? Tell me how your interpretation has changed, and why? It might be that this process triggers a different interpretation about something in your own life: your perspective on identity, politics, relationships… Hopefully, the synthesis of the two works you choose has helped you to see yourself or the world in a (slightly) different way? If so, that is great! That is why we read literature – and need it 😉
Perhaps you are intrigued by what Poe has to say about revenge in “The Cask of Amontillado?” Perhaps your reading and analysis of the story has made you see another artistic work differently – in terms of revenge itself, or narcissism, or other mental health disorders? Or perhaps what Poe has to say about aestheticism (or the role of the short story in exciting our senses devoid of moral compass) means that you are starting to react differently to another ‘artistic work?’ Again, tell me how your interpretation has changed and why?
Perhaps the seemingly bleak but also profound existentialism of Hemingway’s “A Clean and Well-Lighted Place” reminds you of another artistic work? Think about the journey taken by the ‘older waiter’ in that story; does it remind you of a journey taken by any other characters that you have encountered? Is it a simple mental breakdown, or is there something (perhaps more positive) happening in the older waiter? Are there any subtle differences between this character and the one you are thinking of in that other
artistic work? Does the story attract you or repel you? Does the existentialist theme of the story suggest something existentialist in music or painting? Whatever links you make to that other artistic work(s), tell me how your interpretation has changed and why?
Perhaps you want to run a mile from English 100? All this artsy, literary stuff is making you feel like reaching for the gun, like Hemingway…. But, then, perhaps “The Spiral” can interest you? If you have more of a scientific bent, then perhaps Calvino is saying things about Creation, Time, Big-Bang theory and Evolution – that can help you to make connections to another artistic work? Again, tell me how your interpretation of that other artistic work has changed, because of your reading of “The Spiral,“ and why?
This assignment may seem challenging, but the more you think of this as a creative writing assignment, the easier it will seem. Who am I to question the links you make, the connections that seem valid to you, the conclusions about life that matter to you?
What I care about is that you demonstrate (1) an understanding of the short story you select and (2) a critical interaction of that story with another artistic work.
Preferably, you will create a ‘5 minute’ presentation in the form of power-point or video; you will then send me your presentation as an email attachment. I do not need to see your notes; nor do I need to see the artistic work you choose to compare and contrast the story with. You can just tell me about it in your presentation. Obviously, you can include film clips, or photographs, music or text as you wish. For the sake of clarity, you can assume that I am familiar with whatever artistic work(s) you choose; you do not therefore need to spend time giving me basic plot description, unless it serves your purpose in making comparisons and contrasts with the short story you choose.
If you are not comfortable doing a digital presentation, then you can simply write a 1000 word essay.
Academic research is always good (although not a requirement for this assignment). If you do draw on any research, then you can include a slide or a Works Cited page, listing in MLA (or APA) format the works referred to in your presentation or essay.
DUE DATE: Any time from now until 1pm PST on December 4th.
PLEASE NOTE: Although I can of course answer questions about the assignment itself, I will not be looking at any drafts for this assignment. The presentation or essay you send me must therefore be your final version. Further, and as is the case with all my assignments, there is no possibility of re-
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