Literature

First, identify a topic in consultation with your instructor or write about one of the following options:

Compose an essay analyzing Gregor’s character and how it develops over the course of the story. Start by exploring Gregor’s identity. How does

Gregor see himself, his job, his family? Has his view changed by the end of the play? Pay special attention to Gregor’s thoughts as well as to

the dialogue between him and other characters. As the story progresses, Gregor becomes more isolated, and he is treated as an outcast. One way

to approach this assignment is to focus on how Gregor adapts to his new and changing situation. Another is to delve into the subtopic of

personal identity and family duty.

Many scholars suggest that The Metamorphosis depicts the Industrial Revolution’s dehumanization of the worker—a “deadening of the soul.”

Gregor’s transformation into a giant bug symbolizes his alienation from society and his loss of human self. Gregor is valued only for as long as

he can work. He labors for others and has little control over his life. Analyze the story’s depiction of an industrialized society and peoples’

relationships to each other within the social structure.

From its initial publication, The Waste Land was seen as Eliot’s attempt to convey the loss and destruction brought about by WWI. The poem is

deliberately constructed from a series of disconnected images and allusions which Eliot calls fragments. Select three or four of these fragments

or images for your analysis. What do the fragments you have selected reveal about Eliot’s view of modern Europe? How do they convey the sense of

physical and cultural loss brought about by WWI?

Develop a Tentative Thesis

As you consider different options for your thesis,

Develop a few hypotheses about the text that are based on your own perspectives and relate to the topic that you chose to explore for this

assignment.

In addition to considering the text’s plot, reflect on what genre and other elements of literature (see the online lecture on this topic) reveal

about the cultures and important philosophies and values associated with this era and region.

Review the lecture on literary movements and determine if examining other literature will shed light on your hypotheses about the literary work.

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