Sample Assignment:EN 141:  Fiction— Paper Topic # 2

Due Date:  Wednesday, April 21 at 11:00am

Requirements:  6 pages (you must have at least 5 and 7/8 pages—anything less will be considered short) using 12 point font. You must also include the same student information as paper #1, page numbers, and a “Works Cited” page.  Remember to use MLA citation and always PROOFREAD your papers.

Please choose from one of the following five choices for your second paper topic. Remember, your paper must contain a specific and concrete THESIS or ARGUMENT of your own invention. When comparing and contrasting two different works, avoid plot summaries and a list of the differences between the two works that do not include connections to your thesis.

1.    MOVIE vs. NOVEL.  Choose either The English Patient, Persuasion, or The Handmaid’s Tale and write develop a thesis that compares and contrasts the similarities and the differences between the movie and the novel. Questions to consider (although you do not need to answer each question specifically): What choices were made by the director/screen writing when translating the book into film? What is gained and lost in this translation? How are your opinions of characters changed from watching the film vs. reading the book. Is one work richer than the other—why? Why would a director/screenwriter radically alter the plot of a book for film—is this alteration positive, negative, beneficial, detrimental, or simply for additional dramatic emphasis. [Note:  For the parenthetical notation, you can distinguish between the film vs. the book when quoting each source by using the author’s name as representing the book version and the director’s name as representing the movie version.  Ex:  The English Patient – book = (Ondaatje 83)  movie = (Minghella)  ]

2.    SURVIVAL.  The topic of survival appears in The English Patient, Persuasion, and The Handmaid’s Tale, although it is presented differently in each work.  Discuss how one or two characters from one of the novels copes with survival. For example, in The English Patient, you may want to compare and contrast the survival techniques of Kip versus Hana or Caravaggio vs. Kip. How is survival defined and described in the novel? How do characters find strength in their adverse situations? The topic of survival does not have to describe only dire situations—in Persuasion, Anne Eliot can be analyzed as a character who is trying to survive the selfishness of her family and the loss of her first love. Please deal only with one novel, but you can discuss multiple characters within that novel.

3.    OMNISCIENT NARRATOR.  In either The English Patient or Persuasion discuss the role of the omniscient narrator. What is the function or purpose of the narrator in either novel? Is the narrator completely objective? Focus on specific passages or paragraphs that display an obvious narrative voice and then analyze the language used and the function of this passage in relation to the novel as a whole. Also, discuss the narrator’s treatment of the various characters and the themes of the novel.

4.    COMMUNITIES OF WOMEN.  In either Persuasion or  The Handmaid’s Tale discuss the different communities of women depicted in each novel.  Communities of women can be defined as family units, such as the Eliot sisters, or groups of women in the same geographic area, such as the women of Uppercross (which includes not only the Musgroves but Anne Eliot and Mary through her marriage to Charles), or women bonded through a common purpose/trial, such as the women in the handmaid’s training/re-education center or the women in the Commander’s household (Rita, Serena Joy, Offred, Cora). How do these women relate to one another—is the bond of their gender something natural or artificial? Do these communities of women have a specific function within the novel? Are these communities of women described in positive or negative or neutral ways?