CREATIVE ESSAY

We’ve been exploring literary elements and devices through the imaginations of other authors.  Now it’s your turn: write your fictional representation that either incorporates and illustrates or reflects on the critical acumen you’ve acquired through multiple exercises in literary analysis.

Be as creative or imaginative as you’d like as long as your meet the following generic criteria:

1.     Respond to one of the prompts below.  Your essay must have a clear thesis—explicit (which means it’s directly stated in your introduction) or implicit (which means it’s illustrated through carefully structured details). Notice that only few of the prompts below have a standard essay format question that calls for a comparative analysis; the rest are creative options that require that you show more and tell less. Go with your strengths and choose the assignment you’re most comfortable with.

2.     Discuss or demonstrate your response using good close reading from the texts.  Your essay must include at least three (3) short citations from each text you are analyzing/rewriting/comparing. Each citation should be no longer than one sentence.  Use the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) for assistance with proper documentation.  Also see resources in our Help folder and use Smarthinking.

3.     Your essay must be 2+ pages (700+ words) and follow APA format (MLA for in-text citations).  Submit your essay in Turnitin with the grading rubric by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.  See syllabus for our course ID and password.

Possible Prompts (choose one)

  • If you could meet one of the characters from one of the texts we’ve read or watched, who would it be and why?
  • Write a scene depicting your interaction with one of the characters from one of the texts that we’ve read.  Remember that you need to include textual evidence as outlined above.
  • Craft your own story with two voices, using “Girl” as model and sharing the various things you’ve learned about being a “man” or a “woman” and from whom you’ve learned them. Alternatively, you may share what you have learned about your profession. Start by making two columns and listing the various commands (using the imperative) and the various instructions (using the repeated phrase “This is how to …”) that you’ve learned from people in your own lives.
  • Which two characters from two separate texts we’ve read would you envision having a conversation and why? You may also include a narrator.  Remember that the dialogue should have a clear purpose and you need evidence to support and/or illustrate the ideas. 
  • What have you learned about reading, analyzing, and discussing literary works from various cultures, or from your encounters with cultural others?  Discuss the cultural significances that have interested you and incorporate at least three literary elements into your comparative discussion of at least two separate texts/characters from cultural backgrounds different from your own.  Your argument needs to have a logical, meaningful design; it should not be a set bullet points followed by free association of ideas.
  • Rewrite a story from the perspective of a minor character, using at least three literary elements that you’ve explored and learned more about in the course.  Remember to include evidence from your text.
  • Relocate a scene from one of the texts and put it in an entirely different setting. Use the same literary devices—flashback, imagery, symbolism—that the author uses in constructing the world of his/her text.
  • Compose a poem imitating the style of one of the authors we’ve read.  Include a 200+-word explication of the poem and refer to other texts in the course.
  • Write your own dramatic monologue in response to one of the poets we’ve read or create a silent listener of your own creation.  Include a 200+-word explication of the poem and refer to other texts in the course.
  • You’re at work, and your coworkers have asked you to put together a 15-minute presentation over lunch.  They, too, wish they were reading some of the texts you’ve read in the “Survey of World Literature” course.  You want to impress them with your understanding, analytical abilities, and enthusiasm.  You also know that your supervisor will be there, and you are coming up for a promotion soon.  Develop a (written) talk with a particular thematic focus in mind.  Figure out what you want your audience to take home with them and why.  Do not bullet the speech. Write it out word-for-word.

Use one of the plays/ poetries or short stories below (of your choice)  PLEASE!

PLAYS BELOW:

plays: Warren Leight’s Nine Ten, 552-555; Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, pp. 555-61; August Strindberg’s The Stronger, pp. 601-04

POETRY BELOW:

Octavio Paz, “The Bridge” temp636309636973939375.docx Page 9 of 17 https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-bridge-34/ Mary Oliver, “The Journey” http://www.best-poems.net/mary_oliver/the_journey.html Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” p. 433 Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Panther” http://poemhunter.com/poem/the-panther Sonia Sanchez, “right on: white America,” p. 517 Maggie Smith, “Good Bones” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/89897 Wisława Szymborska, “The End and the Beginning” http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/141.html Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” 484 William Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much with Us,” p. 373

Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” http://poemhunter.com/poem/caged-bird-21/ Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47536 Lucille Clifton, “forgiving my father” http://homepage.smc.edu/cramer_timothy/forgiving.htm John Donne, “Death Be Not Proud,” p. 503 Paul Lawrence Dunbar, “Sympathy” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46459 Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays,” p. 482 Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B,” p. 510 Nikki Giovanni, “Poetry,” p. 345 Pablo Neruda, “If You Forget Me” https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/if-you-forget-me/ 

SHORT STORIES BELOW:

Chinua Achebe, “Dead Men’s Path” https://www.sabanciuniv.edu/HaberlerDuyurular/Documents/F_Courses_/2012/Dead _Mens_Path.pdf Louise Erdrich, “Indian Boarding School: The Runaways,” pp. 507-508 Allen Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47660 Nikky Finney, “A New Day Dawns” http://www.thestate.com/living/article26928424.html Jomo Kenyatta, “The Gentlemen of the Jungle” http://bhscurtright.weebly.com/uploads/4/9/0/9/4909154/the_gentlemen_of_the_jung le__by_jomo_kenyatta.pdf Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl,” p. 104 Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll,” p. 515 Amy Tan, “Two Kinds,” pp. 336-340 Richard Wright, “Big Black Good Man,” pp. 184-190

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