ENGLISH 123 — MYTHOLOGY
Choose TWO of the following questions, and respond to each in an essay of not more than 600 words (approximately two typewritten pages for each question). Be specific in your responses and work beyond generalities into a discussion that shows your familiarity with our texts. ESSENTIAL NOTE: You are not simply reporting on a myth, but making sense of it through your own, careful analysis.
Please label each question
Special Note: Read the questions carefully. Each question asks that you draw a conclusion following your discussion to allow you to synthesize the material and formulate your own insights. (You need not parrot back your response; i.e., This theme is significant because . . . . Your paper should make apparent why you deem the subject important enough to write about, since you will focus on what matters most, in your estimation, in these myths.)
ANSWER ANY TWO OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS. Your essay should not total more than four pages.
- You must legally defend Dr. Victor Frankenstein against his monster in a court of law. The monster is making claims of malpractice, negligence, and seeks physical and emotional damages, as well. What is the best defense you could mount on behalf of the doctor? What counter-arguments might you hear from the prosecutor? (It’s up to you whether you portray yourself as a competent defense attorney or as incompetent or biased, but you must remain consistent in your point of view and leave the reader with a clear idea as to the actual character of Dr. Frankenstein as portrayed in Shelley’s novel. As always when you write, be specific and use support from the text.)
- Which culture’s mythology resonated with you more closely than the others, and why? Select a myth or theme that spoke to you in some unexpected way. Describe what it means to you in the context of your life and explain why it proved so valuable. What did you learn from it? Give specific examples from the texts to support your analysis, conveying the reasons that your contemporaries might still benefit from the study and understanding of that culture’s mythology.
- Why do the Greek gods and goddess inflict such misery upon those who worship them? And why did human beings hail the Immortals, since they seemed to abuse their powers and positions? Explain why the tales of the gods have been told and retold throughout the centuries, given their apparent flaws. What character traits most impressed you, and what behaviors shocked you? What do we learn from Greek mythology as we face life in the modern world? As always, be specific and convey clearly to the reader the reasons for your response. Also, provide pertinent support from our texts.
- Discuss the traditions represented in The Ways of My Grandmothers and how they differ from ways of life in modern society. Which ways of traditional life would be the hardest for modern society to adapt to, and why? Which traditions would be the most appealing? What single aspect of traditional life, now lost, do you most mourn? How might we benefit if we reintegrated it into our lives today? Be sure to offer specifics with plenty of support from the text.
You must scrupulously cite your sources to avoid Plagiarism. Enclose any direct quotations in quotation marks and acknowledge ideas that are not your own.