Final: Composition Prompts

Choose one of the following composition prompts to complete. The length of your composition should be approximately 1,200 words in length. It should be submitted via email by the end of Tuesday, December 17. Your filename of your Final should be in the following format: “firstname lastname – ENGL 255 Final” (for e.g. “Joan Wayne – ENGL 255 Final”).

In addition to submitting your final online, you must also attend our Finals session, on Tuesday, December 17, from 1:45 – 3:45pm, where you complete a final Finals component.

Finals Checklist [doc]

1. A Comparison of Translations

Compare the two translations of Mahasweta Devi’s story, “The Wet-Nurse,” by Ella Dutta and “Breast Giver” by Gayatri Spivak. Does one version foreground certain aspects of the story that the other does not? Do the two versions translations present you with a different understanding of the story? In addition to noting the differences between the two translations, analyze the different meanings they respectively produce.


2. A Dramatic Monologue

The novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid is narrated in the form of a dramatic monologue. Compose a dramatic monologue of your own, whether by taking on the voice of one of the characters in the novel, or by responding as the implied listener in the novel. If doing the former, the dramatic monologue must remain consistent with Changez’s narrative; in other words, your character’s monologue must be defined by the constraints of the novel even though it may offer a perspective that is not especially apparent. If doing the latter, your monologue must engage directly with Changez’s narrative; in other words, you need to demonstrate that you have grasped what the novel is trying to convey before you proceed to offer a response.


3. An Analysis of the Book to Film Adaptation

Write an essay in which you analyze the differences between the novel and the film adaptation of The Reluctant Fundamentalist. As you note the differences between the two, consider the different meanings that the each work respectively produces and evaluate them accordingly. Your evaluation, however, should not merely state which you think is better (for e.g., the book is better than the movie) but to consider the implications of the differences in meaning produced by the novel and the film respectively.


4. A Voiceover Commentary

Create a voiceover commentary to accompany The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan. The commentary should serve as a guide to which a reader could listen as she reads the story. In addition to pointing out details in the text and the illustrations, your commentary should also offer an interpretation of the work.

For this assignment, you have the option of collaborating with another person in the class. One way to work with your partner is to record several conversations about the work—as we had done in class—and to edit these recordings to showcase the highlights of your exchange and to bring them together into a well-composed commentary. If you choose to collaborate with another person, you only need to hand in one commentary; both of you will receive the same grade.

If you have access to basic audio editing software and know how to use the basics (Audacity is available to download for free and is relatively easy to learn), you may submit an audio recording of your commentary. Alternatively, you may transcribe your conversations and submit a script of your voiceover commentary.


5. An Essay on Animal’s People

Updated Dec 6, 2013

“My story you wanted, said you’d put it in a book. I did not want to talk about it. I said is it a big deal, to have my story in a book? I said, I am a small person not even human, what difference will my story make? You told me that sometimes the stories of small people in this world can achieve big things, this is the way you buggers always talk.

I said, many books have been written about this place, not one has changed anything for the better, how will yours be different? You will bleat like all the rest. You’ll talk of rights, law, justice. Those words sound the same in my mouth as in yours but they don’t mean the same, Zafar says such words are like shadows the moon makes in the Kampani’s factory, always changing shape. On that night it was poison, now it’s words that are choking us” (Animal’s People 3).

Animal’s People begins with Animal’s reluctance to share his story with a foreign Jarnalis about life in Khaufpur after “that night.” Despite his concerns outlined above, Animal nonetheless proceeds to record his tale, but with a different understanding of what his story might achieve. Moreover, he implies that his story presents a view of “rights, law, justice” that differs from the way in which journalists invoke these concepts: “Those words sound the same in my mouth as in yours but they don’t mean the same….” Why is Animal initially reluctant to tell his story to the Jarnalis? In Animal’s story, what do the concepts of rights, law and justice mean and how do they differ from the Jarnalis’s, who represents the way in which the Kampani and the government use these concepts?In your view, does Animal’s story, particularly in the way it addresses these concepts, make a difference? Write an essay that addresses these questions by referring closely to the novel.

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