*All page numbers refer to the Eleventh edition of The Norton Introduction to Literature by Kelly J. Mays
1. Read “Drama” (740-765) which includes Trifles by Susan Glaspell.
2. Read A Doll House (784) by Henrick Ibsen.
3. Read The Sandbox by Edward Albee (Handout)
4. Read excerpt from As You Like it by William Shakespeare (Handout)
Final Exam Questions
Choose 2 of the following questions and answer in a fully developed essay of at least 1 ½ pages (50 points each). Make sure both essays indicate in the heading the prompt they are answering. For example: Category 1: question 2, or Category 3: question 3. Essays should be combined into a single document and submitted through SafeAssign before midnight on May 10.
All essays must be developed around a clear thesis that identifies a universal theme. Although you need not write 5 paragraphs for each (but make sure the prompt is fully addressed), organize your argument using topic sentences that relate to your thesis statement. Use correctly integrated and cited quotations from the texts, and include a work cited entry at the end of each essay.
Note: You may NOT answer 2 questions from the same category.
In Albee’s The Sandbox, Grandma’s speeches are markedly different depending on whom she is addressing. Why?
What is the significance of the setting, including props, in The Sandbox?
Considering the textbook’s descriptions of the types of drama, is The Sandbox a tragedy, a comedy, a farce, a social drama, a tragi-comedy, etc., or does it fit more than one type? Consider the theme you perceive and how Albee’s manipulation of dramatic genre seems appropriate in conveying it.
Read Shakespeare’s famous “All the world’s a stage” monologue (As You Like It: Act 2, scene 7), spoken by Jaques. How might Albee be echoing Shakespeare’s words?
In Trifles, how does Susan Glaspell’s title reflect the theme of her play?
In Trifles, the women conspire to conceal evidence that would incriminate Mrs. Wright. Why do they do so and, in your opinion, are their actions morally justifiable, or at least understandable?
CSI:CSM – Imagine you are a detective assigned to Mr. Wright’s murder case. How would you establish motive? (Note: Incorporating a theme will be tricky, but your thesis must make an argument. Considering the male characters’ attitudes to women’s issues, or their lack of attention to “insignificant” details, will help.)
What is the significance of setting, including physical and period, to the theme of Trifles?
What is the significance of A Doll House’s being set during Christmas and New Year?
How are symbols and metaphors used to illuminate the theme of A Doll House? (Please remember there is no actual doll house in the play and it is therefore NOT a symbol!)
Compare and contrast Nora Helmer and Christine Linde.
Discuss sisterhood in A Doll House.
Although Nora Helmer obviously suffers from the limitations placed on women of her era, how might Torvald be considered equally subject to society’s expectations?
Discuss the idea of women’s autonomy in 19th century European society as portrayed in A Doll House.
Discuss Ibsen’s apparent implication that character traits are hereditary
Questions used from each category is completely up to you, but I emphasize that only 1 question can be used from any category and you can only pick 2 questions!
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