Revelle Humanities 4.

Winter 2019 Professor Todd Kontje Second Paper Prompts. Due Thursday, March 7 Essays should be a minimum of 5 full pages in length (no more than 7) in the Humanities format (see Mechanics section in Humanities Program Writing Handbook). A counterargument is required. Only cite from the assigned editions of texts following the instructions in “Formatting Citations and Quotations” in the Humanities Program Writing Handbook. The papers are due at the beginning of lecture on Thursday, March 7. Please upload the electronic version to ‘’ and bring a hard copy of your essay to your TA in a plain manila folder with your name on the tab. Include all previous Humanities essays in the folder. For the late essay policy review your TA’s syllabus on the course website. Please respond to ONE of the following prompts. You must include a counterargument.

1. Romanticism can mean many things, but it certainly includes the idea of passionate, allconsuming love, in contrast to the calculating sexual politics of the Old Regime. But the movement that released new feelings and gave new freedoms to men often left women constrained by traditional family expectations and the widespread belief that they should curtail their passions and devote themselves to their duties in the domestic realm. The Sorrows of Young Werther and The Marquise of O tell memorable tales of women who are pursued by men who claim that they ardently adore them, and yet the stories turn out quite differently for the female protagonists: Lotte resists Werther’s advances to the end, whereas the Marquise marries her rapist. Write a thesis-driven essay supported by judicious use of textual evidence to explain why each female character decides to act as she does. Questions you might want to consider include: To what extent, if any, do the female characters bow to social pressure and repress their own desires? To what extent, if any, do they resist expectations and assert their independence?

2. The Enlightenment introduced the idea of inalienable human rights and the American and French Revolutions sought to turn theory into practice, establishing nations in which citizens shared liberty, equality, and fraternity. In reality, however, inequalities remained and not all were included in the fraternal embrace. Write a thesis-driven essay supported by judicious use of textual evidence to explore the role of the social outcast in the fiction of Heinrich von Kleist and Mary Shelley. For Kleist, please focus on either Donna Josefe in The Earthquake in Chile or Toni, the tragic heroine of The Betrothal in Santo Domingo; for Shelley, consider Victor Frankenstein, his monster, or both.

Questions you might want to consider include: why are these characters excluded from mainstream society? To what extent, if any, are they to blame for their isolation? To what extent, if any, are they the victims of social prejudice? How do they respond to their social ostracism and with what, if any, success? 3. Ever since Rousseau declared that the first step out of the state of nature was the beginning of the end of human happiness, romantic writers sought to envision the possibility of paradise regained. Write a thesis-driven essay supported by judicious use of textual evidence to explore crime, punishment, and possible redemption in two of the following works: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”; The Earthquake in Chile; Frankenstein (please note: you can choose between Coleridge and Kleist, but you must write about Frankenstein). Questions you might want to consider include: what act or actions cause the fall from grace in these works? What are the consequences of the transgression? To what extent, if any, do the works come to a sense of resolved conflict and regained harmony?


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