English 262                                                                                              Dr. Morillo

English Literature II                                                                                Section 005



                                                   Paper Topics for Second Paper



All papers are due Tuesday, April 16, at the start of class.  Late papers that come in one class

later will be automatically penalized by one letter grade and are strongly discouraged.  No

papers will be accepted more than one class later.  Plagiarism is stealing so don't do it--anyone

plagiarizing will receive an F for the paper.


You are to pick one of these questions and write a well-organized essay about it.  Your paper will be at least 6 full pages and no more than 8 full pages, typed/computer-printed double-spaced, with standard margins (top & bottom=1” sides=1.25”).


1. How effective is the first section of The Giaour (lines 1-168), up until the fragmented tale of the Giaour, Hassan, and Leila begins, as an introduction to the whole poem? Are the ideas raised in that first section relevant to all of the rest of the poem? To only some of the rest of the poem?  How would you relate the introductory section to the last section of the poem (ll. 787-1334), the part set in the monastery?  Despite being presented as a series of fragments, does the poem manage to tell one complete story?


2. What is the significance of those strange, echoing Marabar caves in the middle of the story in Forster’s A Passage to India?  Develop an interpretation of the novel that considers the “Boum” of these caves (heard by Mrs. Moore, Dr. Aziz, and Adela) in relation to the rest of the story that unfolds both in and beyond the caves.  Why is this odd sound at the center of the story?


3. Write a critical review of David Lean’s film adaptation of A Passage to India.   Consider how well the film captures the novel; whether there are things that it revises and whether those revisions seem justified; what it does best compared to the novel; what it does worst.  Remember, don’t just describe or summarize the book and movie, make an argument about the relation of the two.  Is it as good as the book? Is it better than the book? You can rent it from North American Video, and it is readily available elsewhere on video.  If you’d like to do this paper question but can’t get a copy or need to use a school VCR, see me.


4. Over the course of his life story we gradually come to see what Equiano thinks it means to be English.  What, however, does it mean to him to be an African and to be black? Is he proud of his cultural heritage? Of his race?  Use specific evidence from the text to support your answer.


5. Propose and answer your own paper question about anything on the syllabus after Swift. Remember that it must be a topic that can be managed in this length essay, so be careful to make the question small and focused enough.  If you choose this option, and I encourage you to do so, you ought to see me about your topic, either in person in my office, or via email (morillo@unity.ncsu.eud)or phone (515-4163).



Advice for a better paper:


·        be sure to answer the question

·        try to get a complete statement of the thesis of the paper at the end of the introduction, not the end of the paper

·        give your paper a meaningful title, one that contains some key word(s) from your argument

·        take the time to rewrite so that the structure of your argument and the placement of your points is that of a revised paper rather than a first or early draft

·        have someone else read a draft before you rewrite it

·        when you come up with your thesis statement be sure it makes a claim that someone could possibly disagree with

·        the longer your direct quotations from any text the more obliged you are to discuss in detail what you quote

·        if you summarize be sure that there's a point to what you choose to recap.  I know the texts well enough that mere plot summary is unnecessary and takes away from time you could spend developing your own thesis

·        avoid any generalizations about history or literature that you cannot support

·        be sure to proof with your eyes and dictionary, not just your spell-checker