Midterm Questions

This is what will be on the third section of the midterm, except only two of these three essays will be present for you to choose from.

Essay Questions

Choose one of the following two questions and write an insightful, cohesive essay in response to each.  Be sure to have a clear thesis and support it with specific textual examples and careful analysis (64 points).

  1. Compare and contrast the posture or attitude of Emerson’s “transparent eye-ball,” Hank Morgan, and Ahab. This should entail careful definition and a consideration of the implications of this stance (or stances).
  2. Hank declares “Words realize nothing, vivify nothing to you, unless you have suffered in your own person the thing which the words try to describe.” Stubb proclaims, “Book! you lie there; the fact is, you books must know your places. You’ll do to give us the bare words and facts, but we come in to supply the thoughts.” Drawing on examples from these two novels, develop an argument that defines the powers and limits of books.
  3. What constitutes a healthy community? Answer this question by considering “Richard Cory,” the men on the Pequod, and one of the communities to which Hank Morgan belongs.