Humanities 202
MidTerm Examination

There will be two parts, Short Answer (Closed Book) and Essay (Open Book)


For the short answer section you will have to answer 10 out of 12 questions, broken down thusly:
Sonnets (2 Qs) Othello (3 Qs)
Walker/Wheatley (2 Qs) Equiano (2 Qs)
Douglass (3 Qs)
These questions all come from the homework questions from class, which can be found from the links page ,  specifically  those that emphasize:

Literary Terms (i.e. what are the characteristics of a Petrarchan Sonnet?)

Important Plot Aspects (What is the significance of the handerkerchief in Othello?)

Other Statement of Ideas (Why does Jacobs call New York a "city of kidnappers"?)


For the Essays, you will have to examine important themes in the slave narratives, including:
 
Religion Women
Family Language
Race Identity

Specifically, you will have a choice of three essays.  You will need to respond to one in a well-organized, well-supported (i.e. using specific quotes from the texts) discussion with a clear thesis.  
1. Compare the portrayal of women in two of the longer texts we have read thus far. Your choices are Othello, Equiano's Narrative, and Douglass's Narrative. You need to discuss at least two characters from each work that you examine.
2. Is Othello a tragic hero?  Explain, making specific reference to his actions and those of the other characters in the play, especially Iago and Desdemona.  Explain your ideas clearly and use direct quotes from the text to support your claims.
3. Using examples from all three of the slave writers (Equiano, Wheatley, and Douglass), explain the degree to which religion can be seen as both a positive and negative force in the lives of African American slaves. You may believe that it is one more than the other, which is fine, so long as you support your discussion with adequate examples from all three texts and organize your discussion effectively.


I want to stress the importance of effective Quote Incorporation.  For example, look at the following discussion:

As Jacobs relates, her grandmother was a very religious person. When her runaway son, Benjamin, is returned and expresses a loss of faith, she chastises him:  "'Don't talk so, Benjamin,' said she. 'Put your trust in God.  Be humble my child, and your master will forgive you'" (327).  Her strong religious beliefs actually serve to reinforce the superiority of the master, whom she presents as a type of representative of God Himself.

*Notice how I introduced the quote, presented the quote accurately, then explained its significance.
Also notice the format I used for the parenthetical citation, using the page number (as opposed to lines numbers for poetry or drama), as well as the proper punctuation.



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