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Please answer the following TEN questions in a short essay format. Length varies according to the topic of each question. Some questions require a brief answer, some others a more detailed explanation.
Please answer the questions in the order in which they are listed and put a number for each answer corresponding to each question.
1/ Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself,” as we discussed in class, introduces a hermaphroditic notion of gender and makes its case as a “passionate argument for the androgynous union of strength and tenderness, sagacity and impulse.” What does the poet mean by that?
2/ Which of the authors you read in this course introduced the term Flaneur? Explain how the term resonates with some of the works you have read after the midterm. Provide specific examples from the texts to illustrate your views.
3/ What is the main difference between an epic poem and a regular poem? List a few central cases that exemplify best the distance between the two, as discussed in class and in your class notes (“Story of Writing”), and explained in my lectures. Use as examples works you have read for the course to illustrate your definition.
4/ What does “illegitimate language” mean in the context of our course? Which ONE author you have read associates with it and why?
5/ In the following passage in Ladies’ Paradise Zola writes:
It was the woman that they were continually catching in the snare of their bargains, after bewildering her with their displays. They had awakened new desires in her flesh; they were an immense temptation, before which she succumbed fatally, yielding at first to reasonable purchases of useful articles for the household, then tempted by their coquetry…
Who are “they”? And how does the above passage is to be understood in the context of the novel and its time?
6/In “Spleen LXXIX,” in your Anthology, Baudelaire writes, “Nothing can equal those days for endlessness/When in the winter’s blizzardy caress/Indifference expanding to ennui/Takes on the feel of Immortality.”
-What is the meaning of ennui in the context of this stanza?
7/ How is the title of Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go to be construed? What does the phrase “Never Let Me Go” manifest exactly and what does it mean specifically to the main character of the novel? (This question requires a definite rather than a theoretical answer.)
8/Would you characterize Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go as an example of Romanticism, Naturalism or Science Fiction, neither of the above or all of the above, and why? Support your answer with a well-informed perspective.
9/In this course we have read and discussed (before and after the midterm) certain poets whose work is highly autobiographical. Please list at least two of them and explain briefly why/how, in your opinion, the poems you’ve read by each of these two poets relate to their own lives?
10/Please define the term Naturalism. Then explain which of the authors you have read in this course is recognized a pioneer of Naturalism and why? Provide specific examples from the work of the author to support your claim.