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ENG 112.3: Reading Drama
Formulate a thesis based on one of the following topics—or on a topic of your own devising with permission from the instructor—and write a carefully organized essay of 4 to 6 pages (target length, double-spaced) developing your argument. The essay should follow MLA layout and style, as outlined in Requirements for Essays. Two plays and at least one scholarly secondary source are required for this essay, but any sources that you consult and/or quote from should be acknowledged in the body of the paper as well as in the Works Cited and Consulted page. Please ask if you have any questions regarding citation style or practices.
- The place of the past for Minnie Wright in Trifles and Christine in Where the Blood Mixes. How does a disconnection from a past identity play a part in each woman’s present? In what ways do Minnie and Christine accept or resist definitions of their identities, and what support do they receive? By the end of the plays, how has each character’s sense of selfhood changed and what does that change signal?
- Viola and June as social leaders. What is similar about the kind of role that Viola and June play in relation to the men of their societies? How does their use of language relate to the main conflict, and especially in terms of Olivia and Christine? What is their role in relation to the climax of the plays, and what is the difference—if there is a difference—in how the plays end for the women according to the status of their communities?
- Stockmann and Floyd as father figures. How are the men defined at the beginning of the plays in relation to their families, and especially in relation to their daughters? What role do Petra and Christine play as Thomas Stockmann and Floyd deal with the pressures of their societies’ expectations of men? By the end of the plays, have these fathers assumed the social role of the strong and single-minded patriarch, or do they suggest a new kind of relationship between and among family members?