Note: This is intended as a guide, but it may not cover everything. Material not listed here might appear on the exam. The notes you took in class should be your best guide.
Check the American Author pages at http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/aufram.html for other resources.
I. Format. Exam I will consist of three parts: one section of short answer or multiple-choice questions; one section of either identification questions or a short passage for close reading; and one essay question from a choice of two or three questions.
II. Works Covered (You should know title, author, main characters, and the significance of scenes and events)
- Louisa May Alcott, "Transcendental Wild Oats" (1873)
- Alcott, "Behind a Mask"
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance (1852)
- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
- Information from background lectures, including the visit to the MASC
- Hawthorne and Melville
- Alcott and women writers (domestic fiction)
- The genres of Moby-Dick
- Transcendentalism and utopian communities
- Other material from lectures and discussions
IV. Potential Essay Questions.
1. Essay questions may ask you
- To compare and contrast
- A specific aspect or character of the two works
- Two characters in the same work:
- Themes or ideas in the works
- Technique or style
- To analyze a passage through close reading as it relates to the work as a whole
- To address a larger theme or idea as it relates to the work
- To analyze a particular pattern of imagery or symbolism in a work
- To respond to a critic’s statement about the work
2. Your class notes and the discussion questions will be your best guides to potential essay questions. For example, we discussed extensively the contrasts in Moby-Dick ("lines" and community vs. isolation, individualism versus immersion in a greater whole, etc.) and the question of the narrator in both Moby-Dick and The Blithdale Romance, so those would be logical areas to review.
3. Sample questions. These are just samples; there is no guarantee that these will be on the exam.
- What is the role of "true womanhood" in the work we've read so far? Compare two characters (Zenobia and Priscilla, Zenobia and Jean Muir) and analyze what their ultimate fates say about the role of women.
- Examine the theme of community and isolation in Moby-Dick or The Blithedale Romance.
- Why does Ahab chase Moby-Dick?
- Identify and analyze any two patterns of imagery or symbolism in Moby-Dick.