Institutt f or litteratur, områdestudier og europeiske språk
TAKE-HOME EXAM
2011/SPRING
ENG2333: Multicultural American Literature
3 days
30.05.-03.06.2011
Submit your paper in Fronter (blyant.uio.no) no later than 03 June 2011, at 12.00 noon.
This exam consists of two parts. The first part is short answer (about ¾ to 1-page per
question,) and the second part asks you to write a short essay (about 4-5 pages.)
Part I: Short answer (40% of grade)
Choose 4 QUESTIONS from the options below, and write a ¾ to 1-page response for
each (about 3-4 pages total.) AT LEAST ONE of your four answers must be from the
“theory” list, though you are free to answer more theory questions if you wish.
Novels:
1. Briefly discuss how the history of American slavery contextualizes the novel Passing.
2. Briefly discuss the role of “home” in Kindred.
3. Look closely at the scene of John Smith’s birth and subsequent delivery to his
adoptive parents in Indian Killer, and give an interpretation of the significance of this
scene.
4. What is the significance of the following line from Dorothy Allison’s “One or Two
Things I Know for Sure”: “if we cannot name our own we are cut off at the root, our
hold on our lives as fragile as seed in a wind” (p.12).
5. Discuss what you think some of the “maladies” are that permeate The Interpreter of
Maladies.
6. Discuss the importance of the English language for the narrator of The
Latehomecomer.
7. Discuss the importance of the narrator’s voice in The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Theory:
8. Apply the concept of white privilege from Peggy McIntosh’s essay to one of the main
pensum texts.
9. Discuss the potential uses of the racial identity development model.
10. Discuss the significance of the following quote from Howard Zinn: “The historian’s
distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of
contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports…some kind of interest,
whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual” (p.8).
11. According to Stanley Fish, what is the difference between a “boutique
multiculturalist” and a “strong multiculturalist”?
Page 1 of 2
Part II: Essay (60% of grade)
Choose 1 question, and write an essay of about 4-5 pages. You are free to use the theory
or secondary readings for the class as background material in your essay, as well as the
articles about the novels I have posted on Fronter. Remember to cite these articles if you
use them. However, using secondary material is not a requirement. Also, choose a
different text than the one you wrote about for your obligatory essay.
1. Choose 1 text we read for class, and write an essay in which you discuss the idea of
“hybrid identities.” In other words, how does the text represent individuals who
belong to two or more cultural groups simultaneously? Also, try to answer why you
think it is important to represent hybridity.
OR
2. Survival—both personal and collective—is a major theme in almost all the texts we
read. Choose 1 text and write an essay in which you discuss this theme. As part of
your discussion, try to find scenes, images, or symbols in the text that represent this
theme of survival.
Explanation: For an explanation of the mark obtained: contact the responsible teacher of the
course no later than 1 week after the exam results have been published in StudentWeb.
Remember to include your name and candidate number. The examiner will then decide
whether to give a written explanation or call you in for an interview.
Page 2 of 2
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