Fall 1998

Earl Jackson, Jr.

Final Exam Questions

Choose one question from those below. Answer it in a 5-7 page paper, double-spaced, with sources cited, bibliography and footnotes. Secondary sources of course are required. The paper should demonstrate a facility with critical thinking and research. The papers are due no later than 5pm 18. December (meaning I must receive them by this time and date, therefore allow time for mishaps). Because of the Graduate Student Strike, I would deeply appreciate finals earlier than the absolute deadline. If you prefer you own question, or wish to alter one of the questions below, please send me a message to this effect along with the proposed question.

  1. Do a reading of the scene in Strangers on a Train in which Guy kills Bruno’s father in terms of jouissance.
  2. Do a narratological reading of the murder of Bruno’s father in Strangers on a Train.
  3. Develop a multi-level reading of the disfigurations (or perhaps, dis-figuration) in Savage Night.
  4. Compare and contrast at least one passage each from Odds Against Tommorrow and The Heat’s On in narratological terms and in terms of the respective racial systems operative in each novel.
  5. Develop a „poetics of space“ that you find operative in The Heat’s On.
  6. Read the Robert’s insect drawings and their function in The Cry of the Owl against the Derwatt paintings in Ripley Under Ground.
  7. Define the death drive as you see it operative in the narrative of Savage Night and one other text we have read, then do a contrastive analysis of each, making sure that the comparison has a clearly articulable point.
  8. We necessarily presume that a text is situated within a genre. Explain how certain „genres“ seem to be „contained‘ within (or, more accurately) figured within The Letters of Mina Harker, and how this figuration affects the narrative.
  9. Do a narratological reading of a single passage in The Letters of Mina Harker, in which at least one film figures prominently. Be sure to have seen that film or films and include in your analysis specific ways in which the films are transformed by their use here.
  10. Take at least one story from The Medicine Burns and develop a theory about its particular „suspense,“ perhaps in terms of an emotive-affect tension between aftermath and anticipation.
  11. A collection of Argento’s occasional writings was once published in Italy under the title, „Profundo Thrilling„. Using the films you have seen, develop a definition of this term as a keyword for understanding the aesthetics and philosophical positions derivable from the Argento œurvre.
  12. Why are the owls not what they seem?

To The Syllabus

To Net One

To Net Two

To the Help Folder

To Peer Inspiration:

Nichole Kydreos on The Killer Inside Me

Teresa Suarez on The Killer Inside Me

Meghann McCracken on „Authenticity and Subjectivity“ in Fools and The Talented Mr. Ripley.