Exam 1 Study Guide
Note: This page 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.
You will not be able to use your book or notes on this exam. Bring notebook paper with you (no blue books) so that you can write the essay portion.
I. Format. Exam I will consist of three or four parts:
- Multiple-choice questions
- Identification questions
- Essay: 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)
- Twain, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” (61-66); from Old Times on the Mississippi (72-93); “A True Story”
- Jewett, “A White Heron” (194-202)
- Howells, “Editha” (111-121)
- Freeman, “A New England Nun” (204-212)
- Chopin, “At the ‘Cadian Ball” (213-222); “The Storm” (222-227)
- Zitkala-Sa, “The School Days of an Indian Girl” (428-438)
- Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, “Life Among the Piutes” (412-426)
- Norris, “A Deal in Wheat” (324-333)
- Chesnutt, “The Passing of Grandison” (228-242)
- Stephen Crane, “The Open Boat” and poems (334-358)
- Mena, “The Vine-Leaf” (898-904)
- Glaspell, Trifles (780-791)
- Sui Sin Far, “In the Land of the Free” (297-305)
III. Terms and Concepts (PowerPoints from lectures are available under Lecture Materials)
- Southwestern humor
- Local color or regionalism
- General information about early films that we saw (from your lecture notes and our discussion)
- A Corner in Wheat
- The Musketeers of Pig Alley
- The Immigrant
- Making an American Citizen
- Other material from lectures and discussions, including Laptop Days.
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 from different stories.
- 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.
3. Sample essay questions:
- Several of the works we’ve read have challenged social norms by showing characters that resisted them in the service of a greater good, such as legal or individual freedom, the preservation of nature, or some other higher order benefit. Write an essay in which you compare any two works and discuss what greater good the story promotes
- How are assumptions about how women should behave overturned in any two of the stories we’ve read?
- How do any two works (including films, if you wish) point out flaws in the vision that Americans had of themselves in the 19th- and early 20th-century? You may want to compare the two cultures in your essay.
- Define realism, naturalism, or regionalism and write an essay illustrating how one or two stories fit this definition.
- What means have writers such as Zitkala-Sa, Frank Norris, Charles W. Chesnutt, or Susan Glaspell used to protest injustices due to race, gender, or economic circumstances? Choose any two writers and show how they use literature or literary techniques to protest the treatment of a group being discriminated against.
- Closely analyze the following passage or poem [example] and discuss the literary features that the author uses to convey his or her point, including, if they are in the passage, repetition of words or phrases, contrast, parallel structures, shifting points of view, imagery, and symbolism. Remember, the overall idea is not so much to name the literary feature as to discuss the effect that it has on the reader.
- Animals have been used as symbols in a number of the works we’ve read. Choosing any two works, discuss the symbolism of the animals in the stories.