Sophomores were asked these questions on their recent semester exam. See how you would do. I love reading their answers. We adults have plenty of reason for hope, given the depth of their responses.
PARAGRAPH RESPONSE (A Doll’s House)
In her recent analysis of the novel, Frankenstein, a high school senior wrote the following: “If people are called something for so long, they will eventually turn into that very thing.” In other words, people start believing definitions that are frequently applied to them by others.
Using Torvald and at least one other character besides Nora, explain how much or how little of Nora’s self-perception (the way she sees herself) comes from other people’s views of her. How do the sources of her self-perception help explain the story’s outcome?
ESSAY RESPONSE (Oedipus Rex and Macbeth)
In the preface to his autobiography, former Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat writes the following : “This is the image I have had of myself . . . Now, as the landscape of my life unfolds before my eyes, can I claim that this image . . . has been realized?” (1)*
Near the end of their respective plays, how would Oedipus and Macbeth answer President Sadat’s question? What do these answers suggest about who is the wiser man?
*In Search of Identity, An Autobiography (NY: Harper & Row, 1977)