Written examination



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UNIVERSITETET
I OSLO

Institutt for litteratur, områdestudier og europeiske språk



WRITTEN EXAMINATION

AUTUMN 2014

2 pages

ENG1304 – American Literature, an Introduction

4 hours 1 December

You are allowed to use one English–English dictionary.

The question must be answered in English.

The answer must be written on copy-sheets.

Choose one of the following essay topics:


  1. Discuss the feminist aspects of one of the texts on the reading list.*
    You may NOT write about The Minister’s Black Veil, Bartleby, “Live Oak, with Moss,” Impressions of an Indian Childhood, or Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

    OR


  2. Compare and contrast the theme of desire in two of the texts on the reading list.*
    You may NOT write about The Minister’s Black Veil, Bartleby, “Live Oak, with Moss,” Impressions of an Indian Childhood, or Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

    OR


  3. Give interpretations of Emily Dickinson’s “There’s a Certain Slant of Light” and “I Like a Look of Agony,” making sure to discuss in detail how Dickinson’s poetic techniques (formal features) influence your interpretations. (Texts provided on page 2 of this exam)

    OR


  4. Discuss the relationship between Vladek’s story and Artie’s story in Maus: make sure to discuss how these stories relate to each other, and how Spiegelman uses his comic art to make connections between these stories.

*Reading list for questions 1 and 2: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Franklin’s Autobiography, Self-Reliance, The Yellow Wallpaper, Mrs. Spring Fragrance, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “The Young Housewife,” A Rose for Emily, A Streetcar Named Desire, Giovanni’s Room, “Daddy,” “In the Waiting Room,” Sula, Maus.

Emily Dickinson’s poems:

1.
There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;


We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,


'Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,


Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 'tis like the distance
On the look of death.

2.

I like a look of Agony,


Because I know it's true —
Men do not sham Convulsion,
Nor simulate, a Throe —

The Eyes glaze once — and that is Death —


Impossible to feign
The Beads upon the Forehead
By homely Anguish strung.


The grades will be published approximately 3 weeks after the exam date in Studentweb. You will receive an e-mail when the results are ready.
For an explanation of the grade obtained, please contact the exam coordinator, Kristin Berstad (k.m.berstad@ilos.uio.no) within one week after the exam results have been published. Remember to include your name and candidate number. The examiner will decide whether to give a written or oral explanation.

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