ENGL 212 Exam #2: Take Home Essays
Draft Due: November 7, 2017
Final Copy Due: November 9, 2017
*Hard copies due both days
Approximate page range= 4-6 double-spaced pages total
Answer both of the following prompts. You must use different texts for each answer. Each is worth 50 points for a total of 100 points.
1. In “Self-Reliance” Emerson states that a person “should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across [his] mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages” (684) or, as he later says, “Trust thyself.” Discuss how this theme develops in any literary work of 19th century American literature that we’ve read so far.
2. America has been and often still is viewed as an optimistic and forward-looking nation, but our histories are much of what defines even our forward motion. To what extent does history (the “past”) play a role in post-Revolutionary literature? To what degree does it matter? How? Be sure to reference specific texts and provide textual evidence when developing your answer.
As with the last essay exam, I will evaluate how well you focus on the question asked and use relevant examples from the literature to build a convincing argument/analysis, and how clearly that analysis is written, i.e. effective writing structure and style.
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