GERM 1027 Test Essay

The test consists of you writing two essay responses to the following themes.  As you will see, the themes are broad, so a big part of your response involves you creating a clear, specific thesis about your themes and discussing them in relation to two of the works that we have discussed in class.  And so, I would like you to discuss two works per essay, the ones by Zweig and Kafka.  Whereas for Kafka the only work is The Trial, for Zweig I would like you to discuss a different work for each of the two essays.

Here are the themes:

Power and Powerlessness

The Corruption of Society

Love and Hatred

Love and the Abuse of Love

The Role of Class

Morality and Immorality

The Role of Irony

Justice and Injustice

Literature and History

Learning and Failing to Learn from Experience

For example, you might look at the themes of power and powerless in The Trial and in “Letter From an Unknown Woman” or you might look at the role of class in “Fantastic Night” and The Trial, etc.  Some of these responses will inevitably become compare and contrast in structure; when it comes to such essays, structure your paper in terms of ideas instead of discussing one work for half the essay and another work for the other half. As with your previous essays, you must use proper essay structure:  a clear introductory paragraph that closes with a specific, strong thesis; paragraphs organized around topics that support your thesis and that are structured in a clear, logical way; a sense of transition from point to point; evidence from the text that supports your thesis and/or supporting points; and, finally, a strong conclusion.

As with the previous test, points will be gained or lost on the basis of how you use the texts to support your argument.  When it comes to quoting from the text in the exam, shorter passages can be quoted in their entirety, while longer passages can be quoted with the first few words, an ellipsis, and then the last words, e.g. “In general, the proceedings were kept secret … for the further course of the trial” (Kafka 82-83).  If you use the editions of the texts that we have been using in class, then you do not need to include the publication information at the end of the test; however, if you do use other texts, online or in print, then you must include their publication information (you will lose points if you do not).

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