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Volume C of The Norton Anthology of American Literature
Midterm Exam (20%)
Essay Response: 3-4 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font, Times New Roman
Due Monday, January 28, 2019 at 11:00pm (CT)
Please select one of the following three prompts and develop an essay in response to it. Your
essay should have an introduction with a thesis, main body paragraphs with topic sentences, and
a conclusion that wraps up. You must also incorporate direct references to the literature in the
form of quotes and brief summaries. Remember: the stories are your objects of study. Use them
to substantiate and support your claims and observations. Secondary sources are not required;
however, if you do utilize an outside resource, then you must cite it according to MLA guidelines
(8th edition).
When you complete your exam essay, please upload it to the TurnItIn portal on Moodle.
Option One
Select one of the following regionalist / local color stories: Chesnutt’s “The Goophered
Grapevine” or Garland’s “Under the Lion’s Paw.” Develop an essay that discusses the
relationship between geography and human identity. Your essay should take into consideration
specific features of the story (e.g. its use of dialect), and you should illustrate how those features
communicate ideas about place and identity in American literature.
Option Two
Develop an essay that describes how and why Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story “The Yellow
Wallpaper” can be classified as Naturalist literature. Furthermore, describe how the story is
shaped by and responds to social and historical forces in the late-nineteenth century.
Option Three
After watching filmmaker Robert Enrico’s 1962 adaptation of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek
Bridge” (posted to Moodle), develop an essay in which you discuss how the short film reflects
and/or deviates from the Naturalist aspects of Bierce’s story. Do not evaluate whether the film is
“better than” or “worse than” the story. Instead, compare specific features of the story to specific
features of the short film and assess the extent to which the film portrays the principles of
Naturalist literature.


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