The Plague – COVID19

The Plague – COVID19

General Instructions: The essay exam will consist of four questions, each of which you should answer in the form of an essay. To begin with for the questions in Part 1, you will write a short (+/-250 words) essay in response to each prompt. Secondly for Part 2, you will write one longer (+/-500 words) essay. Thirdly for each essay, you will need to provide textual support, including direct quotes, from the relevant course readings. Your completed exam is due to my Courses by 11:59pm on Monday, May 3. Please include all four responses in one document and upload it as a .pdf or .doc file. You do not have to include the text of the questions, but be sure to number your responses clearly.

Part 1: 3 questions, 5 points each For each question in this part of the exam, write approximately 250 words.1. Analyze a metaphor for disease used in one course reading of your choice. (The Plague, “The Tale of Plagues and Carnivals,” and Station Eleven) Describe in detail what the metaphor is and how it works. Some questions to consider: what aspect(s) of disease does the writer represent? What metaphor is used to depict them? Does the metaphor change or develop over the course of the text? How is the metaphor introduced (e.g. in the speech of a character or by a narrator)? 2. How do you think the future ten years from now will be different because of COVID? Be as specific as possible in your descriptions:

Further Description

What areas of life do you think will be affected most, which least? Will change be felt equally in different parts of the world or among different social groups? If you think things will largely stay the same, that’s fine—but be specific about why; why won’t an event on the scale of the COVID pandemic leave a lasting mark? Use at least two course readings (these may—but do not have to—include items posted to the COVID forums) to support your predictions.3. Choose one older or “pre-modern” text, and one more recent or “modern” text from the list below and compare the depiction of disease and the social response to it across the two texts. Are you more struck by the similarities or the differences between the older and more modern societies depicted in these texts?

Some areas you might look at, depending on the texts you choose: How is the mechanism of disease understood in each text? What kinds of causes are assigned to each plague or pandemic? Does the outbreak of disease lead to social division or cohesion? Pre-modern: Modern: Thucydides Camus Sophocles Sontag Boccaccio Wojna rowicz Defoe Delany Poe . Mandel Part 2: 1 question, 10 points For this question, your response should be roughly 500 words. Choose two of the three novels we read this semester (The Plague, “The Tale of Plagues and Carnivals,” and Station Eleven) and compare the writers’ choices about whose stories to include or emphasize, and which to exclude, or minimize in importance.

Additional Information

Whose voices dominate each story? What decisions does each writer make to steer the story towards certain characters or types and away from others? How might they have told their stories differently? Depending on the novels you choose, you may want to look at features like narration (who tells the story), dialogue (which characters do most of the talking), or time scale and sequencing (which parts of the story are lingered over vs. summarized quickly; whether the sequence of the story is linear or jumps around in time, etc.).

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