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Monday, July 24, 2017

Paper 3 Handout

ENGL 1213 / 2017/ Jennings
Paper #3: Literary Analysis

Due Date: August 7, 2017, by noon

Length:  Around three to five pages


Format:  MLA format 

Content:  This is a literary analysis of a work read in class. This semester we are reading Eleanor Arnason’s novella, Mammoths of the Great Plain. You should read the work more than once, taking notes and thinking about it. We will also read papers/essays written about the topics relevant to the novella, and we will talk about all this in class.

You should choose some question you want to discuss in your paper. You may choose one of the questions provided here, or create your own. Be sure to cite all sources correctly.

Sample Questions:
·         Arnason’s novella is a work of alternative history. In alternative history, actual history is mixed with the alternative or fictional history to create a new narrative. Choose one real historical event from the novella and research it. (Lewis or Clark and the events of their lives, for instance; or the loss of North American Megafauna.) How does Arnason change or the event? Why do you think she makes these changes?

·         Throughout the novella, characters are guided in their decisions by dreams. Yet many main characters are scientists. Are the scientific worldview and the mysticism of the dream world in conflict?

·         Many obvious symbols run through the novel – white mammoths, turkeys, hawks, trains. Choose one symbol, and discuss the use and development of that symbol through the novella.

·         Choose one character, either major or minor, and explain their role, motivation, and importance to the overall narrative. Explain why Arnason includes this character.

·         Choose one of the essays we read in class and use it to discuss some aspect of the novella. For instance, in “Child Socialization among the Lakota Sioux,” we read about how cultural transmission takes place among the Sioux. You might, for instance, use what you learned from this essay to discuss how Sioux culture is portrayed in the novella.


·         Any other question that occurs to you – if you’re not sure it will work, feel free to check with me! 

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