ENGL 227

World Fiction

Essay #3

Write a 2-3 page (plus works cited page) on one of the following topics:

Sandra Cisneros “Barbie Q”

·       How does Cisneros use the world as reflected in the outfits and appearance of Barbie dolls to comment on the real world in which the two girls live?

Louis Erdrich “The Red Convertible”

·       Describe how the convertible reflects the changing relationship between the two brothers.

Joyce Carol Oates “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”

·       Describe Oates use of fairy tale elements in this story, including imagery, characterization, and plot.

Gish Jen “In the American Society”

·       What are the major differences between the two worlds, “His Own Society” and “The American Society,” described in the story? What do you think Jen is saying about immigrants and assimilation?

·       Describe Mr. Chang’s behavior toward and expectations of his employees.  What beliefs are reflected in his behavior?

Le Minh Khue “The Distant Stars”

·       How does the writer illustrate the differences between life in wartime and life either before or (as imagined or hoped for) after the war is over?  Think about the Hanoi scenes and the future plans the girls discuss.


Robert Olen Butler “A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

·       Discuss the issue of moral responsibility as it pertains to the major characters in the story

Leslie Marmon Silko

·       Describe the issue of identity in this story.  How does the writer use Native American myths to address the concept of identity?

Monica Wood “Disappearing”

·       Why does the narrator want to change her body? Relate this to her family, herself, and how others view her.

Ursula K. LeGuin “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

·       What do you think of the ones who walk away?  Who are they and what does their behavior signify?

Jhumpa Lahiri

·       What are the major conflicts in the marriage and hy does Shoba finally decide to leave Shukumar?

Hanif Kureishi “My Son the Fanatic”

·       Describe how the concept of assimilation differs between the generations.  Use details to illustrate these differences.  What is Kureishi saying about cultural assimilation in Britain?

ENGL 227 Essay #3—must finish it in 12 hour
John Smith Prof. C. Simmons English 227 30 January 2014 Gothic Imagery in Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter The word “gothic” gives a connotation of gloom, despair, and the decay of time. The grotesque and horrifying are used in Gothic literature for atmosphere, foreshadowing, and symbolism. Nathaniel Hawthorne is an early American example of a writer of Gothic tales. In “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” Hawthorne uses Gothic conventions to tell a story of dual natures and doomed love. In the opening scene, Giovanni, a university student and the hero of our tale, is shown to his new lodgings in Padua. Here Hawthorne utilizes two Gothic conventions to create a grim sense of foreshadowing: the ancient, ruined building, and the mysterious old woman. Giovanni’s lodgings are in a “high and gloomy chamber of an old edifice which looked not unworthy to have been the palace of a Paduan noble” (Hawthorne 178). He is reminded of Dante’s Inferno, and imagines that a member of this ancient household “[partook] of the immortal agonies” described in the poem (178). This foreshadows the “agonies” of Giovanni’s love for Beatrice, the heroine. Giovanni is with his new landlady, a strange and vaguely superstitious woman named “dame” Lisabetta. She makes frequent reference to the Virgin and the Saints, and directs Giovanni to the view of Dr. Rappaccini’s herb garden. She tells Giovanni that he may see Rappaccini and his daughter at work in the garden, cultivating plants that “are as potent as a charm” (179). Later in the story, Lisabetta is the means by which Giovanni and Rappaccini’s daughter Beatrice meet clandestinely in the deadly garden (187). The garden itself is the scene of the majority of Hawthorne’s Gothic symbolism and foreshadowing. It is dominated by “the ruin of a marble fountain in the centre, sculptured with rare art, but so woefully shattered that it was impossible to trace the original design from the chaos of the remaining fragments” (179). The fountain is beautiful, “rare,” and destroyed. It is a symbol for the dual nature of the garden itself, with its beautiful, deadly flowers; for Beatrice Rappaccini, who is beautiful, but literally poisonous; and the love/obsession Giovanni has for Beatrice, which is beautiful, but kills. In the end, the Gothic tone of Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter” portrays the dual nature of love and obsession in the story. Hawthorne brilliantly displays symbolism and foreshadowing as techniques by which an author can show the deeper meaning of surface imagery. Works Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Rappacini’s Daughter.” The Art of the Short Story. Ed. Wendy Martin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. 178-197. Print.