ENG 447/547 Examination #1 Format

Here is the format for our initial examination. The examination will have three parts: a quote identification section [50 points], an essay on Robert Coover's novel [100 points], and an essay on Thomas Pynchon's novel [100 points]. Strong responses to the essay questions will demonstrate familiarty with each novel by providing supporting evidence in the form of quotations and scene summaries selected from throughout each text.

Part I. Quote identifications. [50 Points].

I will send you a Word file containing the list of eight stories and quotations from five of the stories on the screen. You will type out your replies, using a different color font--preferably dark blue, and return the file to me before typing your two essay responses in a second Word file. For each numbered quotation, you will need to identify the story and author and then briefly [3-5 sentences] discuss how the quote is important to the story. Simply define the situation of the quote, its context in the story, and, when relevant, identify the speaker of the quote. Each response will be worth 10 points. Here is the list of relevant stories:

"Night-Sea Journey" by John Barth

"Ambrose His Mark" by John Barth

"Petition" by John Barth

"Lost in the Funhouse" by John Barth

"Title" by John Barth

"Margins" by Donald Barthelme

"Shower of Gold" by Donald Barthelme

"The Babysitter" by Robert Coover

Part II. Essay on The Universal Baseball Association, J. Henry Waugh, Prop. [100 Points] CHOOSE ONE TOPIC FOR YOUR ESSAY.

      1. Reading both The Universal Baseball Association[1968] and "The Babysitter" [1969] reveals that Coover was refining his craft and developing a more extreme metafictional experimentation as he moved from the novel to the short story. Write an essay in which you discuss similarities of content and form or technique between The Universal Baseball Association and "The Babysitter."
      2. Discuss the ending of Coover's The Universal Baseball Association. How does the final chapter complete thematic concerns addressed throughout the novel? That is, how does chapter 8 provide closure to issues raised by the initial seven chapters? In this essay, you might address Henry Waugh's character/state of mind, the novel's address to history, folklore, myth or issues of belief and faith, or mtafictional issues like the relation of authors tho their characters.

Part III. Essay on The Crying of Lot 49 [100 Points] CHOOSE ONE TOPIC FOR YOUR ESSAY [After we finish our discussion of the novel on Thursday, I will add a second topic choice to this document.]

      1. Select a character from the following list and discuss how that character functions to develop a thematic concern, further our understanding of a fundamental conflict in the novel, or serves to further our understanding of some aspect of Oedipa Maas. Your choices are Dr. Hilarius,Randolph Driblette, Genghis Cohen, Mike Fallopian, or David Janiak. If you would prefer to write about a different character--not Oedipa Maas--clear your choice with me after our discussion on Thursday.
      2. Discuss your response to the resolution of the novel. Does Pynchon's ending satisfy your expectations? If it does, explain how or why it it does. If it does not satisfy your expectations, explain why not.