|I. Theoretical Terms:
Choose one, define it and discuss the meanings as well as how they can be related to a literary/cultural text.
|II. General Questions:
Structuralism and Semiotics:
a structuralist reading of a soap opera (or some similar ones)
to reveal the ideologies hidden in it/them. Living in the age of
information, do we have the power to resist the ideological influences
of media? (To answer this question, don't just say yes or no.
Give examples of the influences and/or resistance.)
3. How does capitalism influence literature and/or our reading of literature? This is a very broad question. You need to find a focus yourself. For instance, you need to decide whether you want to talk about the capitalism in the nineteenth century (monopoly capitalism) or in the late nineteenth and first part of the twentieth century (nationalist capitalism) or contemporary capitalism (multi-national imperialism).
4. How is "society" written into literature? Is a text completely conditioned by its socio-historical background? How about the author as a social subject? Again, define what you mean by society, and be specific in choosing a certain society and a certain aspect of it (e.g. its class structure, its power relations, its colonial/postcolonial conditions, etc.) and its relations to a specific literary work.
5. Marx said, "Consciousness does
not determine life; life determines consciousness." (Or: It
is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the
contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.)
What does he mean? Can you find a text to illustrate his points?
6. Why do so many texts today call attention to their fictitiousness? (e.g. films, music videos, literature, photography, painting, M. Butterfly, The Icicle Thief, etc.) Why can't news report do the same? Or commercials?
role of the author:
8. The chapter on Deconstruction from our textbook says that there is no fixed nor singular interpretation of a text and that even the author cannot control his/her text's meanings. What do you think about this view? Use a text to illustrate your points.
9. Use Derrida's idea of differance to explain the different uses
10. How does M. Butterfly deal with gender+postcolonial issues through the switching of roles?
11. What kinds of power relations can
occur in between the colonizer and the colonized? Is the colonized
always powerless? Be specific about the context
for the (post)colonial subjects/texts you want to discuss. If you
see the immigrants as colonized, clearly define their experience of "internal
colonization." (Applicable texts: "Chinago," M. Butterfly,
12. Structuralism, deconstruction and postcolonialism all posit some theories about "language," what are their differences and similarities?
13. What is literary criticism?
a. Use the following pattern to discuss 3 of the various approaches you have learned; i.e. formalism, structuralism/semiotics, psychoanalysis, archetypal approach, feminism, marxism, postmodernism, postcolonialism.
b. Choose a text to practice the three approaches.
What aspects of the class are not covered by this final exam? What kinds of power relations or ideologies can be implied in concluding a course with a final exam? What are your reasons to be for or against having a final exam in a college course like this?