Study Questions for Final
1. American writers seem especially interested in how characters construct their own identities what might be called self-making or self-invention and observing how these inventions work. Different characters use different materials to invent themselves: they might choose a new name, or define themselves according to, or against, an idea, a person, a place, or maybe some combination of these ways. Discuss the problem of self-making in works by the following authors, commenting on both how the characters and/or narrators construct themselves, and what conflicts result from the identities they create. James, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Cather, O'Connor, Kingston, Walker.

2.  In American literature the past often haunts the present, serving as a lesson, a burden, a mystery, or perhaps a source of freedom depending on one's perspective. Discuss the relationships that texts by the following authors construct between the present and the past. Consider how the characters and/or narrator think about or manipulate the past, and how the text itself might be structured to show relationships between the present and the past. James, Hemingway, Cather, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Kingston, Walker. 

  MOREOVER: For the quote identifications, the best answers will not only identify the quotation and its significance to the work, but also say something about the author's writing style. Frequently this semester we've discussed how a writer's style relates to theme or intention: for example, Twain's regional colloquialism, Whitman's all-inclusive lists, Frost's conversational Yankee persona, Cather's "unfurnished" style (suggesting "the thing not named"), Hemingway's spare, masculine language of harsh experience, and so on. 

Good Luck!!!
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