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Avoid the Hustle


Category: Literature

Please choose 4 of the following 6 “mini essay” questions. Your answers should be carefully explained, between 300 and 400 words each (not altogether), and include examples from the text to support your points. You do not need to structure your answers in essay form: a single long paragraph or two is fine.

1. Discuss three symbolic images in Waiting for the Barbarians and how they add meaning to the novel.

2. Compare and contrast the relationships depicted between men and women in So Long a Letter and Waiting for the Barbarians.

3. Discuss the following passage from Waiting for the Barbarians (what it means, and what is important about it in relation to the book):

“What has made it impossible for us to live in time like fish in water, like birds in air, like children? It is the fault of empire! Empire has created the time of history.”

4. What is the meaning of the recurring symbol of the black eye surrounded by white light in Woman at Point Zero?

5. Compare and contrast women’s position in marriage as represented in So Long a Letter and Woman at Point Zero.

6. Explain the role of money in family and marital relationships in Ba’s and Saadawi’s novels.

Please write an essay (between 600-800 words) with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, based on the following question. You should take care to explain and detail your ideas, and then support them with specific examples from the texts.

1. Power as an intoxicating and deforming force appears as a theme in every novel we have read this term. Please discuss power and its effect on the individual, male and female, powerful and powerless, in Coetzee’s, Ba’s, Saadawi’s, AND Wright’s novels. Then in your concluding paragraph, briefly explain what a way forward might be, for humanity to move beyond systems of exploitation.