Postmodern Literature Essay 1

Prompt:  Both Waiting for Godot and Slaughterhouse-Five offer dark views of human nature and human life on Earth, but which, in your opinion, is darker and why?  Support your views with ample textual examples. 


Rules: (a) Suggested length: 750-900 words (3-3 pages) following MLA format (see MLA style conventions document in the General Course Files folder. (b) Essay must be handed in at the start of class on the 23rd.





1)    Your first paragraph should be a clearly drawn thesis summarizing your conclusions. Don’t save core ideas for later; state your complete answer to the prompt up front, saving specific details (examples) for body paragraphs. This first paragraph constitutes an argument that is understood to be yours, and you must then prove what you’ve asserted in body paragraphs with specific textual evidence. Be assertive and support your ideas. You need not use I when stating your opinions, but you may. Avoid references to “the reader,” “readers,” etc., which is generalizing (not all readers agree; state what you think).


2)    Human nature and human life are different concepts, the former related to human behavior (treatment of others, etc.) as well as the characters actions, mental preoccupations, and urges; and the latter related to life on earth and the characters physical existence (eating, sleeping, bodily functions, etc.) as well as conditions and forces to which the characters are subject. Thus, you need not view one text as the darker for both.


3)    End with a non-redundant conclusion. There is no need to restate your argument. Repetition does not make it more persuasive. Instead discuss something related to your topic i.e., related to these two works as a way of winding up your discussion, putting forth a final thought. There are many possibilities: How do the characters in the stories compare (the antihero-protagonists, the supporting characters, etc.)? Is one text more effective than another? Which author would you rather hang out with and why?




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