Posted: September 18th, 2017
A traditional, comparative literary analysis essay in which you explore the “anti-hero’s journey” across texts. The essay needs to be 6-7 pages (double-spaced) in length.
You will need to reference and quote from at least three literary texts read in class as examples. You may cite any three literary texts read over the course of the entire semester, and you can cite one text multiple times and discuss multiple examples from the same text. It would be a good idea to reference “The Hero’s Journey” given in the Week One Course Concepts folder as a starting point. However, you do NOT have to stay within the parameters of “The Hero’s Journey” and can modify the journey to reflect this course’s discussions and your interpretations. In fact, it might be better for you to deviate from those parameters and create your own.
You will also need to conduct research in literary journals and be required to reference and quote at least two literary journal articles about the literary texts and/or the hero’s journey or anti-heroes in the essay. The final project should follow the formatting requirements given below in the Assignment Descriptions section of the course menu.
Please refer to the textbook Arguing about Literature Chs. 4 and 6 for help on how to construct a comparative literary analysis and conduct research. Your thesis should be argumentative but valid (meaning that there is room to debate and disagree with your arguments but that you can prove your argument to be a possibility with evidence from the literary texts and journal article). The thesis should go at the end of the introduction paragraph. The rest of the paper should build that thesis argument with evaluation of specific evidence (scenes, dialogue, quotes, character examples) from the literary text, and/or quotes from the journal article.
Referencing the elements of a hero’s journey, formulate a “map” of the anti-hero’s journey. What would be considered essential adventures and trials in the journey? How and why does the anti-hero deviate from the hero’s journey?
What role does external temptation play in the anti-hero’s journey? Do you believe that all anti-heroes start out with good intentions, in the same place as heroes, and then are tempted from that path at some point? Or, do you wish to argue that anti-heroes start from fundamentally different places than heroes? Do they have completely separate and different paths?
What role does madness and/or inner conflict play in the anti-hero’s journey? Heroes encounter challenges and trials; do anti-heroes, in contrast, encounter self-doubt and psychological trauma?
A hero’s journey (usually) ends with a triumphant (or at least, wise and experienced) return home. How does the anti-hero’s journey end? Are anti-heroes allowed some sort of happy ending or return? Or, because of their loss of heroic status at some point, are they doomed to forgo the happy ending? Or, is returning home even considered a happy ending for an anti-hero; do they get to experience an alternative to the hero’s happy ending?
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