Here is the right one.

A Doll?s House

  1. As in fiction, characters in plays are motivated to behave as they do. In plays, however, we are almost entirely dependent on dialogue to learn about their motivations, since we do not have access to their thoughts. Playwrights, therefore, have to give us enough information through what characters say, or what other characters say to or about them, to help us understand their motivations.

Write an essay in which you analyze the gradually unfolding motivations of the

main characters of A Doll?s House: Nora, Torvald, Kristine Linde, Nils Krogstad,

Doctor Rank.

  1. Despite its age and language of composition, A Doll?s House continues to be produced on stage, retranslated, filmed, and obviously, included in textbooks. While it?s easy to say, ?Most of this doesn?t happen now,? the fact remains that this play attracts large numbers of viewers and readers. For some, it is an early feminist play. But is that really the only reason modern readers/viewers can appreciate A Doll?s House?

Write an essay identifying the several concerns in A Doll?s House that continue to appeal to contemporary readers/audiences.

  1. ?. . . I think the tragic feeling is evoked when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing?his personal dignity.? (Arthur Miller, ?Tragedy and the Common Man,? in Kennedy and Gioia, 1831.) Later in the same essay, Miller states that the tragic view requires the author to ?question absolutely everything . . . the need of man to wholly realize himself is the only fixed star, and whatever it is that hedges his nature and lowers it is ripe for examination? (1833).

Write an essay in which you explain, using Miller?s definition of ?tragic,? why A Doll?s House might be experienced as a tragedy. Or, why it isn?t a tragedy.

To do this, you will need to read all of Miller?s essay, which is on pp. 1831-33 of your textbook. Pay special attention to his statements about pathos, failure and optimism. (The point here is not to dispute Miller?s view of tragedy as opposed to the classical definition, but to carefully examine Ibsen?s play, which has been called a tragedy by some, in the light of Miller?s essay.)

Remember to use material from the play to show what Ibsen is questioning, and how Ibsen develops Nora?s character.

For One Act Plays or A Doll?s House

  1. If none if the above topics is to your liking and there is something you would like

to write about that isn?t a summary or a play report, write it down as a topic and

I?ll see if it?s okay.

For all topics: Include a statement of the theme of each play, and use the terms for analyzing plays as appropriate. Whichever topic you choose, plan your essay. Do an outline that includes your thesis statement, topic sentences, major ideas, and support for your ideas from the play(s).

In addition, I would like you to do some library research for this essay. (Don?t panic!) You might want to read reviews of the plays from the time they were first produced, and now. Or, you can do some research on the authors of the plays, to see if that helps you develop new insights about the plays. (This doesn?t always help, but it can!) Obviously you can?t learn a lot about Jane Martin, but research will help you learn about her plays, their success, and who seems to like them.

You should include what you learn from your research in your essay where it helps support what you are writing about the plays, and, of course, you should give full references to works you use in your essay on your Works Cited page.

Remember that you have a chapter on doing research in your textbook.

Length of essay: 4-5 pages, plus Works Cited page and Reflection.

Review the ?CHECKLIST: Writing About a Play? on p. 1170. Use the checklists for particular types of plays as needed.

Remember that you should identify the play(s) and name of the writer(s) you are writing about in your first paragraph, and that you should state your thesis clearly in the first or second paragraph of your essay, depending on the type of introduction you?re using. As always, stay focused on supporting your thesis with material from the work(s) you?re analyzing, as well as your own ideas, and be sure to double check for accuracy of quotes, facts, etc.

Avoid summarizing what happens in the plays. Assume that readers of your essay have read the play(s).

Be especially careful to avoid critical thinking errors. Remember not to judge characters and their actions by your personal beliefs, values, etc. (If this is a potential problem, you can do the critical thinking tutorial on Facts, Inferences, and Judgments. You can also talk with me or someone at the Writing Center.)

Check your textbook to be sure you have the correct format for all works cited in your essay and on the Works Cited page. The chapter on research papers can help you cite sources other than the plays and the textbook in MLA format.

All play titles should be put in italics both in your essay and on your Works Cited page. Your entry for A Doll?s House, for example, should like this:

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll?s House. Trans. R. Farquharson Sharp. Rev. Viktoria

Michelsen. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and

Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 12th ed. New York:

Pearson, 2013. 1598-1650. Print.

(The other plays do not have a translator and have not been revised, so you do not need to include the third and fourth parts of the above entry.)

General Information:

Remember to make appointments early for conferences with instructors at the Writing Center. The closer we get to the end of the semester, the harder it may be to find open times.

Once again, avoid slang and use of second person pronouns (you, your), and remember to use present tense when writing about literary texts.

Please proofread carefully. Be sure to apply the material from any tutorials I?ve asked you to do. Basic grammar errors will result in a lowered grade on your essay.

Remember to use a variety of sentence structures.

You already have the schedule of dates for everything that?s due for this essay.

Your Reflection should include your thoughts about the final version of this essay, how it compares to the first two essays, what you think you might have done better, etc. I?m interested in what you?re learning about your own writing and about your critical thinking skills.

As always, if you have questions, ask!

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