Final Exam Outline

here are the questions from which I will pull the final exam. You will be asked to write close readings of three of these four questions. In the meantime, you must write outlines for each of these questions planning how you will do each of the seven close reading moves. I just need an outline on how I am going to write the close readings I provided the 7 close reading moves. I hope this helps


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Final Exam Question Pool Spring 2018
1) As we’ve discussed, children characters can be particularly effective in communicating an author’s
interpretations of new technologies (think of I, Robot, Ender’s Game, and Grounded). Talkin’ About Bessie
is unique amongst our pilot stories because it begins in the pilot’s own childhood (rather than
depicting a pilot with children). If in our other texts children represent innocence, ability to change, or
the future, then how does this passage complicate our understanding of what “the child” means when it
shows up as a figure in literature:
“Bessie’s rag doll rested in a rocker / as its owner braced herself to face / a spring or summer, fall or
winter day / of hauling water from the well, / and mopping floors, and making meals atop / the old
wood-burning stove that warmed our cabin / Bessie’s days seemed endlessly tiresome to me / But she
just took each one in stride.”
Ultimately, what is Grimes trying to say about what makes an ideal pilot?
2) It seems counterintuitive to suggest that love is a legitimate war strategy. But this is precisely the
message of Ender’s Game. How are love and war being set up as one and the same in this quotation:
“And always Ender carried with him a dry white cocoon, looking for a place where the hive-queen
could awaken and thrive in peace. He looked a long time” (324).
Ultimately, Card suggests that we *need* love in war—but what place precisely does he think it
should occupy?
3) On the last Friday of class, we discussed two engineering concepts: hazard and risk. Use these
concepts to re-analyze this key line from “Avatar in Lahore”:
“The front of my barber’s shop is a big glass window with some fading posters on it. On the narrow
street outside are rows of parked motorcycles and cars. A bomb outside my barber’s shop would turn
that big glass window into shrapnel” (66). What hazards and resultant risks are being constructed in
this passage?
Ultimately, why does it matter to us that Hamid shows us these particular hazards and risks?
4) We might say that the protagonist of Grounded used the word “fuck” to deal with emotions she had
trouble handling. How is Theodore’s use of the word “fuck” in this line a deliberate strategy for
managing his overpowering emotions:
“Well, the room’s spinning cause I drank too much, cause I wanted to get drunk and have sex. There
was something sexy about that woman… cause I was lonely… maybe just cause I was lonely. I wanted
somebody to fuck me. I want somebody to want me to fuck them. Maybe that would have filled this ti… tiny little hole in my heart, but probably not… and sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever
gonna feel, and from here on out I’m not gonna feel anything new… just… lesser versions of what I’ve
already felt.”
Ultimately, why do these meditations on human emotions (and our difficulties processing them) show
up in texts about living in a technologically advanced society?
Close Reading Moves
1) The Catchy Opening: a hook that sets up the theme of your close reading for your audience.
2) The What-You-Might-Think: Explains a perspective the audience is likely bringing to the text,
something they assume to be true.
3) The But-You’re-Wrong: Explains how that perspective doesn’t help us understand the text in
4) The Seeming-Counter-Example: quickly analyzes an example from the text in order to dismiss a
5) The Argument: Supplies argument (thesis) & answers “so what?” question (why is your
argument important?)
6) The Key Passage: Analyzes key passage (3-5 sentences)
7) The Clincher: Hammers home your point – the big finish!

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