• April 6th, 2016

Stranger Than Fiction: Paper 2 Assignment

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

For your second formal assignment, write a 800-1000 word paper (about 3 to 4 pages, typed and double-spaced in MLA format) based on the topics below or a topic that has been approved by me.
IMPORTANT: Your paper should have a clear thesis statement — a one- or two-sentence statement that summarizes the major point you will be advancing in the paper. This thesis statement generally appears in the first paragraph. Subsequent paragraphs should focus on key ideas in support of your thesis. The paper should end with a concluding paragraph. For help and more tips, use the resources available in our Content area and in our Penguin Handbook

**Remember, if I cannot open your file, you cannot receive credit for the assignment — so make sure your file is in a pdf or Word format, preferably Word**
Essay Topics
Choose ONE of the topics below for your paper, comparing or referencing any two texts from the list of stories we read: Carter, Chopin, Dandin, Eighner, Ellison, Ha Jin, King, Modisane, Nanda, Oates, O’Brien, Orwell, Rash, Vonnegut, Wiesel. * You must cite at least two of these stories in your paper at least once, which means your Works Cited page will have at least three sources cited (the two stories + the movie). You may use more stories that we have not read from your text book if you choose, as long as they are relevant in supporting your thesis. Be sure to use specific, ample references from the text and your source to support your points. You only need to use two total, although you will likely need more for this length of a paper. However, do not feel you need to overly saturate your paper with quotes or paraphrases. Cite all quotations and references in proper MLA style and include a Works Cited page as the final page of your essay.

1) How does the setting of Harold Crick’s life and Karen Eiffel’s make the story line believable? They both live isolated existences with few, if any, acquaintances. George and Hazel are isolated in Vonnegut’s story, which helps make the futuristic plot believable since there are not other characters distracting from the idea that they are trapped in the conditions of a handicap-based futuristic society. In Stranger than Fiction, if the other characters were more present or if these main characters all had families, this might disrupt the credibility of the plot. Consider other settings from other stories to investigate in supporting your thesis as well.

2) In the movie, Harold Crick’s life becomes a story narrated by a famous writer, Karen Eiffel. What role does an author have in constructing other people’s fates and what is the significance of an author as God? While this topic may seem broad, look at how stories we read could have been changed with different possible outcomes. For example, in King’ story, we are left hanging on the hope that a house will turn on its lights in order for the narrator not to commit suicide. What if Alfie did commit suicide? How would that change the outcome of the story? There are other turning points in the stories we read where the plot gradually or suddenly shifted to a surprising fate for the characters involved.

3) Would this movie have had the same effect if it ended as Karen Eiffel had initially planned to write it– as a tragedy? Why or why not? Consider the stories we read—would any of these great works have been discarded as mediocre works if the character’s conflicts were resolved into endings that would be considered a comedy instead of a tragedy? What if Oates had decided that Connie was taken away by Arnold Friend to a surprise birthday party? This would have completely changed the story and it would have lost its tragic, creepy effect. What other stories could have been changed? How would you change them? You can be creative here—just back up your ideas with logic and support.

4) The film derives its title from a quote by American satirical author Mark Twain. “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” This past year has been one of many incredible events with extreme weather and social unrest in Charleston, around the world, as well as in astronomy (blood moons) which rival many works of fiction. Are there any specific events that have happened this year or are currently happening that you believe are more incredible than the works of fiction we read? If so, explain using examples from the news (you may use news Internet sources—not Wikipedia) and compare and contrast the truth of these events versus the fictional plots from at least two of any of the stories.

Works Cited
Stranger Than Fiction. Dir. Marc Forster. Perf. Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, and Emma Thompson. Warner Home Video, 2006. DVD.

How to cite a quote from the movie:
While brushing his teeth, Crick cries out, “Who said that? Who said Harold Crick brushed his teeth seventy-two times?” (Stranger Than Fiction).
Harold introduces himself to Karen, “I’m Harold Crick. I’m your main character.” (Stranger Than Fiction).

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