Write an essay discussing the possible significance of disability in any two of the literary texts we have studied so far this term. Also include support from at least one of the critical/theoretical readings. Writers are encouraged to enrich their essays with examples from additional texts and recommended films.
Literary texts: Acts 8 and 9 (KJV; the blinding of Saul/Paul), Ovid’s Metamorphoses (the blinding of Tiresias) and Milton’s Samson Agonistes, Shakespeare’s Richard III, Ambroise Pare’s Of Monsters and Marvels, Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Milton’s “When I Consider How My Light is Spent,” Homer’s Odyssey; Stan Lee’s “The Origin of Daredevil,” Keller’s The Story of My Life, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
Critical/theoretical texts: Mitchell & Snyder’s “Narrative Prosthesis”; Kemp’s “No Pity Please”; Longmore’s “Screening Stereotypes”; Rodas’ “overcome and overcoming”; Johnson’s “Unspeakable Conversations”
Recommended films: The Miracle Worker, The Wizard of Oz, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; Richard III; X-Men; Million Dollar Baby; The Sea Inside; Avatar.
This is an open-book test. Students are encouraged to think about essays, to choose materials (including likely quotations), and to outline the essay in advance. Students are welcome to reuse excerpts from writing already done for short assignments. On the day of the midterm, students may work from these notes, but the essay may not be written out in advance. The essay must be neatly written in dark ink on full-sized (8.5 x 11) sheets, using one side only. There is no set word-length for the essay; a substantial response is expected, but students are advised to bear in mind that the class session is little more than an hour.