Literature as Works of the Imagination

Assignment 1 In this assignment we will begin to identify different examples of works of the imagination that we want to use in our essays and begin the reflection and critical thinking necessary to better understand how we want to talk about them Identify at least three works of the imagination (see Unit 1 Essay Assignment for what we are considering “works of the imagination” for this essay). Draft a paragraph on EACH example. Please include the following for each example: Examples may be from our class readings but it is not required. Please remember that for this essay we are assuming your reader knows nothing about you or the examples your are using including the class readings. Please finish this part before todays midnight. Thank you! Background In the first weeks of class we have have considered “literature” as “works of the imagination.” Or to put it another way literature as something that is made up. It may be based on something real but ultimately the artist has created something new that did not previously exist. Not only does an author use their imagination to create their work but we also use our imaginations to interact with their work. Another way to think about this is to simply consider your response to a particular work and explore why you have this particular response. Essay Prompts Please choose ONE of the options below: Option 1 How does your imagination allow you to interact with works of the imagination (i.e. visual art poetry plays fiction television shows movies video games or songs)? Option 2 The writer George Orwell has this to say in 1946: There is no such thing as a genuinely non-political literature and least of all in an age like our own when fears hatreds and loyalties of a directly political kind are near to the surface of everyone’s consciousness. Even a single taboo can have an all-round crippling effect upon the mind because there is always the danger that any thought which is freely followed up may lead to the forbidden thought (Orwell). Speaking of our current cultural and political climate Masha Gessen says: We live in a time when intentional systematic destabilizing lying—totalitarian lying for the sake of lying lying as a way to assert or capture political power—has become the dominant factor in public life in Russia the United States Great Britain and many other countries in the world. When we engage with the lies—and engaging with these lies is unavoidable and even necessary—we forfeit the imagination. But the imagination is where democracy lives. We imagine the present and the past and then we imagine the future (Gessen (Links to an external site.)). How does our current cultural and political climate impact how you interact with works of the imagination? Essay Requirements Requirements: at least 2 pages for essay everything your reader needs to know about the example; and explain how your imagination interacted with this particular example. Develop a thesis that directly responds to one of the two prompts above. To support your thesis discuss at least three specific works of the imagination and how you use your own imagination to interact with them. You may use examples from the class readings so far but it is not required. Please assume your reader knows nothing about you or the works you are discussing. Please make your essay at least 2 pages long. Please type double-space and format your essay in 12-point font with 1-inch margins. Please provide a title to your essay. See grading rubric for further details.

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