Your final project is an individual essay over Quammen’s story. In a well-developed essay using concrete specifics as well as direct quotations from the text, discuss David’s change from a self-centered boy to a young man matured by tragedy. While David and his father seem at first to be very different people, David draws on his father’s experience and wisdom–and other defining characteristics that we witness through his son’s observations–to complete his difficult journey. How does David’s journey out of the woods show this arc in his character? How does the way he confronts the various obstacles illustrate this change?
Your essay should start with a short introduction that builds to a specific thesis statement, which is the overall opinion that you are attempting to prove.
The body of the essay should begin with what we learn about David, his attitudes and opinions that are revealed through his own observations at the opening of the story.
As you move through your essay, build to where the story changes tone due to the snowfall, the dead cub. How does David start to become more like his father? How do David and his father’s roles begin to shift. Be specific here as this is the heart of your argument: how does David take on the qualities of his father to survive their journey. What are these specific qualities, and how are they illustrated in both their actions and in their interactions? How does this experience change David? How does he illustrate the moral and psychological growth that defines a Bildungsroman?
Finally, provide a short conclusion that rephrases your thesis and that briefly summarizes your main ideas.
Proofread your essay. Weed out any unclear sentences or typing errors. This is your final exam, so show what you have learned this term. Apply a close reading by focusing on concrete details that work metaphorically. Consider how Quammen manipulates our understanding of David’s growth by telling the story from his point of view. You are welcome to quote from my lecture notes for support.
Reach out with any questions or concerns. I look forward to your efforts.
The essay is due Wednesday December 1st by noon.
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