Final Exam Study guide - Engl 106 

The purpose of this study guide is not to indicate exactly what will be on the exam. The ideas below (which we've discussed in class) are intended to help you think about the works we've read and studied this semester.  Use these study quide ideas with 1.) your notes and own ideas to think about the short stories/novella we have read along with 2.) your review/rereading of the literature itself. Don't forget the biographical intros. and study questions for each story that give you helpful ideas. You might also reread the intro material (pgs 3-11) on reading and interpreting fiction. And be sure to review the Course Notes.

Movie adaptations (clips) are important for considering how stories can be interpreted.  Consult your notes.

Write out practice responses to previous quiz questions as well as questions you make up. You might also try writing a longer essay.  Remember the quizzes we went over in class. The cards you used for group work in class have good notes

**Although the final exam will cover material we've read after the midterm, there will be carry over works that may be on the exam: "Bartleby, the Scrivener," "The Lottery," "The Lesson," and TIM (novella & movie).

Possible question types:

  1. Identifications: You will identify an unidentified passage (give the title of the story) and explain its significance. (I will not give you short, obscure passages.)*
  2. Multiple choice, fill in the blank, or matching*
  3. Short Answer*  Think of individual works as well as connections among works.
  4. ***NEW***Longer essay question (1-1/2 pgs) focusing on a single work or on comparing/contrasting works. Also, you will have some choices.  **See notes below**

*Like quiz questions. Also, you will have some choices.

Time for final exam: 2 hrs (Exam length: 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hrs)


Extraordinary and Fantastic

The Invisible Man, "A Scandal in Bohemia" "A Very Old Man . . ."

Look up the meaning of these words.  Consider these ideas: science and its discoveries, the miraculous in daily life, appearances that are deceiving, and the ability to imagine possibilities that do not immediately exist.  Also, does the fantastic and extraordinary lead to social criticism/critique? For example, in "A Very Old Man . . . ," consider the reactions of Pelayo and Elisenda to the old man (angel?) as well as the reactions of the villagers, the doctor, and the priest.  The ending of the story?  Why do we consider Sherlock Holmes's powers of deduction amazing or fantastic?  Why is Sherlock Holmes so popular today?  Would "Bartleby, the Scrivener" fit under this theme?  How?

Key ideas: spirit of perverseness (Course Notes--Poe), magical realism.


"The Open Boat," "To Build a Fire," "Big Two-Hearted River," 

What is the role of nature? How is nature presented/depicted in each story? What is the relationship between humans and the natural world (e.g., "To Build a Fire--protagonist and natural world/his dog)?  Is there a difference between the first two stories listed above and the Hemingway story? What is/are this difference(s)?  Does "Brokeback Mountain" also reveal specific attitudes and values associated with nature/the land?

Key idea: Naturalism (literary school of thought).


"Entropy," "In the Penal Colony," "The Destructors," "The Guest," "Uncle Baghdasar"

Do these terms refer to physical and mental terror?  How do characters use and carry out violence? Create terror? Can society (or the State) and the even universe itself foster a sense of terror in us?   What about morality and ethics in response to terror and violence? Think, for example, of "The Guest" and "Entropy."  Think about "Uncle Baghdasar" (Armenian Genocide).  "How does violence or destruction become a form of creation? 

Key ideas: religious faith (Old & New Testiment of the bible) and the law, entropy, existentialism.


These last stories are not grouped under any specific theme: "Recitatif" (how race colors our perceptions of people), "Brokeback Mountain"(finding one's mate/human longing and desire),  "56-0" (failure of sports?/how do we define success and failure)?  Can you think of an additional theme or themes they fit under?  Do they fit under any of the existing course themes listed above?  Or the course theme before the midterm--Individual and Society?

Also, the carry-over stories before the midterm.  For example, could "The Lottery" fit under our Terror and Violence theme? How?

Long essay:  How would you compare and contrast "The Lesson" and "Recitatif"?  What would be your thesis?  Or "The Open Boat" and "Big Two-Hearted River?  Think about other parings.