teacher james scott bell defines H u m a n i t i e s
this fall semester we have read, analyzed, discussed, and written about the three major traditional genres of literature: fiction, poetry, and drama. We have concentrated on (relatively) short works, including short stories, poems, and plays. Now we have turned to a longer form, the novel, using the 2018 best-selling Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
This novel has some things in common with two of the plays we have read and written about earlier in the semester: Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. One of these is the theme of responding to life’s “slings and arrows” and deciding whether “to be or not to be.”
Writer and teacher James Scott Bell defines a novel as “the record of how a character, through strength of will, fights against impending death.” That death, he adds, can be physical (people trying to kill the lead character), professional (career or life role threatened), or psychological (imminent danger of the lead character dying on the inside, or emotionally).
For your final writing assignment, I want you to write an essay in which you analyze and document the forces or people that are trying to destroy Kya (the lead character of Where the Crawdads Sing) from when we first meet her to the end of her life. What strength of will does she bring to her battle? Who is trying to harm or destroy her and, perhaps more important, why? What is at stake for them and for her? What allies come to her aid in her battle?
Write a 2000-2500 word (8-10 pages) analytical research essay that identifies at least three people (and what they represent) that are trying to destroy Kya. Explain how and why they are doing this. Also identify three allies (and what they represent) that help Kya with her struggle. Explain how and why they are doing this. Finally, is there an ultimate lesson we can learn from Kya’s struggles about our own “slings and arrows” and what we need and can do to overcome them.
Your challenge is to answer thoroughly what makes Kya (Catherine Danielle Clark), the lead character of Where the Crawdads Sing, a hero, in a coherent and persuasive academic research essay that cites at least four print sources (including the novel itself), using MLA documentation (In-Text Citations and a Works Cited list).
The completed final draft of this 8-10-page academic research essay on Kya as hero of Where the Crawdads Sing