Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” (658-664)

Breadth Guidelines:

• Demonstrate your breadth of knowledge by discussing a mix of works, including at least one play.
• If you write about the same text more than once, avoid repeating material.
• You may not write about the same text more than twice.

Eligible course texts:

  • Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” (658-664)
  • Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (571-582)
  • Bradbury, “The Veldt” (328-339)
  • O’Brien, “The Things They Carried” (609-622)
  • Poe, “The Raven” (1155-1157)
  • Angelou, “Still I Rise” (838-839)
  • Petrarch, “Upon the breeze she spread her golden hair” (966)
  • Shakespeare, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” (878)
  • Rossetti, “In an Artist’s Studio” (970-1)
  • Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind” (940)
  • Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (1798-1842)
  • Bastiat, “The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) by Oscar Wilde: Conformity and Resistance in Victorian Society”
  • Parris, Other side of the game

Part A: SIGHT PASSAGES (2 x 10 pts. = 20 pts.)

Discuss and closely analyse two of the eight passages below, being mindful of the breadth guidelines on page one. Please answer in full sentences. Use pertinent terms. In each answer, please do the following:

• Give a brief (1−3-sentence) summary / overview of the work in which the passage appears. You may want to include a succinct description of the characters who appear in the passage.
• Contextualize the passage within the work in which it appears. (Where does the passage appear: at the beginning, at the end, at a pivotal moment? What is the role or significance of this passage within the larger work?)
• Discuss the passage in terms of the text’s literary form and genre.
• Describe the writing style and manner of narration (if applicable).
• Discuss any themes and literary devices that may be present.
• Finally, make a connection between this passage / text and one other course text. (You may not compare it to another passage included in Part A)

Each answer should be two to three paragraphs long. This part tests 1) your knowledge of course texts and concepts, 2) your close reading skills, and 3) your ability to engage in comparative analysis.

Passage 1:

“Ha! ha! ha!—he! he! he!—a very good joke indeed—an excellent jest. We shall have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo—he! he! he!—over our wine—he! he! he!” “The Amontillado!” I said.
“He! he! he!—he! he! he!—yes, the Amontillado. But is it not getting late? Will not they be awaiting us at the palazzo, the Lady Fortunato and the rest? Let us be gone.”
“Yes,” I said, “let us be gone.”
“For the love of God, Montresor!”
“Yes,” I said, “for the love of God!”
But to these words I hearkened in vain for a reply. I grew impatient. I called aloud— “Fortunato!”
No answer. I called again—
No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in reply only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick on account of the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labour. I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!
Passage 2:

He tried not to cry. With his entrenching tool, which weighed 5 pounds, he began digging a hole in the earth.
He felt shame. He hated himself. He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war.
All he could do was dig. He used his entrenching tool like an ax, slashing, feeling both love and hate, and then later, when it was full dark, he sat at the bottom of his foxhole and wept. It went on for a long while. In part, he was grieving for Ted Lavender, but mostly it was for Martha, and for himself, because she belonged to another world, which was not quite real, and because she was a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey, a poet and a virgin and uninvolved, and because he realized she did not love him and never would.

Passage 3:

“But I thought that’s why we bought this house, so we wouldn’t have to do anything?”
“That’s just it. I feel like I don’t belong here. The house is wife and mother now and nursemaid. Can I compete with an African veldt? Can I give a bath and scrub the children as efficiently or quickly as the automatic scrub bath can? I can not. And it isn’t just me. It’s you.
You’ve been awfully nervous lately.”
“I suppose I have been smoking too much.”
“You look as if you didn’t know what to do with yourself in this house, either. You smoke a little more every morning and drink a little more every afternoon and need a little more sedative every night. You’re beginning to feel unnecessary too.”
“Am I?” He paused and tried to feel into himself to see what was really there.
“Oh, George!” She looked beyond him, at the nursery door. “Those lions can’t get out of there, can they?”
He looked at the door and saw it tremble as if something had jumped against it from the other side.
“Of course not,” he said.

Passage 4:

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise I rise.

Passage 5:

One face looks out from all his canvases,
One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans; We found her hidden just behind those screens, That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens, A saint, an angel — every canvas means The same one meaning, neither more or less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
And she with true kind eyes looks back on him, Fair as the moon and joyful as the light:
Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim; Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright; Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.
Passage 6:

GWENDOLEN: I am engaged to Mr. Worthing, mamma.

[They rise together.]

LADY BRACKNELL: Pardon me, you are not engaged to anyone. When you do become engaged to someone, I, or your father, should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact. An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be. It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself. … And now I have a few questions to put to you, Mr. Worthing. While I am making these inquiries, you, Gwendolyn, will wait for me below in the carriage.
GWENDOLEN: [Reproachfully.] Mamma!
LADY BRACKNELL: In the carriage, Gwendolen! [GWENDOLEN goes to the door. She and
Jack blow kisses to each other behind LADY BRACKNELL’s back. LADY BRACKNELL looks vaguely about as if she could not understand what the noise was. Finally turns around.] Gwendolen, the carriage!
GWENDOLEN: Yes, mamma. [Goes out, looking back at JACK.]
LADY BRACKNELL: [Sitting down.] You can take a seat, Mr. Worthing.

[Looks in her pocket for notebook and pencil.]

JACK: Thank you, Lady Bracknell, I prefer standing.
LADY BRACKNELL: [Pencil and notebook in hand.] I feel bound to tell you that you are not down on my list of eligible young men, although I have the same list as the dear Duchess of Bolton has. We work together, in fact. However, I am quite ready to enter your name, should your answers be what a really affectionate mother requires. Do you smoke?
JACK: Well, yes, I must admit I smoke.
LADY BRACKNELL: I am glad to hear it. A man should always have an occupation of some kind. There are far too many idle men in London as it is.
Passage 7:

Make me thy lyre, ev’n as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like wither’d leaves, to quicken a new birth; And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Passage 8:

AKILAH I just believed, I really believed that we could do this. We could do this freedom thing through art and passion and…
BEVERLY …and then what happened?
AKILAH And then reality. My son was born and the stakes were raised and I was suddenly alone, in charge of this little life… and then Kathleen flec the country and Kennedy fled the country and Stokely fled the country and LeRoi was arrested and Anglea was arrested and Assata was arrested and Afeni was arrested and Leonard was arrested and Rap was arrested and Huey was arrested and Rosie was arrested and Anne was arrested and Lumumba was killed and Medgar was killed and Malcolm was killed and King was killed and Jonathan was killed and Fred was killed and George was killed… and I was still here… with my words all dried up. I guess that was the time it stopped being beautiful.
AKILAH Yeah. Anyway. It doesn’t matter. There’s work to do and it has to get done. Ten, twenty years from now, Josiah can’t be sitting in meetings still talking about racist school systems and trigger-happy police.
Yeah but… what about the love?

What about the passion? The art? You still need those things. Your son needs to know about those things too, right?


Write an essay that responds to one of the six essay prompts below. The essay should have a clear thesis and structure. Your argument must consider similarities and differences between the texts (and why they matter). Please support your claims with textual evidence (quotations) and explanations. Use in-text citations. Handle quotations and titles according to MLA guidelines. A Works Cited page is not required. External research is not required. Use and define pertinent course terms. (You are welcome to cite the course glossary.)

You may write about any course texts, but please keep in mind the breadth guidelines on page one of the test. There must also be a clear basis for comparing the texts (that is, you must establish a compelling point of similarity, while also explaining at least one interesting difference between the texts.)

Your essay must be four to five paragraphs in length. This part tests 1) your knowledge of course texts and concepts, 2) your essay writing skills, including your ability to articulate and support a thesis and handle quotations, 3) and your ability to engage in comparative analysis.


  1. Compare and contrast two poems OR the two plays on the course. How do the writers use poetic or dramatic elements to develop their most important themes?
  2. Devise and support an argument about the representation and role of a main character in two course texts. How are the characters depicted? What is their function in the respective works?
  3. Discuss two works that belong to the same literary genre. How do the writers use conventions of the genre and to what effect?
  4. When it comes to works of literature, beginnings matter. Discuss the beginnings of two course texts. How do the works begin? How do the openings prepare the readers for what is to come?
  5. Cuddon defines conflict as “[t]he tension in a situation between characters, or the actual opposition between characters.” Cuddon adds that conflict “may also occur between a character and society or environment.” Focusing on conflict between characters and/or characters’ conflicts with social obstacles, discuss the representation and role of conflict in two course texts.
  6. Time and place. Many literary works are shaped by their setting. Discuss two texts in which the setting is central. How do these settings shape the narrative of these literary works? How does the setting affect the characters, their conflicts, and the reader?*

Sample Solution