FINAL PROJECT EXCERPT (50 points)
Hopefully this course has you reflecting on the good, the bad, the complex of our world. You wrote two thoughtful essays and a fictional excerpt. Now, it’s your final project and your mission is to write an excerpt that addresses your world vision, your concerns, and highlight your writer’s flair. Your writing will sit on the shelf next to Bradbury, Atwood, Wells: each had a point to make about their contemporary world, and each used fiction to highlight the challenges.
Let’s review the course goals from Day 1.
what this course is
This course examines an introductory sampling of “end of the world” and dystopian speculative literature.
Narrated from a post-apocalyptic setting, end of the world “disaster” literature forces us to examine how humans find meaning and purpose not only in their individual lives but also as a society, however small that society is. Dystopian literature, on the other hand, portrays worlds that have failed miserably in achieving the goal of a social and political order free of cruelty, corruption and misery. Both genres address the individual’s role in these big situations. These imaginary worlds have connections with the real world and present important issues for us to consider. We will search for reoccurring themes in these disaster and dystopian narratives and study the issues the authors highlight. As the course progresses, students will identify the important issues in our world and form their own vision of the “end” or “dystopia” to serve as a warning for future readers.
and what it’s not…
This course is not intended to depress, nor is it intended to provide a fatalistic excuse to give up. In fact, quite the opposite should occur. Since the literature portrays frightening and horrifying imaginary worlds, readers are forced to acknowledge society’s ills – to inspire change! In addition, many of the narratives we will examine reveal mankind’s hope – his need – to survive, to “do the right thing,” to persevere, to rebuild, and to be remembered. We must find, create, and preserve what is beautiful. Everything matters!
ü Do you think the world will ever end? Why or why not? How do you define “the end” in this context?
ü What is beautiful? Is art important? Why should we recognize the beauty?
ü What are the important issues of our time?
ü What does it mean to be human? What gives our lives meaning?
ü How is civilization created, maintained, and/or destroyed?
ü What role does the individual play in preserving or destroying the world?
ü How far is too far?
EXCERPT GUIDELINES: The goal is two full pages minimum, an excerpt to your larger story. You may go beyond, but please keep story to four or less pages.
CHOOOSE A TOPIC
Hopefully the course has you thinking about all sorts of issues. Select an area we discussed that you think needs addressing. You may combine topics.
Perils of Technology
Dangers of Power / Control
Overpopulation / Limited Resources
Time / Future
*See the news: lots of topics :/
DEVELOP A SETTING
Catastrophic Event is Imminent
Post-apocalyptic – the event has already occurred
Dystopian.—in an effort to solve a problem, the powers have made things terrible and squashed freedom
Stick to ONE time and place in your story. If you must leave, use flashbacks.
DEVELOP A MAIN CHARACTER
The individual is vital and has a role.
Will you use 1st or 3rd person? Avoid JOURNAL ENTRIES! Develop your character deliberately.
DEVELOP A CONFLICT
Contemplate the problem/s your character would face in this world.
Have a clear opposing force. What does this character face as obstacles?
DEVELOP AT LEAST ONE COURSE MOTIF
The Last Man or Last of
Paradise / Paradise Lost
Evolution / Devolution
Consumption / Overconsumption
At the end of your story, please write a paragraph in italics that addresses your goals for your paper, how you tried to convey your purpose, and if you feel you succeeded in that goal. Also, comment on anything you would like me to note or consider.
FORMAT: Landscape, two columns, single spaced. Times New Roman 11-12 font.
No spaces between paragraphs; please use tab key to indent new paragraphs. [If you have those pesky extra spaces between paragraphs, go to Page Layout and change SPACING AFTER to 0.]
No page numbers.
Submit to turnitin.com the last day of class.
Please proofread your work!