Information and Instructions



As we have discussed throughout the course, while there isn’t any one true definition of literature, most attempts at defining this subjective art form share three common points: literature reflects the author’s voice, literature engages the reader, and literature reflects society and the human experience. 

Let’s consider the last point for a moment. How do authors of fiction reflect ideas about society and the human experience in their work? Well, essentially, they reflect society and our experience through their depiction of setting, plot, and characters, and also through other literary devices. This doesn’t mean that the setting, plot, and characters, etc., have to be completely realistic, but that the people in the stories and the conflicts they face should somehow represent something universal. When we analyze literature, we look for theme, which is a statement about the universal idea reflected in the specifics of the story. 

Now, certain themes are so universal that they can be found in almost any genre. For instance, we’ve seen the theme “appearances can be deceptive” in all of the works we’ve studied this term. But are there some themes that just seem to grow more naturally out of certain genres? Are there conventions that are unique to a genre and that just seem to lend themselves to certain themes more than to others? 

Task (100 points) 

Which of the three genres covered in the course (detective/spy, coming of age, or chick lit), with its own unique conventions, best lends itself to the development of the theme “Sometimes something we pass over as trivial turns out to be of the utmost importance”? 

Write a 1000-word essay (20% more or less) that answers this question. Use two or three texts that represent the genre to support your thesis.

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