Thursday, June 12, 2008

A game...

Guess the work from the student's description of it on the exam! Information in these descriptions may or may not be accurate. 1-11 are reasonably canonical works by American, British, or European authors; 12 and 13 are works of popular fiction (in one case, a series rather than a book) that the students probably shouldn't have chosen (but at least neither one is Shrek or The Lion King, both of which spawned actual essays).

Have fun! And be warned, this is a little like reading inkblots.

1a) [Title] is a tragic story about ambition thats kills him because of that.

b) (same work, different essay) Basically a whole Frankenstein effect happened, her creating the beast that eventually led to her death. [Guessed by Anon II]

2) If "[assumed name of character] would have told the truth, he wouldn’t have to sacrifice his maiden in return for silence. [Guessed by Heu Mihi]

3) [Character] is on a quest for meaning while the accountant is on a chair. [Guessed by Anon I]

4) Having gone through three marriages and still wanting to pursue identity and happiness is a lot. [Guessed by Sisyphus]

5) a) [Character A] strives to show [Character B] that there is more to bla]ck people than black people being black. [Guessed by Heu Mihi]

b) (same work, different essay) However upon meetin [Characters A, C, and D]; and the journey, he encountered a Bulldogsroman.

6) The relationship of [Character A] and [Character B] is ex-marriage ... This turns the entire town against her in a rude, solitudal, and downcast manner. [Guessed by Kermitthefrog.]

7) In Hell, Satan is the big cheese. [Guessed by Neophyte]

8) [Title] is a comedy about a hopeless wanting to become the knight in shining amour ... Like any superhero [Title character] had a sidekick (and I’m not talking about the phone!) ... Although the brighter of the two, farmer guy has half a brain to live on. [Guessed by Anon I]

9) The relationship between [character] and her uncle started out – as in all Shakespeare’s tragic plays – in an a foreboding trail. [Guessed by Anon I]

10) No person has ever, or will ever, glorify a horse. [Guessed by Anon I]

11) [Character] as the role of a foil is even mentioned throughout literature in such things as a poem by Prufrock written in the 20th century. The main reason for his role is Shakespeares theory that all tragedies must have royalty. [Guessed by Kim Wells]

12) [Character A] and [Character B] have been teaching at the Navel Academy in Flordia ... After becoming angered and almost killing the reporter with his bear hands, [Character A] is almost on the verge of murder.

13) He is smart, charming, good-looking, classy, well-dressed, and resourceful, and ... he is always surrounded by minor characters who serve as foils until they are poisoned, exploded, or otherwise incapacitated. In order of attractiveness, these are... [Guessed by Sisyphus]


Anonymous said...

8. Donkey Hote
11. Henry IV

Anonymous said...

Oh my gawd, FP! If nothing else, you've done heroic work in collecting these gems. I was going to try the test (will it get me into kollidge?!), as I'm usually good at this sort of thing, but... zow.

That said: I kind of hope that (5) is The Human Stain. (3) is amazing -- chair? What? And if (7) isn't Paradise Lost I will cry real tears. If I ever write on Milton, why, that line will be my epigraph. Not going to touch the Shakespeare -- what exactly is a "foreboding trail"? And who even has an uncle? And if (1) were, in fact, Frankenstein, why, that would make my day. Especially if "her" refers to Mary Shelley.

Oh, FP. Thanks for these.

heu mihi said...

3 has got to have a mistake in it. Right? The accountant is on a chair? What on earth does that mean? For like the whole story?

Could 5 be Huck Finn? I distinctly remember a Bulldogsroman in chapter 14.

I agree with Neophyte: 7 has to be Paradise Lost.

9 leaves many clues, but they all fall apart by the end of the sentence. As You Like It has an uncle and a niece, but it's not a tragedy, so who knows.

I like to think that 10 is Henry V.

I have no idea what 12 is, but it's a terrific illustration of a principle that I try to teach my comp students: Avoid beginning sentences with "After" (or "As"). It usually leads you in strange directions. (Obviously sentences *can* be begun with this words, with great success, but for some reason freshmen seem to have a lot of trouble with them.)

You will give us the answers, right?

Sisyphus said...

These are great! If these aren't the right answers, then make them so:

1. I hope it's Hamlet.

2. I'd say The Scarlet Letter, but the whole point of that is that she's hardy a "maiden," eh?

4. is definitely Their Eyes Were Watching God

5. "Bulldogsroman"!?!?! Ha! I'm worried that this is Huck Finn. I'm even more worried that it's Black Boy.

9. The Winter's Tale? Cymbeline?

13. Sounds kinda like a James Bond...other than that I'm stumped.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Anonymous -- Right on #8, wrong on #11.

Neophyte -- #7 is Paradise Lost, yeah. Alas, #5 is not The Human Stain, and #1 is not Frankenstein.

Heu Mihi -- #5 is indeed Huckleberry Finn. Well spotted! The reason why you and Neophyte are both having trouble with #9 is that one of the clues is (very) wrong. Henry V is a great guess for 10, but unfortunately, that's not it.

(And yes, I promise I'll give you the answers.)

Sisyphus -- Correct on Huck Finn, Their Eyes Were Watching God and James Bond. You're good! #1 is not Hamlet, but you've got the right author. Your guesses for #2 and #9 are wrong, but since the students in question are also wildly off the mark, that's to be expected.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I love it! I can barely make stab in the dark answers.

#1 Macbeth??

#8 just cracks me up.

#10 makes me think of Richard III

heu mihi said...

Richard III occurred to me for #10, too, but the remark seems rather tangential if that's the case. Hm. Something to do with Caligula?

Fretful Porpentine said...

Anonymous II -- Yes! #1 is Macbeth! #10, however, has nothing to do with Richard III or Caligula.

kermitthefrog said...

#6 could be The Scarlet Letter?

And #3 could be The Great Gatsby? No accountants, though...

Is the character #11 referring to Hotspur? or Falstaff?

fun, fun game...

Fretful Porpentine said...

#6 is indeed The Scarlet Letter. Well done!

#3 is not The Great Gatsby (there is indeed an accountant in the work in question, although he is a very minor character). #11 is not Hotspur or Falstaff.

kim wells said...

I'm pretty sure 11 must be either Hamlet or The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

#9: The Merchant of Venice?

#10: Ariel?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous I here again. Is #3 Heart of Darkness?

Fretful Porpentine said...

Kim Wells -- Yep, 11 is Hamlet. #9 and #10, no. I'm thinking it's time for a few clues on the ones people haven't guessed.

#2 is a comedy by an Irish playwright. It does not involve sacrificing maidens. If I gave you the assumed name of the character, it would be a dead giveaway.

#3 takes place in Africa. There really is an accountant in it, but he is a VERY minor character.

#9 is not actually by Shakespeare; in fact, it was written roughly two millennia before Shakespeare was born.

#10 is a play by a British author. It was written in the second half of the twentieth century.

#12 is about terrorists. It has no literary merit whatsoever.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Anonymous I -- Yup!

Anonymous said...

Oh, one more. Is #10 Gulliver's Travels?

Anonymous said...

Oops, just saw your comment above. Not Gulliver's Travels.

Anonymous said...

OMG #10 has to be Equus. That was my first idea, then I thought "who teaches that in high school?"

Anonymous said...

And #9 is Antigone. I'm going to stop shotgunning answers now. Thanks for a fun game!

Fretful Porpentine said...

Right and right!

heu mihi said...

Is #2 The Importance of Being Earnest?

It's a mighty stretch, if so....

Fretful Porpentine said...

Yes! The "maiden" in question was Cecily, and I think the word the student really wanted was "ward," but I quite like the image of Algie and Jack carrying her up the side of a volcano.

undine said...
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