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1. B 2. A 3. C 4. B 5. B 6. B 7. C 8. C
ESSAY TOPIC IDEAS
1. How are the various characters in the novel illustrative of the dark versus light conflict?
2. How is the dark versus light conflict presented in the novel?
3. How is religious imagery used throughout the novel?
4. Why are Will and Jim such different characters given they’ve been raised in almost identical situations?
5. Why is Charles so distracted throughout the novel?
6. Does age truly matter in terms of happiness?
7. Why is Dark so evil?
8. How is the cure for evil ironic?
9. Why are people attracted to the carnival?
10. Does Dark have accidents with the people he lures to the carnival, or does he create the accidents?
COMMENT ON THE STUDY OF LITERATURE
The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author's life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author. In this study guide for a well-known piece of literature, we have tried to give an objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in the novel, book, or play. In the end, however, it is an individual interpretation, but one that we feel can be readily supported by the information that is presented in the guide. In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as ours. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor.
Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully, these booknotes will help you to accomplish that goal.
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