Zweig Stefan, Fantastic Night:Tales of Longining and Liberation (Essay Sample)
Here are some possible essay questions. Choose one. You are allowed to come up with your own question, but be sure to clear it with me first. Essays should be around five pages (not including the bibliography). As with the essay samples that I have included on Brightspace, you do not need a title-page; instead, you just need to include your name, your studentnumber, the course number, my name, your TA’s name, and the date in thetop right hand corner of the first page. Your essay should have a title that reflects not only your topic but your argument about that topic; an introductory paragraph that introduces your topic, suggests how it will be approached in regards to the text, and closes with a clear and specific thesisstatement; supporting paragraphs organized around points that support your thesis and that open with a strong topic sentence; specific evidence from the primary text itself; and a strong conclusion that reinforces your thesis and suggests something about its wider implications. The essay samples on Brightspace are very clear in regards to what I am looking for, so be sure to look over these before and while writing. Be specific, be organized, and be sure to make good use of the text when making your case. When it comes to quoting from the text, be sure to comment on the quotes you use and incorporate them into your larger argument. If you have any questions while writing your essay, or if you would like me to look over a draft of your essay, please let me know.
1. What role does memory play in A Letter From an Unknown Womanand one of the other short stories by Zweig? To what ends? Possible angles to consider would be the role of the past, the effects of nostalgia, memory and confession, the faultiness of memory itself, etc.
2.What role does love play in A Letter From an Unknown Woman and one of the other short stories by Zweig? To what ends? Possible angles to consider would be the pain of lost love, young/naive love, the power of first love, the nature of devotion, lust vs. love, the links between love and cruelty, etc.
3.What role does class play in A Letter From an Unknown Woman and one of the other short stories by Zweig? To what ends? Possible angles to consider would be the gap between rich and poor, the impact of of economic destitution, the frivolity of wealth, etc.
4.What is the function of story-telling in A Letter From an Unknown Woman and one of the other short stories by Zweig? To what ends? Possible angles to consider would be the use of letters, the links madebetween memory and fiction, stories within stories, the “storyteller” figure, the concern over capturing the real vs. imagining a fiction, etc.
5.What is the role of accident and/or coincidence in A Letter From an Unknown Woman and one of the other short stories by Zweig? To what ends? Possible angles to consider would be chance meetings, mistaken identities, false impressions, missed opportunities, etc.
6.What connections are made between the past and the present in A Letter From an Unknown Woman and one of the other short stories by Zweig? To what ends? Possible angles to consider would be learning about the past only after it is past, failing to understand the past, trying to rectify the problems of the past, the loss of innocence that comes with the acquiring of experience, etc.
7.Discuss the role of revelation, both its presence and its absence, in A Letter From an Unknown Woman and Fantastic Night. The former withholds any real revelation, or at least it teases the reader with its possibility; the latter contains a moment of true revelation, even of epiphany, only to have the impact of this revelation be horribly and ironically overturned.
8.Discuss the role of World War I in two of the stories by Zweig. How does the war impact the plot and the characters of the stories? To what ends?
The Role of Love
What role does love play in A Letter From an Unknown Woman and one of the other short stories by Zweig? To what ends?
Loving and being loved is critical to human beings. It adds to the richness of life when people feel closer to others. The feeling of being loved creates a sense of being important, understood, and secure. However, love varies and has distinct levels. For instance, the kind of love we feel for a parent differs from that of a child. Similarly, the love experienced in a romantic relationship is distinct from that of a friend. Whatever the case, love is perhaps the highest ideal in human relationships. A partner offers companionship, especially during a difficult moment. Nonetheless, too often, a beautiful romance can turn sour and become a painful nightmare to one of the partners or both of them. At other times, a partner may think the other party loves them, only to realize that this is not the case.
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