Book Paradise

The Midterm Essay: Paradise (30 points) Choose one (1) of the following prompts and write an1100 word, typed, double-spaced essay answering the prompt. Briefly explain the significance of the title Paradise relative to the two principal settings of the novel, Ruby and the Convent. Do not disregard the histories of each setting. Dovey feels that for every material gain Steward acquires, he loses something else of value, though he may not realize it. How does Dovey’s insight comment on the principle of balance between the visible and invisible worlds, the material and the spiritual, and other dualities as represented in the novel? Discuss the presence of war as both a background in the narrative and as a major theme in the narrative. How are the characters at war with each other, within themselves, with the world? Discuss how rumor, conjecture, misperception, prejudice, and secrecy shape the tragic actions of the novel? How is interpretation a function of preconceived expectations and mental frameworks within the novel? Discuss the conflict between traditionalism and innovation, between conservatism and progressivism explored in the novel. Does the narrator take a side in the conflict?  What judgment does the novel make about human suffering, isolation, the process of healing and forming community? Be specific.

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