Sex in Literature

A LIFE OF ADVENTURE & DELIGHT by Akhil Sharma. This is a 2016 New Yorker story that takes a look at a male foreign student who appears to be emotionally and morally troubled by his own obsessive behavior in a new country. The story prompts an examination of the question of male freedom, female independence foreign or domestic and the inherent cultural conflict for many college students exposed to America’s offerings while away from home. The author of this story appears to have a more compelling prose and writing style compared to “Cat” but you decide. “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian and “A Life of Adventure & Delight” by Akhil Sharma are both stories told in the third person by omniscient narrators but we are still given more information on the thoughts of the female in “Cat” and the male in “Adventure” than we get of the male in “Cat” and the female(s) in “Adventure.” This may or may not be related to the gender of each author. At any rate your PAPER will include answers to the following questions in whatever manner or order you wish to answer them but make sure you give your PAPER a title.** [A] On the surface these two stories appear to be solely about sex. But of course that is not the case otherwise we would not be reading them for this class. Instead, sex is the vehicle on the road of self-discovery traveled by our protagonists. So is there any evidence that they discover anything about themselves during the journey? Or are we better informed than they are? Could you apply one or more of the themes below to either of the two stories? [male freedom] [power play in male/female encounters] [Loneliness?] [female independence] [Self-Centeredness] [Immaturity] [Indifference of youth] [Social Awkwardness of Youth] [Social Confidence of Youth] [Social insecurity of youth] [A Comment on gender roles] [A Comment on race] [A Comment on class] [A Comment on today’s youth] [A comment on “American” society’s lack of culture] [A comment on college dormitory life] [No special meaning, just a slice of humanity that could be anyone’s story] [B] (1) Do either of these 21st Century stories fall into any of the classic categories mentioned in the “Sex and Sexuality” Essay? (2) Which of the THREE stories: “Moriya”, “Cat” or “Adventure” would you define as real literature based upon the writing itself (the language used to tell the story)? [C] One of the classic definitions of the short story genre is the surprise ending or unresolved ending [see short story definition below]. Do these two 21st century stories meet that criteria? How so?

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