Dark Romantic Essay or Short Story

Dark Romantic Culminating Activity
Borger
lborger@sparta.k12.il.us (email me if you have questions)

PromptWrite a 1000-1500 word short story or essay synthesizing information related to the Dark Romantics. (choose one – not both!)

Short Story

Discussion of the prompt:  Create a short story that includes the elements that we have talked about in relation to the Dark Romantics (as evidenced in Poe’s work).  Originate characters, plot elements, dialogue, etc. to enhance your story.  The story can be of your own design or you may choose any of the quotes from Poe’s stories and build your own story around that. All stories must be cogent, organized, and appropriate.  If you are going to tackle mature subject matter, do so maturely.  You can go over the word count if you need to (and many of you will).

Lab time has been scheduled for 11/17 – 11/19 to help with construction of the story.

Grading Criteria:

  • Be sure to build some sense of dramatic tension into your description before it reaches the climax of your moment.
  • Use dialogue to bring your characters to life.
  • Because there is relatively little plot, you need as much detail as possible.  Be as descriptive as you can with each sentence.  Use imagery, metaphor & simile, personification, contrast, vibrant words, etc.
  • This assignment is worth a MAJOR GRADE (remember, this is where a bulk of your grade comes from—get it in!).
  • Follow MLA format
  • Draft due for review on Thursday 11/19/15
  • Final due Tuesday 11/24/15
  • Short Story Rubric

Possible Prompts:

  • Focus on any of the main ideas of the Dark Romantics:
    • Anti-Transcendentalism: a belief that the “Truths” of nature are not good and harmless
    • The conflict between good & evil
    • The psychological effects of guilt & sin
    • The madness of the human psyche
    • The idea that horror & evil resided behind the facade of social respectability
    • Horror, tragedy, macabre, supernatural, & the Gothic
  • Choose a quote or two from one of Poe’s works and build a story around that.
  • Create a modernized Dark Romantic story: what would Poe’s stories look like in today’s world?
  • Create a Dark Romantic story with characters that represent you.  Most of Poe’s characters are white men.  I’m not a man & I would like to see a story with someone who looks like me in them (a giant, Amazonian, red-headed female protagonist – even if she is crazy and buries people in her walls J).  Or create a Dark Romantic story with characters from all sorts of different cultural backgrounds.

Essay

Discussion of the prompt:  Write an essay that analyzes how Poe’s represents the ideals of the Dark Romantics.  You might want to compare and contrast characters / plot-lines.  You may want to focus on a single theme or idea: madness, guilt, the macabre.  Each paragraph should include at least one quote (preferably two).  Remember the equation to use when quoting:

Tag + quote + cite + explanation = good support

You can go over the word count if you need to (and many of you will).

Lab time has been scheduled for 11/17 – 11/19 to help with composition of your essay.

Grading Criteria:

  • Have an introduction with a clearly worded thesis (with points of support)
  • Have at least one quote per paragraph (“A” papers must have more)
  • Move beyond summary and into analysis: focus on a single, primary idea / concept / theme / motif across multiple texts. You can include other texts like “The Cask of Amontillado” or “The Raven” if you’ve read them before.
  • This assignment is worth a MAJOR GRADE (remember, this is where a bulk of your grade comes from—get it in!).
  • Follow MLA format
  • Draft due for review on Thursday 11/19/15
  • Final due Tuesday 11/24/2015
  • Dark Romantic Essay Rubric

 Possible Prompts:

  • Focus on any of the main ideas of the Dark Romantics:
    • Anti-Transcendentalism: a belief that the “Truths” of nature are not good and harmless
    • The conflict between good & evil
    • The psychological effects of guilt & sin
    • The madness of the human psyche
    • The idea that horror & evil resided behind the facade of social respectability
    • Horror, tragedy, macabre, supernatural, & the Gothic
  • Analyze similarities among protagonists in his stories.
  • Argue that we are basically good or basically evil using his texts for support.
  • Create a theme / thesis of your own.
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Poe

We read “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” and “The Pit and the Pendulum” in class. Students collected 5 split-quotes per story in the form of in-class quizzes (worth 50 points each).

Here are a few adaptations of the Edgar Allen Poe stories we have read.

The Tell Tale Heart animation. (1953)

The Black Cat stop-motion animation. (2009)

The Pit and the Pendulum stop motion animation. (2006)

We will be seminar-ing over these stories for 3 days in class (25 points per day). Students who contribute three quality comments to discussion will earn full credit.  Students  who take notes can earn partial credit (C).  Students who submit a combination of spoken & written commentary may also earn full credit (depending on the length and quality of comments / notes).