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Final Exam Example

Here is another final exam that is very similar to the above example.

E238:04 Final Exam      5/15/08
Name: _________________________

Please follow the directions for each section.  Note that in each section you will have some amount of choice in the questions you’ll be answering.  On this sheet, please circle the identifications or questions that you will be responding to, and answer them in an orderly, well-labeled fashion on separate, loose sheets of paper.  Please put your name on every sheet.  The exam is based on a 100 point scale.  Partial credit will be given for answers that are done partially well.

Identifications (3 points each): Respond to 12 0f 16.  For each, explain what it is, what book it comes from, and why it is important.

Japhy Ryder    
Newborn Bunnies
Zen Buddhism
The Vine
The Box from “ufo in kushiro”
Copper Wire
Bonfires in “landscape with flatiron”
Desolation Peak
Salamano and his Dog
The Prison Chaplain
Beverly Home
Magical Realism

Short Answer (8 points each):  Answer 6 of 10, including one from each of the four sections (the other two can be any of the remaining questions).  Make sure to fully answer each question, and remember to use specific evidence to support your answers.  These should take at least a paragraph to answer sufficiently.

  1. Describe Jack Kerouac’s style of writing in The Dharma Bums.  How does it compare to a more traditional style of writing?  How does Kerouac’s style mirror some of the themes present in the book?
  2. What are the “Rucksack Revolution” and the “Police Revolution”?  How are they represented in The Dharma Bums, and how do they connect to the themes of the book?  Which do you think we are nearer to now?  Why?
  3. Describe some of the social context (50s America) that the Beat Generation springs out of, and how these aspects directly shape the content of The Dharma Bums.
  4. *

  5. How do earthquakes (or aspects of them) act as a symbol in after the quake?  Give at least 2 reasons and examples.
  6. Compare/contrast the spiritual experiences of Yoshia and his mother (“all god’s children can dance”).  Which seems more common?  Which, to you, seems more genuine?
  7. In after the quake , why does Mr. Frog need Katigiri’s help?  Why does Mr. Frog choose Katagiri in particular, and why were these reasons important?
  8. *

  9. In The Stranger, what is the prosecutor’s strategy in the trial against Meursault?  How is the prosecutor trying to build his case?  Give specific examples.
  10. What types of institutions/belief systems are discussed in The Stranger?  Reference at least three in detail, discussing what sort of comment Camus might be making about each.
  11. *

  12. Give several instances (at least 3) of religions symbolism in Jesus’ Son, and explain the significance of each in terms of themes and/or plot.
  13. The last story of Jesus’ Son is set in the desert in an oddly shaped hospital for the “deranged and damaged.”  Why are these two details of setting important both in terms of the themes of the book and given these settings’ location at the end of the collection?

Long Answer (16 points):  Answer 1 of 3.  Remember to use specific evidence to support your answer, and to fully answer each aspect of the question.  This should take several paragraphs to answer sufficiently.

  1. Describe the Beatnik way of life as it’s presented in The Dharma Bums (and from the general context we discussed about the Beats).  What is your personal reaction to this way of life (do you approve or disapprove, or are their aspects of both)?  Why?  Write about one other book – from the second half of the course – and how it challenged you to look at life in a different way.
  2. Discuss the idea of the “anti-hero.”  Does Meursault from The Stranger fit into this role?  Describe two other characters that we’ve encountered this half of the semester and explain how they could be seen as “anti-heroes.”  How do the three compare to each other?
  3. With after the quake (with several stories, particularly with “Mr. Frog saves Tokyo”) we talked about the idea of negation – that is, when something is defined by a lack or absence rather than a presence.  How is this idea present in after the quake, and where do you see it present in the other books we’ve read this half of the semester?  Discuss at least 2 other books.