English 258 Final Essay

Write a 5 page (five full pages, bare minimum: not 4.5, not 4.75, not 4.99 pages), thesis-driven essay addressing the following:  Is Leonard an Existential hero or Existential failure?  To answer the question compare and contrast Leonard's response to his Existential and Post Modern condition with those of the principle characters in The Myth of Sisyphus and No Exit and by drawing on any other relevant Existentialist theory or texts/sources we've discussed or used in class.  In your answer also address the Post Modern elements of the film and Leonard's situation/condition.


Essay grades will be based on:

a) The student's understanding of Existentialism and Post-Modernism and how these relate to the film.

b) The student's understanding of relevant source material (the film itself, "Existentialism Is A Humanism", "The Myth of Sisyphus", No Exit)

c) Copious and relevant quotes from sources used in class.  (the film itself, "Existentialism Is A Humanism", "The Myth of Sisyphus", No Exit) See: Rules of Thumb for Quoting and Citing In Essays.

d) Writing conventions (editing, essay and paragraph organization etc.)

Essay Guidelines:

Format: Use standard MLA format, Times New Roman 12 pt font and standard punctuation. Double space, 1 margins, page numbers and staple.

Edit to college level writing standards.  Poorly edited papers will be docked accordingly.


Help and Discussion:  Obviously we will discuss the film in class and in groups, and Id like to encourage yall to discuss everything about the class whenever you want to.  On the other hand, this is an essay test, so I ask that:

a) all of the writing and all of the words be your own, unless they are quoted from the lecture notes etc.

b) you do not share your essay with anyone, at all, before all essays are turned in.

c) you honor the above not only to the letter but to the spirit: no one but you knows what you have written, or plan to write, or are writing etc etc etc until all the papers are in, period.

d) you restrict your cited sources to course lecture notes (including student presentations) and assigned reading;  you are being tested on your knowledge of course material, so stick the course notes and assigned readings.  Cite these sources as you use them (author name, lecture title is ok, and include URL in Works cited page).  If you have another source you absolutely must use, include a Works Cited page with your essay.

e) in short, you do not plagiarize or cheat.  The clearest way to avoid doing so is to cite every single idea and phrase that is not your very own.