Literature Is The Question Minus The Answer Sample Essays

 

Past AP Timed Write Prompts on

Oedipus Rex: On the AP exam, you would be able to choose from a list of plays/books to respond with. On Friday’s timed write, you must respond using

Oedipus Rex.

2011.

 In a novel by William Styron, a father tells his son that life “is a search for justice.” Choose a character from a novel or play who responds in some significant way to justice or injustice. Then write a well-developed essay in which you analyze the character’s understanding of  justice, the degree to which the character’s search for justice is successful, and the significance of this search for the work as a whole.

2004.

 Critic Roland Barthes has said, “Literature is the question minus the answer.” Choose a novel or play and, considering Barthes’ observation, write an essay in which you analyze a central question the work raises and the extent to which it offers any answers. Explain how the author’s treatment of this question affects your understanding of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

2003.

 According to critic Northrop Frye, “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning.” Select a novel or play in which a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others. Then write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.

2000.

Many works of literature not readily identified with the mystery or detective story genre nonetheless involve the investigation of a mystery. In these works, the solution to the mystery may be less important than the knowledge gained in the process of its investigation. Choose a novel or play in which one or more of the characters confront a mystery. Then write an essay in which you identify the mystery and explain how the investigation illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.

Literature Is the Question Minus the Answer Essays

613 WordsMar 12th, 20113 Pages

Critic Roland Barthes has said, “Literature is the question minus the answer.” Choose a novel or play and, or considering Barthes’ observation, write an essay in which you analyze a central question the work raises and the extent to which it offers any answers. Explain how the author’s treatment of this question affects your understanding of the work as a whole.

Literature, as any other kind of art, is abstract and gives the readers the possibility of applying different meanings and therefore learning new morals. The critic Roland Barthes has wisely said that “Literature is the question minus the answer.” The tragedy Hamlet by William Shakespeare is a perfect example of how a central question is left unanswered thus allowing for…show more content…

He is seen again delaying his revenge due to over thinking when refusing to kill Claudius in a moment of weakness. The prince’s reluctance to murder the praying king and thus sending him directly to heaven is ironic due to the fact that Claudius is unable to confess his sins and ask for God’s forgiveness. The readers once again observe Hamlet’s failure to execute his responsibility due to his overwhelming desire to perform the perfect revenge.

The question of why Hamlet is delaying his action offers many ambiguous interpretations. One of the most reasonable explanations is that he is waiting for the right timing. He may have been planning the murder very precisely so that he doesn't get caught and suffer any consequences. It may be said that Hamlet is a renaissance Prince, and is not a violent person but more of a deep thinker, which may be the reason that delays him from the killing. His obstacle could be his deep and troubled thoughts, thinking and analyzing everything could have lead to the delay of the murder. Shakespeare doesn’t offer the reader a distinctive answer to the central question thus proving Barthes’ idea that literature is often open to different

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