Write your assigned essay first [50 points]. Then write any TWO of the following essays [25 points each]. You might consider copying the question itself onto the top of a blank WORD page.
Begin by writing several paragraphs that are well developed with details and episodes supporting your thesis. Using quotations to support your ideas are not necessary but will always be more convincing support for your arguments or points. Use CLEAR topic sentences that reflect the development of your thesis (controlling idea).
In each essay: UNDERLINE your thesis statement. DOUBLE SPACE the essays when you print them out. Also save a personal copy in your school document folder or GoogleDoc folder.
The concept of family is an important one in this book. Discuss the ways in which characters in the story (not necessarily related) come together to form their own kind of family unit and in what ways they develop this sense of community. [theme]
At the end of the novel, what lessons has Taylor learned about life or the human spirit from TWO of the people she has met since she left Kentucky? Discuss what she’s learned from them by using specific examples from the book to explain and develop your answers. She has probably learned more than one thing from each character. [theme/character]
The idea of motherhood and the responsibility of being a parent is another important theme in the story. Discuss the different attitudes and behaviors of parents or parental figures. What’s Kingsolver’s point about parenthood? Cite evidence and examples from the story. [theme]
In what ways has Taylor Greer experienced self-discovery, learned about herself as a result of the experiences she has had? Discuss the experience(s), the discoveries she makes, and the effects that these discoveries have on herself and others. [character]
Even in Kentucky Taylor had to make choices. Think about the choices she made and their results throughout the novel. Which choices were the most important in terms of growth for Taylor? In terms of avoiding a bad situation? How do Taylor’s choices put her in charge of her own life? [theme/character/conflict]
Kingsolver’s book emphasizes the importance of friendship. Analyze ONE friendship in the novel: Lou Ann and Taylor; Taylor and Mattie; Taylor, Estevan, and Esperanza. How can the friendship be described, and what does each friend give and take in the friendship? [theme/character]