Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Comic Books as Literature midterm

I'm making my midterm at present for my comic books as literature class, and I thought I'd post a handful of the questions I have in my exam bank which aren't going to make the cut this time around:

Superheroes are often used as a metaphor for a person feeling like a social outcast. Examine how the stories we read utilized that analogy of empowerment’s correlation to a search for acceptance.

Compare and contrast the characters of Dr. Manhattan vs. Ozymandias, specifically focusing on each's detachment from humanity and reluctance or willingness to use his power to influence world events.

Examine a particular recurring symbol from Watchmen (like the blood-splattered smiley or the motif of reflection) and analyze how its meaning evolves throughout the course of the story.

The motif of revenge and retribution is one common in crime fiction. Analyze this theme of taking revenge as seen in Sin City: The Hard Goodbye. Is Marv really out to avenge Goldie, or do his motives go deeper than that?

Several of the stories we read gave us a different perspective as to who is the victim of a crime. Illustrate how one of the stories we read shows that crime’s influence can be felt beyond the immediate sphere of influence, how it affects more than just those against whom the crime is perpetrated.

With crime pervasive in our society, some people are obsessed with trying to find out why, searching for a cause or a reason behind these horrific actions. Still others seem oblivious to the motives behind them and instead focus on the actions themselves and their consequences. Discuss how one of the stories we read explores this concept of a quest for meaning in the face of a tragedy.

I'll come back in a few days and post a few brief details on the kinds of answers I would be looking for in questions such as these, but for now I'll leave them here and open the floor to discussion and debate.