Wednesday, March 21, 2007

midterm questions

Now that all of my students have officially taken the midterm, I can share with you some of the questions I asked. They had nine topic questions to choose from, and they had to write on two of those in class for about a page handwritten and a third out of class for two pages typed. What follows are five of the most popular questions, the ones most of my students gravitated towards.

The concept of what motivates a hero’s action is at the center of that hero’s character. Choose one of the heroes we read about and analyze the reasons behind that character’s actions, interpreting the things the character says and does in order to better understand what makes the character tick. Why is this person even a superhero, and what drives him or her to act the way he or she does?

The line that is drawn between what makes someone a hero or a villain is often very thin, and in a way it is in the eye of the beholder. Can a person who does “bad” things still be a hero if those things are done for a common “good”? Explore that question as it is presented in Watchmen.

In the world of Sin City, things are not always black and white. Good and evil are extremes at the opposite ends of a spectrum, but in between these two are many shades of gray. Where do you think Marv sits on this spectrum of morality (is he a hero, anti-hero, villain?) and why?

Marv, the main character of Sin City, has a particular attitude towards the women around him that is somewhat of a cross between chivalry and misogyny. Explore this attitude, how it is portrayed throughout the story and how in many ways it defines his character and shapes the comic’s plot.

What is the significance of the recurring religious symbols in Sin City, both in regards to character development and theme?

I'll share with you some of the answers on Friday, after I get their permission to post them. But overall, the students did brilliantly. The lowest grade I had was a mid-B, and I had several perfect scores.

But before I share those with you, does anyone have any comments on them? Care to try your hand at answering any of them?