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Your final exam will take place on Tuesday, December 16, from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM in our normal classroom. The exam will consist of two part: an essay and a quote identification section.

PART I: Essay Question

You will need to prepare an essay exam prep card using the following specifications:

  • The card may be no bigger than 5" x 8".
  • Your name must appear in the upper right corner of the card (with a horizontal orientation so that the longest side is at top).
  • A clear space at the top left corner should be left blank for stapling.
  • You may record quotes on the card, but each quote on the card needs to appear in the essay. Listing other quotes in an attempt to have the answers to the ID section is unacceptable. Quotes are expected in the essay since you can prepare ahead of time.
  • You may not write out the essay on the card, but you may outline the key points.
  • Failure to follow these directions will result in the card not being allowed during the exam.

I will inspect the card before the exam starts. You may wish to show up early to get my approval.

Essay Options for Final Exam

1.  Science fiction as a genre allows writers and readers to look at thorny social, political, or philosophical issues in relative safety by creating a hypothetical representation of reality that provides a peek into a potential solution or philosophical position.  Using at least two major novels or films, trace a specific issue to show how the author offers a warning, alternative approach to a social problem, or philosophical position in response to that issue.

2.  In the first half of the semester, we considered the alien as "other": a group that is different from ourselves.  While such a perspective is useful in exploring the prejudices some groups have against others, science fiction allows readers to move beyond the view of the other and actually look through the eyes (or other means of perception) of the alien, in essence giving us the vicarious approximation of seeing the world in a fundamentally different way.  Using three characters from any of the texts we read this semester, show how they perceive the world in different ways that force us to confront completely different ways of seeing the world.

3.  Controlling the general population or specific groups within a population is a theme that appears in many of the works that we read this semester.  Using three texts, trace the method of control used by a specific group and analyze both its effectiveness and it morality. 

4. One of the central questions of any philosophy is the individual's place in the universe: who are we? What forces control our lives? Why do we exist? From these questions, different thinkers have founded religions and philosophies, offering explanations that range from the theological to the absurd. Using three different texts from the course, trace three of these explanations and offer one up as a preference, explaining why that one of the three appeals to you the most.


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