Length—1100-1200 words, with Works Cited list, and 6 Quotes
(at least 4 quotes from the novel; at least 2 from outside source)
Annotated Bibliography due 11/28
1st Draft: at least 500 words (intro + first body; or two body paras) due in class 12/2
Final Draft: At least 1100 words, 5 paragraph + 6 quotes (4 from the novel) due 12/9
In a well-researched, organized, and developed essay, examine the situation presented to us in Tim O’Brien’s novel, In the Lake of the Woods. Your task is to generate an argument as to what happened to Kathy Wade based on your interpretation of the novel. In so doing, you will incorporate outside research, along with quotes from the novel, as supporting evidence to make your claim. You can consider a number of scenarios—John killed Kathy and disposed of the body, Kathy simply ran off (perhaps to another man), or even that they concocted a story together to start a new life of their own. Another option is that ultimately it is never fully clear what happens to Kathy. Whatever your position, you will need to make a connection to a larger issue/focus (see below for a list of possible subjects).
You are also required to incorporate solid academic research into each body paragraph in order to substantiate the claims that you want to forward in regards to Kathy’s whereabouts. You are to choose ONE research topic, and ONE outside source from the last
20 years (EITHER ONE academic source [from the Rutgers academic database or from Google Scholar] OR ONE credible source [from the NY Times, Washington Post, TED Talk, Democracy Now, etc); but if you deem it necessary to “touch upon” another topic, you are permitted ONE additional outside source on a second subject. It is very important to determine what argument you want to make in regards to Kathy’s disappearance because certain research topics will work better than others when making a claim about what happened to Kathy. You will need a total of at least 6 quotes in the final draft.
Here are the subjects to consider for further research in developing your essay:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, its effects on the war veteran, (family members) and how it impacts Kathy’s disappearance.
Gender norms and toxic masculinity.
The nature of politics and how they impact not only the politician, but also the wife of the politician.
Parental suicide and/or childhood trauma, and how it affects John, and impacts the argument you generate concerning Kathy.
The nature of magic and illusion—how they figure into Wade’s trauma and into the “disappearance” of Kathy.
As mentioned earlier, some of these subjects will overlap–Magic and PTSD, for example, where Wade has a persistent need for secrecy and trickery as a way to cope with his trauma.