the heart is a lonely hunter

You are responsible for choosing a character–any character–from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and connecting them to a real person from our world, past, present, or future. Write an essay exploring that connection.

Said person may be:

a historical figure;
someone you personally know (family, friend, co-worker, colleague, etc.);
unknown; or
someone altogether different from what I’ve already listed. If you have an idea but find yourself uncertain, just ask.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but here it is anyway–you are welcome to pick a person of any background:


Your selection should illustrate:

your understanding of the character you’ve chosen;
your understanding of the novel;
your understanding of the character’s relationship to the novel as a whole;
your understanding of the person to whom you see a connection; and
your understanding of the person-to-whom-you-see-a-connection’s place in the world.

It is highly unlikely that you will find a person from our world with the same exact circumstances as any character in the novel, so don’t spend too much of your time thinking in this capacity; instead, if you think figuratively, you will see these fictional characters all around us every single day. Explore why–and to whom–that matters.

The first half of the semester focused heavily on building a set of tools with which to analyze fiction in and of itself. Now, let’s turn our attention outward into the world and delve deeper into the heart of what fiction really is: an invitation to contemplate, consider, find, evaluate, etc. our own understanding of real life.
That said, it is important for you to select a character and person that is somehow important to you. Who and what you choose is entirely up to you, so choose to think, research, and write about someone who truly speaks to you.

What’s required and how to go about it:
Write a 5-6 page essay that examines the connection you’ve chosen.
Essentially, what you write and how you write it will largely depend upon the people you select.
You must provide examples from the novel as a means of illustrating your points.
Use the elements of fiction we’ve been discussing in class as a foundation while writing this essay. Use them as a platform to illustrate your understanding of what we’re working on together in this course.
You are required to do a significant amount of research, but you are not limited to academic sources. Use them, but consider differentiating your sources.
What and how you research will necessarily depend on the person you choose.
You are welcome to include biographical information inasmuch as it is relevant to your ideas, but leave out gratuitous page filler, please.
You may organize this essay any way you see fit—the final decision on what you do and how you do it is up to you. If you have an idea about which you are unsure, please be certain to contact me before you begin any major effort therein.
Do not write the classic, five or six paragraph essay.
Use proper MLA research and documentation skills, including a proper Work Cited page.
Provide a cover page with thesis, name, title, and date.
Submit your work as a single document via Canvas.

What I’ll be looking for in assessment:
Use your voice to say something of your own.
Fully develop a thesis, and then unify and develop your writing through the lens of said thesis.
Please review the department grading standard included in the syllabus–it certainly applies.
Observe all minimum requirements.
There are no brownie points for exceeding the minimum requirements (honestly).
Sentence level errors / mechanical errors should be kept to a minimum.

The due date and time are detailed in the Course Calendar.

What’s at Stake:
You will not have a chance to revise this 250 point paper—25 % of the course total—once it has been turned in for a grade, so be sure to make the most of your time. If that includes using me as a resource, you should know how to find me by now.

Good luck, good thinking, and please–don’t hurt yourself. Cheers.

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