Rosso Malpelo

Here are the instructions on how to write your midterm paper. The aim of the midterm paper is to make you engage in depth with one of the texts we have read so far. In your 5-page midterm paper you are expected to answer one of the proposed prompts, develop your own thesis, and use meaningful quotes from the text to support your argument.

How to write an effective midterm paper
Carefully read all the prompts and pick the one you find most engaging.
Choose your thesis – that is, the main point you want to make in your paper. Your thesis has to answer the prompt you choose, but it should also express your personal point of view. You will briefly present your thesis at the beginning of your paper. The rest of your essay will then consist of a series of logical points to explain/support your thesis with examples from the text.
Re-read (or re-watch) the text you’re working on and look for useful quotations (sentences, paragraphs, scenes) you can use to support your thesis and explain your main points. You can check the Discussion Board section devoted to the text’s author and look for useful suggestions/ideas.
Write your 5-page midterm paper – remember to clearly present your thesis at the beginning of your paper.
Format your essay according to the MLA guidelines. Font: Calibri or Times New Roman, Font Size: 12, Line spacing: Double space, Margins: 1 inch.

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Choose one of the following prompts
Verga, “Rosso Malpelo” – What is the value of human life? Verga dwells on the death of some of the main characters (Malpelo’s father, for example, or Frog) and describes in detail the reaction of other people and society as a whole to their loss. Choose some of these moments and explain what value society assigns to human life in this particular context and, more specifically, what is the relationship between the value of human life and work. As a starting point, read again the reaction of Frog’s mother to her son’s illness and death: “At last one Monday Frog didn’t come to the pit, and the boss washed his hands of him, because in the state he was in he was more trouble than he was worth. Malpelo found out where he lived, and on Saturday he went to see him. Poor Frog was almost gone, and his mother wept and despaired as if her son had earned her ten shillings a week.”

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