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At the beginning of the semester, we discussed the crucial difference between a course in History or Anthropology and a course in Humanities: Humanities not only looks at a culture’s experiences (or struggles, to be consistent with the name of our course) but at the human reaction to these experiences. That always involves artistic expression, particularly writing.
We have read numerous examples of storytelling from ancient times to modern – Gilgamesh; The Iliad; Beowulf; The Tempest; “My Kinsman, Major Molineux”; “The Wife of His Youth”; “The Swimmer”; “Hairball”; and “Age of Lead.” Choose one of these and write a standard five-paragraph essay discussing how it reflects issues that the culture it comes from had to deal with and shows attempts to explain/cope with that experience.

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