essay the arts past and present

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Writing and Discussion Topic:

Cultural encounters are a common occurrence in human history. They are closely linked to human movement, be it individual or mass. Their impact varies on cultures and individuals especially as they relate to questions of identity and self-perception. The theme of “home” becomes paramount in “locating” oneself. Memories, preferences, fears, prejudices and hopes are all entwined in the construction of “home” which is inseparable from the identity construction process. Explore how the theme of “home” is molded by cultural encounters as manifested in literary works, specifically short stories from An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents, with particular reference to “In Cuba I was a German Shepherd” by Ana Menendez and “One Out of Many” by V.S. Naipaul.

In the process of answering, you should make sure to include the below five sub questions:

1)How is the theme of “home” referred to in the short stories? Is it a mere reference, or is the theme accorded ample attention?

2) Are the authors aware of the centrality of “home”? How do they choose to depict that awareness be it in their choice of words or situations?

3) Are the main characters in the short stories aware of the “home” theme? How do they show their awareness of the theme and grapple with its complexity?

4) Are the “minor” (versus the main) characters aware of the “home” theme? If so, how do they make it felt?

5) How does the theme of “home” highlight that of cultural encounter in the stories?

*** Words count = 1200 words.

*** In-Text Citations and References using Harvard style.

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