For this essay you have a few options. You may choose one of the short stories;
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For this essay you have a few options. You may choose one of the short stories; you may write about Amis’ essay, “Thinkability”; you may apply “Thinkability” to one of the stories. Whichever you choose, your essay will be a critical, analytical, thoughtful piece of work. Think of this essay as exploratory: you don’t have all the answers; you aren’t proving anything for all time. Avoid cliche and generalities. Focus narrowly and specifically. Support your assertions textually. Remember that text citation is meant to illustrate and illuminate your remarks for your reader. An engaged writer is an interesting writer: if you are bored, your reader will be bored. Be kind to the reader: explain, detail and connect your thinking for them. Show them how you have built your thinking about this subject. The essay will be 3-4 pages, double spaced, 1 inch margins, reasonable font.
Choose a story and think about Amis has constructed it. How does this story Work? What drives the narrative? How does the structure support the ideas? This really asks you to take the work a part.
Amis seems to be preoccupied with children/babies. Particularly the peril that he sees surrounding them. What’s going on with this? Look around this idea; see what you can discover.
Obviously the stories are preoccupied with the threat of nuclear war, in some cases, the actual event. How does he express this through the plot or characters? What is the fear at the heart of these stories.
Even though the stories are fantastical or futuristic, how do we recognize their worlds? What allows us to connect? How do these stories work as cautionary tales?
If you choose to write about “Thinkability”: look at prompt one. How has Amis made this essay? How is it organized? How does it move? How is it illustrated? What is the voice here? What is particularly interesting or surprising to you?
In “Thinkability”, what makes this essay work for you? Are you persuaded? Are you frightened? Are you impressed? Why? This means looking very closely at the writing.
If you choose to apply “Thinkability” to one of the stories: it would probably work best to do this in sections–though of course this is up to you. Pick a section of the essay that you see being enacted fictionally in the story. How do these two modes of expression support each other? How is the idea given life in the story? Or conversely, how is the story made more concrete or understandable by seeing it expressed in non fiction?