ARTICLES ARCHIVE

America’s Disgrace

Written by Chloe Gordon for Prof. Alyson Grant Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced shines a harsh light on the crisis of identity internalized by many Muslim Americans. Set in an upscale apartment in Manhattan, Disgraced captures the inner workings of wealthy liberals intent on professing progressiveness. In this environment of seemingly open-minded North Americans, Akhtar aspires for a “confrontation with the recalcitrant tribal tendencies we all harbour” (Akhtar 95). Akhtar’s protagonist, Amir Kapoor, born Amir Abdullah, is locked in an intense struggle…

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Salt: An Addiction that Engineered the World – The Study of Salt through the History of the British Empire

Written by Georgiana Andra Liciu for Prof. Wendy Thatcher Salt is a spectacular food commodity that had an impact on culture, religion, politics, and science in every country in the world since before recorded history. The study of salt is socially relevant because without this mineral life on Earth would not exist. Indeed, all life emerged from salt water some three billion years ago and all organisms need salt to function and survive. Salt was so important for humans that…

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No, Capital Punishment Is Not Ethical: Failure of Retribution and Deterrence – A Study of the U.S. Penal Law

Written by Georgiana Andra Liciu for Prof. Isabelle Johnston Introduction: Capital punishment is one of the most—if not the most— controversial penal law practice in the U.S. today. The whole country is divided in its opinion about the death penalty; 31 states still use capital punishment, while in 13 states, this practice has been outlawed (“States”). This topic is socially relevant because an execution is an irreversible punishment. I am interested in this topic because I believe that justice is…

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“Some Books Should Not Be Opened”: The Primal Self and Family Decay in The Shining

Written by Sarah Levi for Prof. Kristopher Woofter Throughout The Shining, Stephen King foreshadows the destruction of the Torrance family by hinting that Jack will eventually fall victim to mental instability. Besides portraying his character as a dangerous man who struggles with alcoholism and a short temper, King makes Jack face challenging situations, inciting him to lose his cool and wreak havoc on his family. The Shining can be viewed as a story about a man’s inner demons taking control…

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The Sherwood Effect

Written by Linda Xin Zhi Zhang for Prof. Chad Lowe In Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, we follow a troubled young con artist sinking, not without consequences, into the decadence of the wealthy. Set in the 1950’s, the novel richly portrays many ideas arising from the psychologist Sigmund Freud, such as the unconscious, masculinity crises, and toxic masculinity. These elements are especially present in the relationship between Marge Sherwood and Tom Ripley, and help us understand why her presence…

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Teatro Grottesco: A Predestined Spectacle of Insignificance

Written by Anaïs Charbonneau-Poitras for Prof. Kristopher Woofter The title of Thomas Ligotti’s collection of short stories, Teatro Grottesco, can be translated from the Italian to mean ‘Grotesque Theater.’ The Italian definition relates to the Grotesque distortion of the American Gothic theme—that fate is predestined and controlled by some higher power. This theme is a pivotal influence in the short stories contained in the collection as the characters’ fates are predestined in their absence of free will and self-identity. Ligotti develops…

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Southern Forms of Grotesque: Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” and O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

Written by Anaïs Charbonneau-Poitras for Prof. Pauline Morel The grotesque is defined as the degradation and distortion from conventions of normality which often entices a paradoxical attraction of the repulsive. The southern writers William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor both present the Grotesque genre in shocking manners in their respective short stories “A Rose for Emily” and “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”. In contrasting and comparing the grotesque in both stories, the grotesque in Faulkner’s becomes perverse and in O’Connor’s…

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