Research Essay, Thesis & Dissertation Topics Sample Assignments:

Reflect on chapters 1- 4 of Bad Seed

October 15, 2022 0 Comments

DISCUSSION 1: (150 words)
Reflect on chapters 1- 4 of Bad Seed (attached). Record your response(s) to the characters and events as they unfold. Mark passages that stand out to you as significant so that you can refer to them during the discussion. Select one of the prompts below or create a focus for the initial post:
• Which characters are likeable? Which are not? How does the narrator influence our perception of the characters?
• Examine the setting (time and place) and consider the social conventions that govern the actions of the characters. What does an analysis of the setting allow us to understand about the conflicts March asks us to examine?
Present your response in a 150-word initial post.

DISCUSSION 2: (200 words)
Reflect on chapters 5 – 8 of Bad Seed (attached). The novel asks us to examine what is natural and unnatural behavior. An integral part of the debate of natural and unnatural behaviors addresses questions or nature and nurture.
PART 1 (100 WORDS)
• How does the novel challenge and/or reinforce our assumptions when we consider the idea of natural and unnatural behaviors in children? Adults?
• To which aspects of the nature vs. nurture debate do the different characters draw our attention?
Present your response in a 75 to 150-word initial post.

PART 2 (100 WORDS)
Follow Up Posts:
• Respond to posts/threads of classmates who present a different point of view.
• What is the significance of the range of deviant behaviors characters exhibit?
• Consider the points Jen Baker makes in her article “William March’s The Bad Seed and the Human Propensity for Violence.” What insights does she contribute that are important to our analysis?
Present your response in a 100-word initial post.

DISCUSSION 3: (200 words)
Reflect on chapters 9 – 12 of Bad Seed (attached)The novel raises several important questions for us. One of the most disturbing is the question of how a parent (Christine) should react when confronted with the knowledge that her/his child kills without regret. While Christine acknowledges that she and Kenneth are unable to fully understand Rhoda, she struggles with acknowledging the truth.

PART 1 (100 WORDS)
Explore the process that Christine undergoes as she wrestles with the fact that her daughter kills without remorse.
• How should we interpret these changes and Christine’s struggle that culminates in her decision to end both Rhoda’s and her own life?
• What are the competing emotions and concerns that Christine must prioritize and which ultimately seems to be her main motivation?
• References to the electric chair and the death penalty become an important element of the novel. What purpose does this symbol serve and what questions does it raise for readers? How does the meaning of this symbol hold for readers when Leroy invokes it? When Christine invokes it?
Present your response in a 100-word initial post.

PART 2 (100 WORDS)
Follow Up Posts
• James Knoll argues against using the term evil in the mental health care field and in the criminal justice system. What questions does his argument raise for you as a reader?
• How do his insights help us to understand Christine’s final decision?
• What would March think of Knoll’s argument?
Present your response in a 100-word initial post.

Consider the Blogspot review – A Review of the Bad Seed. In your analysis examine the following passage:
Amid the important sociopathological elements in the novel and its unusual little killer, there exists an acute rendering of the state of contemporary (1954) society.

The notion of a “bad seed” is not just the seed that carried the killer instinct across generations, but a seed that lies dormant within the confines of western society, and that sprouts more and more frequently as the society maintains its unhealthy repressive lifestyle.
How might this assessment help us to understand aspects of the novel that are below or near the surface that might help to produce a sociopath like Rhoda? To develop the analysis, examine characters who represent the larger community (Monica, Leroy and his wife, the Fern sisters, the Daigles, Emory, and Reginald).
Begin by thinking about the individual character’s traits that might appear positive but may contribute to what our reviewer refers to as an unhealthy and repressive lifestyle.
As always, journals should be between 2 pages double-spaced in length and supported with paraphrases and/or brief direct quotations from relevant texts (the book attached).

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