How is the concept of cultural encounter treated in the short story “The Distant Past”?
The student’s work should be presented in an ESSAY of around 500 words.
The essay should include a list of references (print and electronic) at the end in addition to in-text referencing as per the requirements of the Harvard Referencing System. Proper referencing is a serious academic requirement and skill and will be rewarded accordingly.
Writing and Discussion Topic:
Cultural encounters can prove to be very enriching to all those involved, yet could prove very confusing and disrupting. In most cases these encounters lead to a conflict of values, both at the individual and societal levels. Explore how cultural encounters are manifested in literary works, specifically short stories from An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents, with particular reference to “The Distant Past” by William Trevor.
In the process of answering the TMA, you should make sure to include the below five sub questions:
1) How is the concept of cultural encounter treated in the short story “The Distant Past”?
2) Is the author, William Trevor, aware of the cultural encounter theme? How does he manifest that awareness?
3) Are the main characters, mainly the Middletons, aware of the cultural encounter theme? What clues do they provide of such awareness?
4) How does the Friday visit to town highlight the theme of cultural encounter in “The Distant Past”?
5) How does the usage of “contrasts” (present versus past, now versus then) throughout the short story help in highlighting the theme of cultural encounter?
Guidance on Addressing the Topic:
Before you embark on writing the essay, you need to read carefully Book 3 Cultural Encounters in order to familiarize yourself with the topic at large and make use of the skills presented in the book when writing your essay. You are strongly advised to consult sources on the topic and widen your knowledge of the topic under consideration, but it is of the utmost importance to document any words or ideas that are not your own. Once you have the material ready, it is advisable that you follow the steps (1-5) indicated in the section above to avoid omitting sub-questions. Although the topic is most relevant to Unit 3, you should demonstrate your knowledge of the complexity of the concept of cultural encounters as presented in the all the units to draw lessons and examples from them if need be, and not model your treatment solely after a particular treatment appearing in a single unit.