Examine three characters from Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin.

Remember: a literary essay is essentially an argument in support of a thesis. In the body of the essay, use quotes (minimum six quotes) and details from the work both as evidence to support your thesis and as examples to illustrate and clarify your ideas. Remember to analyze the quotes and examples you introduce. You are required to use direct quotations in your essay. You may use outside sources, but you are not required to do so. If you do use ideas from another source, however, you must acknowledge your source. Your essay must be 4 to 5 typed pages (1000-1250 words), Times New Roman, double spaced and font size 12.

Examine three characters from Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin. These characters must come from different sections of the book: you can’t choose all three from the Corrigan/Ciarin episodes.Discuss the following questions. In what ways do the scenes that depict the tightrope walker balancing on a cable strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center symbolize the lives of the characters in the rest of the novel? In what ways does the documentary Man On a Wire also symbolize and shed light on the lives of the characters in Let the Great World Spin? Discuss some of the following themes in each of the characters’ lives: precariousness, tenuous balance, risk, strength, perseverance, playfulness, beauty, love, survival and triumph or possible disaster, possibility, connectedness, implausibility, ludicrousness, conflict, etc. Finally, consider the question: in what ways is the novel a response to 9/11?

Please discuss the questions by choosing three scenes from each of the characters’ lives. These scenes must also be drawn from different sections—the beginning, middle and end. They can’t all be chosen from only one part of the novel. Remember that you cannot discuss every detail; otherwise, your essay will become a mere plot summary. Concentrate on analysis, not plot summary.

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