Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Some final exam essay questions to consider

Hi folks -- how do you feel about writing up one of these essay questions? My HST 378 class at USD will have to write on one of these May 19!

II Essay. (50 pts.) Answer one of the following by writing a coherent essay harnessing factual evidence whenever possible. Your answer should have both an introduction and a conclusion. For the final exam I will choose two of the following three essays!

A. It seems obvious that the current decline in the American automobile industry didn‘t happen during the past few years. In your own words and using what you have learned in this course; trace the decline of the American industry beginning with the 1950s, making sure to discuss key aspects and developments in chronological fashion. Do you think this decline was inevitable or not, and why?

B. Culture, past or present, high or popular, is important. Discuss the culture related to the automobile in America between 1950 and 2000, making sure to include examples from music, film, and literature (including poetry). Broadly speaking, what does post-WWII car culture tell us about how automobiles contributed to being American during the second half of the 20th century?

C. In James Flink’s article, “The Three Stages of Automobile Consciousness,” the author remarks that “Automobility has had more important consequences for 20th century American man than even Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier had for our 19th century forebears.” Elaborate on this idea within the context of the second half of the 20th century

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