Week 12: Thousand-and-One Nights

Assignments - Reading - Resources - Images

Reflections Essay

Choose one of the essay topics for this week. You will find the topics listed down at the bottom of this page; scroll down to find them. If you want to write on a different topic, contact the instructor first (make sure you do that at least one day before the deadline so that you can receive an answer back in time).

Links to stories. You need to provide a link back to each of the specific stories that you discuss in your essay.

Image. You are required to include at least one image with the story, along with a link to the webpage where you found the image, plus information about the image. You are free to re-use the images you find at the course website, or you can choose some other image to use that you find on the internet. Remember: even if you are re-using an image from the course website, you need to provide image information about it.

Title. You need to include the words "Essay for Week ___" in the title you give to the post, along with a title for your actual story (for example, "Essay for Week 2: Honesty Rewarded in the Jataka Tales")

Length. Your Storytelling post needs to be a minimum of 300 words long (maximum 1000 words). Make sure you do a spellcheck and a word count, and that you proofread your post by reading it out loud.

When you are done, complete the Gradebook Declaration.


I have published a blog post with the words "Essay for Week ___" in the title, along with a specific title for my essay.

My post is between 300 words minimum and 1000 words maximum.

I have spellchecked and proofread the post.

I have included links to the specific stories that I discussed.

I have included an image, along with Image Information.

Possible Topics:

Setting and Landscape. What impression did you have of the setting and the natural landscape for these stories? How did the setting contribute to the meaning of the stories? Where did the stories take place? What details do you remember about the settings of the stories? Did the setting(s) play an important role in the stories? Were the seasons or time of year important in any of the stories? The weather? Was the natural setting realistic, or was it a kind of fantasy setting? (Make sure you provide specific examples from at least three different stories.)

The "Bad Guys." Stories often contain a "bad guy," an enemy who has to be defeated or a dangerous person who needs to be stopped. Who were the "bad guys" in this week's stories? What made them act the way that they did? Were you ever sympathetic to the "bad guys"? What happened to the "bad guys" at the end of each story? How were the heroes/heroines able to escape from or defeat their opponents? Do any of the "bad guys" learn their lesson or turn out not to be so bad in the end? (Make sure you provide specific examples from at least three different stories.)

Women's Roles. Many storytelling traditions are male-oriented, with the female characters appearing in clearly subordinate roles. Sometimes the stories are explicitly misogynistic, treating women with contempt, suspicion or fear. In other storytelling traditions, women (or girls) emerge as the central characters, and they are represented in a more positive light. What did you think about the way women and girls were represented in the stories that you read this week? (Make sure you provide specific examples from at least three different stories.)

Magic and the Supernatural . Magic and supernatural elements are important for many storytelling traditions. What examples of magic and supernatural elements did you see in this week's stories? What kinds of characters used magic? What did they use magic for? Were there supernatural characters or events in this week's stories? What role did these supernatural characters or events play in the plot of the stories? What did these magical and supernatural effects contribute to the impression that the stories made on you this week? (Make sure you make specific references to at least three different stories.)

Continuity and Change. When reading this week's stories, were you more aware of the similarity of these stories to stories you might see today on television or read about in books or see in a movie? What things did you notice in common between these stories and more modern, contemporary stories? What about this week's seemed strange or different to you? Are there things about these stories that seemed "modern" to you? What things seemed old-fashioned and different from modern stories? Pick out a few stories and provide specific examples of the cultural similarities or differences that made the biggest impression on you. (Make sure you provide specific examples from at least three different stories.)


Modern Languages MLLL-2003. World Literature: Frametales. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Page last updated: October 9, 2004 12:48 PM