The Engagement Essay

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Story : The Engagement by George Simenon

There are 5 topics to choose from. Choose 1 to write on and compose a 4-6 page paper. Use the hand outs and examples from the text.

What you are trying to achieve here is an informed response about the text and module material.

1. Illustrate how Simenon’s novella is an example of a noirish, roman durs.

2. Show how Simenon makes use of suspense in his narrative to build a tense mood in the story and page-turner for readers. You will want to consider things like structure, pacing, atmosphere, and point of view.

3. Simenon is a best-selling author of detective and crime fiction. Recently his books, especially the roman durs, have garnered critical attention. What is the appeal of a crime story like Mr Hire’s Engagement for readers (general public, academics, other writers, students)? What are the main features that make it a successful story?

4. What makes Mr. Hire’s Engagement an example of a psychological novel? How does it explore motives and mental states (feelings and thoughts) of individual characters and crowds?
5. What features of the novella format (major and minor) can we locate in Mr Hire’s Engagement? Is this narrative typical in its use of novella devices or atypical–explain?

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