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Hundred Years of Solitude IOP - help specifying the approach to the topic URGENT PLEASE

So my IOP is in a week, and I thought I had it all figured out, but after talking to my teacher today I'm freaking out. 

I was going to do the creative approach and write a letter from Aureliano Segundo to Petra Cotes, which he would write on his deathbed and which would be mostly apologetic, explaining his motifs to marry Fernanda and why he kept running back and forth between the two women. 

Seemed alright to me, however now I am wondering if it wouldn't be too much form, not enough content. I'm scared as hell, because my teacher is VERY strict when it comes to grading, and I know I need to have a top-notch analysis and a fresh approach to the subject in order to have a good grade. 

 

The main problem is, I have difficulties formulating the punchline for all of this. I just know that my teacher is going to ask me, "But what is the point of this presentation?" and I won't be able to give an answer. I just feel so confused right now. Like, how does this all relate to the main themes of the novel or something? I don't even know anymore. 

 

I also had other ideas, like doing an interview with Rebeca Buendia about whether she killed her husband or not and why and whether she was happy as a married woman, or was she oppressed... I think I could somehow link this with machismo/marianismo, but I don't know how. I'm mostly interested in the characters and things related to them, like the love triangle of Fernanda/Petra/Aureliano.

 

Please, please help. I desperately need guidance. I'm stressing about it so much that I feel like breaking down any minute. 

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Rather than spending your time deciding what form your IOP will take, decide first what understanding of the novel you wish to demonstrate... Keep in mind that your choice of activity is meant to suit a purpose.

 

What is your purpose? 

 

To take your activity choices so far:  

 

1) "a letter from Aureliano Segundo to Petra Cotes, which he would write on his deathbed and which would be mostly apologetic, explaining his motifs to marry Fernanda and why he kept running back and forth between the two women. "

 

Ask yourself:  "What does this reveal in terms of my understanding of theme / character? Is this the best way to demonstrate my understanding of this aspect of the novel? "

 

 

 

2)  an interview with Rebeca Buendia about whether she killed her husband or not and why and whether she was happy as a married woman, or was she oppressed... I think I could somehow link this with machismo/marianismo

 

Ok -- Sounds fine so far as an activity for an IOP. But what *understanding of the novel or some aspect of it* are you revealing through this ?

These are not real people with motives. They are constructions. Made-up for a purpose.   Does understanding Buendia's motives and emotions shed light on a theme or narrative strategy? Does knowing if she killed her husband or not satisfy our curiousity (as it would with real people, in a real court case -- totally irrelevant in an IOP!) or does her confession and explanation help to expose an important theme (eg. machismo; female oppression)? 

 

Beware of doing sociology or psychology or history! Your IOP is about literature. The danger with your second option, for instance, is that by dwelling on psychological or social reasons, you're going down the wrong path. 

 

If you can't make your two original ideas work, then just go for the default: an interview. Have someone interview the author on a radio show. It will then sound more like proper literary criticism/analysis/appreciation and therefore the right focus.

Edited by Blackcurrant
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