“Pale Horse, Pale Rider”
In his 2005 book, “The Great Influenza,” John M. Barry notes how little was written by contemporary authors about the 1918 flu pandemic. He writes:
“The disease has survived in memory more than in literature…But the relative lack of impact it left on literature may not be unusual at all. It may not be that much unlike what happened centuries ago. One scholar of medieval literature says, ‘While there are a few vivid and terrifying accounts, it’s usually striking how little was written on the bubonic plague’… People write about war. They write about the Holocaust. They write about horrors that people inflict on people. Apparently they forget the horrors that nature inflicts on people, the horrors that make humans least significant.”
Katherine Porter’s “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” is one of the few novels written about the flu epidemic by someone who experienced it firsthand. Write an essay discussing Porter’s novel and focusing on reasons why there is so little post-flu literature.
Your essay should be 350 – 500 words (approximately 2 pages) with an appropriate title. You should cite at least two references (some suggested are found below) and to include quotes from the text of “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” to support your analysis.
Belling C. 2009. Overwhelming the medium: Fiction and the trauma of pandemic influenza in 1918. Literature &Medicine 28(1):55-81. [Proquest]
Bollinger L. 2013. Trauma, Influenza, and Revelation in Katherine Anne Porter’s “Pale Horse, Pale Rider.” Papers on Language and Literature49 (4): 364-389. [Proquest]
Brooker JS. 2009. Nightmare and Apocalypse in Katherine Anne Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider. The Mississippi Quarterly 62 (1/2): 213-234. [Proquest]
Davis DA. 2011. The Forgotten Apocalypse: Katherine Anne Porter’s “Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” Traumatic Memory, and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. The Southern Literary Journal 43(2): 55-74. [EBSCO]
Potter P. 2013. Pale horse, pale rider done taken my lover away. Emerging Infectious Diseases 19(4): 694-695. [Google]
Please follow this rubric:
? The essay addresses the topic effectively and a clear unifying theme runs throughout.
? The essay ties together information from the text and information contained in the articles to support its major themes
? The writing demonstrates creativity and innovation in the way major themes are addressed.
? The essay has an appropriate title.
Quality of Writing (30%)
? Ideas are presented in an organized and coherent manner; clear transitions are made between sentences/paragraphs.
? There are no errors in spelling, grammar, or usage.
References and Use of References (20%)
? An appropriate style (APA, CBE, MLA, Chicago) was used in the reference list and for in-text citations.
? The references cited were sound and of a scholarly level that was appropriate for the paper.
? Note that if the paper is not original and inÕÉ?†?†corporates text directly lifted from other sources (as
demonstrated by an Internet /Turnitin search), the paper may receive a grade of F.