I am the Cheese

Prompt:  Choose one of the prompts below.  Write a 750-1000 word essay addressing the prompt or choose 5 below and write 250 response for each (al la journal responses).  For each you must incorporate quotes from the novel for support.  If you have an alternative not mentioned below but that was discussed in class, have me approve it prior to writing.

Discussion of the prompt:

Write an alternative ending to the novel.  Many of you were disappointed with the fact that Adam is forever stuck in his cycle of discovery.  Write an ending that shows a) that he has been “faking” his amnesia this whole time in order to outwit Brint and Mr. Grey or b) that he isn’t really institutionalized any more c) that the orders to terminate have been granted or d) chose your own and approve it with me.

Write a version of the novel from another character’s perspective.  Write what happens to Adam’s family from his mom or dad’s perspective, his Aunt Martha’s perspective, or create a diary from Adam’s perspective.  Focus on his family’s history to his discovery of the truth.

Write an essay arguing whether or not Grey killed Adam’s family in the end.  Include whether you think Brint is collaborating with Grey or not.

Write an essay arguing whether you think Adam is “faking” his amnesia or not.  Is he outwitting Mr. Grey and Brint (and ultimately us, the readers) or was the trauma he experienced so bad that it damaged him for life?

Write an essay arguing whether Amy Hertz was real or not.  All major characters in the novel are accounted for at the end except  for Amy.  There has been some discussion of whether she was his alter ego—representing all the things that he wanted to be but wasn’t.  Some have suggested that Amy is his “guide” through is memory and that he makes her up in order to get through his discovery easier.  Some suggest that she is real.  Pick a perspective and argue for it.

Examine the way Adam describes himself in the first section of the novel (preparing for his journey).  Summarize his self-description.  What does this tell you about his character?

Who is Brint?  Describe his relationship to Adam.  What is the purpose of Brint’s questions at the beginning?  Do you think his motives change as the novel progresses?  Explain your response.

Do you trust Adam as a narrator (i.e. is he reliable or unreliable)?  Explain your response.

Which form of narration do you trust the most (Adam’s journey, taped conversations, flash-backs from the past embedded in the conversations)?  Why?

How does Adam respond when Brint raises an issue that is uncomfortable for Adam to discuss?  Why do you think Adam responds this way?  What issues is Adam unwilling to deal with?  Compare times when Adam is stressed in taped conversations to parallel entries documenting his bike ride.  

What is the “truth” of Adam’s bike journey?  Identify the people he met along the way to the individuals in the “sanatorium.”

Explain the meaning of the final entry in the novel.  What is the significance of this entry?  What does it mean for Adam?