View Full Version : An Extended Essay on Philosophy and the Corruption of the Individual?

08-11-2012, 08:57 PM
For this assignment I'm required to write a 4,000 word essay on a topic of my choice (4K words is the maximum, 3.5K minimum). I have narrowed it down to a comparative study of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. I've finished reading both books and am basically cemented in using these books.

Now, my first thought was to explore the corruption of the individual in each book, relating it to how the philosophy present in each book aids the downward spiral of each character's arc. In turn, I would then relate corruption in society to a universal topic (my thought was how humans seek some sort of material permanence to overrule the bonds of time, like with how Faust seeks knowledge and how Gray seeks beauty).

Wilde's book deals a lot with aestheticism and Marlowe's mainly focuses on metaphysics and theology, but the problem I've now run into is second guessing my choice of argument.

Is this 1) too complex to tackle in 4,000 words 2) too non-original?

I know I could do this, but when writing a pretty long essay like this, I want to be able to feel such passion for my topic that the words flow like the Nile. Not happening with this one at present.

Any ideas? I'm open to nearly anything! I've got these two main texts and can use any number of scholarly resources and critical essays.


08-11-2012, 10:03 PM
Can you supply a bit of context, please? What is this assignment for?

If it's a school essay then the comparison is fine and should be doable in that length.

If it's for publication you mght need something a little less school like.

08-11-2012, 10:45 PM
Apologies for the lack of context. Oops! :)

Thanks for the reply!

Yeah, it's for school.

I've just got a gut feeling that I could be going deeper than I am right now and was hoping to see if there was anything I overlooked (assuming people are familiar with the two texts).

08-12-2012, 01:23 AM
Well, we can't do your homework for you. But you might also consider how differently Wilde and Marlowe regarded humanity and corruption. They had very different perspectives on both that informed the stories and the characters.

08-12-2012, 01:40 AM
Thanks! Wasn't asking for you guys to do it for me, just toss around a few ideas.

That should definitely help; I've checked out some critical essays and have a solid basis.

Didn't want to seem like I was trying to get you guys to supply me with everything I need. Sorry if it came across like that.

I do understand that being new and asking for help obviously screams that I may be trying to use the system to my advantage, but that's not who I am. Obviously there's a certain cache to having time on any given site like this, so I'll be more careful about asking for help so it doesn't seem like I'm trying to get people to do my work for me.

Thanks again.

08-12-2012, 02:38 AM
Not to worry. We're perfectly happy to bat around ideas. But people do sometimes try to get others to do their work. Once we get to know you, it'll be easier. Good luck with your paper.

Eddyz Aquila
08-23-2012, 03:43 PM
Ah, Extended Essay, such good memories :D

I bet the guy who read mine on history shook his head when he read the topic, but he still gave me an A. :D