As you read in the preceding attached files, the Christ Motif in Literature, also known as Resurrection motif, initiation motif, transformation motif etc. notice they follow this pattern:

  • May also be called Resurrection, transformation, initiation motif etc. But the pattern is the same
  • Hero must leave status quo
  • Must face obstacles
  • Descends to an underworld
  • Must die (either real or metaphorical death)
  • Returns as a reborn or resurrected hero with new knowledge of the Self and the world around them.

Find this motif in short stories: D.H. Lawrence’s The Horse Dealer’s Daughter and Richard Wright’s Big Boy Leaves Home by answering the following questions for both stories. Explore the text fully and thoroughly. Pay attention to what Big Boy is like before he enters the kiln and after, and the subtle changes in the main character of Lawrence’s story at the beginning versus the end. The short stories are provided here as a PDF for your convenience, but it can also be found in the module.

1. Explain the pattern of the Transformation motif commonly found in literature

2. Describe the main characters at the beginning of the story and at what point these characters “leave the status quo” of their lives.

3. What obstacles do they face before descending into an underground?

4. Locate the point where the main characters enter an underground unfamiliar world.

hint for Big Boy: It is not when Big Boy and his friends get in the water; keep reading

5. What difficulties are encountered there?

6. Are there any associations with death present in the underground world? What are they?

7. What does the hero learn about their true Self? About their world?

8. Explain the point at which they re-emerge, in other words are resurrected.

9. Have they changed? How?

10. I could give you ten more stories with the exact same pattern (motif) and it’s no coincidence. Why do you think we read and write this pattern over and over again?

Upload a Word Document. This needs to be in essay format. Use direct quotes from both texts to back up your answers. Doubled Spaced!


Here is Dante Alighieri’s famous epic poem Inferno. It is attached as a PDF above. In this epic poem, Dante writes his hero to go on a journey through all 9 circles of hell. Your assignment is to analyze ONE CIRCLE. Choose from Circles 4 (Greed), 5 (Anger), or 6 (Heresy). All the circles are conveniently separated by chapter. The hero gets to the first circle of hell at chapter 4. Analyze the chapter by answering the following questions:

-which circle of hell is Dante in?

-what kinds of people is this circle reserved for?

-what does Dante see there? Smell there? Hear there?

-what kind of language does Dante use to describe what he sees and feels? What adjectives does he use?

-Does Dante see anyone he recognizes there? Are they a historical figure or a literary/mythical figure? Why are they there?

-what is Dante’s attitude toward the people he sees in this circle?

– what is the context of this book, this chapter? In other words, when was this book written and under what circumstances? what was going on historically in that place and time? (Hint: You can find this info in Module 1 from this Unit)

– what were the potential consequences of not being faithful to the church? (Hint: The Rise of the Inquisition video from this Unit can help you with this info)

– why do you think the readers of this book would believe it to be more truth than fiction?

– what is the subtext of this chapter? What is Dante’s overall message to his audience from this chapter? For instance, if you choose Circle 3, for the Gluttonous, what is Dante saying about gluttonous people of his time? who might be gluttonous in his time and why would that be a sin?

You should explore and address all of these questions. They will help you analyze the chapter and formulate your ideas so that you can start your essay. Use direct quotes from the text to back up your responses.

Use the notes at the end of each chapter to help you with any terms or phrases you might not know. You may need to do some further research. you may need to google a couple people or phrases 🙂 If you use outside sources be sure to cite them in your work.

I have included the full text of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno

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