Archive for the ‘• Fall Term Homework’ Category


Jeremiah Johnson is a story about a man who tires of “civilization” and who seeks to escape by going forth into the wilderness. Nevertheless, along the way he encounters a variety of individuals who have a profound influence on his life. In the end, by seeking to leave the civilized world behind, he ultimately finds himself.

For your final assignment, pick one of the following questions and write a 750 to 1,000 word, five-paragraph essay in the “Leave a Reply” section below. Paper are due by the date the instructor assigns in class.


1) In literature and film, three themes are often explored.  Discuss how these themes are dealt with in the film with specific reference to the characters and action in the film.

i) Man versus Man

ii) Man versus Nature

iii) Man versus himself


2) How is the concept of “rugged individualism” manifested in the film? Can the main character really “stand on his own” or does he depend upon the companionship and help of others? Explain.


3) On his journey, Johnson encounters several groups of native peoples and thus comes into contact with cultures that are vastly different from his own. What challenges does Johnson face in attempting to understand and deal with these cultures, and is he ultimately successful? Explain.


4) How would you have felt about the arrival of the mountain men and the settlers if you were a Native American in those days? How might you have dealt with a new civilization encroaching on your lands? Would it have been possible for the two cultures — American and Indian — to have lived peacefully with one another or was the meeting always doomed to conflict and failure? Explain.


 5) In what ways are this uniquely American concept of independence and individualism different from traditional Japanese values? How well do you think the idea of “rugged individualism” would be accepted in Japanese society? What difficulties would such a strongly independent thinker face in your culture?



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