Academic | Essay Contest
Signet Classics Announces Winners of the 12th Annual Scholarship Essay Contest
New York, NY, June 2008Signet Classics, the imprint of New American Library devoted for more than 40 years to publishing inexpensive paperback editions of more than 300 of the world's greatest literary works, has announced the winners of the twelfth annual Signet Classics Scholarship Essay Contest. The Grand Prize Winners, listed in alphabetical order, are:
- Laura Farley Cremer
Laura is in 11th grade at Iowa City West High School, Iowa City, IA
- Elizabeth Faiella
Elizabeth is in 12th grade, homeschooled in Northwood, NH
- Matthew William Flamholtz
Matthew is in 12th grade at Collins Hill High School, Suwanee, GA
- Jeffrey Daniel O'Brien
Jeffrey is in 12th grade at Lincoln-Way Community High School East, Frankfort, IL
- Sara Steinhouse
Sara is in 12th grade at Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, MI
Essay Subject: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Topics for the essay contest:
In the "Afterword" of the Signet Classics edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dan Chaon writes about the book:
It is a fragmented, quietly feverish little booka sneaky book. It proceeds through indirection, doling out sly hints but leaving, for the most part, the sordid facts to the imagination....Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of this novel is that, in fact, there's so much left here for us to fill in, so many scenes we can only imagine. (pp. 127-129)Cite three examples from the story to explain this statement.
- Compare and contrast the ways in which Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Lanyon represent different attitudes toward scientific ethics and, perhaps, toward the nature of evil itself.
- Although we hear directly from several charactersEnfield, Lanyon, and Dr. Jekyll himselfMr. Utterson might be considered the central figure of the novel. Why? What characteristics of his personality and circumstances give precedence to his point of view?
- What is the purpose of Robert Louis Stevenson's detailed descriptions of the placesindoor and outdoorwhere the action unfolds? Choose several scenes and discuss the ways in which their settings symbolize, highlight, or underscore what occurs in the novel.
The Signet Classics Scholarship Essay Contest was established in 1996 to encourage greater interest in reading among high school students by offering tangible assistance to the winning students and their schools. It is open to qualifying high school juniors and seniors in the United States. "We are proud to be involved in a unique scholarship program that encourages student appreciation for the great classics," notes Craig Burke, Vice President and Executive Director of Publicity for New American Library.
Entrants are required to submit a 2-3 page double-spaced, typewritten essay, answering one of four questions relating to the designated competition book. Essays must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the themes in the book; clear, concise writing; and logical, well-supported arguments. Judges also consider style, content, grammar and originality. Five Grand Prize Winners are each awarded a $1,000 scholarship and a Signet Classics Library for their school (or local public library, in the case of home-schooled students), valued at $1,700.
The designated title for 2007-2008 was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The book selected for the 2008-2009 Signet Classics Scholarship Essay Contest is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.
For more information on the 2008-2009 Signet Classics Essay Contest, click here.
Entry forms and full information about the contest will also be available in high school English departments, or by writing to:
Penguin Group (USA)
Signet Classics Scholarship Essay Contest
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
New American Library is a division of Penguin Group (USA), part of Pearson Plc, the international media group, and includes the imprints Signet, Signet Classics, Onyx, Roc and NAL Trade Paperbacks.