Go as a Metaphor

For this paper, explain one way how Go acts as a metaphor for life. The more specific you can be, the better. You can discuss how a specific aspect, strategy or idea in Go recurs in life, or you might explain how Go provides guidance for how to succeed in some specific (but common) real-life situation. You may assume the audience consists of avid Go players, so you use terminology from the game freely without defining it.

For example, you might discuss how the concept of ko applies in different real-life situations, or you might discuss how lessons from Go apply to contract negotations. If you can be specific about both Go and the aspect of life you address, that would be all the better. (You show how ko applies to contract negotiations.) It is unsatisfactory to be general about both sides of the metaphor (e.g., by comparing Go to a teenager's life.)

Although you should formulate your paper around a single, interesting, focused thesis, it's perfectly acceptable to have the thesis be inferred by the reader rather than stated explicitly. There is a danger, however, in that the thesis should still be clear to the reader after one reading. This would therefore only be appropriate if you can use your creative writing skills to effecively show the reader the metaphor without telling the reader. You may also choose to write a clear, argumentative paper, in which case you should definitely state your thesis.

Although most papers will be about 900-1500 words (3-5 pages), a shorter but very creative paper, even a poem or song, is welcome. Although I won't give separate guidelines for such a creative work, those guidelines below which are appropriate will still apply. If you are concerned about how your idea will be assessed, feel free to discuss it with me outside of class.

For this particular paper, I will use the following grading guidelines. (Large portions are taken nearly verbatim from Lewis Hyde.)