Essay Prompts

Students participating in the 2023-2024 NEHS scholarship competition should respond to one of the following five prompts:

Prompts for the 2023-2024 NEHS Scholarship Competition based on The Botantist's Daughter, by Kayte Nunn.

  1. The Botanist’s Daughter unfolds like a captivating mystery novel, leaving readers eager for more. In your essay, analyze Nunn's use of narrative techniques to create suspense and intrigue. Investigate how the author skillfully weaves together the characters' relationships and motivations. Furthermore, delve into the thought-provoking cliffhanger at the end of the novel and contemplate the possibilities for a potential sequel. Cite specific textual evidence to support your ideas.

  2. Compare and contrast the experiences of Elizabeth and Anna, two strong female characters from different time periods, in their pursuit of personal goals while encountering romantic relationships. Analyze the text to determine whether the book can be considered pro-feminist and discuss the evolving expectations placed on women during these distinct historical contexts. Support your arguments with well-crafted textual evidence and relevant historical context.

  3. According to Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers, published in 1884, a daisy represents innocence. Analyze Daisy's journey as she evolves from a state of innocence to one of responsibility and commitment. Explore how her character development parallels or diverges from other literary characters who undergo similar transformations. Support your analysis with evidence from the text.

  4. In the novel, the author intricately weaves together botanical elements to symbolize broader themes, including growth, resilience, and the interconnectedness of life. Choose three key botanical symbols or motifs and analyze their significance in relation to these themes. Provide textual evidence to support your analysis and explain how the author's use of these symbols enhances the reader's understanding of the story.

  5. Explore the intricate portrayal of "Discovery, Desire, and Deception" in the novel, examining how these themes are depicted in both the historical and contemporary narratives, as well as in the complex relationships between the characters. Analyze the profound implications of these forces on human behavior, considering their influence on both interpersonal dynamics and scientific advancements. Undertake a comprehensive analysis, utilizing specific textual examples to support your arguments.

2023-2024 Scholarships

Apply between December 11, 2023 and January 8, 2024.