Essay Instructions: This paper is a collection of small, mini, well developed essays that answer several questions on specific works of American Literature in the early and mid twentieth century. Please answer the questions in essay form, using the work itself plus outside sources.
1.) In the story, "The Hairy Ape," by Eugene O'Neill, the author introduces the audience to a character, Yank, who seeks to belong to a higher society. Discuss the reasons behind the turmoil with his identity. Explain why he needs to find a new place for himself.
2.) In "The Big Two Hearted River," by Ernest Hemingway, we meet a solitary male character who is a facsimile of Ernest Hemingway himself, a member of The Lost Generation. Name the character and explain Hemingway's motivation behind the character's return to the river and his less than macho decision regarding the deeper part.
3.) Upon Emily Grierson's death in "A Rose For Emily," by William Faulkner, Faulkner refers to her as "a fallen monument." Explain the Faulknerian dynamics concerning this character. What institution did Emily represent and what events would cause Faulkner to symbolize her in this manner?
4.) In the play, "A Raisin in the Sun," by Lorraine Hansberry, Hansberry tells a story about the persistence of dreams within the Younger Family. Yet, in 1945, Richard Wright wrote that sixty-five percent of Negroes on Chicago's South Side (where the Younger's lived) earn their living by manual labor. This explains the plight of Hansberry's characters. Name three characters. Define and describe their dreams - how they are fulfilled or left unfulfilled.
5.) In 1865, Frederick Douglas discussed the economic stugma that surrounded the black community and remarked that "a people uniformly poor and compelled to struggle for barely a physical existence will be dependent and despised by their neighbors and will finally despise themselves." If we address this statement to James Baldwin's character of Sonny in "Sonny's Blues," we find many similarities. Explain why Sonny's brother finds himself unable to understand Sonny's goal.
All mini-essays should total four pages.
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