You will write a 1,250-word essay. I will grade this essay on writing mechanics as well as content, so you should pay attention to those matters. You will find the topics listed below.
Essays should be comprised of detail/example-filled paragraphs. Make certain that you answer the question posed in the assignment; keep your essay objective, and do not wander to tangential topics. Each essay should contain a thesis sentence. Use quotes sparingly. Because your assignment is not a research paper, make absolutely no reference to secondary sources. Avoid making biographical speculations about the authors unless you are writing about autobiographies or personal histories; avoid speculation over how their lives might have shaped work that is not autobiographical. Unnecessarily extensive plot summary will adversely affect the grade your essay earns. Finally, all assertions should be substantiated by evidence from the texts.
Write a comparison/contrast essay incorporating any two class reading assignments (Listed Below). You may not write about two works by the same author. Make certain that you carefully choose works that address the subject area you choose to write about.
Choose any one of the following topic areas. Get all of your examples from the literature--do not make vague assumptions about the social milieu of the works' settings. For example, if you choose to write about characterizations of the danger of uninhibited sexuality in Streetcar Named Desire, do not make general statements about southern American sexual mores of the early twentieth century; instead, pay attention to how the play depicts, for example, the tendency to categorize women as ?clean/unclean,? the intolerance of homosexuality, and the acceptance of sexuality as a social equalizer. Rather than offering vague commentary, you should develop a specific argument substantiated by the specific texts at hand.
Topics for essays:
Perceptions of the supernatural?s active role in the lives of people
How pregnancy affects romantic relationships
Marriage as distribution of property
Dangers of unexamined tradition
The harm of mob mentality
Economic castes and qualities associated with them
The civilizing influence of women
Exploitation of one?s own race
Sense of historic relevance of what has been written
Determining a sense of values
List of Reading assignments to choose from (pick two to compare/contrast):
JAMES: ?The Real Thing,? ?The Beast in the Jungle? (1539-86)
CRANE: ?The Open Boat,? ?The Blue Hotel? (1721-57)
CATHER: ?Neighbor Rosicky? (1843-63).
*Early Twentieth Century Poets
ROBINSON: ?Luke Havergal,? ?Richard Cory? (1837-38), ?Mr. Flood?s Party? (1839-41)
LOWELL: ?The Captured Goddess? (1874-75), ?Madonna of the Evening Flowers? (1876)
FROST: ?Mending Wall,? ?The Death of the Hired Man? (1880-85), ?Birches,? ??Out, Out?? (1888-90), ?Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening? (1891)
SANDBURG: ?Chicago,? ?Fog,? ?Grass? (1917-18).
STEVENS: ?A High-Toned Christian Woman,? ?The Emperor of Ice-Cream,? ?Disillusionment of Ten o?Clock? (1921-22), ?Anecdote of the Jar? (1926), ?Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird? (1928-29).
WILLIAMS: ?The Young Housewife? (1935), ?Spring and All? (1937-38), ?Landscape with the Fall of Icarus? (1944-45)
*Modernity in American Poetry
POUND: ?Portrait d?une Femme,? ?A Pact? (1948-49), ?The River-Merchant?s Wife: A Letter? (1949-50)
H. D.: ?Mid-Day? (1955-56), ?Helen? (1956-57)
JEFFERS: ?To the Stone-Cutters,? ?Shine, Perishing Republic,? ?Carmel Point? (1964-65)
MOORE: ?Poetry,? ?The Paper Nautilus? (1968-69)
ELIOT: ?The Love Song
. Alfred Prufrock
? (1975-79), The Waste Land, ?The Hollow Men? (1981-97).
MILLAY: ?Recuerdo? (2109-10), ?Apostrophe to Man,? ?In the Grave No Flower? (2110-11)
*The Harlem Renaissance
MCKAY: ?Harlem Shadows,? ?America,? ?If We Must Die? (2085-86)
HURSTON: ?The Gilded Six-Bits,? ?How It Feels to Be Colored Me? (2100-11)
TOOMER: from Cane (2120-25)
HUGHES: ?The Negro Speaks of Rivers? (2227), ?I, Too,? ?Mulatto,? ?Song
for a Dark Girl,? ?Silhouette? (2228-30), ?Note on Commercial Theatre? (2231)
CULLEN: ?Yet Do I Marvel,? ?Incident,? ?Heritage? (2245-49)
*Masters of Mid-Century Fiction
ANDERSON: ?Mother,? ??Queer?? (1905-16)
FITZGERALD: ?Babylon Revisited? (2143-57)
FAULKNER: ?That Evening Sun,? ?Barn Burning? (2166-90)
HEMINGWAY: ?The Snows of Kilimanjaro? (2209-25)
STEINBECK: from The Grapes of Wrath (2238-44)
*Defining Humanity in Mid-Century Fiction
WRIGHT: ?The Man Who Was almost a Man? (2257-65).
WELTY: ?Petrified Man? (2289-98)
WASHINGTON: from Up from Slavery (1622-30)
ELLISON: from Invisible Man (2374-84).
O?CONNOR: ?Good Country People? (2428-41).
*A Streetcar Named Desire
WILLIAMS: A Streetcar Named Desire (2301-63)
ROTH: ?Defender of the Faith? (2481-2503)
WALKER: ?Everyday Use? (2581-87).
MORRISON: ?Recitatif? (2457-70)
ROETHKE: ?My Papa?s Waltz,? ?Night Crow,? ?I Knew a Woman? (2640-41)
BISHOP: ?The Fish? (2650-51), ?In the Waiting Room? (2656-58)
JARRELL: ?The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner? (2671)
BROOKS. ?the mother? (2698-99)
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