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Truman Capote Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Truman Capote College Essay Examples

Essay Instructions: Select one of the following topics to develop into an MLA-formatted, five paragraph essay about Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. Your thesis should be a fact and claim/attitude/opinion that you work to prove, citing specific passages from the text. Take care to avoid merely smmarizing the novella, and , instead, draw conclusions that allow the reader to interact wiht the novel at a higher level. Include a Work cite page for the novella. The five paragraph essay must consist of an introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and conclusion paragraph.

The significance of names
the significance of art
The significance of Christmas Day
Appearance vs. Reality
Nature vs. Culture
Freedom vs. Stability
Portrayal of Love
The role of storytelling and point of view

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: In Cold Blood Analyzing the Criminal

Total Pages: 3 Words: 1175 References: 2 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: 3 page minimum- 2 sources: (1)In Cold Blood book by Truman Capote (2) Washington Post database article on John Lee Malvo - the DC sniper.

This paper is about analyzing HOW the influence of In Cold Blood on our modern, popular understanding of the criminal mind as demonstrated in the mainstream media and on the internet, as well as WHY it has been so influential. Use the reading of In Cold Blood to draw paralells with modern society's fascination with and modern media's coverage of crime and criminals. Examine media and internet coverage of John Lee Malvo, (Washing Post database article as source) examining the way we try to "understand" him thru careful recounting of the criminals background (as Capote did when describing much of Perry's childhood background). Find paralells bewtween In Cold Blood and your sources - does Capote's emphasis on Perry's parents mirror later attempts to understand John Lee Malvo thru his parents, or lack thereof, for example?

Introduce paper by considering In Cold Blood and why Capote feels the need to probe the backgrounds of his criminal subjects. Does modern coverage of crime also harbor assumptions about criminals and whether they are born or made?

For the body of paper: Draw specifics from both In Cold Blood and your modern source to iilustrate your thesis. Analyze what you have found along the way...i.e. Do certain kinds of criminals fascinate us the most in terms of mass muderers, race, age, type of crime, background etc...Why is our society so intent on understanding criminals? Why are parents and home lives usually addressed? Do you find the reasoning used by journalists compelling and convincing, or is this the worst kind of "pop" Psychology?

For Conclusion: Have we come any closer to understanding the criminal mind? Is our society's interest a sincere attempt to change things, or is a voyeuristic thrill just another type of entertainment? Remeber, you are not writing a research paper on a criminal. You are analyzing the How and Why of media influence..i.e. How does media use background & childhood to influence our understanding and WHY: Why does media show us? Why do we want to understand the background of criminals? Why does Capote's approach seem to be so popular??

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: The movie When we were kings

Total Pages: 3 Words: 952 Works Cited: 3 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: When we speak or write of art, we often deal with it only in terms of those works fashioned by men that are intended to be seen or heard in the gallery, museum, concert hall, or theatre. However, the dictionary defines art as “the quality, production, expression, or realm of what is beautiful or more than of ordinary significance,” which strikes me as being more to the point and far more accurate. Under this definition, I think that what Ali practiced could be called art. Where even great boxers are hard to think of as being something other than “boxers,” Ali was something more and what he did in Zaire was, as I see it, an achievement that was both “beautiful” and certainly something of more than “ordinary significance.”

I think that our understanding of what constitutes “Art” is generally too narrow to be very enlightening or meaningful. It allows works that are seldom truly beautiful or “beyond ordinary significance” to be regarded as art while extraordinary expressions by extraordinary men lie outside of that understanding. Art seems to me to be less about paint and canvas, musical notes, and speeches from the stage than the eloquence of personal expression in any medium, whether that medium be one of the traditional forms of art or something quite different…like boxing.

This is not to suggest that any expression in any medium qualifies as art any more than any set of scribbles on paper or words spoken from a stage can be held as art. Too often, I think, we confuse the desire to create art with the ability to actually succeed in that endeavor. Art is difficult; it requires that the artist give something of himself ??" something unique and personal ??" and that “something” often exacts a terrible price. In Ali’s case, that price was dear and there may be something in the relationship between what the artist has to give to his work in order to succeed and the resulting value and importance of that work as art.

I think that we also confuse skill and technique with art as though the mere mastery of a craft is all that there is to fashioning works of art. Critically, it is easy to speak and write of craft ??" it is discernible, measurable, and can be readily evaluated ??" but to critically evaluate works from the standpoint of their skill alone is an insufficient measure of art. It diminishes the importance of the contribution of heart, soul, sweat, and, sometimes, blood to the process. Truman Capote once dismissed the work of Jack Kerouac by saying, “That’s not writing, that’s typing.” Years later, Capote’s In Cold Blood was dismissed by a critic as being ’…something less than a novel. It’s more like very well-written reportage, a newspaper account expanded to book length without the necessary presence of an author. There is, after all, a difference between a writer and an author.”

I don’t personally agree with either of the above noted critical assessments, but I do think that there is a distinction between “works of craft” and “works of art.” I suspect that if the drive or need to create art is present; the acquisition of the necessary skills and techniques to create art will naturally follow. I doubt if the inverse is often true.

The purpose of this commentary is to expand on the notion of what art may ??" or may not ??" be and to open a discussion of how we think about and understand art. Can things like boxing (or bricklaying for that matter) rise to the occasion of art? Is it reasonable to think of Muhammed Ali as “an artist” in the same sense that we accord that title to Shakespeare or Mozart? Are all things called “art” really works of art or is there a distinction that should be made to separate “the wheat from the chaff” when dealing with art? And, if there is, what are the qualities or characteristics that “works of art” possess that makes them different from works of lesser achievement?

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: natalie diaz and orlando white

Total Pages: 2 Words: 642 Bibliography: 2 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: Basically, act as if you attended this reading.

Poets House present a poetry reading by Natalie Diaz & Orlando White

Orlando White is a Navajo poet whose first book is Bone Light. He currently teaches in the
English and Foundations department at Din? College in Tsaile, Arizona. He is the recipient of
both a Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship and a Lannan Foundation Residency.
Natalie Diaz is a poet whose first book is When My Brother Was an Aztec. She is the winner of a 2012 Narrative Prize for her poetry, a 2012 Lannan Fellow, and the recipient of the Nimrod/ Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry.A Mojave and Pima tribe member, she directs a language revitalization project with the Elder Mojave speakers in Arizona.

Friday, March 22, 2013, 12pm
The Lincoln Terrace, Refreshments to Follow
This is event is offered in conjunction with the conference
Native Innovation: Indigenous American Poetry in the 21st Century
Native American Poetry Reading
March 22, 2013
Student Name:___________________________________
What will you remember from the event?
Which poem was the most memorable and why?
After this experience, how would you convince a friend to attend a poetry reading?

Natalie Diaz
I Lean Out the Window and She Nods Off in Bed, the Needle Gently Rocking on the Bedside Table
While she sleeps, I paint
Valencia oranges across her skin,
seven times the color orange,
a bright tree glittering the limestone grotto of her clavicle?
heaving bonfires pulsing each pale limb
like Nero?s condemned heretics sparking along Via Appia.
A small stream of Prussian blue I?ve trickled
down her bicep. A fat red nasturtium
eddies her inner elbow.
Against her swollen palms,
I?ve brushed glowing halves of avocados
lamping like bell-hipped women in ecstasy.
A wounded Saint Teresa sketched to each breast.
Her navel is a charcoal bowl of figs,
all stem thick with sour milk and gowned
in taffeta the color of bruises.
This is to offer up with our flophouse prayers?
God created us with absence
in our hands, but we will not return that way.
Not now, when we are both so capable of growing full
on banquets embroidered by Lorca?s gypsy nun.
She sleeps, gone to the needle?s gentle rocking,
and I lean out the window, a Horus
drunk on my own scent
and midnight?s slow drip of stars.
She has always been more orchard than loved,
I, more bite than mouth.
So much is empty in this hour?
the spoon, still warm, lost in the sheets,
the candle?s yellow-white thorn of flame,
and night, open as autumn?s unfilled basket
as the locusts feast the field.
[originally published in Ploughshares]

Orlando White
The zero is not a circle; it?s an empty clock. And the clock is an o which rolls to the other side of the
page. But the c stuck between the b and d eats itself and the page will taste how desperate language is. If
you peel a sheet of paper, you will find letters who have eaten themselves: the a who chewed itself until it
became a dot on paper and the z who ingested itself until it was a tiny line on a page. Within the white
spaces they have become inklings, miniature dark skulls, and black specks on paper. But they still move
like the tiniest gears in a clock. And their bones are scattered like dry grains of ink on a white sheet. I
think of their deaths: the stiff face of a choked letter, the broken jaw of an e, the throat of an f slit open, an
i swallowed up to its torso, the dot bitten from a j, the letters of a sentence removed with teeth; and a
sentence dipped in bleach until it becomes a skeleton, the bones thinning into calcium, the sockets of the
skull discoloring into pale ink. And you will hurt it more if you try to slip its bones back through the flesh
of ink or dress it back into its dry black clothes. So let the lower case i be a body under the dot: a naked
letter on the page.

[Originally published in Oregon Literary Review, Summer/Fall 07]

Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She
is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. She was part of the Old
Dominion Lady Monarch basketball team that made it to the NCAA Championship game in
1997. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia for several years, Diaz returned
to Old Dominion and completed a double-MFA in poetry and fiction. Her first poetry collection,
When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in May of 2012. Her
work has been published or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, North American Review, Prairie
Schooner, Black Renaissance Noire, Crab Orchard Review, and others. She is a 2012 Bread Loaf
Scholar, a recipient of a Lannan Residency in Marfa, TX, and was awarded a 2012 Lannan
Literary Fellowship. Diaz currently lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and directs the Fort
Mojave Language Recovery Program, working with the last remaining speakers at Fort Mojave
to teach and revitalize the Mojave language.
Orlando White is the author of Bone Light (Red Hen Press, 2009). Originally from T??ikan,
Arizona, he is Din? of the Naaneesht??zhi T?baah? and born for the Naakai Din??e. He holds a
BFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Brown
University. His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Omnidawn Poetry Feature Blog,
Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, American Indian Culture And Research Journal, Evening
Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a Lannan
Foundation Residency and a Bread Loaf John Ciardi Fellowship. He teaches at Din? College and
lives in Tsaile, Arizona.

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