Essay Instructions: Responding to Don DeLillo?s White Noise
In this essay assignment, you will decide on a theme that is explored in Don DeLillo?s White Noise. You will be expected to clarify the specific topic of the theme and the message that the author proposes to this readers. The final draft of your essay should be analytical and argumentative in nature. This means that you will propose an arguable theme and support it with reference to the novel by focusing on primarily one fictional element. You may connect any of the following: the development of a particular character, the setting, symbols that appear, the point of view through which the plot unravel, or tone or style through which the reader gathers information.
*Write a paper analyzing the relation of theme to any other literary element ? such as plot, character, point of view, setting, symbol, style, tone, or irony ? in Don DeLillo?s novel White Noise. Be specific and limit your focus so that you may comfortably suggest how the author develops one particular theme through the use of one literary element.
*Your first job is to explain the theme of the novel, as you see it. What central point comes through, considering the novel as a whole? Point to particular parts of the novel that support what you say. As you know, White Noise covers lots of ground. You will have to use your discrimination to pick out what feels right for you; if you try to encapsulate the entire novel in you paper, you will become frustrated.
*DO make all efforts to connect you paper?s discussion of a literary element to one theme in Don DeLillo?s novel. DO NOT address (or even think of) more fictional elements that can fit into one 4-5 page analytical paper. (This strategy will earn you an F, and if it is skillfully done, perhaps a D)
*DO NOT offer plot summary. (A good plot summary, followed by a mediocre consideration of the assignment prompt, will earn you a D+ at best). Assume that your audience has already read the novel and is familiar with the plot. However, you may clarify specific sections to which you?re alluding within the overall plot by providing one or two sentences of reference.
*DO give parenthetical citation to page numbers.
****The theme chosen for this essay is death in relation to identity crisis (must combine the two components in the essay as the main theme)*******
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: 1. You should need to read “The Land Ethic” and ''White Noise'' both these two books. In “The Land Ethic” (531-546), Aldo Leopold critiques a tradition of viewing humans in individualistic terms detached from their environment, a view of land as not having any ethical standing. How might Leopold’s exploration of ethics and the environment help us understand the implications of White Noise, such as the impact of consumerism, technology, the mass media, and complex industrial and economic systems on our ethics and relationship to the environment? At least half of your essay should provide detailed analysis, including quotations and evidence, from White Noise.
2.Limit the scope of you paper. You need to make sure you have a thesis statement, which is a central argument in your introductory paragraph which you support throughout the essay, and which you revisit in your conclusion.
3.Close analysis of specific passages from texts, quotes from White Noise, observations, personal experience, etc. are important. Use MLA format for documenting sources. Include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay, including the essay you analyze and any other sources you make use of (sources not required).
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Essay Instructions: For this assignment, you are required to write an argumentative essay on the themes, ideas, and texts
of the second half of this course, from Parr Traill and Sangster onward. You may, however, address
ideas and use quotations from the earlier Cronon and Garrard essays in the course pack, but they must
not be the focus or count as one of the course texts you address.
This is a comparative essay. You are asked to compare two texts in developing an argument that
addresses the major themes of the course. However, the argument must be the guiding principle,
while each of your chosen texts are brought in to support the argument. In other words, be careful not
to let the comparison itself become the argument.
There are two possible approaches you can take for this essay. Choose one of the following:
1. Compare two texts from two different authors in the second half of the course.
Here are some suggested topics to discuss. Keep in mind that these are topics only, and from here you
will need to focus your ideas into an argument.
1. Compare the representation of a natural entity (like a plant or animal) in two texts. What sort of
representation emerges, and what methods do the authors use to achieve this representation?
2. Compare the environmental stances as you perceive them being expressed in two texts. What
sort of environmental relationships do they advocate, and what suggestions do they offer for
3. How do two texts understand or construct the “natural”? What about this construction do you
feel is particularly modern? In answering this question, you may wish to draw upon past
representations of nature encountered in this course, but do not make them the focus of your
essay (in other words, do not compare a second-half text with a text from the first half of the
Be sure to focus your essay upon a particular idea or claim made by the authors. Do not try to address
every aspect of a text’s representation of nature or environmental stance. Instead, pick an idea that you
find central to the text and engaging in light of our class discussions. Focus the scope of your essay
and state this focus in your introduction.
Essays must articulate a clear thesis statement and argue it thoroughly through well-crafted paragraphs,
each of which should contain a single, relevant point which is introduced by a clear topic sentence. Be
sure to support your points adequately with your texts.
Essays must follow MLA format and include a Works Cited. You must cite all your sources!
Texts you can use are:
-A New World?: North American Literary Representation
-Catherine Parr Traill, selection from The Backwoods of Canada
-Charles Sangster, selection from “The St. Lawrence and the Saguenay”
-Henry David Thoreau, “Walking”
-Aldo Leopold, “Thinking like a Mountain” and “The Land Ethic” from A Sand
-Annie Dillard, selection from Tinker at Pilgrim Creek
-Gary Snyder, “Mother Earth: Her Whales,” “The Place, the Region, and the
-Don DeLillo, White Noise
-Jeannette Armstrong and Douglas Cardinal, selections from The Native Creative
-Jan Zwicky, “The Geology of Norway” – Don McKay, “How to Imagine an
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: An analysis of the disillusionment of modern (post-modern) American culture through works of American Literature including Don Delillo's White Noise, Richards Yates' Revolutionary Road, John Updike's Rabbit, Run and any short story /or poem from Raymond Carver by exploring themes that emerged during the mid-to-late twentieth century, e.g., rampant consumerism, media saturation, novelty intellectualism, suburban life, death, fear and the disintegration and re-integration of the family.
Focusing on not just the literature, but also the commentary the works make individually and as a whole about the history and politics behind the literature "why the novels were written?" and "what it is they say?"
Using scholarly sources, as well as any credible historical, political, and social sources to “defend” the paper.
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