American Dream

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ESSAY 2: The Republic of East LA
Dreams, Character, and Opportunity
100 Points Possible + 10 for Prewriting

The Republic of East LA by Luis Rodriguez is full of stories of unique individuals who strive to make lives for themselves and achieve their dreams in the face of adversity. Both amusing and heartbreaking, these vignettes show us the strengths and weaknesses of human beings, and the role opportunity plays in achieving the “American Dream.”

DIRECTIONS: Choose three main characters from any stories. Then, in a tightly focused, fiercely original essay of 3 pages, please answer the following prompt.

PROMPT: What are their dreams and will they achieve them or not? Describe the characters you choose and show how their character traits will help or hurt them as they strive to reach their goals. Illustrate the obstacles each must overcome in order to achieve their dreams, and state why your understanding and analysis of the characters supports your conclusion of success or failure.

To answer this question you should:

▪ Describe specific traits of each character, using evidence (direct quotations) from the text, and analyze how it shows the character will succeed or not. This means create quote sandwiches for each of your examples. ▪ Illustrate the obstacles each character faces. You may use evidence from outside sources if you like to show the adversity caused by the time period (1970s-80s), economic status, or cultural bias/prejudice. ▪ Provide your own original analysis of the characters, their dreams, the obstacles they must overcome, and your prediction about whether they will succeed or not. In other words, prove that you fully understand the character as Rodriguez has created him or her and that your prediction of success or failure is accurate.

This essay must be typed and in MLA format. It should include a Works Cited page (not included in the page count). The final draft should be turned in with prewriting, rough...
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