World Literature, Paper 1 Topics
Due: Thursday, September 20 (in class)
Length Requirement: 3 pages (12 point font, double spaced)
1. Perform a close reading on Adrienne Rich’s journal Entry, “May 1965” in the excerpt from Of Woman Born. Based on your reading of this entry and the entire excerpt what is Rich arguing for here? Why or why not do you find her argument successful?
2. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” issues of mental stability arise. In your opinion, does the protagonist suffer from some sort of mental stability or is she acting out because of the social controls she is experiencing?
3. In Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex the following is written: Thus humanity is male and man defines woman not in herself but as relative to him; she is not regarded as an autonomous being. Michelet writes: ‘Woman, the relative being ...’ And Benda is most positive in his Rapport d’Uriel: ‘The body of man makes sense in itself quite apart from that of woman, whereas the latter seems wanting in significance by itself ... Man can think of himself without woman. She cannot think of herself without man.’ And she is simply what man decrees; thus she is called ‘the sex’, by which is meant that she appears essentially to the male as a sexual being. For him she is sex – absolute sex, no less. She is defined and differentiated with reference to man and not he with reference to her; she is the incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential. He is the Subject, he is the Absolute – she is the Other.’ (3) Find a current piece of writing, advertisement, song, etc. that proves or disproves de Beauvoir’s argument in the above quotation. Then, write a paper where you create an argument in support of de Beauvoir or a counterargument for de Beuvoir.
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