Directions: From the list below, choose two books to read over the summer. In all of the following novels and autobiographies, the protagonists are struggling to find their place in the world. They want to understand their role and their purpose as human beings as they prepare to enter the adult world. (Note: If you decide to choose a graphic novel from the list, the other selection should be a novel or autobiography.)
Write a well-developed, multi-paragraph response to literature essay in which you compare and contrast the two works you’ve chosen to read. Remember, when you compare two things, you tell how they are alike. When you contrast them, you tell how they are different. Any two things can be compared and contrasted if they have at least one thing in common. You can recognize similarities and differences by focusing on elements such as subject, theme, tone, mood, character traits, and plot.
Your essay should have three parts:
The introduction presents both books by title and author, and briefly states the reason for the comparison between the two. The body explains key similarities and differences between the two books, with textual evidence from both. The conclusion summarizes your findings and explains new understandings that you’ve reached from comparing the books. How does reading one enhance the other? What overall impression do you walk away with, having read the two together?
A warning about plagiarism: I will label as plagiarism any instance of taking someone else’s work and passing it off as your own. This may include, but is not limited to:
*incorporating a passage from the novel without quotations and/or a citation
*incorporating a passage from another source, such as wikipedia.org, without quotations and/or a citation
*incorporating ideas or paraphrasing a passage from another source without quotations and/or a citation
*copying or near-copying a peer’s work (in this case, both students will be penalized, as there is no way for me to definitely discern who copied whom)
Students found to have plagiarized will earn a grade of 0/100 on this, their first English assignment of the year. They will also be reported to the administration, where a “cheating file” in each offending student’s name will be initiated for potential review by universities.
*Books marked with an asterisk on the following list may include scenes of sexuality, drug or alcohol use, or strong violence. I trust that students who choose to read these books are mature enough to handle the material. If you, or your parents, object to this type of material, by all means, choose another two to read. *Bastard Out of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison.
The book, which is semi-autobiographical in nature, is set in Allison's hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. Narrated by Ruth Anne "Bone" Boatwright, the primary conflict occurs between Bone and her mother's husband, Glen. The novel examines the expectations of gender and mother-child relationships, and explores the roles of these characters in the future. Conditions of class, race, sexuality and gender play out in Bone's life and her relationships with others.
How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez.
Told in reverse chronological order and from shifting points of view, this novel covers more than 30 years in the lives of four sisters very close in age who, together with their parents, are forced out of Trujillo's Dominican Republic and start a new life in New York City.
Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya.
Set in New Mexico during World War II, this novel follows the story of Antonio Márez, a boy who meets a curandera named Ultima. The main plotline involves Ultima's struggle to stop the witchcraft of the three daughters of Tenorio Trementina, the main villain.
*Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson.
On her first day of high school, Melinda Sordino finds herself excluded from every...