Essay Assignment 2
Professor Susan Lago
For this unit, we read and discussed works that explored issues of race, gender, and class. We asked the question: “Can literature pose an argument?” and examined the texts by applying a variety of critical lenses, such as Historical, Gender Focus, and Psychological.
Option 1: Choose one of the works we read and apply two different critical approaches. You must show how your understanding of the work’s theme changed depending which lens you applied.
Option 2: Choose two of the works we read and examine them both with the same critical lens. You must show how the work contributes to your understanding of the issue you chose (race, gender, class, psychological).
You may choose from the following:
Toni Cade Bambara “The Lesson”
Countee Cullen “Incident,”
Jamaica Kincaid: “Girl”
Julia Alvarez: “How I Learned to Sweep”
“Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
For both options, you must cite from the works and use the appropriate literary terms to support your analysis.
Refer to the section in your textbook: “Critical Approaches for Interpreting Literature” (1084). The OWL Purdue website is another great resource and lists questions you may want to use to interrogate the texts (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/722/01/). You also watched the video “Frankenstein on the Couch,” which may prove useful in your analysis.
Your essay should have a strong central claim that is clearly presented in your introductory paragraph. It should be a debatable point that you can prove in the body of your paper using textual evidence from the poem or short story.
Remember that your goal in a literary analysis is not to summarize the text or to explain what is obvious, but rather to provide a new insight or a new perspective on the significance of the literary work. In order to achieve this, you will need to interpret each...
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