As a culmination of our study of Colonial American Literature, you will be given an opportunity to show your understanding of the themes, characters, settings, plot, and points of view. You will also demonstrate your understanding of the principles of essay writing that we have been practicing in class by creating an original four-paragraph essay. Remember, essay writing is a process, and here is the process I have designed for you on this essay:
1. Choose a topic from one of the prompts given below:
a. Select one of the themes of the play and provide examples of the theme as it developed throughout the plot. Themes: Human cruelty in the name of righteousness; the individual and the community; justice vs. retribution and revenge; godliness vs. worldliness; ignorance vs. wisdom; the Puritan myth; order vs. individual freedom.
Analyze a relationship between two people in the play. Be sure to include the significance of the relationship, and perhaps the positive and negative aspects of the relationship. b.
How do the minor characters of Mary Warren and Elizabeth Proctor reflect the themes of the play? c.
Think of one character that makes a decision in the play. Identify the decision, explore the character’s motives, and evaluate the effects of that decision. d.
Pick two characters and explore how their position in the society reflects who they are as people.
During the climax of the story, John Proctor refuses to allow the magistrates to nail his confession to the church door. He cites his reason, “Because it’s my name…” b.
There are several scenes of accusations based on spectral evidence. Analyze these scenes and discuss what they contribute to the overall meaning of the story (i.e. tie to a larger theme)
Examine Arthur Miller’s use of historical context in the play. Which events/lines of speech create a parallel between 1600’s New England and 1950’s America (McCarthy Era)? What...
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