Alice Walker Impact Point of View on Everyday Use Essay
Essay #2 (Fiction)
The majority of your grade in this course comes from a sequence of papers based on the assigned literature. Your essay must be in standard essay format and based on your own ideas; research is not necessary for this particular assignment, but you should use quotes from the literature to support your thesis. Not using quotes from the text will result in points deducted from your grade.
Write a short essay (750 words) that defends a thesis you developed through a close critical reading/analysis of one (or two) works listed in the Week 2 and 3 modules. The “critical response” essay relies on textual support from the primary text (secondary sources are not required) – not plot summary to develop the student’s argument. Do not confuse “critical analysis” with “plot summary”; the goal is to develop, sustain, and advance a thesis based on a critique of the primary text. Some potential topics are listed below:
- What impact does the point of view in Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” have on a readers’ understanding of and reaction to both Dee and Maggie?
- What do the quilts in “Everyday Use” represent, and how are the quilts significant to the story’s plot, conflict, and character development?
- What general attitudes toward sex, love, and marriage does Chopin imply in “The Storm”? Cite evidence from the story to support your answer.
- What themes and ideas is Hemingway exploring in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”? How does he use style and symbolism to express these themes?
- Why are the lines of dialogue so brief in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”? Why are the speakers so seldom identified? (For examples, Hemingway very rarely uses phrases such as “he said” after a line of dialogue.)
- Define the central theme of “Harrison Bergeron.” Is Vonnegut’s early 1960’s vision of the future still relevant today? Why or why not?
- Take a close look at Jackson’s description of the black wooden box (paragraph 5) and of the black spot on the fatal slip of paper (paragraph 72) in “The Lottery”. What do these objects suggest to you? Are there any other symbols in the story?
Format. In an academic community that communicates effectively, proper formatting is a mark both of one’s ability to follow instructions and of one’s willingness to interact with one’s colleagues in an accepted, mutually understandable manner. Therefore, it is important that you follow proper MLA format in producing your texts, particularly as you cite your sources. Failure to do so will lower your grade.
Grading Criteria. I’ll be looking for a clearly defined, arguable thesis and a logical organization of paragraph structures in each paper. Your essay should provide a comprehensive analysis of the work, which should eventually lead to an explanation of the theme of the work. I’ll also look at grammar, usage, mechanics, and so forth, as well as at your use of secondary material.