PURPOSE OF ASSIGNMENT
This assignment is designed to help you focus on a topic from the literature we have read in Unit 5 and develop an argument about that topic based upon one of the questions provided for you below. You only have to choose one of the questions for this assignment, but you will want to read through all of them to determine which question fits your understanding and knowledge the best, as well as your personal interest in the material. These questions are designed to help you identify in writing the major objectives of Unit 5 and the Content Knowledge associated with the Course Objectives.
SKILLS TO ACQUIRE
This assignment will help you master several important skills necessary to performing writing tasks in college and engaging with ideas and values that are foundational to a well-rounded university education.
• Identify literary genres, major writers, and important schools of thought in American literature from the pre-colonial era to the end of the 18th century.
• Summarize, interpret, and analyze literary texts in relation to a specific argumentative thesis.
• Utilize and extend the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills developed in ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102.
• Identify the cultural factors that shaped American literature and define the common concerns and values of humanity as expressed through literature.
TASKS TO COMPLETE
• Choose one of the questions below to answer for this assignment. Please remember to copy/paste the question with your response and analysis. You should choose a question that you find interesting and believe you can answer in an engaging manner. You will want to support your response not only with good logic and explanations on your part but also with pertinent passages (short quotations are best) from the texts that pertain to the question you have chosen.
• Your response should be in the form of a typical essay (probably four to six paragraphs), with a short introduction, thesis statement, and supporting paragraphs with a conclusion.
• Your essay should total at least 500 words.
• This assignment is worth 99 points and will count 10 % of your total grade for the course.
LIST OF QUESTIONS
1. Explain some of the crucial differences in the experience of slavery that Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass have. In particular, how does gender play a role in defining their respective hardships?
2. In what way does Frederick Douglass’s slave narrative embody a striving for freedom through a journey toward self-definition?
3. Melville’s narrator says that “Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance.” In what way does Bartleby act as a form of non-violent protest against labor exploitation?
4. Demonstrate how Rebecca Harding Davis uses the realist genre to bring awareness to the difficult conditions and lives of mill workers.
5. In what ways does “The Brothers” support or transgress the normative conceptions of gender roles? Do you see ways in which Alcott’s Transcendentalism supports her concept of gender?
6. Explore one of the principles listed in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments” or one of the primary arguments in Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century and show how it elucidates a form of oppression that women suffered under at the time they wrote their works.
7. How and why does Harriet Beecher Stowe use sentimentality in the excerpt of Uncle Tom’s Cabin to show the brutal effects of slavery?
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