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Length: 5 pages typed, doubled spaced, written in MLA style, and page numbered.

by | Aug 4, 2022 | English | 0 comments


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Length: 5 pages typed, doubled spaced, written in MLA style, and page numbered.
Topics: Please select a topic below. You must choose a reading that is on the syllabus to write
about. If vou wish to design vour own topic. vou need mv permission to do so. Research is not
required but may be helpful with some topics (I will indicate which). Longer papers tend to get
better grades- though of course this is not guaranteed. I have received plenty of bad long papers.
It’s OK to exceed the page limit by a few pages. Every essay must have a title, must have thesis,
and must develop that thesis using quotes from the text in well-developed body paragraphs.
Write an essay that looks at Mary Rowlandson or William Bradford as authors of
providential narratives. Note: we have a handout that looks at this aspect of their writings
which might help you trame an argument. Another option: write about Kowlandson alone
on this topic
-esneciallv since her text is so long
Encounters with Native Americans: Write an essay that compares how two authors
imagine their encounters with Native Americans. Are these representations consistently
negative? Do the authors deploy racist language? You might look at Rowlandson or
How literature imagines the American wilderness: we have discussed in class that there
are many versions of America, many ways in which early American authors imagined the
New World. These representations are often the product of a fixed point of view or
purpose- such as the desire to see America a source of raw materials to exploit or as a
sanctuary trom a system of religious intolerance. Choose one or two authors, and
examine how their texts imagine America. You might use your thesis to connect their
vision of America to their purpose in visiting her.
Write an essay analyzing the concept of love in John Winthrop’s “A Model of Christian
Connect your discussion of Winthrop’s role as the leader of a Puritan group
who have made the radical decision to leave the mother country and risk their lives on a
new continent.
Analyze the writings of Anne Bradstreet from in terms of her status as a woman author.
How does Bradstreet’s gender reveal tensions in her poetry? How does she introduce
issues or problems related to being a woman in to the poems? Another option: Is there
evidence of secular and spiritual tensions in her poetry? (Secular refers to non-religious
issues, or issues of this world that might conflict with her concern for salvation).
Genesis and colonization: Using the first two books of Genesis as your basis, look at
ways that these religious texts may have shaped the views of writers of exploration
stories, discovery stories, and other kinds of early American Literature. You could
examine writers like Columbus, William Bradford or John Winthrop.
Puritan and deist self-fashioning: Write an essay that makes an argument based on a
comparison between the personal narratives of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin.
Important to this analvsis would be some consideration of the personal belief systems of
each author: Puritanism for Edwards and deism for Franklin. Consider also how the
authors present their life stories as representative, that is, stories others should emulate in
the conduct of their own lives. How do these life stories represent different visions for
what America and American identity could be? If these visions represent a contest
between secular and spiritual views of the world, do you see this conflict playing out in
American life today?
Emerson and individuality: Using Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” as your main
source, write an essay that makes a point about what Emersonian individualism means.
How is his concept of individualism similar to or different from other notions of
American individualism such as the myth of the “rugged individual”? Which version do
you think prevails today? Why?
Write an analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark,” focusing particularly on
ideas such as beauty, perfection, objectification of women, and gender more generally
The paper should place its analysis in the context of the story’s relevance to today’s
world. What points of comparison can you make between Hawthorne’s rendering of
Georgiana and the plight of women in 2022. And what conclusions can you draw from
this analysis?
Writing requirements: 1. Use MLA Style. 2. All papers must be typed, page-numbered, stapled,
have a title. 3. All papers MUST use direct quotations from the text you are writing about for use
as evidence to support your thesis and to develop your thesis. 4. All papers must have a thesis-
clear and arguable point. That thesis must then be fully developed in the body of the paper, using textual evidence as support.

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