You have to have read or be willing to read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston OR

*You have to have read or be willing to read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston OR Dawn by Octavia Butler. We are supposed to choose one of the prompts to write a 5-7 pg double spaced essay on. I arleady wrote about native son so I cant choose any prompt to write about it. the detailed descriptions and prompts to chose from are below*
Choose one of the topics below and write a 5-7 page analytical response to it. This essay should be your own interpretation of a novel you have not written about previously among Richard Wrights Native Son, Zora Neale Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Octavia Butlers Dawn. If you wrote Essay 1 on Native Son, for example, you may not write about it for the final. Do not use outside sources.
Remember that close reading and argumentation are important to writing this kind of paper. You need short, direct quotations and analysis of them to support your overall argument. Do not summarize any more of the plot than is necessary to set up the context of your argument. Formal literary analysis requires that you think just as much about how word choice, syntax, narrative point of view, metaphor, images as you do about the plot. You cant (or shouldnt) write about a movie without dealing with the audio and visual elements of the medium; you shouldnt discuss literature without addressing those elements that make it literary. A novel, after all, is not just a report.
Your essay should follow MLA conventions: double-spaced, 12 pt, Times New Roman, 1” margins. Check the Files Section for a document titled “Paper Formatting for ENGL234 to see an example of what your essay should look like.
Be sure to begin with an original title and use formal diction and tone. Also, don’t forget to include a Works Cited
(Links to an external site.) at the bottom. Check Purdue’s Online Writing Lab for instructions. Make sure you have a full three-story thesis
(Links to an external site.) that is backed up with strong evidence that relies on relevant direct quotations to support your argument.
Prompts:
1a. In Octavia Butlers Dawn, the Oankali’s plan to remake Earth and repopulate it with the surviving human race they take aboard and experiment on invites comparisons to colonization and slavery. What kind of interpretation comes from such an allegory? What does this remediation of the history of the Atlantic Slave Trade offer? What is the effect of making the enslaved the entirety of the human race when it comes to your reading of this allegory? What kinds of issues does Lilith’s race and gender contribute to this reading? What does a character like Paul Titus suggest about the nature of enslavement? (While you may be interested in articulating the way the novel works as a neo-slave narrative, be sure to provide an argument that tells us what such a reading does. How does it answer the “so what” question?).
1b. One specific direction you might take the prompt on Dawns allegory is to think through the Oankalis position as the colonizing aliens. In spite of their technological prowess and understanding of humanitys flaws, they seem no more enlightened for it. One constant theme that has come up in the book is their failure to recognize and respect the autonomy and boundaries of the people they claim to be helping. How does the relationship between enslaver and enslaved in the Atlantic Slave Trade reflect upon how the Oankali relate to humans? Write an essay that considers how the question of consent informs our understanding of the novel.
2. Early in Dawn, humans are diagnosed as being dangerous because of the incompatible traits of being intelligent and hierarchical. One way in which this desire for hierarchy is expressed is through gender. Whether through Paul Titus, Peter, or Curt, the desire to prove one’s masculinity incites violence and suffering. On the other hand, you might argue that it is precisely this obstinate need for power that is will save the human race. Write an essay analyzing the effect of humanity’s hierarchical nature.
3a. Lilith Iyapo returns again and again to her role as the Judas goat for the Oankali, the human subject who will herd other humans, potentially leading them to the figurative slaughter. The motif of black women as work animals persists through several of the books we have read this semester. Write an essay in which you consider Liliths role in the Oankalis project, and how the book reflects on black womanhood as an object of power and as the object of mistreatment and abuse.
3b. If you have not written on Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God, you might consider a comparative essay looking at the image of the mule in relation to the Judas goat and offer an overall analysis of black womanhood analogized to work animals. Please be aware that it sounds easy to write 5-7 pages on two books instead of one, but the expectations will be higher. If you write four pages of plot summary with one page of analysis, you will do worse than if you submit an essay with that ratio on one novel. Give some real thought to how they both work in concert to comment on black womanhood, but have something to say about the differences and what they reveal.
4. Motifs are images, words, sounds, or other device repeated throughout a text. “Blindness” is a motif found in Wright’s Native Son. The “horizon” appears frequently in Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God. Their symbolic significance helps outline an important theme of a literary work. Choose one motif from one of these novels and explore how it works in concert with a central theme of the novel. What does this motif demonstrate for us? What is its relevance to the novel as a whole? Is it presented the same way throughout, or does its use change? What does that consistency or difference in usage tell us about the novel?
5. While not all of the novels we have read so far centers on the experiences of woman, they have important roles to play in all of them. Write an essay that considers how one of the novels deals with gender. How is gender or sexuality used to question or affirm tradition? How are women used and abused for the sake of power? To what end? How do women relate to one another, in Hurstons novel for example, and how do they, in contrast, relate to men?
6. While writers often communicate their ideas through the actions and speech of the characters they write, they also use place, especially the physical landscape, to make their arguments. Find a few passages in a novel and examine how these environments to relate to the themes of the novel. For example, you might consider the meaning of snowy Chicago in Native Son or the hurricane and flood in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Think about the moment in text when these parts of the environment appear. How do their depictions change as events of the novel happen? How does that push us to read these phenomena?
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