3/28/2020 10:51:13 AM
Number Of Pages:
3 Double-spaced (900 words)
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American Literature II MID-TERM EXAM Suggested length: 3-4 double-spaced pages total (roughly 2 pages per essay) Pick A, B, or C for 2 of the 3 sections below, write a 4-6 paragraph essay (a brief introduction including a thesis statement, 2-4 body paragraphs, and a brief conclusion). Remember to cite examples (quotations especially) from the text to support your points. Essays will be assessed on thoroughness, insightfulness, organization, and clarity. Make sure each essay includes a clear thesis statement, clear topic sentences, and concrete evidence (i.e. brief quotations well explained) to back up ideas. Section 1—Respond to one of the questions below (A, B, or C). Indicate which question you’re responding to. A. Discuss the work of one of the following artists as a “local color” piece: Bret Harte, Kate Chopin, Mark Twain, or Abraham Cahan. In your discussion, you may use the following definition of the term: Local color or regional literature is fiction and poetry that focus on the characters, dialect, customs, topography, and other features particular to a specific region. Techniques include: Use of dialect to establish credibility and authenticity of regional characters. Use of detailed description, especially of small, seemingly insignificant details central to an understanding of the region. Frequent use of a frame story in which the narrator hears some tale of the region. Comparing two female characters from any of the works we’ve read, explore how they do or do not challenge traditional female gender roles or codes of behavior. In your essay it is wise to first define the gender roles and/or codes of behavior you’ll discuss, and then organize ideas around the definition you presented. Section 2—Respond to ONE of the questions below, A, B, or C. Indicate which question you’re responding to. As always, be sure to include quotes from the text to support your ideas. Contrast any of the two essayists who wrote about immigration: Roosevelt, Carnegie, or Kallen. Do they share any common views? How do their ideas differ? Be sure to have a main point and quote the text for support. Among the essayist on immigration (by Carnegie, Roosevelt, or Kallen) with whom do you think Cahan would most agree, given his depiction of immigration in Yekl? Be sure to quote both texts for support. In the past 100 plus years, has the immigration debate changed? Be sure to quote evidence from Cahan, Kallen, Carnegie, or Roosevelt, and find concrete examples (anecdotes, quotations) from the current day debate. Section 3—Respond to ONE of the questions below, A or B. Indicate which question you’re responding to. A. Argue whether or not T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” or any poems by Langston Hughes or William Carlos Williams fit the following characteristics of modernism. Choose three of the characteristics for the focus of your essay. Write only on one or two works. A break from traditional modes of expression (“Make It New”—Ezra Pound) Alienation and loss of control (aka “antiromantic concept of the subject”) Emphasis on symbolism and irony Shift in gender roles Artistic (linguistic) experimentation Fragmentation (yet a desire and belief in the ability to create wholeness from fragments) B. Write about Nella Larsen’s novella Passing, responding to one of the prompts below: Discuss the motif of masking (not revealing one’s “true” identity), especially as it relates to identity. What do you think Larsen is saying about masks we wear? Discuss the modernist motif of alienation and loss of control. You may focus either on Irene or Clare. Compare or contrast Larsen’s Passing and Cahan’s Yekl. What, together, do they say about the accessibility of the American Dream? Does one have to sacrifice racial or ethnic identity in order to achieve it?
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