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1. Short Story Essay: The topic is up as Short Story Essay Assignment.

Write a 3-5-page
double-spaced essay in which you compare two short stories (Poe, Kincaid, Tan, Cisneros,
Chopin, Gilman, Cortazar, Borges). You should have a very specific thesis and focus on one
aspect of the stories: Poe's two stories have unreliable narrators who are both murderers,
but the stories are differentiated by Montressor's lack of guilt and madness, emphasizing
how the two are linked in Poe's eyes. Tell-Tale Heart employs the traditional gothic and
Yellow Wallpaper the female gothic, contrasting the man free to act with the woman
unable to do so -- though both paths lead to madness. Secondary sources allowed but not
required. If you're only quoting the short stories, you don't need to cite them. Send the
essay to valeriefrankel1@gmail.com by sharing the google doc or as an attachment in
Word (preferred) or pdf. Canvas is okay too.

2. Poetry essay: analyze one or two poems using literary terms and an insightful thesis. 3-5
pages, no need to cite. I realized I only took you through basic meaning, so I posted a nice
analysis essay on Prufrock under Class Handouts.

3. Raisin in the Sun: I put the play up under readings. As I said, its a quick read that will take
an hour or two, not a week. Essay 4-6 pages, include two secondary sources (essays/books
on history, America, the play, the author, literature, etc). MLA citations. Answer one of
a. Does the play define the American experience today? Personal examples are
acceptable here, as are statistics and recent news.
b. How does the play exemplify the concept of the American dream -- the idea that
anyone can do well if he/she works hard? Does this work even when race is
factored in? What about the power struggle between Mrs. Younger and her son?
Do the characters succeed?
c. Does the story favor assimilation or maintaining a separate Black identity? Do
different characters find different answers?

4. Other essays 4-6 pages, include two secondary sources. MLA citations.
a. 1984:
How and why does the Party use propaganda? Is it meant to suppress the citizens
of Oceania from starting revolution, or frighten them, or brainwash them? How
does this compare to some of the modern propaganda techniques used across the
world during not only World War II but during current times as well?
Compare and contrast social control as it is described in 1984 versus your own
personal experiences with social control in modern society.
At the end of the novel, why does Winston love Big Brother? Analyze his final
reactions and compare this to his opinions on Big Brother as they occur
throughout the text.
What is 1984 satirizing? What is it trying to warn readers? How do literary
techniques or symbols emphasize the theme or the characters struggles?
What is the nature of love and friendship in Oceania? Describe and evaluate the
relationships evident within the text, including but not limited to Winston and
Julia, Winston and his mother, or the Parsons family. What do these relationships
say about the Partys influence on society in Oceania? Furthermore, what is your
conclusion about love in Oceania?

b. Ernest:
Explain the pun of the title. Who is being Earnest in this play? Do Gwendolen and
Cecily prefer having husbands named Ernest to having earnest husbands?

Analyze the gender reversals in this text. Does the feminized Lord Bracknell
foreshadow what Jack and Algernon may become? Are males or females more
passive/dominated in this play?
How does dramatic irony create humor in The Importance of Being Earnest?
Identify a handful of instances in which the audience members know more about
what is going on than the characters on stage. Why does this create humor?
What does the common classification of The Importance of being Earnest as a
"comedy of manners" refer to? Could this play operate in a classless, non-
hierarchical society? Analyze the role of class in Lady Bracknell's worldview. If she
more impressed by land, by nobility, or by wealth?
How do words take on a life of their own in this play? How does this relate to why
it is it so easy for Prism to substitute her manuscript for a baby? Consider the witty
turns of phrase. Analyze diaries as a source of power and truth-making.