Literary Essay

Paper details:

Write a 1000-1500 word/4-6 page (not including the Works Cited page(s) in the count) literary analysis paper, using one of the following prompts below:

We have read several texts by Puritan/Calvinist authors (Winthrop, Bradstreet, Rowlandson, Edwards). Compare and contrast the various themes and depictions of religion in these author’s works. How do the authors depict their relationship with God? What sort of imagery do they employ in their works?

The writers of slave narratives often incorporate literary techniques from different genres as a way to engage their audiences and to make their narratives more popular. Compare the styles and themes of one of the slave narratives (Douglass, Alcott, Child) to a Gothic story (such as Benito Cereno), a Sentimental story (like The Coquette), a Transcendental essay (such as “Resistance to Civil Government”) or a Romance (such as The Scarlet Letter). How does the slave narrative use other literary techniques to make an argument about the nature of slavery?

Analyze the moral ambiguity in The Scarlet Letter. Consider characters and the overall theme and story as a whole. Are particular characters, actions, places, etc. clearly laid out as “good” or “evil?” How so? Why do you think this is? Given that the Romance genre often is less about “realism” and more about exploring big deals like good vs evil, how does the lack of realism in the novel help explain Hawthorne’s themes about morality?

Consider the poetry from this semester. Often poets of the American Renaissance use the vivid landscape of America as a way to comment on other issues, like patriotism, freedom, or women’s rights. Choose two of the poets from the American Renaissance (Bryant, Longfellow, Dickinson, or Whitman) and compare and contrast their usage of imagery. How are they saying something about American character or American virtues?

How has the role of women changed over the semester? Choose three of the following authors from this list – Rowlandson, Foster, Irving, Child, Fuller, Hawthorne – and trace the treatment of and attitudes towards women that are portrayed in their texts. What concerns have been discussed? How have women’s place in society changed over time?

Prepare the document in MLA style & be sure to include the following:

The number of the prompt you selected after the due date on the title page

A content-related title, centered on the line, Internal works cited entries using MLA style

A Works Cited page(s) listing your source, using MLA style

Note: You do not need any outside sources except for the primary literary sources you’re analyzing. Your essay must present your own ideas about the readings.

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