Reading critically and interpreting literature

 

 Introduction:

Literature comes in many forms and comments on the culture and society in which it was written. However, the tools for successfully analyzing and interpreting literature remain constant throughout genres and time periods. Careful study of the written word results in finely honed analytical tools, which cross discipline boundaries and are further useful in interpreting and understanding mathematical equations, scientific problems, and day-to-day events.

This task asks you to critically read, analyze, and interpret two works of literature. You will analyze the ways in which characters in the literary works experience social struggles, whether they are based in class, race, gender, sexuality, educational level, or region. In order to achieve this, you will choose literary elements that help you analyze and show how this social struggle is represented in the literary works you choose.

For this assessment, choose one of the following options:

Option 1: Multimedia Presentation (suggested length of 15–20 slides)

Your slides should include the following:

 Introduction with thesis

 Main points of your argument/literary analysis

 Relevant quotations and citations from the texts

 Conclusion

 

Option 2: Written Analysis (suggested length of 10–12 pages)

Your analysis should include the following:

 Introduction with thesis

 Main points of your argument/literary analysis

 Relevant quotations and citations from the texts

 Conclusion

 

Select two of the following literary works of the same genre (e.g., two novels or two poems) to be the subject of your presentation or analysis.

Short Stories and Novellas:

 Jorge Louis Borges, “The Garden of Forking Paths”

 Ray Bradbury, “The Veldt”

 Angela Carter, “The Loves of Lady Purple”

 William Faulkner, “Arose For Emily”

 Jacques Futrelle, “The Problem of Cell 13”

 William Gibson, “Johnny Mnemonic”

 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Yellow Wallpaper”

 Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Rappaccini’s Daughter”

 E.T.A. Hoffman, “The Sandman”

 Henry James, “Daisy Miller”

 H.P. Lovecraft, “The Outsider”

 Katherine Mansfield, “Miss Brill”

 

 Yukio Mishima, “Patriotism”

 Toni Morrison, “Recitatif”

 Joyce Carol Oates, “In the Region of Ice”

 James Tiptree Jr, “The Girl Who Was Plugged In”

 

Plays:

 Jean Anouilh, Becket

 David Auburn, Proof

 T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral

 Brian Friel, Translations

 James Goldman, The Lion in Winter: A Play

 Lorraine Hansberry, Raisin in the Sun

 Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House

 Ben Jonson, Volpone

 Thomas Middleton, The Revenger’s Tragedy

 Marsha Norman, ‘night, Mother

 Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

 William Shakespeare, Measure of Measure

 John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

 Anna Deveare Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

 Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

 Luis Valdez, Zoot Suit

 

Novels:

 Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

 Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

 Jane Austen, Persuasion

 Octavia Butler, Kindred

 A.S. Byatt, Possession

 Michael Cunningham, The Hours

 Phillip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

 Charles Dickens, Hard Times

 E.M. Forster, Howard’s End

 Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

 Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness

 Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake

 Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress

 Michael Ondaajte, The English Patient

 Zadie Smith, On Beauty

 Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

 Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

 Edith Wharton, House of Mirth

 

Poems:

 W.H. Auden, “Funeral Blues”

 Anna Leticia Barbauld, “Washing Day”

 Elizabeth Bishop, “In the Waiting Room”

 Gwendolyn Brooks, “To the Diaspora”

 Mark Doty, “The Embrace”

 Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Sympathy” (“I know why the caged bird sings”), 1899.

 Queen Elizabeth I, “The Doubt of Future Foes”

 Robert Frost , “Out, Out—”

 Allen Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California”

 

 

 Seamus Heaney, “Blackberry-Picking”

 Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B”

 Suhi Kwock Kim, “Monologue for an Onion”

 Li-Young Lee, “For a New Student of These United States”

 Audre Lorde, “Hanging Fire”

 Marianne Moore, “Poetry”

 Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll”

 Mary Jo Salter, “Welcome to Hiroshima”

 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning”

 Walt Whitman, “Beat! Beat! Drums!”

 Thomas Wyatt, “They Flee From Me”

 

Choose three of the literary elements listed below:

 Plot

 Characterization

 Point of view

 Irony

 Figurative language

 Diction

 Tone/mood

 Symbolism

 Theme

 Setting

 Imagery

 

Task:

A. Introduce the first literary work and how the characters experience social struggles.

B. Introduce the second literary work and how the characters experience social struggles.

C. Analyze the ways in which the first literary element helps to reveal the characters’ social struggles.

1. Cite one example from the first work that demonstrates how this literary element reveals a specific social struggle.

2. Cite one example from the second work that demonstrates how this literary element reveals a specific social struggle.

3. Compare and contrast how the literary element reveals the characters’ social struggles in the two works.

D. Analyze the ways in which the second literary element helps to reveal the characters’ social struggles.

1. Cite one example from the first work that demonstrates how this literary element reveals a specific social struggle.

2. Cite one example from the second work that demonstrates how this literary element reveals a specific social struggle.

3. Compare and contrast how the literary element reveals the characters’ social struggles in the two works.

E. Analyze the ways in which the third literary element helps to reveal the characters’ social struggles.

 

1. Cite one example from the first work that demonstrates how this literary element reveals a specific social struggle. 

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