World Literature Paper

This paper is designed to test how well you can interact with the source material of the text. This means you will be deriving a thesis about the text of your choice and supporting it with close readings (quotation and analysis) of the text. As per the Core literature guidelines, this paper judges the following abilities:

To engage in concrete textual analysis
To articulate and advance well-supported theses based on arguable propositions
To offer specific claims that avoid unsubstantiated and sweeping generalizations
To move well beyond paraphrase and summary to engage and utilize the language of the text as a fundamental form of evidence for a thesis
To perform critical thinking through writing
To attain a style and level of discourse suitable to a third and fourth English course
To appropriately incorporate and document sources

Material Requirements of this Essay

1. This essay should be between 4 and 5 typed pages (1200-1500 words).
2. The paper should have a twelve point, Times New Roman font with one-inch margins, be double spaced, and have only one return between paragraphs.
3. It should be considered a finished piece of work even though it is a first attempt so I do not want to see careless errors (please include a title)
4. Finally, it should be in a semblance of MLA format so last name and page number in the header at the right margin and all biographical info on the first page in the upper left corner.
5. Due 4/5/20 by 11:59pm so you have until Sunday evening


Choose from one of the essay prompts I have provided.
Develop a Thesis about the work (or about two to three works in conjunction) that addresses some, most, or all of these aspects of the text: characterization, purpose, context, intended audience, narrative structure, or connection or lack thereof to your modern sensibility.
Support the thesis with readings from the text; these readings should include summary, paraphrase, direct quote, and analysis of each of these. All discussion should go towards helping prove your thesis.
For this paper, no outside sources are required or expected; however, if you would like to use one source to help critique another that is permitted and even encouraged.
Example topics are below. Feel free to use any of these examples.

Essay Question Options for World lit 1600-Present Paper #2

1). Aime Cesaire claims that strong, hyper-violent characters are a byproduct of colonization. In this class, we have been examining how essentially all novelistic characterization is part of colonization. Using specific examples from the text as well as using examples from Aime Cesaire’s “Discourse on Colonialism”, please discuss how Ken Saro-Wiwa’s “Souza Boy” uses the characters of Mene and Manmuswak to interrogate the colonial situation of the Nigerian Civil War.

2). What does it mean for a Western audience to be enraged with the internal critique of Nigerian politics through Souza Boy? This question is primarily one of identification. To the extent that we look at Mene from a position of privilege, is it possible to identify, and thus learn, from his subject position within the novel? Furthur, as taxpaying members (and maybe more to the point, gas-consuming drivers) of a nation-state complicit in the power dynamics that created the civil war in Nigeria, can attempting to identify with Mene fundamentally after the colonizer/colonist position at play within our reading of the novel (are we better for reading this book?)?

3). Comparing two dancehall songs and two county/western songs (Marty Robbins, Tom T. Hall, or Waylon), respond to the notion that both genres celebrate a similar ideal of individuality and Byronic hyper-characterization. Further, please offer a thesis for why these two very different art forms both maintain similar concerns.

4). Re-listen to Miss Lou’s “Fi Wi Language.” (please transcribe as much as you can.) Explain her argument for the quality of Jamaican patois and for this patois as its own language. Also explain her argument about the hypocritical way scholars describe English and Jamaican English. Evaluate the success of her arguments.

5). Both “The Harder they Come” and “Sousa Boy” depict the results of the colonial system on peoples of African Descent. Both also use one of the aesthetic developments of colonialism and how they use character and or interrogate notions of character, finally coming to an evaluation of whether the medium of film or the medium of a novel is more suitable for critiquing both colonialism and colonial aethetics.

6). The character of James Weldon Johnson’s “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” is really curious and his development curiously impacts the idea of novelistic character. Give a reading of his character and how it responds to the notions of identity as well as notions of race (sorry this question is so vague right now; I dont want to give anything of the novel away by finishing it)

7). Use Vondun as a rubric for understanding the actions and characters of Claire Clamont at least one other person from the novella Highlight important passages that can be read through the lens of Vodunan and explain them. Additionally, make a claim for what Marie Vieux-Chauvet is claiming about Haitian culture with these references.

8). Love is, in large part, a novel about a main character discovering the prejudices of both herself and her country and struggling to escape them. After analyzing key passages that make this dual struggle clear, please analyze the final pages of the book, explaining whether or not it seems that Vieux-Chavet is saying Claire was either successful or unsuccessful at escaping her own and her country’s prejudices.

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