ESSAY TOPICS: SELECT ONE
1. Define the main characteristics of The Jazz Age. Use at least two of Langston Hughes’s poems to demonstrate why he was the leading writer of the Harlem Renaissance. (See poems listed in second essay topic for choices beyond those in your text.)
2. Explore how two of Langston Hughes’s poems highlight his fierce identification with the plight of poor African Americans. You may consider the two poems in our text but also use the following poems as options that highlight racial concerns or the black experience (which can be found online): “Harlem [Dream Deferred],” “Mother to Son,” “The Weary Blues,” “Ballad of the Landlord,” and/or “I, Too.” Use specific lines from the poems to support your points.
3. Explain why Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, or Edna St. Vincent Millay is considered a Modernist writer. Use at least two poems to support your points.
4. Examine Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” which is both his most popular poem and his most commonly misinterpreted poem. (Poem can be found online.) Explain the irony in the last stanza, providing supporting evidence from the poem to prove it is not about taking a “less traveled by” road in life but rather choosing a road and living with the decision.
5. Examine the symbolism in Trifles or The Hairy Ape, being sure to relate it to the playwright’s overall social message that he or she was communicating about the time period in which it was written.
6. Read Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers,” a short story version of Trifles written one year after the play. (You can find it online.) Compare and contrast the story and the play. Which is superior in your opinion?
7. Explore the moral dilemma in Trifles. (To do this successfully, you will want to construct an argument in which you identify whether the women were right to withhold their discovery from the investigators. Identify the different experiences that the women themselves had which made them empathic to Mrs. Wright’s situation and helped them to justify their actions.)
8. Explore the importance of the past as it appears in Fitzgerald’s “Babylon Revisited.” Both Charlie and Marion have been molded by the past. Identify those connections within the story and analyze their impact.
Your essays should be in MLA Style and approximately 2-3 pages (not including the Works Cited page).
In the upper left-hand corner of the paper, place your name, the professor’s name, the course name, and the due date for the assignment on consecutive lines. Double space your information from your name onward, and don’t forget a title. All papers should be in Times New Roman font with 12-point type with one-inch margins all the way around your paper. All paragraph indentations should be indented five spaces (use the tab key) from the left margin. All work is to be left justified. When quoting lines in literature, please research the proper way to cite short stories, plays.
NOTE: It does not state how many sources must be used but each topic will tell you…like #1 says use two of Langston Hughes poems..if you pick topic one then you know you have to use 2 poems.
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