ELIT 48C Kim Palmore 1Essay 1: A Response to Literature of the Modernist period.ObjectivesTo Lean to Write a Clear and Cohesive Response to LiteratureTo Learn Rhetorical Strategies: Analysis, Synthesis, Argument, Cause and Effect, Compare and ContrastTo Learn Critical Thinking SkillsTo Learn MLA Documentation Style: Integrating quotations; Works CitedPrompt IntroductionIn this first half of our quarter, we have read and discussed multiple texts, theories, and opinions on bothliterature and literary analysis, and for this reason, I offer you several choices for your first essay. In athesis driven essay of 500 to 750 words, respond to one of the following prompts. You need only theprimary text for this essay, but you may incorporate other stories, manifestos, or critical theory asadditional support. Remember, you can also draw on your own experiences and knowledge to discuss,explain, and analyze your topic.Topic: Choose OneMy AntoniaTopic #1: Death as a Catalyst for LifeWhen Mr. Shimerda dies, Antonia is left, through no choice of her own, without a father. Sheand her family are left poor and grieving in a strange new land. However, the rest of Antonia’slife after his suicide becomes shaped by the choices that she makes. Explain how these choicescause change at various points of her life.Topic #2: Immigrants and the American DreamMany immigrants arrived on the Nebraska prairie from all over Europe. Most of them were verypoor and they had little hope for survival. It can be said that the true meaning of their pioneerspirit rose from their perseverance, their sheer will to survive the harshest conditions. Theybraved the ordeals of prairie life for many years until they found comfort and establishedthemselves in a new land. Discuss the many hardships these immigrants faced and howovercoming those hardships defined their pioneer spirit. Consider if and how The AmericanDream played a role in their decision to make a new life in America.Topic #3: Modern Women on the PlainsMost of the characters in My Antonia are women. Willa Cather has chosen to represent many ofthese characters as successful and independent women, much like herself. Describe how the mainfemale characters in this novel achieve and maintain their independence.Topic #4: The Cycles and Seasons of LifeCather uses the seasons in this novel to symbolize life itself, using them to great effect inpainting scenes. Each of these scenes show how the endless cycle of spring-summer-fall-winterreflects and symbolizes the character’s up-and-down struggles through life on the prairie.Describe the use of each season in the novel and what it symbolizes, using examples to supporteach symbol.Topic #5: The Symbol of the PlowCather describes the plow "within the circle of the disk; the handles, the tongue, the share-black
ELIT 48C Kim Palmore 2against the molten red. There it was, heroic in size, a picture writing on the sun. Even while wewhispered about it, our vision disappeared; the ball dropped and dropped until the red tip wentbeneath the earth. . . . [and the plow sank] back into its own littleness somewhere on the prairie."How does this visual image of the plow become an important symbol in the novel?Topic #6: America’s ImmigrantsMy Antonia illustrates how immigrants, within one generation, can be as successful or moresuccessful than Americans whose ancestors have lived in this country for many generations andwho may have taken their blessings for granted. Choose one immigrant from the novel and showhow that character made choices that would be viewed as daring by the standards of any era.Topic #7: The Good EarIn a 1915 interview, Cather commented, "No one without a good ear can write good fiction." In“The Novel Demeuble” Cather writes, “Whatever is felt upon the page without being specificallynamed there—that, it seems to me, is created. It is the inexplicable presence of the thing notnamed, of the over-tone divined by the ear but not heard by it, the verbal mood, the emotionalaura of the fact or the thing or the deed, that gives high quality to the novel or the drama, as wellas to poetry itself.” What particular passages in My Antonia show Cathers "good ear" for thesound of language? Which show her ability to create “the thing not named”? Discuss how andwhy these passages capture the moods and themes of the novel. How do they contribute to theidea of the modernist novel?Essay Topic #8: Feminism and ModernismDiscuss My Antonia through the lens of feminism and modernism. Consider traditional andevolving gender roles. Look to the following questions to help direct your discussion offeminism and modernism.
ELIT 48C Kim Palmore 3Note: You are free to pursue another writing topic. Please, discuss it with me before you begin so we canmake sure that it is viable.Due Dates:See SyllabusSubmission Requirements: Please submit an electronic copy to firstname.lastname@example.orgFormat Requirement: MLA-style formatting and citationsLength: Your finished text should be between 500-750 words, excluding the Works Cited page.Research Requirements: noneWorks Cited PageA Works Cited page names all of the sources that were used in an essay or research paper; it credits thesource or sources for the information you present, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize to support yourthesis. A Works Cited page also serves as a reference to the sources that were used so that a reader orwriter can quickly refer to the original text. The Works Cited page for this research project will includeMy Antonia. If you use other sources, including other primary or secondary sources from class, please listthose too.Expected Student Learning Outcomes§ Demonstrate outlining and brainstorming abilities§ Demonstrate an awareness of the time needed to plan, search, and write an essay§ Demonstrate increased awareness of strategies for organizing ideas and structuring essays§ Demonstrate an ability to use complex sentence structures§ Demonstrate an understanding of multiple rhetorical strategies§ Demonstrate active reading strategies by finding textual evidence
ELIT 48C Kim Palmore 4§ Learn to integrate quotations effectively and correctlyPreviously Learned Skills Required to Complete this Assignmentü The ability to summarize sourcesü The ability to use multiple rhetorical strategies: Narration, Description, Exemplificationü An awareness of plagiarism issuesü The ability to write grammatically correct, clear sentences.ü The ability to write a clear and concise thesis.ü The ability to brainstorm material for an essay.ü The ability to organize an essayBest PracticesØ As you (re)read the text, keep in mind the prompts and highlight specific passages, lines, orscenes that may support your argument.Ø Write a thesis that helps readers understand both your argument and your reasoning.Ø Include textual examples that illustrate your points.Ø Avoid telling the reader that something is “interesting,” or “exciting”; instead create images oruse examples that show it.Ø Come to my office if you are unsure, confused, or behind.Traps to Avoid:Ø Choosing a topic that you do not understand or one not on the list that you have not discussedwith me.Ø Failing to assert a clear and strong argument.Ø Seeking to present the subject from memory or hearsay.Ø Failing to support the argument with evidence from appropriate sources.Ø Citing Wikipedia (or other non-academic or unreliable sources) as a source for your paper.