As a compare/contrast essay, this essay should connect Denis Johnson’s Jesus Son or Sophocles’ Antigone to either O’Connor’s “The Lame Shall Enter First” or Willa Cather’s “Paul’s Case” or any of the other texts we have read this semester. Again, you must plan to submit your best effort even if it is not “perfect.” I expect to see a focused argumentative thesis with supporting points based on textual analysis. Use the text as support, and do not stop short in your analysis. A quotation from the text will not illustrate your thesis on its own. You must tell the reader, through close reading and elaboration upon the quotation, how it illustrates your thesis. It is also better to elaborate in detail upon one example in a paragraph than to bring in too many undeveloped examples. Papers must also use MLA in-text citation style. You should write each paper about at least one NEW text, meaning, you should not write all of your essays on “Paul’s Case,” for example. Requirements:
- 3-4 double-spaced pages in 12 pt/Times New Roman font. (Use standard one inch margins and number your pages)
- An arguable thesis based on YOUR OWN interpretation of the text. Please use bold face to highlight.
- Direct engagement with the texts we have read. You must use quotation and analysis to back up your points. Consider using one, if not more quotations per paragraph. Instead of long quotations, break up and place existing quotations into your own writing. See the weekly guide for “sample analytical paragraphs.”
- A final product that is proofread and spellchecked
- Upload to Blackboard “Assignments” tab
How do you think Denis Johnson’s Jesus’s Son or Sophocles’ Antigone relates to our earlier readings—on the basis of religion or “innocence” or anything else? Here are some possible areas of focus:
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- What is the meaning of the child here?
- How does the literature we have read examine the meaning of work or vocation?
- How do the stories explore the idea of self-making or self-definition?
- What is the role of the “parent?”
- What role do women, especially mothers, play?
- Sin and redemption: what role does moral responsibility play in any of the texts? How do characters “fall” from grace, and in what ways are they redeemed?
- What is the role of emotions/grief?
- What versions of the family/kinship are being explored in these texts