Compare and/or contrast the development of a theme in assigned texts from two different writers that we have studied. Your essay must have a clear, original thesis that states what larger point your paper will make by comparing and contrasting your chosen texts.

In addition to providing quotes from the primary texts in support of your thesis, your paper must include citations from at least two secondary sources of literary criticism. Acceptable examples include critical books that you find in the library or scholarly journal articles listed in the MLA International Bibliography, which you can access from the library’s “Databases” webpage. Unacceptable sources include – but are not limited to – Wikipedia, cribs such as Spark Notes, dictionaries and other reference books, and websites run by non-scholars. It is your responsibility to ask me if you are unsure about a source’s validity. Finally, your essay must follow MLA citation format, and it should include a Works Cited page. If you are unfamiliar with MLA style or would like a refresher, consult the following website for examples:

Here are some broad themes you may choose from:
E pluribus unum: the tensions between “many” and “one”
The quest for individuality (and/or the pressures of conformity)
The quest for spiritual meaning/fulfillment
Representations of race and/or racism
The role of the artist/creator figure
The power of imagination
Women, social expectations, and defining the self
Modernist vs. Postmodernist concerns
Representations of the American family
Parental efforts to shape children
Representations of nature
Challenges to the American Dream and/or American values
Representations of war and the individual psyche
The “hero” in late nineteenth-century America and beyond

Length and formatting: Minimum of 5-6 full pages, not including the Works Cited page
You will be able to access before the final due date to check your cited material and be sure that your paper is not plagiarized.

Books Used:
Norton Anthology of American Literature: Volumes C,D,E. Baym, ed. NY: Norton, 2007.
(9th edition)
Stories to choose from:
“The Private History of a Campaign that Failed”
“Rodman the Keeper”
“The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story”
“How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp for Mr. Fox”
“A White Heron”
“From the Country of the Pointed Firs”
“The Pasture”,
“Mending Wall,
“Home Burial”,
“The Road Not Taken”,
“Desert Places”,
“Fire and Ice”,
“Stopping By Woods”
“Spring and All”,
“This is Just to Say”,
“The Red Wheelbarrow”,
“Dead Baby”
“How it Feels to be Colored Like Me”
“The Magic Barrel”

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