What do “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker show about identity and education? Why is this topic important to readers’ understandings of themselves, others, or the world?
This essay is the culmination of the literary analysis you’ve been studying all semester. Therefore, a major goal of this assignment is to show readers that you can use the literary terms to create your own detailed, insightful analysis of literature supported with examples from the short stories, poems, or plays. While you are required to include secondary research in the form of critical articles, keep in mind that your own ideas and analysis should be the focus of the essay, and the research should not be allowed to take over and appear in every paragraph, for instance. Your literature sources and secondary sources must be cited in MLA format on the Works Cited page, as well as with in-text citations for quotes, summaries, or paraphrases.
• You will analyze one or more literature sources (short stories, poems, or plays).
• Your four secondary sources must be from the library databases or catalog (not the free web) to place your argument in context with other critical interpretations, or to provide historical or social background on your literature or authors. Your sources don’t necessarily have to be making an argument similar to yours—they could stand as counter-arguments so you’ll have something to refute. They could also provide some insight on how critics have analyzed this literature in the past.