Charles W. Chessnutt’s The Conjure Woman
Please make sure to have a clear thesis statement and topic sentence. The essay format should be very detailed and tend to use examples from the book. You can choose between the two books. Instructions will be uploaded. Thank you and please follow them carefully to avoided revision. Good luck!
Assignment:In either Charles W. Chessnutt’sThe Conjure Woman or Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives,identify an explicit or implied thematic conflict that spans two or more stories, creating a pattern of doubling or rivalry (between characters; between two conflicting impulses within a character; between institutions and individual characters or groups of characters; or between two philosophical, cultural, or social ideas represented across the stories). You might find this patternspanning the stories within the characters, action, imagery, symbolism, tone—or a combination of these.Then, arguehow the stories’ presentation of the conflict asserts a problem and/or a solution to a specific conflict of meaning in our social order or culture (which you should define clearly [see below]). You may refer in passing to things we discussed in class, but your arguments/evidence should be original[10%]and offer interesting insights into the book[10%].
Your Introduction: It may help you to categorize the conflict to help you understand the problems of self and other (i.e., conflict) that it represents. For example, does the conflict portray a problem of meaning or value within the discourses of race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, philosophy, or some other cultural division, such as rural and urban life? The first few sentences of your introduction should identify the specific social, political, or cultural problem/conflict addressed by the rivalry you have chosen to write about[10%]. Then you should brieflyoutline (3-6 sentences) how/why we see this problem/conflictarise between the groups (that you have defined) within thestories. [10%]The last sentence of your introduction should be your thesis (see below).
Thesis: Everything you write should support an original, interesting (not obvious), focused, and arguable (not factual and/or not subjective) thesis(clearly stated) about the pattern of conflict you identify. Your thesis should have both a “claim” (an assertion in the main clause about the problem or value asserted by the stories) and a “reason” (a subordinate clause that suggests why the issue is a problem or why a particular value is better or worse). A good, arguable thesis usually asserts how one side of the conflict appears superior to the other side (or gives a good reason why that doesn’t appear to be the case).The reason should be specific enough to provide focus but broad enough to cover all the points you argue in the body of your paper (i.e., it should cover all the main ideas of the body paragraphs). A thesis should be one sentence, and it should appear as the final sentence in your first paragraph. Underline your thesis. A good thesis sets up your paper’s focus and depth. [20%]
Main Body of Paper: Every body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that asserts an argument that supports the main argument of your thesis. As a reason supporting your claim, the topic sentence should have a clear relation to the reason stated in your thesis. The rest of theparagraph should argue the point by offering relevant and necessary details, examples, and (only when necessary) quotations from the literary text. Do not simply state obvious and literal facts about the stories in the topic sentence; if you do, the paragraph will have no purposeful relation to your thesis — it will have no reason for being in your paper. Do not devote any paragraphs or parts of paragraphs to summarizing all or part of thestories. Body paragraphs provide supporting argument, evidence, and examples. [30%]
Conclusion: Your conclusion shouldargue why contemporary readers should care about the conflict as it is portrayed (i.e., why we should embrace or resist the values or beliefs implied by the conflict and how the stories develop or solve it). Why is what you have argued important to contemporary readers? That is, according to your own political beliefs/values, how do the stories help or hindertoday the particular groups, ideas, or values portrayed, and why should we (or a particular readership) view the stories as you do? [10%]
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