Theme of Freedom and Confinement

This paper gives you an opportunity to reflect on the breadth of ideas we have engaged in the course. Pick 5 or 6 selections from the course that represent a variety of authors, historical contexts, and genres.

Note similarities and differences, while anchoring your essay in a larger point about how you understand the theme of freedom and confinement. Comment on how those works appealed to you, challenged your thinking, and/or expose you to different ideas. In summary, how has this set of texts changed your thinking about the depth and complexity of what both freedom and confinement mean, and why it matters?

What did you learn? What did you unlearn? Why does it matter?

Make sure to historicize your claims, compose a concise and provocative thesis statement, define your terms in the first or second paragraph of the paper citing the specific writers with whom you’re working, and provide evidence for your main ideas through direct textual quotation and close reading.

As always… Papers should include a pointed title that gestures toward your main ideas, a focused (and creative!) thesis that makes a strong argument, close readings of your primary text, and little to no basic plot summary. A thesis engages in dialogue with existing ideas and contributes something new to the conversation; it does not simply recapitulate the prompt.

Make your critical distance from any notion of an essentializing identity category, or stereotype, clear. For example, society can dictate certain “feminine” roles and “masculine” social scripts, but it is essentialist and therefore problematic to begin any claim with generalized statements such as “by nature” or “the x, y, z culture is” and so forth. Furthermore, you must problematize the notion of “culture” as such by thinking of how culture and ethnicity never remain static but shift across historical space and place. How are attempts to fix cultural identity in time often ideological reflections or media projections of the dominant group’s own desires and agendas?

1.Make sure your paper is MLA-formatted: one-inch margins, double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman font, block quotations for those more than four lines long, and “commas inside quotation marks,” please. There should be a “punctuation mark” following your citation (Baldwin 43), whether it be a comma or a “period at the end of the sentence” (44). Note the lack of a comma in between “Baldwin” and “43.” Note the period inside of the quotation mark in the “43.” Chapters from books and articles require quotation marks, and books must be italicized. Things like that…matter!

2.Make sure your execution of the argument is organized. That is, be sure your paragraphs have some kind of topic sentence indicating how that paragraph is working to illustrate your thesis.

3.Dodon’t forget to title your paper—brainstorm a title that indicates something about your argument. Always reference the primary literary or theoretical work on which you build your argument in the title of your paper.

4.In its final form, your thesis statement should be a reflection of much thinking—and here’s where your creativity and close reading skills come in handy. What haven’t people noticed or thought about before? What’s the specific angle that you’re interested in pursuing and how can you best trace that out in a well-organized, convincing paper through specific close readings?

MANDATORY (Have to Pick 5 out of 6 selections) (CAN’T USE ANYTHING ELSE)

These are your choices

1.Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”

2.Assata Shakur, “Contraband Love”

3.Adrienne Rich, “Diving into the Wreck”

4.Natalie Diaz, “A Wild Life Zoo” from When My Brother Was an Aztec

5.T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”5.

6.Danez Smith, From “summer, somewhere”

Don’t go over 1100 word count

Make Sure everything is in MLA Format!!!!

This is the Final Reflective Essay

Don’t forget to title your paper—brainstorm a title that indicates something about your argument. Always reference the primary literary or theoretical work on which you build your argument in the title of your paper!!!!! make it stand out!!

When Done Submit a PDF so I can download it!!

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