ENG 1102 Patriarchy and inequality, The Story of an Hour discussion These are meant as models for Essay 6 Thesis Statements–remember, a thesis should set

ENG 1102 Patriarchy and inequality, The Story of an Hour discussion These are meant as models for Essay 6 Thesis Statements–remember, a thesis should set up or forecast the direction of the paper–it should be opinionated and judgmental. A summary or a general statement will not suffice.

So, here are a few that might serve as models–don’t repeat these, but you may engage similar ideas as you like:

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The play Trifles, the poem ‘White Lies’ and the short story ‘Everyday Use’ suggest to us that crisis moments reveal who women like Mrs. Peters, Mama and Dee, and Tretheway’s speaker really are as women.

Fences, ‘Theme for English B,’ and ‘Barn Burning’ explore what it means for a young person to grow up and have to learn to stand on their own two feet.

Othello, ‘My Last Duchess,’ and ‘Barn Burning’ show us various forms of toxic or controlling masculinities, and show us how literary works explore gender roles that are positive and negative.

English 1102 T3/2019 Essay 6: Research Paper Requirements: Minimum 1500 words

Draft Due: Submit Essay 6 “Research Paper” by 3.6 for full comments towards revision; drafts received on 3.7-9 will receive short, cursory comments only Revision Due: 3.10

Research Requirement: Four Professional, Peer-Reviewed Sources that MUST have appeared in your Annotated Bibliography/Essay 5

Assignment: A compare and contrast paper; you will compare and contrast how three works from the three genres (papers must examine at least one short story, one poem, one drama) treat similar topics. If none of the topics works for you, please see me to discuss possible alterations or alternatives. You may engage the same story, poem, and/or play you used in Essay 2, 3, and 4 if you like and the sources from Essays 3 and 4.

1. Compare and contrast the depiction of race or gender issues in any three substantial works in Backpack Literature (the play must be either Trifles, Othello, or Fences however—any paper that fails to follow this requirement will fail the assignment). Obviously, ‘issues’ is fairly broad, so you will want your thesis to be fairly narrow in scope.

2. Compare and contrast the depiction the maturation of young people into adulthood or adults into a better understanding of themselves in any three substantial works in in Backpack Literature (the play must be either Trifles, Othello, or Fences however—any paper that fails to follow this requirement will fail the assignment). Again, ‘maturation’ is fairly broad, so you will want your thesis to be fairly narrow in scope.

3. Compare and contrast any three substantial works in Backpack Literature (the play must be either Trifles, Othello, or Fences however—any paper that fails to follow this requirement will fail the assignment) through a theme of your own invention with consultation with the instructor (i.e., no papers accepted without prior acceptance from me) such as the use of technology, the depiction of work/labor, or images of children, e.g. which might work.

How it will be graded:

15% Introduction: You establish a context for the significance of your thesis in regards to the literary works as a whole. How does your argument contribute to understanding the authors’ major literary/thematic concerns? What can other readers learn from your analysis? How does your analysis/critique fit in with other critical responses of the author/literary works?

15% Thesis: You state your main point (or argument) in 1-2 sentences. The thesis is the culmination of your introduction.

30% Organization. Your essay should follow that of typical literary critiques:

Since your focus must be on analyzing three works, your essay must contain wellstructured supporting paragraphs that contain a topic sentence, quotes from the primary text, at least one quote from three different sources, an explanation/discussion of the significance of each quote you use in relation to your thesis, and a concluding sentence or two that situates the entire paragraph in relation to the thesis. Your thesis will focus on some kind of critical analysis of the primary text, so your supporting paragraphs should contain quotes from the text that illustrate your thesis/argument; in addition, you should include at least one quote from three different secondary sources to support your argument. Do not simply sprinkle random quotes into your paper and then ignore them; your supporting paragraphs should be organized around each of the quotes you use, explaining the significance of the quotes and why (or how) they illustrate your main point, but you also need to make sure that your paragraphs contain strong transitions and at least six (or more) sentences.

10% Conclusion: Regardless of the argument you make, you want a conclusion that avoids summarizing what you’ve just said, and please avoid writing, “In conclusion.…” Your aim in a conclusion is to place the discussion in a larger context. For example, how might your critical analysis of a literary character relate to the other characters in a work? How might your thesis be applied to other aspects of the text, say for example, setting or symbolism?

15% Grammar and mechanics: Your paper avoids basic grammar mistakes, such as dropped apostrophes in possessives, subject/verb disagreement, arbitrary tense switches, etc. The paper demonstrates a commitment to proofreading by avoiding easy-to-catch typos and word mistakes (effect for affect, for example). The paper adheres to MLA formatting style for in-text and bibliographic citations.

15% Presentation: Your paper meets the minimum length criteria of 1200 words, is typed with a title and your name on it. You follow your individual professor’s instructions for formatting (margins, placement of the name, etc).

A failing paper, either a “D” or an “F,” will either be completely off-topic, so short as to be negligible, and/or be so marred by mechanical errors that meaning is lost. Further, the argument may not be grounded in a thesis or else lack examples or explain why the examples given mean for the interpretation. A paper that fails to include the required research or that fails to quote directly from all sources cannot be scored above a “D.” • A “C” paper is one that manages to competently convey information to the reader—each part has a logical organization with clear thesis statements, contains coherent and complete sentences, appropriately answers the essay prompt, and does not have so many mechanical flaws that legibility suffers. A “C” paper may also weakly use the sources—quotes are dropped into the essay without a clear purpose or attributive phrases or that fail to show why the outside source is useful to the essay.
A “B” paper has all the characteristics of a “C,” and in addition displays effective insights into the essay prompt (possibly acknowledging multiple perspectives on the issues, or making particularly good choices about what material to address), has fewer mechanical flaws, and has an organizational scheme and general tone appropriate to the material. • An “A” paper has all the characteristics of a “B,” and in addition displays few or no mechanical flaws, pays attention to appropriateness of word choice and shifting tonality through the essays, displays a command of pacing and sentence variety appropriate to the varied content of the essays, and may display particularly thoughtful insights, of contain stylistic devices which illuminate the material. Primary Texts:
Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” pg.32
Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” pg. 373
Shakespeare’s Othello, pg. 742
Thesis: Othello, ‘My Last Duchess,’ and ‘A Rose for Emily’ reveal how gender, race, and social
ranking can be used as a weapon to gain power and oppress an individual or entire segment of
Works Cited
Adler, Joshua. Structure and Meaning in Browning’s “My Last Duchess.” Victorian Poetry 15
1977: 219-227 Web. 03 May 2017.
Joshua Adler’s article explores in depth the Duke’s dominant personality. Adler seeks to show
us how the Duke viewed women as objects. The author demonstrates how the Duke speaks of
his last wife through a painting as he negotiates to marry the next Duchess who Adler states, “is
the real “object,” to use the speaker’s own word, of the conversation.” Adler also portrays how
the social ranking of the Duke allowed him to give polite orders that had to be obeyed, “Will’t
please you sit?” and “Will’t please you rise?” are couched as questions but are in fact commands
issued by a social superior.” Adler’s writing helps us to identify with the victims of the Duke’s
tyranny. Adler’s writing will provide evidential support of two women, the last Duchess and the
next Duchess, who are basically forced into marriage with this psychotic Duke because of their
gender and the Duke’s high social position. However, Browning’s “A Rose for Emily” portrays
a woman despite social standing who could not force a man into marriage.
Fick, Thomas. and Eva Gold. “ ‘He Liked Men’: Homer, Homosexuality, and the Culture of
Manhood in Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily’.” Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 8
2007: 99-107 Web. 06 May 2017.
Thomas Fick and Eva Gold’s article strive to give insight on Homer’s character mainly his
sexual orientation. They also reflect on gender stereotyping with Emily’s character. These
authors reveal how important historical context is to understanding how William Faulkner
desired for these two characters to be viewed by his readers. Fick and Gold state, “When
discussing texts like Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” in the classroom, we are arguing teachers
must be particularly attentive to historical contexts.” Fick and Gold challenge the popular belief
that Homer was gay, but they do agree Emily got away with murder because of her gender and
family name. These authors will help establish the implication of Homer being gay and a
“Yankee” placed him in very low social standing with the people of Jefferson which made his
life of no value when killed by Emily. In contrast to Browning’s” My Last Duchess” Emily’s
gender and social standing caused her to get away with murder instead of being in danger of
Kriewald, Gary. “The Widow of Windsor and the Spinster of Jefferson: A Possible source for
Faulkner’s Emily Grierson.” Faulkner Journal, 19 2003: 3-10 Web. 03 May 2017
Kriewald attempts to discover the inspiration for the character Emily in A Rose for Emily;
however, Kriewald also gives us details about Emily and her social standing in Jefferson. The
author of this article explains how she is treated as royalty, “It is clear from the beginning of the
story that Miss Emily has for some time been accorded the status of royalty in Jefferson.” This
is because she was born into a once very prominent family. Kriewald demonstrates how Emily
uses this status to live “above the law.” Kriewald’s writing will reveal Emily’s race, gender and
prominent name gave her a unique power over others in Jefferson. However, in Shakespeare’s
Othello, Desdemona’s race, gender, and prominent name did not save her.
Mutlu, Kadar. “Racism in Othello.” Tarih Kültür ve Sanat Ara?t?rmalar? Dergisi/Journal of
History, Culture & Art Research, 2 2013: 134-141 Web. 03 May 2017
The author of this article examines racism throughout history. Kadar Mutlu desires to use the
play Othello to demonstrate how Shakespeare portrayed racism directed towards the protagonist
Othello. Mutlu states, “The play, Othello, has a harmony of racism. This harmony is provided
by the tireless verbalization of “otherness” in the words of “Moor” and “Black”.” The author
wishes for us to understand that although Othello is a war hero, when it comes to other aspects of
his life he is often reminded of his race by others. Consequently, Browning’s Duke and
Faulkner’s Emily feel a security in their race and social ranking which is never questioned by
Vanita, Ruth. “’Proper’ Men and ‘Fallen’ Women: The Unprotectedness of Wives in Othello.”
Sel: Studies in English Literature, 34 1994: 341-356 Web. 03 May 2017.
Ruth Vanita’s writing focuses on how little value was placed on women. Vanita uses the two
key characters in Othello, Emily and Desdemona, to demonstrate how easily their lives were
extinguished. The author exposes there was no attempt to protect these women from their
husbands, and literally no repercussions for their murderers. Consequently, Desdemona was
married to a black man who may have tainted her social standing among her peers. Vanita
writes, “Othello’s blackness does not diminish his power over his wife. Paradoxically, social
prejudice against him results in an outcasting of Desdemona which isolates her even more than
other wives and places her more completely at her husband’s mercy.” The article attempts to
demonstrate the difference in protection provided to men versus women. Gender was the
primary reason these women had no protection, and gender was the primary reason these men
had power over life and death which was also portrayed in Browning’s “My Last Duchess.”
Watson, J.R. “Robert Browning: ‘My Last Duchess.’ ” Critical Survey, 6 1973: 69-75 Web. 03
May 2017
Watson gives a detailed analysis of “My Last Duchess.” The author of this article leads us
through the poem with careful attention given to the Duke and the Duchess. Watson gives us
insight into the Dukes domineering character, and the Duke’s reverence for his position and title.
Watson states, “He sees himself as the inheritor of a noble trust, and his anger is aroused not
because the duchess is enjoying herself, but because she seems to value other things as much as
the possession of an ancient name.” Watson portrays for us an innocent wife scorned by her
husband for simply enjoying life and not having a healthy appreciation of her husband’s social
ranking, a gift that he bestowed on her as the Duchess. In Othello, Desdemona is killed by her
husband in a fit of jealousy. Because of their gender, regardless of their social class they had no
protection from their husbands.
A Comparison of Fences, “A Pair of Tickets,” and “Theme for English B”
Throughout history, many writers based their works on the struggles of minorities to
accept their race and try to achieve some sense of equal treatment and opportunity. Amy Tan,
Langston Hughes, and August Wilson all use these struggles as the basis for these three literary
works. Amy Tan focuses most of her writings on the struggles of Chinese-Americans, while
Langston Hughes and August Wilson both focus on the frustrations of African-Americans and
their pursuit of equal treatment and opportunity. Although ‘A Pair of Tickets,’ ‘Theme for
English B,’ and Fences differ greatly in how they get there, all three show their characters
accepting themselves through depictions of race and history.
In Fences, Wilson’s protagonist character is Troy Maxson, a black man who struggles
with the frustrations of race inequality. The story illustrates how a younger Troy was denied the
opportunity to play baseball outside of the Negro Leagues. Although professional sports became
integrated during Troy’s lifetime, according to Professor Susan Koprince’s article “Baseball as
History and Myth in August Wilson’s Fences,” there was an unwritten “understanding among
every major league club owner and every minor league club owner…that no blacks could play in
so-called organized baseball” (Koprince, 349). Even though Troy’s baseball statistics in the play
were better than most players in the major leagues, he was deprived of the opportunity to play
simply because of the color of his skin (Koprince). Even as the civil rights movement was in its
beginnings, Troy’s bitterness because of this experience leads him to deny his son an opportunity
to play sports.
In a similar fashion, in Hughes’ poem “Theme for English B,” the speaker of the poem
struggles with his race identity in a different manner. He faces more of an internal challenge
generated by his own thoughts rather than from some external source. This speaker contemplates
how to complete his English assignment to write a one-page paper about himself without his race
defining his writing. As the sole black student in a white class, he identifies himself with his
hometown in North Carolina and now his surroundings in Harlem, a New York borough that is
predominantly black. However, the college he attends is an elite school that is predominantly
white. His dilemma is with his own thoughts of what it means to be an American. The speaker
examines the concept that to be American, a black person must possess a double-consciousness,
or multiple social identities (Brox). In the lines “although you’re older–and white– / and
somewhat more free,” (Hughes) the speaker feels the professor can avoid this doubleconsciousness simply because he is white (Brox).
In Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets,” the focus is on the character Jing-Mei “June” Woo and
how she struggles as a young girl to accept her heritage as a Chinese-American. Born and raised
in San Francisco, her parents were Chinese immigrants, and June grew up between two cultural
worlds, as Li Zeng states in his article, “the generational and intercultural gap between mothers
and daughters … unfolded with the daughters getting confused and frustrated with their mothers
while growing up (Zeng, 3). June refuses to accept the fact she was Chinese, even though her
mother insists, telling her “Someday you will see. It’s in your blood, waiting to be let go” (Tan,
129). As a young girl, June surrounded herself with Caucasian friends, who would tell her she
was no more Chinese than they were. She was embarrassed by the “telltale Chinese behaviors”
(Tan, 129) her mother displayed when out shopping or in her behavior and dress. When
reminiscing about the time when her mother declared her being Chinese could not be helped,
June responded “I was fifteen and had vigorously denied I had any Chinese whatsoever beneath
my skin” (Tan, 129). Until now, June did not want the stigma of being Chinese in America, in
her mind, she was just like her high school friends.
In these three literary works, the characters discussed eventually come to grips with their
struggles and accept who they are. In Fences, Troy, accepts who he is as a baseball player,
although he continues to fight for equal opportunity. In his job as a garbage collector, Troy, who
works as a garbage man on the back of the trash trucks, has a desire to be a driver, a job
seemingly reserved for white. He poses the following question to his superiors, “How come you
got all the whites driving and the colored lifting?” (Wilson, 1032). His argument is that anyone
can drive a truck, not just someone who is white. He takes his case to the union and is eventually
allowed to be a driver, a job he finds quite lonely. In a sense, he has achieved a level of equality
in his job that he never achieved in baseball.
The speaker in “Theme for English B,” eventually accepts his English assignment and
writes this poem, which becomes his assignment. He describes himself as the sole black student
in his class and because of his age and background, finds it difficult to know what is true for him
or the professor. Ali Brox, in her article “Simple on Satire: Langston Hughes, Gender, And
Satiric Double-Consciousness,” states, “the poem, with an uncertain point of view, becomes his
page for English B because this is the only way he can perceive the world” (Brox, 19). So to
resolve his struggles, the speaker essentially writes his paper about how he perceives himself
within his surroundings, but all along, wondering if the paper itself might be seen as “colored”
since he is the only black student in his class.
In Tan’s short story, the character June finally accepts her mother’s heritage during a trip
to China. After her mother’s death, she traveled with her father to visit his aunt and to meet her
half-sisters in China. When she does meet them for the first time, she sees her mother in their
faces and realized that her and her sisters, “look like our mother, her same eyes, her same mouth,
open in surprise to see, at last, her long-cherished wish” (Tan, 144). That “wish” was her
mother’s desire for June to accept her Chinese heritage. During her trip, she realized not only the
differences between American and Chinese cultures, but also the similarities. It is then that she
recognized that she needed to understand her past experiences and those of her family in order to
discover herself. After meeting her half-sisters seeing the likeness of her mother in their faces did
she understands what it meant to be Chinese. As June states in the story’s end, “It is so obvious.
It is my family. It is in our blood. After all these years, it can finally be let go” (Tan, 144).
Even though the characters discussed in these literary works each struggled in their own
way with their racial identity, the location and time period that each took place in were different.
The setting for Fences was in Pittsburg during the 1950, where Troy’s struggles took place
during the beginning of the civil rights movement, though much of the discrimination he endured
in the story occurred prior to this movement. A “Theme for English B” also took place in the
1950s, although the location was New York City. The location and timeframe for “A Pair of
Tickets” took place in the 1980s in both San Francisco and China.
Many literary works use controversial subjects for the stories they tell. The struggles and
challenges individuals face in finding and accepting his or her identity or accepting themselves
through race and family history seems to make for a good topic because most people, in some
ways, can connect to the story. In the case of Fences, “A Pair of Tickets,” and “Theme for
English B,” the characters identified struggled with his or her racial identity. Troy’s struggles
come from external sources, while the struggles of the speaker in Hughes’ poem and June in
Tan’s short story were self-generated. Amy Tan, August Wilson, and Langston Hughes all
presented stories of real-life struggles where the characters faced and successful dealt with their
race identity.
Works Cited
Brox, Ali. “Simple on Satire: Langston Hughes, Gender, and Satiric Double-Consciousness.” Studeis in
American Humor 3.21 (2010): 15-28. Web. 16 July 2015.
Hughes, Langston. Theme for English B, Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama,
and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 5th Ed. New York: Pearson, 2016. Print.
Koprince, Susan. “Baseball as History and Myth in August Wilson’s Fences.” African American Review
40.2 (2006): 349-358. Web. 16 July 2015.
Tan, Amy. A Pair of Tickets, Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing.
Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 5th Ed. New York: Pearson, 2016. Print.
Wilson, August. “Fences”, Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing.
Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 5th Ed. New York: Pearson, 2016. Print.
Zeng, Li. “Diasporic Self, Cultural Other: Negotiating Ethnicity through Transformation in the Fiction of
Tan and Kingston.” Language and Literature 28 (2003): 1-15. Web. 16 July 2015.

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