arguing (and compare/ contrast) with your theme (thesis statement)

arguing (and compare/ contrast) with your theme (thesis statement)

-Moliere’s Tartuffe (1664/1669)
-Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz
-Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688)
-Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions
-Olauduh Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano (1789)
-Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass (1845)

Pick two to three specific passages that you demonstrates how a specific theme connects two of the texts we have read through class. Use a close reading of these passage to set up your argument about the theme and how these specific passage relates to it. You of cause need to contextualize the passage, in some was (as we quote from other places that you think resonate, but remember to focus on this specific passage. Remember this paper is about more about the meaning(s) of the tests we have read, not about what ‘happens’ (plot).
Themes that may be particularly productive to think through are : Identity, reason, body, society, autobiography. Think of the theme as a question, a problem, or an issue : NOT as just a single ‘noun’. Your argument needs to be structured in some way. Usually a Thesis statement in the first paragraph (which suggests where you will go-it is a piece of self – reflexive meta-discourse), and then developing paragraphs that focus on close textual evidence substantiating and developing your argument throughout the body of your paper, and a conclusion that points forward and also back.
To do this paper well you need to do something hard: connect specific insight and turn it into general, larger points. You will need to cite and explain and comment on specific aspects of the passage, addressing the language of the passage, including word choice(diction), figurative language, tone and imagery. Avoid general plot summary that is not integral to your argument. Instead, focusing on developing your ideas; how does thinking through these ideas in their specific representation complicate and trouble them? Aim to be as specific and economical in your citation, do not list everything in your passage, but highlight what is the most important aspect.

Potential Examples:
-Trace the different representations of the radicalized body through a passage in Behn’s Oroonoko and a passage in Equiano’s Interesting Narrative.
-How are reason and rationality defined differently in Sor Juana and Rousseau?
-Think through the problems of identity-what it means to be ‘who you are’- in Moliere’s Tartuffe and Equiano’s writings.
– What are the complications of autobiographical writing? what is its rhetorical and critical power? Compare Rousseau’s Confessions and Frederick Douglass’s Narrative

-Deadline : march.14th
-Format : double-spaced, 12pt, standard font, One-inch margins, 8.5*11 paper.

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