ENGL 366: Essay #1

Select one of the following two essays prompts and write an essay following the guidelines outlined on page 4 of the syllabus. Remember: follow all directions, have a clear thesis, and a demonstrable argument that you support in the paper. As indicated on the course calendar, the essay is due February 27.

  1. Literature and Testimony Many of the works we have read so far this semester seek to bear witness (i.e. provide a testimony) to the impacts, events, and lived experiences of immigration. Compare and contrast 2 of the works. How does each seek to provide an account of the immigration experience? Are they are always factually “truthful”? Why or why not? Who were these documents written for, and how does the question of their potential readership in many ways alter the character of the testimony they are providing?
  2. Literature and Crossing Borders A precondition of any immigration experience is that of crossing borders, whether these be political, cultural, or linguistic, among others. Describe the nature of the borders crossed in one of the works read for class. Does the author and/or the text cross multiple borders? How so? Are these borders always successfully negotiated? Can they ever be? How does the author learn to live or cope with his/her status as an immigrant? What role does the production of his/her text play in this process?