A major theme this semester has been the relationship between literature and truth, particularly when an author is writing to represent a marginalized group in ways that defy the expectations of dominant culture. Compose an essay 4-5 pages in length (1100-1300 words) responding to one of the following prompts. You must have a clear, well-argued thesis, and it is a good idea to cite the work (or works) you are writing on as evidence of the position you take. You are required to include 2 peer-reviewed sources not read in class, citing them in proper MLA format and listing them in a Works Cited. The best sources on these texts will be found through Hunter Library’s website with a simple search concerning these specific authors. The paper will be due Monday, March 30.
- Barracoon Hurston’s work uses a variety of meta-textual elements and aesthetic devices (dialect, etc.) to establish the validity of Cudjo Lewis’s voice. Pick and focus upon one of these, arguing its relevance to the text as being a “truthful account” and demonstrating how it achieves this function. You can look up both Hurston scholarship, as well as theoretical works on different kinds of metatext.
- The Moor’s Account While Lalami’s novel revises the well known story of the Narváez expedition, it does so to give voice to the story of Mustafa/Estevanico, and to comment on current immigration policies. Although fictional, how does this novel get at the “truth,” particularly that which cannot be found in the expedition’s historical accounts?