Gender and Literature

Since the last essay was due you will have read, viewed, or received: WEEK 3 Monday, January 4 – Sunday, January 10: Readings (Primary Texts) for Week 3: Reading #1: Zitkala-Sa’s “A Warrior’s Daughter” (34-42) Reading #2: Bobbie Ann Mason’s “Shiloh” (542-552) Reading #3: Gerald Early’s “Life with Daughters: Watching the Miss America Pageant” (532-548) Reading #4: Toni Morrison’s chapter from The Bluest Eye (9-32) Reading #5: Glenden Brown’s “Femininity and Toughness: What Rodeo Queens Tell Us about America” (254-259) Reading #6: National Geographic Special Issue on Gender January 2017 *NOTE: All these PDF readings are available in RESOURCES. You may also write about any texts or YouTube Clips from our course during Weeks 3. Remember to keep gender analysis as your main focus. You may write about one of these texts, or make meaningful comparisons between two or more. You may also include relevant personal experiences. In your 5 FULL page essay, you should include a thesis statement. A thesis statement makes the writer’s point at the beginning of the essay. To be clear about your purpose, develop a specific thesis, which you then explore, support, and illustrate using specific examples and arguments. A thesis statement is the controlling idea of a piece of writing. Most college essays contain a thesis statement, usually a single sentence, that appears early in the text, most often at the end of the first paragraph. The thesis acts as a roadmap, alerting the reader to the major aspects of your paper that will follow. Depending on your writing situation, you can begin writing a paper with a clear thesis in mind, or you may discover your thesis later and revise accordingly. *Include a proper MLA heading, creative title, running header, consistent double-spacing, 12 pt. font (Times New Roman or Arial) with standard spacing between sentences and on the margins. See http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ *Make sure to use specific evidence and “direct quotations” from the stories, essays, and/or YouTube clips to support your claims. Include vivid particulars to illustrate your points. Here are two basic forms of MLA format when the author’s last name is Zitkala-Sa: The narrator of “A Warrior’s Daughter” explains, “Tusee is taking her first dancing lesson” (Zitkala-Sa 35). In Zitkala-Sa’s story “A Warrior’s Daughter” the narrator explains, “Tusee is taking her first dancing lesson” (35). *You do not need a Works Cited page or separate title page for this essay. *The only sources to which you should refer are the ones we consider in class. Do not perform any outside “research” for this paper. The paper should be well organized with a strong introduction and a powerful conclusion. Use transitions between paragraphs. Check for spelling, punctuation, run-on sentences, variety of sentence structure, and intellectual vocabulary. The length of the paper should reach at least 5 FULL pages and a maximum of 6 FULL pages. Some questions to consider: What specific behaviors signify gender roles? Do certain aspects of living appear gendered? Where do you locate symbols of gender formation? How are characters conditioned to become “masculine” and “feminine”? How do certain characters resist these definitions? What questions does this text raise about gender roles? Where do your own opinions come from about gender roles? What values of your own regarding gender did you bring to the text while reading? Can you relate specific personal and relevant experiences to the story, film, or article? What particular life events and situations (from family, friends, or the “news”) came to mind when you read this story? Does the story remind you of people in your life? How does this story make you feel and why does it make you feel this way? What specific scenes, lines, or passages can you associate with particular circumstances of your own personal history? (You may use the first-person “I.”) What is the author or director attempting to suggest by portraying certain roles of boys, girls, men, and women? What is the main message or “moral” of the story in regard to gender? What is the author trying to teach readers about gender roles? How does the author go about transmitting a message? What particular situations, events, dialog, scenes, passages, and specific details most strongly or subtly reveal the operation of gender roles? How does this story, film, or article reflect gender roles in our own contemporary society? How does a character’s gender role reflect her or his psychology? What particular forces and events shape the way male and female characters act? What in a character’s past helps explain her or his behaviors? What inner drives dominate a character? What main personal goals does the character hope to achieve? What outer symbols represent a character’s interior? What kinds of representations does this story offer about gender roles? What versions of “masculinity” and “femininity” are promoted? How do men and women follow or resist “traditional” roles? How does the character’s gender role determine his or her experience? What images and “appropriate” behaviors are associated with women and men? How are men and women defined by their bodies? How does a character’s surroundings shape and determine her or his life? How is the character’s life influenced by her or his immediate environment? To what extent does a character overcome adversity? Are there common elements between the readings and YouTube clips.

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