Added to file Literature & Language Essay Research (Essay Sample)
A Thousand Acres
Assignment Overview and Objectives
Throughout the course of the semester, we have discussed a host of topics, especially in relation to how texts are influenced by others. I want you to select one of the topics listed below and write an essay in which you explore that topic in relation to A Thousand Acres. Make sure you have a thesis that makes an argument about your interpretation of the text. While this isn’t a full-on research paper, I do want you to use at least TWO outside sources.
Some topics for consideration:
- The wasteland motif and fertility rituals
- Look at the role of mother. In what way do mother-daughter relationships (or lack thereof) shape the story?
- What is the role of story-telling and how does it shape our interpretation of the novel? Is Ginny a reliable narrator? Is she delusional? How does her viewpoint shape our interpretation of events in the text?
- How are elements of power displayed throughout the text and how does it contribute to the overall work as a whole?
- Voice is often equated with power, while silence is associated with weakness. Examine the way in which different characters find power through their voice and /or the way in which they relinquish that power with silence.
- How does illness as a symbolic representation of larger themes central to the novel contribute to our overall understanding of the text?
- Explore the theme of violence and the way in which it effects the characters. How does it shape their interactions with each other? What is the role of trauma? Is it physical, emotional, spiritual, etc?
- What role do gender roles play as well as social expectations in the development of our characters and their interactions with each other? How do these roles affect the outcome of the novel?
- Look at the theme of paralysis. Is there a way in which characters are unable to initiate change? How does this affect the overall shape of the novel? In other words, how does paralysis drive the narrative forward? Do any of the characters break out of this paralysis and what initiates that break?
- Patriarchy and social expectations are a prominent theme in A Thousand Acres. How are the women shaped by the men in their life? How does it affect their relationships with each other?
We have examined and practiced several different types of techniques in which you were asked to analyze and practice writing different kinds of claims. Now you will have the opportunity to practice and apply these lessons by writing an academic essay.
Your essay should make a central claim (or thesis statement) and use literary devices to help you analyze the texts. You need to develop your central claim with specific textual evidence, focused paragraphs and clear transitions.
Tips for Writing
- Decide on a specific audience and purpose for your writing.
- Use the strategies discussed and practiced in class to come up with a strong thesis statement that includes the title(s) of the text(s) you are working with, the name of the author(s) of the text, the literary devices you will use to aid in your analysis, and the purpose.
- Use 2-3 quotes per body paragraph to help you develop your ideas.
- Make sure your conclusion tells the audience why what you have to say is important.
- If you use an outside source to help you, make sure you include a Works Cited page.
Important Due Dates:
_______________: Draft 1 (2 pages minimum in essay form)
_______________: Writing Workshop and Peer Response
_______________: Revised Draft (4 pages)
A Thousand Acres Literary Analysis
Patriarchy and social expectations are a prominent theme in A Thousand Acres. How are the women shaped by the men in their life? How does it affect their relationships with each other?
In A Thousand Acres, men make the major decisions and even coerce the female characters as is the case of Lenny Cook who molests his two daughters Ginny and Rose, but Caroline does not suffer the same fate. Patriarchy refers as a system of social organization in which the key positions of power in the political, economic, religious and military fronts. There is pressure to maintain very rigid rules regarding the roles of women and men where coercion is used to control sexuality and exert power. The place and role of women in the society is tied to the homestead and there is domination of the female characters exercised by the male individuals. The patriarchal system in society, the family structure and the social expectations explain the oppression and subjugation of female characters in Thousand Acres and the system has a negative impact on the women and their relations with each other.
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