• Choose a Prompt From the Options Below: Select your topic from
• Choose a Prompt From the Options Below: Select your topic from the list of key word prompts below, each of which contains a tension, contradiction, or problem. The prompts are broad and offer a series of “lines of flight,” questions that you might choose to pursue or use as jumping off places to explore the key word from your own angle. You do not need to answer all of the questions for the key word. You may choose to focus on answering one or come up with your own related question about that key word. Your reading must be based on textual evidence, so craft an interpretation that is focused on the passage but also considers how the passage relates to form (narrative, syntactical, or structural). • GOOD MOURNING: Ella Soper argues that Lydia Millet’s How the Dead Dream foregrounds “the figure of the resistant mourner,” in contrast to Millet’s own claims in a separate interview that her book has an “agenda of empathy” (747). How are empathy and the rejection or resistance to mourning in tension in How the Dead Dream? And why might this debate between Millet’s own intentions for her novel and Soper’s reading of the novel matter for how we understand literary interpretation? Why might this debate and tension between empathy and the rejection or resistance to mourning matter for how we define humanity? —> Goals: •Identify a problem that is worth addressing. •Formulate a claim that makes a strong argument and is not obvious. •Establish a motive for the essay. Here you will answer the “So what?” question, suggesting why your essay is important and interesting to an intelligent reader. •Structure the essay around your central claim, making sure that each paragraph is adding an essential piece to your argument. •Use textual evidence persuasively, quoting from the text when necessary, summarizing accurately and responsibly when appropriate. •Focus your argument around 2-3 moments in the text. •Properly cite your textual evidence both in-text and in bibliography.
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