Write a focused textual analysis, but this time you will work with only one text. You may choose which work you’d like to examine:
● one chapter from Toomer
● one chapter from Anderson
● the Dreiser story
● the Freeman story
● one poem from modules 5, 6, or 7
Although the text you investigate is your choice, your essay needs to address the following prompt:
In the Study Notes for Week 4, you were provided with one definition of literary “realism” from The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. While this definition primarily focused on realism in terms of a work’s subject matter, Paper 2 asks you to analyze your chosen author’s style: what role does your author’s style play in achieving and disrupting realism? That is, how does the author use specific literary devices (imagery, characterization, symbolism, etc.) to both create and disrupt realism? What are the purposes and effects of these choices? There are many definitions of realism; be sure to provide your own definition in your paper’s introduction. Does it mean that the narrator’s perspective is objective, like a camera? Or that the narration successfully mimics an individual’s subjective perspective? Does it mean that the language is direct and not embellished? Or does it mean that the author’s style mimics the way people think? As the final sentence of your introduction, a successful thesis will then indicate 1) which elements are used to achieve realism, 2) which elements serve to complicate/disrupt realism, and 3) how these elements work together to shape the meaning of the work.