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Paper One (20% of final grade)
Directions: Write a 5-7 page paper on one of the following topics. Your paper should follow the standard conventions of college writing, including an introduction with some kind of statement of thesis, body paragraphs with supporting quotations, a conclusion, and a work(s) cited page. Ideally, your paper should focus on no more than one or two scenes from the text. Your paper should consist of a provable argument, NOT a simple rehashing of the plot. Remember also that grammar and editing problems are taken seriously, so revise and polish your work carefully.
1) Discuss "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson" in terms of the development of the narrator's identity. For instance, how does Rowlandson's worldview change between the first and last "removes" of the text?
2) Discuss, using specific examples from the Autobiography, the strengths and/or weaknesses of Benjamin Franklin's Enlightenment view of the world.
3) Compare Poe's version of Romanticism with that of one of the other writers we've read this semester.
4) Look at Hawthorne's treatment of Puritan culture in The Scarlet Letter (or one of the stories we read) and compare it to the version presented in Bradford or Winthrop's works.
5) Compare and/or contrast Emerson's views on nature with one of the other writers we've read this semester.
6) Discuss how freedom and language are connected in "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass."
7) Compare Bartleby to one of the other characters we've encountered in American literature this semester.
8) Analyze Melville's treatment of race in Benito Cereno.
9) Devise your own topic on one of the texts we've read this semester. You must submit a working thesis to me before finishing your draft.
This essay is due at the beginning of class on April 25.