LIT 2000 Project 1 Writing Assignment
➢ Use MLA style for the heading and for the rest of the paper.
➢ Write two short essays to answer two different questions.
➢ Choose only one question from a story, journal, or column.
➢ The essays must include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. If you need to review essay organization, please consult the OWL Writing Lab or the College Writing Center. The link for OWL is in the Content area.
➢ Write the question with the question number above each essay. If you do not, the assignment grade is “0.”
Word count: 600-700 words total (Each essay should be about 350 words.)
Directions for the Assignment:
➢ Answer two questions you choose from the list below based on the content of the stories and your own experiences and/or observations. Do not consult critical works or other’s opinions about these works.
➢ Choose only one question from one story or column. For example, if you answer a question about “Fairy Tale,” you cannot answer another question about that story.
➢ Use specific evidence and/or examples from the assigned readings to support your statements.
➢ Use your own observations from real life to support your ideas if necessary. Do not use unsupported, general statements. For example, if you use real-life examples, don’t write something like, “Most women would have trouble making quick decisions.” Write about specific people and occurrences you have observed or read about.
Reminders for Writing about Literature
➢ Use quotation marks around the titles of short stories, columns, and short works.
➢ Refer to authors by their last names when you write about literature.
➢ Use quotation marks if you quote directly from the literature.
Choose two questions. The questions must be from two different stories, journals, or columns.
Write the question with the question number above each essay. If you do not, the assignment grade is “0.”
1. Why would John Bartram’s detailed descriptions of the river, various plants, animals, soils, and habitatsbe important to the British sponsors of this St. John’s River expedition?
2. Based on the information in “Introduction to John Bartram’s Journal,” how do you think John Bartram would feel about the status of the St. John’s River today? When he explored and logged his findings, there was nothing but natural surroundings and life. Do you think he would be upset by any changes near the river? Provide 3 examples of how the surroundings of the river have changed.
“Thank you, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes
3. In “Thank you, Ma’am,” Hughes uses a specific dialect in his writing. How effective do you think it was to convey the ideas in the story? Was Hughes able to capture the characters’ culture?
4. After reading “Thank you, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes, describe the type of relationship Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones developed with the boy. Do you think she represents African-American women oftoday?
5. Do the characters in Hughes’ short story seem believable in today’s world, or is the story so dated that we cannot relate to the characters and/or the message in the story?
6. Why do you feel that Luella Bates Washington Jones chose to take Roger into her home after he attempted to steal her pocketbook rather than contact the police?
7. “Thank you, Ma’ am” reminds me of a time when someone strongly influenced my character. Have you observed or experienced someone who has influenced another’s life in such an important way?
“Call It Even” by Bailey White
8. In “Call It Even” explain why the painter felt obliged to his neighbor, Albert Goodenough, and how this influenced his quest to call it even and be a good Vermonter.9. In the story “Call It Even” by Bailey White, does the painter finally feel that he adjusted to Vermont life? Does he feel a sense of belonging or does he just accept that he is a foreigner from Florida?
10. In “Call It Even,” what characteristic(s) was the painter lacking that prevented him from feeling accepted in Vermont?
11. In “Call It Even,” what do you think the painter meant by the phrase: “I paint all these things, but I don’t know what I’m looking at?”
“Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot” by Robert Olen Butler
12. In “Jealous husband Returns in Form of Parrot,” what do you think was the main message Butler wanted to convey to the readers?
13. In “Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot”, explain the symbolism of the cage as it relates to both the husband and wife.
14. The story, “Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot,” was written by Butler using a writing style called magical realism. Do you think that the use of a parrot as a narrator is an effective technique for conveying Butler’s views about the narrator’s character and/or the nature of the marriage? Why or why not?
“Fairy Tale by Robert Olen Butler
15. Miss Noi explains how, after eating apples over and over again, they lose their sweetness and value to her. Explain the significance of this idea in the story. Be sure to discuss the significance of the apple as an object and as a symbol.
“Hurricane Preparation Can Make a Storm Shudder” by Dave Barry
16. In, “Hurricane Preparation Can Make a Storm Shudder,” Dave Barry uses humor to make a scary situation a little lighter. Do you think this is a good idea, or does it create a lack of proper respect for dangerous situations? Explain and provide examples to support your explanation.
17. In his column on hurricane preparedness, Barrystated that you should ask someone who survived hurricane Andrew for advice. Now that you are a survivor of hurricanes, are Barry’s observations accurate or not based on your own experiences? Would you go to Nebraska?
“Lost in America” by Dave Barry
18. In “Lost in America,” who do you think Dave Barry’s intended audience is and what is his message?
19. In “Lost in America,” Dave Barry mentions a few times that he is being “reasonable” or “logical”regarding his mother. He writes, “’You have to get on with your life,’ I would tell her, in this new, parental voice I was developing when I talked to her.” Can you relate in your own life or in someone else’s life to the changed dynamic between mother and son in this story? Please explain.
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