Race, Class, and Gender
Arguably, any text reflects something about the impact of race, class, or gender-related issues of the time in which that text is produced. And very often all three perspectives are useful and applicable.
You have studied the Multicultural, Marxist, and Feminist theories.
It is now clear that all the texts reflect on at least one, if not all, of the following matters:
race (or differences between cultures),
social class (or differences in income and education level),
gender (including stereotypes, different communication styles, societal expectations).
Your essay must be based on one of these three critical theories as it applies to one short story of your choice. You do not have to think which theory would be the most relevant to the short story of your choice.
You can choose to analyze just one element, or character, or scene in a short story to which issues of race, class, or gender can pertain. Feel free to use as many theory-related buzz words in your discussion posts and your essays.
Ideally, you should compile a list of buzz words for each critical perspective from each of the model student essays that illustrate each theory.
Then, try to write in the same vein about the short story of your choice.
So, you should write an essay, in which you provide an interpretation of the function of one element or one character in a story based on one specific critical theory. Choose any of the previously read stories, except “I Stand Here Ironing” (unless you come up with something entirely different from what is covered in the two sample essays).
Regardless which theory you choose to use, your essay has to be PERSUASIVE, therefore having an argumentative CLAIM as your thesis statement.
A thesis is the central idea of an essay, articulated in the thesis statement. There are three essential requirements for your thesis statement:
the topic of the essay: one element of the story (a character, a scene, a detail, a setting, a motif)
the purpose for the analysis: persuasive
the focus of the analysis: your interpretation of the element’s function in the story based on one critical theory
An interpretation is an opinion. You should see this assignment as a persuasive essay in which you make an argument for your opinion of the story, in which your argumentation would be entirely based on one of the three critical theories you’ve just studied.
The body of the essay should present at least three to four major points in support of your interpretation (opinion), all of which should be supported with evidence from the story. This support could be presented in several different ways: a summary of relevant events, a paraphrase of passages, or a direct quotation. You should then follow up with an explanation of how the evidence supports your interpretation.
In short, each point made in your argument should consist of three things:
interpretation based on one of the critical theories
support (evidence – whether a summary, paraphrase, or direct quotation)
explanation (a connection between the support and the critical theory)
INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION
The introduction of the essay should do the following: (1) identify the author’s name and the story’s title, (2) summarize the elements of the story relevant to the interpretation based on one critical theory, (3) present thesis statement.
The conclusion of the essay should do the following: (1) revisit thesis without merely restating it verbatim, (2) tie thesis in with the story’s major relevant pieces, (3) explain the broader significance of the critical interpretation of your choice.
Is your essay AT LEAST 700 words? If no, do NOT submit. Your essay will be returned with a zero and no comments. You will also fail to meet Gordon Rule Requirements.
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