The Bitter Struggle

Essay #1: Late-19th-Century American Literature & Reader Expectations In the following essay, consider how the three authors (Cahan “A Ghetto Wedding”, Crane “The Open Boat”, and Chestnutt “The Grandison”) covered thus far in class create a narrative and thematic structure that challenges expectations. That is, trace how specifics in each of the given stories lead the reader to think a particular storyline or plot is to be followed, only to be subverted by the actual ending of the story. Trace your own reading experience with the three works, and mention precise moments where the author led you to certain expectations for the subsequent narrative and plot. Talk about and reflect upon your own reading practices and experiences sequentially with the texts, in other words. Have a thesis at the end of your opening paragraph on what these authors may be doing by subverting narrative and thematic expectations. Then spend at least one extended body paragraph on each of the three stories in question, speaking of reader expectations set up by the author. Your extended, one-page conclusion paragraph should then attempt some synthesis of the narrative technique and story structure shared by the three authors in their creation of such a story reversal. That is, you would attempt some original comparison of the three stories and their “reversal techniques” in your final paragraph. Try to isolate the techniques in question and name them (literary foreshadowing, symbolism, etc.), in your own words. In each body paragraph, you need to have directly-quoted passages to substantiate your points. Since you’re speaking of your own reading expectations for this assignment, you’re welcome to use the first person in this essay. Remember however to take on an authoritative tone with the use of the first person. This means that it is not necessary to say “In my opinion, or I believe” . . . on the other hand you may say “I expected . . .but was rather shocked as Y occurred”. For citation, provide an in-text parenthetical citation with the author and the page number; for web sources, do the best you can with page numbers (sometimes they don’t exist). Then, provide an end-of-text full citation of the work in question: where you found it, the name of the source, when accessed, and so forth. Your entire essay should be about 750-1000 words, give or take, excluding the References page. Use the Purdue Owl as a citation guide. The deadline for this essay is Tuesday, February 12th, 2019. No late essays will be accepted for any reason. Be sure to plan ahead if you foresee any interruptions in your schedule. Post your essay to turnitin.com. Include a “References ” page with the three stories used cited. Do not use any outside sources besides the three stories (e.g., no internet sources on the stories); don’t consult any online summaries, in other words, and trust your own judgment instead. This essay is worth 15% of your final course grade. Students are encouraged to use smart thinking for assistance. I’ll post an evaluation and grade shortly thereafter on eLearn and will use the following general feedback. Also see below for two example introductions. Notice how the students’ thesis statement is developed and more specifically the creativity used in their title.