Analyze the imagery and figurative language (such as description, symbolism, metaphors, and similes) in Susan Glaspell’s short story, “A Jury of Her Peers,” in The Mercury Reader, examining how it is used to make a point or argument about a theme or themes.
Analyze both Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird” and Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers” in The Mercury Reader for their usage of similar imageryand figurative language (for example, description, symbolism, metaphors, and similes, such as the caged bird, singing, and so forth), examining how it is used to make a point or argument about a common theme or themes.
Extra Credit Option: Analyze the imagery and figurative language (such as description,
symbolism, metaphors, and similes) in Maya Angelou’s autobiographical novel I Know
Why the Caged Bird Sings (including discussion of the book’s dedication to her son and the
companion poem “Caged Bird” in The Mercury Reader).
Content and Organization. Your essay, which must be a minimum of five paragraphs, should utilize your analysis of the literary text or texts to demonstrate a point that the literary text or texts are making about a theme or themes, such as nature,gender roles,oppression, freedom, self-esteem,solidarity, voice/expression, and so forth. For example, your thesis might be that the imagery and figurative language in N. Scott Momaday’s The Way to Rainy Mountain express the Kiowa tribe’s appreciation and respect for nature; or your thesis could be that Susan Glaspell’s short story uses imagery and figurative language to demonstrate the negative consequences sexist oppression had on women in the early twentieth century; or that Maya Angelou’s novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and poem “Caged Bird” utilize imagery and figurative language to show the importance of resisting external and internalized oppression; or that through their usage of similar imagery and figurative language, Angelou’s poem and Glaspell’s short story reveal the damaging effect a lack of freedom has on people’s self-esteem. Remember, you must make a clear point in your essay as you provide specific examples and explanations of the literary works’ use of imagery and figurative language, so that your essay is unified and does more than merely list examples.
You should include an introductory paragraph that provides a brief overview of the author(s) and literary text(s) and theme(s), and concludes with the thesis statement of your essay. For the body paragraphs of the essay, you must not only quote and paraphrase, but set up your examples as well as explain them (use the “sandwich method”). Each body paragraph should begin with a solid topic sentence linked to your thesis, meaning each topic sentence should discuss imagery and the point it makes about the theme(s). DO NOT begin paragraphs with paraphrases, summaries, or quotations from the text(s). Instead, start with a topic sentence, and then provide support for it with sandwiched quotations and paraphrases. Remember that brackets and ellipses can be employed to make quoted material flow with your prose and that you can use a combination of quotation and paraphrase, even in the same sentence. You should use at least several examples of imagery and figurative language in each body paragraph, and be sure to explain to your readers how the imagery and figurative language are used to make the point about the theme(s) you identify in your thesis. Don’t forget to utilize transitional words and phrases to link examples, and make sure that the paragraphs are unified.
Your essay should be logically organized and include appropriate transitions between paragraphs. Include a conclusion paragraph in which you re-emphasize the thesis of your essay, as well as discuss the significance of the author’s work(s) you have just analyzed, especially the point made by the literary work(s). Your audience for this essay is a supportive one made up of your peers who have read the works of literature, but not necessarily from your perspective. Therefore, you will not need to include more than very brief summaries of the literary texts; you will be including mostly interpretation and analysis, not summary. Use a formal academic style (no contractions or use of first or second person point of view). (Review the Guidelines for Academic Papers handout and 1-6 of the Essay #2 Editing Checklist).
Format. You should use MLA format for the assignment, including correct margins, a heading, and a header. For in-text parenthetical citations, include page numbers in parentheses for quotes or paraphrases from Momaday’s and Angelou’s books or from Glaspell’s short story, but use line numbers for quotes and paraphrases from Angelou’s poem. If citing two or three lines of poetry, you’ll need to use a space and a backslash and a space to show the line breaks. (See the MLA Handout on the 1A website for more information on citing poetry and on how to do a block quotation for more than four lines of prose and more than three lines of poetry.) The last page of the essay should be aWorks Cited page that includes the literary work(s), as well as any other source you used (for example, if you included biographical information about the author(s) in your introductory paragraph and you used a source other than the anthology or book itself).
Rough Draft. You will need to complete a rough draft of your essay by April 3 for peer review. Revise the essay so that it has one consistent voice and tone, make sure that the examples you utilize in the body paragraphs are not repetitive (that is, do not use the same examples of imagery and figurative language in more than one body paragraph), include transitional words and phrases when moving from one body paragraph to another, proofread for grammar and style before printing the final version of the assignment, and be sure to save the essay onto a flash drive. If you take the draft to the Writing Center for review (which is highly recommended), you will need to have your student I.D. and assignment sheet with you. Include any Writing Center reviewed drafts with the final version of your essay.
Essay Submission. By the due date (July 6), you must submit a paper version of the essay, in a two-pocket folder, with the paper copy of the final essay in one side and all rough drafts (including peer review and Writing Center reviewed drafts) in the other side; submit the essay to the plagiarism software program (Turnitin.com: the link and class ID are available on the 1A website, and the password is the section number of the course).
PLEASE NOTE: Students who choose to write on I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (option 4) and demonstrate that they have carefully read and analyzed the book will earn five extra credit points on Essay #3. The book is available at the campus bookstore.