Author and text read: The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara
Write a closely persuasive paper in which you argue and persuade your reader to look at a writer and a selection of his or her sections/chapters/selections we have read in a more powerful and careful way. You must use one or more of the books or texts we have read prominently in discussing your interpretation as well as two or three critical sources/thinkers either from the classroom sources or library research with a similar or comparative thought process. This paper will be a claim of aesthetic following Palahniuk’s model in the essay “Not Chasing Amy.”
The claim of aesthetic may take into account–philosophical, historical, sociological, and biographical factors in the artist’s presentation. For supporting content follow your research and interviews. Remember in this assignment I am looking for scholarly sources—literature scholars—and/or primary sources—interviews with the author discussing the art. Think of how Palahniuk lauds or celebrates Hempel’s work. Claims of Value also argue that one view is better or more valuable than another view–he does seem to argue in favor of minimalism as a favorable style. Claims of value ultimately involve a comparison (explicit or implicit) and express approval or disapproval of standards. To fashion a sound claim of value, employ standards with which your audience agrees.
For example, if I were to argue that graffiti is art and, therefore, valuable, I would need to prove that graffiti fits the criteria most readers would employ to define art. In this way, claims of value incorporate elements pertinent to claims of fact (testimony, examples, etc.). Think of how Palahniuk defines minimalism as an aesthetic he admires and defines that literary movement for example. He also expresses disdain for long and overly told novels and prose. Possibly discuss Flannery O’Connor and Southern Gothic, Wolff/Kingston and memoir, or Lorraine Hansberry and politics, civil rights/race and drama/playwrighting.
Important Note: Again, be careful not to be too obvious or general/vague with discussion—stay close to terrain of the texts you’ve read and researched. Remember discussion should be more than a report, a summary or survey.
An excellent summary:
Describes the structure and organization of the text/s
Accurately communicates the author’s representation, intention and goals
An excellent response:
Uses strategies from handouts/lectures/says more about less
Focuses on specific strategies that have been identified in the summary
Utilizes scholarly discussion or author interviews to support ideas
signal phrases and in-text citations
(Links to an external site.)
Creates an argument or takes a position on the author’s intended style and meaning
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