11. William Faulkner: “A Rose for Emily” and “Barn Burning”

11. William Faulkner: “A Rose for Emily” and “Barn Burning”

Your first research paper-related assignment will be to select a topic with the following requirements in mind:


Focus your criticism on the following:

You will provide a close reading of a text analyzing the presentation of one cultural role (i.e. mother, father, wife, husband, poet, artist, sister, brother, soldier, leader, American, etc.). Your writing will pick apart the text considering all points where this specific role is presented, referenced or commented on. Your thesis will argue specifically how this role is portrayed in the work and how this informs the reader of the author’s intentions or background. Elements of formalist and biographical critique are expected. Further explorations of themes such as feminism, postmodernism or race theory are optional, but can be very helpful.

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When you propose a paper in an upcoming assignment, you’ll need to have chosen your research paper topic for our final. This is a long-term project, so it’s important we start thinking about this now.


There’s a list of all the writers and their works elsewhere in this folder.


Once you’ve selected the author, you’ll be doing a close reading of a work by that writer – a work that we didn’t cover in class.  Make sure that you are covering a short work (a poem or short story). Please do not try to cover a novel.


You will pursue this work on your own using online resources and your library.


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