American Literature Essay #1 Due 12 April 2005 This semester we have discussed the gradual development of American Modernism into many diverse genres in the wartime and post-war period (1940-1950), namely Southern Gothic fiction, Southern African-American Literature, and full Modernism. For your first essay this semester, I want you to write a two-page, double-spaced essay on one of the following topics: 1. ) Compare and contrast the styles of two Southern American writers, focusing on their use of language, vernacular, racial issues, tradition, mood and atmosphere, character development, plot, etc. What sets Southern writers apart from other American regional writers? 2. ) Racism in Ellison's Battle Royal: What does Ellison's use of violence and racism say about the state of postwar America? How do Ellison's story and protagonist anticipate the coming of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960 s? 3. ) How do the writing styles of Flannery O' Connor and Shirley Jackson differ? Although O'Connor is a Southern writer and Jackson a Northern writer, what similarities do their stories share? What are Jackson and O'Connor trying to show their readers about small-town life? 4.

) Write a two-page review of one of the texts we have read this semester. Offer your personal criticism (IN YOUR OWN WORDS) of texts, along with any quotes which pertain to the subject, and focus on details. Be specific. 5. ) Write an original story in the style of the Southern Gothic genre.

As always, I expect your essay to be original. If you use outside sources, make sure to cite them correctly. Any plagiarized papers will be given an automatic 0 (zero). If you have any questions or would like to choose a different topic, email me at.