Stafford’s “Traveling through the Dark,” Armantrout’s “Traveling through the Yard,” Moore’s “Poetry,” or Collins’s “Introduction to Poetry”).
In an essay of 4-5 pages, you will place a primary text from our syllabus in conversation with another work of art (a poem, a film adaptation, a text, an image, or a song) and you will argue for a particular interpretation of your primary text through this work of art. As in Paper #1, your essay should have a clear introduction, a thesis statement which makes the importance and relevance of your argument clear, body paragraphs with topic sentences which support your thesis, and a conclusion which quickly summarizes your argument and reaffirms your argument’s importance. For Paper #2, please select one of the topics below.
Find a text (a poem or short story), song (with or without lyrics), or an image (a photograph, drawing, abstract or realistic painting from a magazine, book, or the Internet) that you think relates to a theme, symbol, style, point of view, characterization, or a significant moment in Death of a Salesman, In Cold Blood, or one of the poems we’ve read for class (Stafford’s “Traveling through the Dark,” Armantrout’s “Traveling through the Yard,” Moore’s “Poetry,” or Collins’s “Introduction to Poetry”).
• Choose your art: When you are picking which piece of art to use, try to choose something that has a connection to the text but that does not lend itself to an obvious interpretation. Give yourself room to make claims about your art that might not be apparent right away.
• Interpret your art: Explain what the text, song, or image is “saying.” In other words, give your interpretation of its meaning or point. Spend some time figuring out what each aspect of it means. What tone, theme, symbol, style, point of view, characterization, or significant moment does your piece of art demonstrate?
• Interpret your art in relation to the primary text: How is the tone, theme, symbol, style, point of view, characterization, or significant moment in your art similar to a tone, theme, symbol, style, point of view, characterization, or significant moment in the literary text? Why do you think your art is a great way to illustrate this aspect of the text? How does your art help you to interpret the text? How does it make you think about the text in a different way? As always, be sure to refer to specific moments in the text and use quotes to support your argument.
Your paper should address the three concerns listed above, but you do not need to address every single one of the questions above. If you think of another important way to read the literary text and art together, you may include it. You should also think strategically about how to organize your essay and whether or not the order above makes the most sense for your argument. Please be sure to include a copy of your “art” with your paper. (This does not count as part of your page-length requirement.)