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Define the main characteristics of the Jazz age.



1. Define the main characteristics of The Jazz Age. Use at least two of Langston Hughes’s poems to demonstrate why he was the leading writer of the Harlem Renaissance. (See poems listed in second essay topic for choices beyond those in your text.)

2. Explore how two of Langston Hughes’s poems highlight his fierce identification with the plight of poor African Americans. You may consider the two poems in our text but also use the following poems as options that highlight racial concerns or the black experience (which can be found online): "Harlem [Dream Deferred]," "Mother to Son," "The Weary Blues," "Ballad of the Landlord," and/or "I, Too." Use specific lines from the poems to support your points.

3. Explain why Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, or Edna St. Vincent Millay is considered a Modernist writer. Use at least two poems to support your points.

4. Examine Frost’s use of irony in "The Road Not Taken"–which is both his most popular poem and his most commonly misinterpreted poem. (Poem can be found online.) Prove with evidence from the poem that the speaker did not actually take a road "less traveled."

5. Consider the imagery in Frost’s nine-line poem "Fire and Ice." (Poem can be found online.) What characteristics of human behavior does Frost’s speaker associate with fire and ice? What theories about the end of the world are alluded to in lines one and two? How does the speaker’s use of understatement and rhyme affect the tone of this poem?

6. Examine the symbolism in Trifles or The Hairy Ape, being sure to relate it to the playwright’s overall social message that he or she was communicating about the time period in which it was written.

7. Read Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers,” a short story version of Trifles written one year after the play. (You can find it online.) Compare and contrast the story and the play. Which is superior in your opinion?

8. Explore the moral dilemma in Trifles. (To do this successfully, you will want to construct an argument in which you identify whether the women were right to withhold their discovery from the investigators. Identify the different experiences that the women themselves had which made them empathic to Mrs. Wright’s situation and helped them to justify their actions.)

9. Explore the importance of the past as it appears in one of the author’s works we’ve read: Faulkner’s "A Rose for Emily," Fitzgerald’s "Babylon Revisited," or Katherine Anne Porter’s "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall."

10. Compare the jilted lovers in Faulkner’s "A Rose for Emily" and Porter’s "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall." How did each deal with the betrayal in their lives?

Your essays should be in MLA Style and approximately 2-3 pages (not including the Works Cited page).

In the upper left-hand corner of the paper, place your name, the professor’s name, the course name, and the due date for the assignment on consecutive lines. Double space your information from your name onward, and don’t forget a title. All papers should be in Times New Roman font with 12-point type with one-inch margins all the way around your paper. All paragraph indentations should be indented five spaces (use the tab key) from the left margin. All work is to be left justified. When quoting lines in literature, please research the proper way to cite short stories, plays, or poems.

You should use the online APUS library to look for scholarly sources. Be careful that you don’t create a "cut and paste" paper of information from your various sources. Your ideas are to be new and freshly constructed. Also, take great care not to plagiarize.

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