Read: “Topics and Approaches to the Literary Essay” in the Resources folder. Choose one of the topics provided for you, or email the professor for approval of an alternate topic.
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Prompt: 1. Post a working approach for the topic you chose. 2. Write a brief few sentences explaining why you chose this topic.
Topics/ approaches (Focus on only one of the following, though some may overlap):
- Analyze one of the minor characters, such as Petrus.Example: Analyze not only the chosen characters’ personality but also what role they played in advancing the overall theme of the novel.
- The protagonist’s conflict, the hurdles to be overcome, and how he resolves it.Examples: It could be hope for change, both in South Africa and in David Lurie. OR: the disgrace David Lurie has suffered over the affair with a student and how that matches the disgrace South Africa has suffered through apartheid.
- The function of setting to reinforce theme and characterization.Example: Post-apartheid South Africa is a setting arguably more important than anything else in the novel. Your outside sources would be a bit of history concerning apartheid. The use of literary devices to communicate theme: imagery, metaphor, symbolism, foreshadowing, irony.
- Symbolism in the novel–Examples: Determine if David Lurie represents the old, white authorities of South Africa, while Lucy represents the new white people of South Africa. OR: Analyze what dogs symbolize in this story. Another example: What is symbolized by the opera David Lurie is writing on Byron?
- Careful examination of one or more central scenes and its/their crucial role in plot development, resolution of conflict, and exposition of the theme.Example: Analyze one or more scenes in which hope that change for the better is possible through a character’s remorse and subsequent action, for example, the scene in which David Lurie apologizes to the parents OR the scene in which Lucy gets raped.
Purpose of this Discussion: To help prepare you to integrate research into your paper, and to access the Library Databases to find acceptable critical, peer-reviewed sources and credit the sources correctly within your text.
Read: “How to Access Miami Dade Databases” in your Module 3 Resources folder. Another site to find what you need is Google Scholar, but too often access to those articles require payment. Do not use plain Google. The Miami Dade Databases is your best source. Contact a reference librarian at one of the campuses if you are having trouble logging on. Wolfson Campus library telephone number: 305-237-3144
Find Two Articles: In the Library Databases find two articles, one concerning Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee and one concerning apartheid or South African history.
Prompt: 1. Write a few sentences or a paragraph, integrating a quote, paraphrase, or summary from either of the articles. 2. Document your paragraph with either a signal phrase or a parenthetical in-text citation.
- Example of a signal phrase: “According to Joe Doe, from Liberal Arts University…” If it is from a print source, add the page number in parentheses. Web sources require no page number. When the author’s name is not mentioned in the paragraph’s signal phrase, add it in parentheses, as in the following example: Example of an in-text citation: (Coetzee 102). Your MLA Resources folder also has information and a sample paper.
Prompt: After reading the novel Disgrace and then the New York Times article “Out of South Africa,” consider which side you’ll take in the controversy surrounding this author. Although he does not tell us Melanie’s race, later in the novel the protagonist calls her “the dark one.” Is J. M. Coetzee’s novel more about power struggles or the tensions between races?
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