American Literature Comparison Essay
For each of the following questions write a developed response. Use your textbooks, but not any outside sources. Your answers should make direct references to the works. Each response should be about 200 – 250 words.
Up to 25 points each, so one question will be extra credit.
1. Raymond Carver and John Cheever’s characters seem disconnected from others in many stories. Discuss how Carver and Cheever develop the theme of the necessity of human connection in “Cathedral” and “The Swimmer.”2. Compare how Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich address issues facing women in mid twentieth century America in their respective poetry.
3. Using any two writers in the syllabus from Ginsberg through DeLillo, discuss how one of the following twentieth century ideas in the United States influenced their work: alienation, social injustice, the acceptance of psychotherapy, consumerism, data overload.
4. Discuss the way the James Baldwin, in “Sonny’s Blues,” depicts the struggles that inner-city African-Americans faced in mid-twentieth century America.
5. Discuss how Don DeLillo critiques contemporary American culture in the airborne toxic event chapter form White Noise.