The purpose of this paper is to have you engage critically with the literary and
critical text. Use the one critical concept you found most interesting “Jasmine” and a critical essay of your choice. Use the critical essay in a meaningful manner, entering into debate or discussion with it or explaining its assumptions and using them to support your argument about “Jasmine”. Failure to follow these requirements will lead to a lower grade. I am giving you some possible topics below, but please feel free to formulate your own topics. These are only broad topics. You will need to narrow them down to formulate a thesis. All arguments need to be supported with evidence from the text you are using.
Remember to focus on a specific aspect of a work rather than trying to deal with
everything. The golden rule is “less is more.” If you find that parts of the text don’t support your argument or go counter to it, do not ignore this contradiction. Address it and
demonstrate how your argument works, despite the contradiction. Please stick to
textual analysis rather than bringing in prior assumptions about Asian values etc. Such assumptions may interfere with the necessary close attention to the texts. Your papers should be 8-9 pages typed double spaced exclusive of Works Cited.
Points to remember
1. Explaining a critical concept and taking an approach to it should take no more than one to one and a half pages. The rest of the paper should be devoted to YOUR analysis of the texts you’re treating.
2. Your papers should be analytical rather than descriptive. This means that quoting/paraphrasing statistics/trends from critical readings should either be avoided or kept to a
3. YOUR analysis of the texts needs to be evident and the major portion of the paper.
Analysis depends upon careful reading and requires attention to details of the text
such as plots, tropes, characters. Go to particular sentences and use them for
analysis. Your paper can be detailed only if you have a narrow topic and a thesis ie. something you need to prove.
4. Remember that your papers should have no grammatical errors. Re-read your paper before turning it in.
Elaine Showalter suggests that “women’s fiction can be read as a double-voiced discourse, containing a ‘dominant’ & ‘muted’ story & argues for seeing “meaning in what has previously been empty space. The orthodox plot recedes, and another plot, hitherto submerged…stands out in bold relief.” Explain what you understand by double-voiced discourse & show how it works in “Jasmine”.
Cite Jasmine and one other text, either that of Lloyd, “Colonial Trauma/Post Colonial Recovery?”; Mukherjee, “American Dreamer”; “The Myth of “Military Intervention for Japanese-American Interment” or Xu, “Eating Identities”.
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