Exercise 5: Analysis of the Modern Hero
Read Arthur Miller's "Tragedy and the Common Man" and "Faulkner and the Decline of Man: The Nobel Prize Speech." Then, write a brief essay on one of the following topics:
a) The Modern Hero in Faulkner's
b) Sam Fathers as the Modern Hero in Faulkner's "The Bear."
c) Ike McCaslin and the Continuation of the Hero in Faulkner's Wilderness.
Structure of the
The paper should be organized as a traditional thesis-support essay. The thesis should make a claim about the element you select from the list above. Here's an example:
reflects the temperament of the modern hero
in his refusal to accept his birthright, his inheritance of the land.
In support of this thesis, you would need to define the key terms "temperament," "modern hero," and "birthright" as it applies to Ike McCaslin in Faulkner's The Bear. Then you would need to demonstrate how Ike's decision to reject the seductions of his bride in her attempt to secure the land reflects the values of his mentor, Sam Fathers, the real modern hero in the work.
Content of the
Assuming the familiarity of the reader with the story, the essay should avoid a summary of the narrative line and focus on supporting the thesis. Use short quotations worked into the text of your own analytical sentences to provide support for the paragraphs. This is not a research paper and should reflect only your reflections supported by references to specific passages in the play. Each topic sentence should be a claim that adds support to your thesis.
Format of the
Key-in the essay into the computer and save it. Each line should be double-spaced with only a single double space between each paragraph. Block only those quotations longer than four lines of your text.
Criteria for Grading
Your paper will be graded according to the following standards:
1) Development - Does the
essay satisfactorily develop the thesis and meet the minimum page
2) Organization - Does the essay reflect the thesis-support format?
3) Use of Source - Does the essay make use of important supporting passages in the short story? Are all references to the store correctly documented?
4) Style - Does the essay reflect diction and syntax appropriate to a literary analysis?
5) Correctness - Does the essay reflect mastery of basic writing conventions (spelling, punctuation, grammar, usage)?
For further information, see "Standards for Writing and Evaluating Literary Essays."
You will find in this site a sample essay to give you a better idea about how to organize and develop your paper.
Students must save all assignments in Microsoft Word.
This page was last modified on February 10, 2006,
and is maintained by Dr. Geoffrey Grimes.