ENG125:Introduction to Literature

ENG125:Introduction to Literature

Proposal for final paper—Week 1

Once you have decided on an approved prompt and approved text(s), respond to the questions below. Please be mindful of the word count and double-space all of your responses. You are to meet the minimum word requirement without going over the maximum number of words requested.

1. What is your chosen prompt for the literary analysis assignment?

In some stories, characters come into conflict with the culture in which they live. Often, a character feels alienated in his/her community or society due to race, gender, class or ethnic background.

2. What interests you most about this prompt and why?

The aspect of alienation is what caught my eye. Ideally, I like short stories with such a theme. They always bring out the mixed feelings of individuals when people are compelled to live on their own. In most cases, one will see how the characters are struggling to connect or those with company but are isolated from those that are around them. The characters are always separated physically and mentally. This aspect is common even in the society where most individuals are isolated leading to damnation. Individuals have been regularly isolated and experienced alienation for long in the contemporary society.

3. What text(s) will you write about? Why?

The text that I chose to focus on is “A very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” The theme of isolation is depicted in this text. No one is aware of what “the nightmare” is after it is seen at Pelayo’s and Elisenda’s home. This aspect makes the old man who is “impeded by his enormous wings” falls into isolation as an oddity and subsequently an inconvenience.

At first, the two suppress their surprise and make attempts to find him familiar. Nevertheless, after speaking to him, he responds in “an incomprehensible dialect with a strong sailor’s voice.” They quickly conclude that the old man must be a survivor of the foreign ship that has been destroyed by the storm. The old man is a true definition of a fantasy creature that gest lost on earth. He seems not to fit anywhere since his features are not ideal for demons or angels. No one seems to have concrete views of his identification and purpose. He is mistreated and languishes in discrimination circus. A section of the people wants him killed while the other wants to make money using him. No one considers the fact that the old man is human too and can feel pain. The text presents a clear picture of alienation and what victims go through.

4. What is your working thesis? Keep in mind that “working thesis” means you can slightly modify your thesis for the draft and/or final essay.

Ideally, alienation makes an individual look lost on earth with no purpose and identity.

5. What are three key ideas that you will discuss in support of your thesis? (Write one — and only one — sentence for each point.

a. Alienation leads to physical torture

b. Alienation leads to psychological torture

c. Alienation calls for patience and personal liberation

6. What questions/concerns do you have at this point about your project?

In the complex world of the modern relationships, selfishness, distancing and misinterpretations have replaced empathy and caring to lead to alienation. People are unable to accommodate personal differences and other people’s needs. No one is ready to see the world from another person’s context. Will the project allow us to touch on issues leading to selected topic like alienation in this case? Will we be allowed in the project to focus on issues in the society and relate to the text? Will we be free to borrow information from other texts with the same theme?


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