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American Writers Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Nature’s Impact

The outdoors contains many wonders that a child explores throughout the early years of life; therefore, a person’s childhood tends to position his path for the future. As a result, occurrences seen on an average day sitting at school, exploring in the woods, or examining the stars have the potential to be life changing. An American Childhood (Dillard), “Two Views of a River” (Twain), and “Listening” (Welty) all allocate this thought, yet the works juxtapose each other with different morals. Annie Dillard writes of the expectations of her to return after completing college and settling in the same town in which she resides her entire life before attending college: “It crawled down the driveway toward Shadyside, one of the several…

Te Story of an Hour

Often authors use signs to foreshadow events that will happen in the future in their stories. For example an author might write “As he was walking down the dark eerie path dark skies began to form” . Here the writer uses a usually negative sign to foreshadow a negative future. This is the most common way for authors to foreshadow in a story, but it isn’t the only way. In some instances authors use symbols to foreshadow the future of a character. Like foreshadowing with signs, symbols can also be used to foreshadow both positive and negative futures. In the two short stories “The story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara the authors…

In present time

In present time, women have obtained more freedom to express their thoughts and more privileges to achieve their goals. Their social status had a qualitative leap in the United States compare with the last couple of centuries; this subversion will continue lead women to enter a world which their talent and ability can be completely recognized. Different from today’s value, women who lived in previous centuries do not have the rights to do things the way they prefer. Social morality and family obligation force them to obey others and renounce independent. This inveterate principle stifled generations of women and their freedom. Both works include The Revolt of “Mother” and A New England Nun by Mary Wilkins Freeman showcased that in order…

Te Story of an Hour

Often authors use signs to foreshadow events that will happen in the future in their stories. For example an author might write “As he was walking down the dark eerie path dark skies began to form” . Here the writer uses a usually negative sign to foreshadow a negative future. This is the most common way for authors to foreshadow in a story, but it isn’t the only way. In some instances authors use symbols to foreshadow the future of a character. Like foreshadowing with signs, symbols can also be used to foreshadow both positive and negative futures. In the two short stories “The story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara the authors…

Reading Is the Path to Success

Introduction 1. Before you begin each assigned essay, read about the author’s life (biography). In particular, note literary biography. On our Learning Web, I have a website link for each author we study. 2. Note the titles. What expectations do the titles create? Once you have finished reading each essay, reconsider each title. 3. As you read, note the author’s intertwining of some of the elements of memoir: narration, description (especially appeals to the five senses), emotion (tone), and reflective commentary. Note any use of dialog. Langston Hughes’ “Salvation” (from The Big Sea, 1940) 1. Who is Langston Hughes (1902-1967)? Note his biography on the Learning Web. 2. In Hughes’ essay “Salvation,” do you find more narration or description? Which…

Psychological Conflicts in Literature(1)

We all experience psychological conflicts, knowingly or unknowingly. They involve psychological conflicts among our thoughts, emotions, and rational thinking. It may be the most dangerous conflict of all due to the battleground in which it take place in — our mind. There are many examples of psychological conflicts in the stories we have read. In “Leiningen Versus the Ants” by Carl Stephenson, Leiningen battled not only on his South American plantation, but in his mind. He struggled with the issue of running away and letting the ants take over his plantation. He wasn’t a quitter and enjoys the mental aspects of things. But when the ants and the reality of death came, he had to resolve the conflict whether to…

Compare Reunion Two Kinds

It often surprises me how different individuals from different cultures and backgrounds all come together in one country and share many experiences. Individuals like Amy Tan who was born among Chinese immigrants, John Cheever from Massachusetts and Louise Erdrich who comes from a Chippewa Indian and German background and was born in Minnesota. A vast variety of origins and they all come to have several good or bad things in common in their work. Hardships of immigration is stated or implied in these pieces as well as parent-child relationship. Nearly all of them carry a sense of determination of different levels and stories of this kind not unlike the ones examined in this piece have a blend, colorless and depressing…

All Good Things Must Come to an End

The amazing thing about literature is that it can be interrupted differently by each person who reads it. Which means that while one piece of writing is amazing, creative, and witty to one person to another person it could be the most boring, uninteresting, and redundant piece of literature they have ever read. In this semester of Literature 221, I was given the opportunity to read works from many different genres, time periods, and styles of writing. Some of which, like Emily Dickinson’s Life I and Life XLIII, Joyce Carol Oates’ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? , and Sherman Alexie’s What You Pawn I Will Redeem I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from. While others such as Ernest…

Bob likes cheese

In these pages a few years ago, I reported on some of my findings at having reached very old age. I was then in my early 90s. Five years further down the hill, I have a few more matters to note. Certainly I have not gained in wisdom, but due to so little physical activity and fewer social goings-on, I have begun to inhabit the static house of my head. To my surprise I find it a somewhat well-furnished abode, occupied with what I remember, have heard recently, and observed. Ernest Hemingway boils things down to the essentials, his friend William Faulkner lets the pot boil over, spilling onto the stove, down onto the floor, and maybe somehow catching the…

The Idea of Innocence in Bambara’s the Lesson

During the reading of the story “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara” many thoughts have come to my mind on how to react towards the attitude and the feelings of the protagonist, Sylvia. The day starts when Ms. More brings the kids to downtown New York City in a special shop. Many things will occur at this place and one thing that we will notice is the innocence throughout the interactions of the kids. As they step inside FAO Schwarz, an important and well known store in the city, they happen to see toys, like a small toy sailboats at prices around 1000$ and other things at ridiculous prices! Not understanding how people could spend that much for such little…

The Ultimate Gift

Writer, Toni Case Bambara, in his short story, “The Lesson” explains and refers the norm in which Bambara accredits to a group of kids who have been exposed to a number of social, economic, and political issues. Sylvia and the rest of the group of kids are not aware of the significant but negative impact that these factors will have on their lives if they do not realize what kind of system they are living and depending upon. Based on some bad ramifications on the personal and social department regarding kids in their societies, all these factors can be effective. Being set aside, the main purpose in the short story is not to take advantage of the opportunities given, but…

Comparing Jewett, Chopin, and Freeman

The White Heron depicts a story of a little girl who leads a life of respect and love of nature rather than that of fortune. Early on in the story, she meets a boy who is a self-proclaimed ornithologist, a scientist that studies birds. He is willing to pay ten dollars to whomever can show him the White Heron he had once seen. It is now up to Sylvia, the young girl, to make a decision either in favor of the ornithologist or the white heron. Ultimately, she will be making a decision to acquiesce to male dominance or not. The pine tree in which Sylvia climbs in order to see the white heron up close can be represented as…

Compare and Contrast

Love is an emotion that deeply alters a person’s thought-process. This emotion can bring out the best of people or even make them question who they are and what they’re willing to give up for the person they love. In Judith Ortiz Cofer’s short story “Catch the Moon”, she suggests that love can change a person for the better by making them want to improve themselves. However, in W. D. Wetherell’s short story “The Bass, The River, and Sheila Mant”, he suggests that love can make a person try to be someone they are not, ultimately leading in disappointment and regret. Although both authors center their stories on the topic of love, they differ greatly from their character conflicts, character…

The Rory Gilmore Reading List

The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Archidamian War by Donald Kagan The Art of Fiction by Henry James The Art of War by Sun Tzu As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner Atonement by Ian McEwan Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy The Awakening by Kate Chopin Babe by Dick King-Smith. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai…

School of Unspeakable

The story For the Blood is the Life, by F. Marion Crawford, consists of two frames. The first frame is the present, and the second story is somebody’s adventure, and the two have a connection. There are two characters in the first frame: the narrator and Hoag. In the second frame there are 5 main characters: Alario, Angelo, Antonio, Cristina, and the Priest. In my opinion, the connection between the two stories is that the narrator is Antonio, because of number of reasons. Forst of all, the narrator does not have a name, that is a hint from the author. Another reason is that the narrator know the story too well, only somebody who has been around during the adventure…

“Cat in the Rain” by Ernest Hemingway

The story under the title “Cat in the Rain” was written by Ernest Hemingway, one of the most favourite American novelists, short-story writer and essayist, whose deceptively simple prose style has influenced wide range of writers. So, the story begins with the description of the hotel where two Americans stopped. It was raining, that’s why the couple stayed in and just a cat in the rain attracted the young woman’s attention. She wanted to get the cat inside but failed and was brought another cat. The problem of the story lies very deeply and we are to uncover it. The story is written in one mood which constantly and directly increases. It starts from the beginning where it’s created by…

The Reason a Good Man Is Hard to Find

The reason a good man is hard to find is because if ones standards are to high their goal is almost impossible to reach. The grandmother’s mindset was still in the past she falls into the old southern woman stereotype. The Southern woman wanted a religious, upstanding southern gentleman and in this day and age that type of individual is hard to find. The grandmother has a strong faith in god and it affects every aspect of her life. The misfit doesn’t believe in god he believes that god through everything off balance by claming to raise the dead but no one can prove it so therefore he has no faith, this totally contradicts the grandmothers beliefs. What I drew…

Coping with Life Challenges

Toni Cade Bambara, born March 25, 1939 in New York City; her mother was Helen Brent Henderson Cade. Bambara adopted that last name when she discovered it on a sketchbook her great-grandmother had. Bambara spent the first ten years of her life in Harlem, New York. In 1973, she published and essay in Redbook explaining what she liked about her mother. Bambara is an activist, novelist, writer, essayist, and a filmmaker. Bambara was influenced by her work as a social worker in the 1960’s. Bambara knew how the black community had been neglected and abused in the American society. Bambara became devoted to her community; she wrote primarily for her black community and in black dialect. Toni Cade Bambara wrote…

Annie Dillard “The Chase”

In Annie Dillard’s autobiography “The Chase”, she emphasizes and uses great detail in her different writing techniques to make the scenes in the story feel more alive or realistic. The attention of detail can be seen with her intense use of transitions and active descriptions in the actual chase scene. Dillard also uses tone and language of the characters to make the story feel more like actual real time events. In the first paragraph of “The Chase”, the narrator of the story a seven year old girl is informing the audience about the game of football. She says “It was all or nothing” (Dillard 121). Basically stating that in football you have got to give all of your effort and…

Literary Analysis “The Lesson”

The predominant theme in “The Lesson” composed by Toni Cade Bambara is creating an understanding to adolescents of all the opportunities life has to offer; a lesson on social class and having a choice which society you choose to live in. Miss. Moore who takes on the responsibility to educate the young ones has intentions of more than just taking the children to the store for amusement. Miss Moore’s informal lessons are aimed at educating the neighborhood children about how their lives differ from those of rich white children, nonetheless Miss Moore wants the children to see they can live the life of the rich and high society. An essential element that adds to the depth and enhances a reader’s comprehension…

Loss of Innocence in Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson”

Democracy implies equal chance for all. Such is not the case for the black children of the ghetto, as we learn through reading Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson”. During the course of the story the narrator, Sylvia, develops as a character due to the trip that Miss Moore takes her on. Miss Moore, an educated black woman who comes to the ghetto to give back to the children, takes children from the ghetto of New York to F. A. O Shwarz which is an extremely glamorous toy store. She does this to make the children aware of their social and economical situations by forcing them to face the difference between them and the people who would purchase toys from such…

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Dr. Seuss

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. Dr. Seuss We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. B. F. Skinner Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. Margaret Fuller Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere. Hazel Rochman “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston Churchill tags: bravery, courage, failure, inspirational, success 13499 likes like W.C. Fields “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” ― W.C. Fields tags: humor, success 5582 likes like Albert…

Comparison of Two Short Stories by Tobias Wolff

From the weekend fishing trips to complete hatred and denial, father-son relationships can be characterized by many good and bad experiences. After reading the two short stories “Powder” by Tobias Wolff and “If the River was Whiskey” by T. C. Boyle, which both feature father-son relationships that are placed under a large amount of stress. There are many similarities and differences between these two relationships that are not apparent upon just a cursory glance. A father can be completely inconsiderate of his sons needs or try his best to meet them and still create turmoil within the relationship. After reading Wolff’s short story “Powder,” one can conclude that the father tries quite hard to make his son happy. In this…

Different kinds of short story

As there are varieties of subjects, themes and art, there are various types of a short story. Some of the types are ancient tales, humor, satire, fantasy, biography, education, local color, and history. Lets us have a glimpse on each one of them in this article. 1. Ancient Tales It is the power of the utilization of the ancient form of the tale in the modern short story. Italian writer Giovanni Verga’s The She-Wolf (1880), and Chinese writer Yeh Shao-Chun’s Mrs. Li’s Hair are remarkable examples. 2. Fantasy Fantasy stories are nothing but the fair combination of the old tales tradition and the supernatural details. The fine examples of such stories are British writer John Collier’s horror fantasy Bottle Party…

Symbolism in “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara

Toni Cade Bambara’s short story, “The Lesson,” takes place in inner city New York. The main character, Sylvia, is a fourteen year old African American girl, who tells the story in a first person narrative. Sylvia mentions Miss Moore, a teacher who felt that it was her duty to help underprivileged children learn. Miss Moore felt there was a lesson to learn at FAO Schwartz, a very expensive, upper class toy store in downtown Manhattan. The reason Miss Moore brings the children to FAO Schwartz is captured in Bambara’s use of symbolism. Miss Moore uses the toys in FAO Schwartz to convey to the kids where they are on the social ladder. Outside of the toy shop, the children stare…

Compare and contrast essay

In the stories, “The Lie,” by Kurt Vonnegut and “Barn Burning,” by William Faulkner, the main characters mature from childhood into adulthood. This maturity either develops from support of one’s family and upbringing or it grows internally from one’s conscience. We see from both stories that the main characters use this maturity to courageously speak up. In the story, “The Lie,” Eli matures into adulthood. Due to his parents’ lack of understanding of his individuality in the beginning of the story, Eli has to deny his own feelings. When Eli receives the letter that he was rejected from the esteemed high school, Whitehill, he secretly tears it up since he is nervous of his parents’ disappointment. Eli’s mother, Sylvia, helps him…

The Chase

In “The Chase” by Annie Dillard, the actual chase sequence is only six paragraphs long, a relatively short selection. But when read by the reader the passage seems to be much longer than only six paragraphs. This effect is made possible through Dillard’s excellent use of description, details, transitions, repetition, sentence variety, parallelism, point of view, and tension. “He ran after us, and we ran away from him, up the snowy Reynolds sidewalk. At the corner, I looked back; incredibly, he was still after us. He was in city clothes: a suit and tie, street shoes. Any normal adult would have quit, having sprung us into flight and made his point. This man was gaining on us. He was a…

Family Affairs

For this paper, I selected two works of literature, “The Love of My Life,” and “Everyday Use. ” “The Love of My Life” by T. Coraghessan Boyle deals with teenage love that transition into turmoil. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker revolves around the social and economic differences between generations. Throughout this paper, I will be comparing the economic, educational, and social cultures of the families presented in each story. While both stories take very different paths, both illustrate the depth of which family members will go for one another. There are several relations exemplifying social comparisons. Jeremy and China are both young souls venturing out to learn the life lessons of the surrounding world. Mama, Maggie and the pretentious Dee…

The King Speech

Sylvia: the narrator and protagonist, a sassy, defiant African-American girl who resists the educational overtures of Miss Moore. The story’s plot centers on a “teaching moment” or pedagogical breakthrough, where Sylvia is disturbed out of her complacency, having been exposed to the other side of the social ladder. Sugar: one of Sylvia’s better friends, a sidekick if you will. Sugar noticeably picks up on Miss Moore’s lesson faster than Sylvia, and she even defies Sylvia’s authority in the process, which contributes to Sylvia’s feelings of disruption. Flyboy, Fat Butt, Mercedes, Rosie, Junebug, Q. T. : other children who accompany Miss Moore on the field trip to F. A. O. Schwartz Miss Moore: college educated woman who “gives back” to her…

Wish You Well

Wish You Well is a book that is superbly written by David Baldacci, the basic story line revolves within the life of Louisa Mae Cardinal, insecure girl aged twelve years surviving in the extreme life of New York City in the wake of 1940s with her much-admired but poorly paid father, her loving mother and her younger brother. Looking at the nature of the characters employed in the novel, it would be imperative to assert each and every character is telling the story from individual angle. By using a logical yet strong language for his description the author presents his characters more closely to the reader in a way that they relate to the real picture being grasped by the…