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Analytical Essay #1: Analysis Electrolysis with “Whereas” and at least one reading of your choice assigned in this class during weeks 1, 2, or 3.
Worth 100 points
Word Count 1,250-2,500 words, not including works cited (roughly 5-10 pages)
Select one of the following five prompts to complete your essay. You must include in the upper left hand corner of your paper, where your name and the date go, that this is Analytical Essay #1 and the letter of which prompt you have chosen to attempt. This could be written like “Analytical Essay #1C”
a. One of the most important elements when analyzing how poetic techniques add to, clarify, or complicate meaning comes from word choice. In English, words change meaning all the time, sometimes due to the social interaction between characters or between the author and the reader, sometimes due to negotiation, consensus or dissent we debate the meaning of a word—and sometimes a word can hold multiple meanings simultaneously. Context will also change the meaning of a word, and a word in a book can often have several contexts at once: what the word means when we investigate it from a literary point of view, the art of the word’s usage; or from a rhetorical point of view, the literal and argumentative usage of the word; or linguistically, how the word is used to communicate information and intention and emotion and desire as a part of language.
Demonstrate your ability and mastery of analysis by focusing on one word in the two poems you choose (so two words total), and analyze the importance of that word to the meaning you get from that poem—backing up your reading with evidence—across multiple paragraphs.
b. As we “discussed in class,” writing technique will often allow for there are several valid interpretations of any given work—so long as those readings are based in text—as texts and language are both rich, multiplicitous, and ambivalent in their meanings. We need look no further than the most influential book ever written: The Torah (called The Old Testament by Christians and The Tawrat by some Muslims) it’s interpretations are incredibly varied—there are over 200 denominations just of Christianity just in the US alone—and each is valid to each reader and believer in that text.
Demonstrate your understanding of this concept by uncovering multiple (at least two) valid readings of both “Whereas” and another work of your choice assigned during weeks 1,2, and 3. Explain how you arrived at each reading and how each reading is valid—backing them up evidence.
c. Most works of literature are dependent on the context of other texts or of certain experiences, which is by no means a fault of literature but rather a feature of human communication sometimes raised to an art form. So when looking at “Whereas”, it is a work that is inherently intertextual: it is calls attention to the fact that it is outright and directly responding to 111th Congress’s S.J.Res.14 of 2009 “A joint resolution to acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States”. You should in this essay do two things. One, analyze the intertextual relationship between “Whereas” and S.J.Res.14; and Two, analyze where there is or is not a less obvious intertextual relationship with another reading assigned in Week 1, 2 or 3 that is not also about or by Layli Long Soldier (Whose name would appear on a Works Cited as “Long Soldier, Layli”)
d. Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, president of Genocide Watch, presented a briefing paper in 1996 to the United States Department of State, where he was employed from 1992 to 1999, titled “The 8 Phases of
Genocide”[sic] in which he argued that genocide is always organized and follows a fairly predictable path. Both the United States Department of State and The United Nations have used Stanton’s 8 phases—as well as his revised 10 stages—in their predictions of, and their taking steps to prevent genocide.
Use Stanton’s 10 phases of Genocide as a way to analyze “Whereas” and another poem of your choice that I’ve assigned throughout week 1,2, or 3 by investigating which of the 10 phases are satisfied or met in selections of “Whereas” and another poem of your choice that I’ve assigned throughout week 1,2, or 3. Back your claims of what phases are satisfied by selections of text with evidence and analysis. You do not need to do all ten, you can do five if those five give you plenty to talk about.
e. If you found a way to talk about “Whereas” and another poem of your choice that I’ve assigned throughout week 1,2, or 3, you may do so.