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The Gender/Literary Analysis Paper

In this paper you will analyze a work of literature from both a gender and a literary perspective.  You will identify the theme of the piece and make an argument about how well the writer supported that theme using the elements of literature. In other words, you will evaluate the work based on its literary merits.  You will also evaluate the text for what it says about gender, determining whether it's a text that advocates feminist values.  You will consider the roles that characters portray and whether they are rewarded or punished for behaving traditionally or non-traditionally.  Does the text value equality, seek to reinforce the patriarchal status quo, or want to overturn patriarchy for matriarchy?

Please e-mail papers to me for grading. They should be double-spaced and should  follow standard MLA format. Please put the class name and number and the assignment in the subject line of the e-mail. This paper should, of course, have a clearly stated thesis statement in its first paragraph. Papers will be given letter grades that will be converted to percentage points before the final semester grade is calculated, and they will be evaluated on audience, grammar, organization, presentation, spelling, and style as well as content. I do expect that you will use and cite at least three secondary sources in this paper, in addition to the primary text you choose.  Your primary text may be one of the works from the syllabus, or some other work of literature that you've read recently. These papers should be about ten pages long, although there will not be substantial deductions for papers over or under that limit, provided they have thoroughly analyzed the text, used the proper number of sources, and addressed all the points on this sheet..

The essay on "Little Snow-White" from The Madwoman in the Attic is a good model for the gender analysis portion of the paper.


Berthe Morisot's La Lecture, 1869-1870

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Contact Kimberly M. Radek, the instructor of Women in Literature, at Kimberly_Radek@ivcc.edu

This page was last updated on 21 April 2008 . Copyright Kimberly M. Radek, 2001.