Short Essay Questions

Answer one of the following short essay questions in 200-300 words. Hint: this is not very many words with which to make a point; it would be wise to write directly and without ornamentation or you will not give yourself enough room to support your claims with any depth.  Do not answer the same question more than once. Choices: 1) Explain the W.E.B. Du Bois vs. Booker T. Washington debate/discourse. What effect did this discourse have on African-American Literature of the 20th century?  2) Explain Walt Whitman’s influence on modern/20th century poetry, particularly on poets such as Ginsberg and Hughes. 3) Compare and contrast Faulkner and Hemingway. Show how they are both Modernists, yet distinct from each other. 4) Analyze the imitation of Emily Dickinson below. How does this poem refer to the poet, Emily Dickinson? Explain how this poem uses the stylistic devices, e.g. rhythm, rhyme, meter, of a typical Emily Dickinson poem. What else do you observe that makes this an effective imitation of Emily Dickinson?                                 Ode to Emily Dickinson Silent Scribbler of sing-song verse, Mistress of Poetry – When she writes Carriage, she means Hearse –  such Gothic Artistry! 5) Explain the factors that contributed to Modernist Literature, including the influence of Naturalism and Realism, as well as the rejection of specific traditions. What were their goals? 6) Explain how the Harlem Renaissance is part of Modernist Movement yet distinct from other American literature of the early 20th century. 7) Describe the different voices of 20th century American literature. Consider the following questions: What themes and perspectives do we see more or less than in previous movements? How do these writers and poets agree and disagree with each other in their methods and messages?

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