The Powerful and the Powerless

For our second section of the class we have been reading poetry. We have been discussing them on multiple levels and trying to figure out what they are about. For this paper you will be able to take that one step further. The theme for our class is “The Powerful and the Powerless.”  For this paper students will need one character from a short story and one ‘character’ from a poem that exemplify their own definition of power (or that both lack the same power).   Students may use any character/object from the short stories we have read in class, and any character/object/theme from any of the poems we have read in class or will be reading in class.   An example of what I am looking for would be taking Lyman from “The Red Convertible” and the mirror from Plath’s poem “Mirror.” Both characters are taking in what they see and reporting it back faithfully. They are in a sense powerless to help the person that they care about. They can only stand dutifully by and do the best they can. Or you could use the character of Eveline’s father and compare him to the father in Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz.” Both fathers have power over their children, and even though both appear to have a drinking problem, their children still care for them and stick by them.   LIST OF POEMS:  LIST OF SHORT STORIES 1.) “My Papa’s Waltz”, 1.) “Eveline,” 2.) “The Ruined Maid 2.) “The Birthmark,” 3.) “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” 3.) “Hills Like White Elephants,” 4.) “Eight O’clock”  4.) “Everyday Use,” 5.) “Out, Out”  5.) “The Lottery,” 6.) “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” 6.) “The Things They Carried,” 7.) “Harlem (A Dream Deferred)” 7.) “The Red Convertible 8.) “We Wear the Mask”   9.) “Barbie Doll”    10.) “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the sun”   11.) “To His Coy Mistress”   12.) “Mirror”      Requirements: Essays must be 3-5 pages long.  Essays must have an original and intriguing title.  Untitled essays will not be read.  Use standard essay format: typed, double spaced, 12 point font, Times New Roman, 1” margins. Students will be quoting from the Short story/Poem, therefore they will need to use proper MLA format. Please include a Works Cited page at the end of the essay.

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