Critical analysis essay
you are being asked to compare and contrast two of our works in order to establish a clear and well-developed argument in relation to one of our class themes. Theme is up to you; but must establish a critical perspective using a comparison of 1) one piece of art or music from our blog, and 2)poem(s) or essay from the Harlem Renaissance.
Remember, within this course, the aim of critical analysis is not only to locate a main idea or primary message, but also to take a step back and ask how, or what, this reflects on the themes we have discussed: American Exceptionalism, the American Dream, racism, biases, exclusion, boundaries, idealism, freedom, equality, materialism, consumerism, reality, conformity, unhappiness, sexism, patriarchy, paranoia, fear, rebellion, escape, etc. Engage a theme or related themes by asking bold questions, using the similarities and differences between your chosen works to expose underlying truths or hidden assumptions, locating what a work says both explicitly and implicitly. You must make an argument?this is not about relating what a work tells us, but a critical assessment of why this is important. Relate it back to your theme. For example, what do we understand better regarding the nature of ?INSERT THEME? by reading McKay in relation to Marvin Gaye? Your role as a cultural critic is to ask not only what the work of art aims to argue, but what you, from a removed vantage point, uncover as important and worth critically writing about.
Some general questions to begin with:
How does literature and/ or art insert itself into conversations about society : race, gender, politics, culture, law, justice, violence, human nature, history, etc.?
&#61672; How does our overarching theme- the outsider- help us engage the meanings / implications of each work?
How does literature respond to such conversations in ?literacy? ways(genre, narrative, character, style, etc.)? How does the form affect the message? What do we learn by thinking about the relationship between form and content? What is being communicated? What does an image or song do that a novel cannot? What does poetry provide?
Importantly, when you write an analysis, you are not writing about whether a poem or piece of art are good or not; you are explaining your interpretation about what the piece shows you or how the author gives you some insight about the theme you chose.
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