This is an essay that focuses on the analysis of the text “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”. The said text is from Hurston, Zora Neale a well known writer.
The analysis of the text “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”
In your critical essay, you will analyze the text “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” by Hurston, Zora Neale. Mechanics: Your paper should be a minimum of four (4) FULL pages long and Work Cited page The paper must be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins all around, and also in a 12 type font & MLA format. Content: (Adapted from Frank Madden, Exploring Literature) A critical essay is, in its nature, a natural extension of the kind of writing you’ve been doing in your “think-pieces.” At its best, your writing should continue to express, in your strongest voice, what you believe is important about the text(s). Two Options for a Critical Essay:
1.An Analytical Essay: Firstly, you can make an interpretive claim regarding a central message or question that you feel the author is conveying through some of the work’s literary elements, a generalization, theme, or conclusion the author seems to be articulating. (Don’t feel you need to discuss all of the literary elements listed below; I recommend a maximum of 3.) This would address the work as a whole, but also involve close reading, analysis and citation of particularly significant passages.
Language and Form:
Secondly, in what ways are diction, imagery, figurative language, or symbolism important to the work and your understanding of it? Do rhyme, rhythm, or verse form play a role in the work? To what extent does the language prompt your imagination, engage your emotions, and convey the work’s meaning?
Narration: Point of View and Voice: Thirdly, to what extent do point of view and voice affect what you know about the setting, conflict, or characters, and support the work’s meaning? -Setting: Fourthly, how effective is the setting in presenting concrete details and enabling you to feel like you’re present? To what extent does the setting complement conflict and character and support the work’s meaning? Conflict: Subsequently, how important is the conflict? How believable are the internal and external conflicts? How challenging is the struggle? Also, how unified is the conflict? How well do the minor conflicts complement each other and also support the major conflict? In what ways do setting and also characterization support the conflict?
Plot: What is the plot structure? To what extent does the plot structure convey the conflict and the work’s meaning? Characterization: How effectively are the characters developed? To what extent are you shown, not told, who they are? How believable are the characters? How complex? Then, how motivated and consistent? Also, does their behavior make sense? To what extent do narration, setting, or conflict influence characterization? In what ways does characterization affect the work’s meaning? OR…
2. A Comparative/Thematic Essay Furthermore, is there a theme or topic common to two or more of these works that you can write about? Or are there characters or elements in these works that make sense to discuss in relation to each other? . Many writers have this mistaken notion that a “comparison/contrast” paper is a random assortment, a “laundry list” of similarities and/or differences.
Additionally, look for overall trends in the ways these authors handle your chosen theme, trends that make sense to compare and also contrast with each other. Then structure your essay around a specific, thought-provoking thesis about the similarities and/or differences in the ways these two authors treat this theme, and support that thesis with concrete evidence from the texts. Keep in mind also that comparison and contrast means bringing two things together, discussing them in relation to each other: don’t make the mistake of simply analyzing one, and then analyzing the other, as though you were writing two different papers and also simply “stapling” them together.
Finally, you need to bring these two works into comparison with each other. PLEASE NOTE: The Critical Essays are NOT to be “research papers”; your focus should be on the primary text(s) of your choice from our reading list. Please do NOT do research for these papers; you will have an opportunity to do research in the final project.