Paper must be at least 800 words and no more than 1000 words, typed, and should follow these formatting rules: Times New Roman 12-point font, the page number in the upper right-hand header, 1-inch margins all around, and double spacing.
engage in-depth with the language of the poem under
discussion and clearly articulate the ways the poem upholds or confronts the
ideals of American society.
Your first step in this essay will be to briefly establish
what “America” means. What are the ideals associated with America? When you
hear the word “America,” what imagery is immediately conjured up? How might
that contrast with the way those from other countries or other historical
moments might perceive of America? You will need to discuss this in at least
one body paragraph in order to establish a baseline definition of America and
the stereotypes and ideals associated with it. Be sure to maintain academic
tone and employ a critical eye; naturally, your own thoughts and prejudices
will inform your analysis, but think beyond yourself here to attempt to
understand what America has represented in the past and represents now for many
groups of people.
Next, you will turn your attention to the poem “I,Too” by Langston
Hughes to analyze, being sure to articulate what the poem is saying and how the
poet is commenting on America, its ideals, and the pressure put on its citizens
to live up to or embody those ideals. In your analysis you may wish to engage
with how the author articulates his vision of America and explain his appraisal
of his homeland.
In the final body section of your paper, you will need to
answer the following question: has America now moved beyond the prejudices
and/or complaints articulated by the work? You will need to employ critical
thinking and maintain academic tone here while also drawing on your own
perceptions and experiences, and you should consider how the author drew your
attention to ideas of which you were not previously aware. N.B. It may be
useful to review the date of publication for the poem when you come to evaluate
In order to fully analyze the texts, you should quote from
the text where appropriate (properly citing those quotations within your
essay). You should also have a brief introduction
(no more than 120-150 words) with a thesis as well as a conclusion.