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Papers On African-American Literature
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The Spirit of Place in the African American Experience
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An 8 page paper examining three novels -- Huckleberry Finn, Love is Medicine, and Beloved -- and treating the issue of what constitutes a good place, a spiritual home, in all three works. Huckleberry Finn and Beloved are dealt with most extensively. No sources except books.
Filename: Belov.wps

Toni Morisson's 'Beloved' and Sherley Ann Williams' 'Dessa Rose' / Motherhood & Maternalism
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A 5 page paper comparing and contrasting the protagonists' ability to assume the responsibilities of motherhood. The paper argues that Because the slave does not have any autonomy of her own, she cannot function in a typical maternal relationship to a dependent child; therefore, she needs to either break out of her cycle of submission, or have someone else to do her mothering for her. Bibliography lists 2 sources.
Filename: Beldessa.doc

Walker's 'The Color Purple' v. Otto's 'How to Make an American Quilt'
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A 9 page paper that describes how the authors of these two works utilize structures unique to story development to present their ideas on feminism, relationships, sexuality and domesticity. While both authors utilize different structural formats (Walker presents her's as an epistolary novel, while Otto's is set within the context of a quilting instructional manual), each uncommon structure significantly effects the author's presentation of ideas. Bibliography lists 7 sources.
Filename: Purpquil.wps

Zora Neale Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God,' Nella Larsen's 'Passing' And Ann Petry's 'The Street': Marriage
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10 pages in length. Zora Neale Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God,' Nella Larsen's 'Passing' and Ann Petry's 'The Street' all address the issue of marriage in very different ways. While all three stories speak about the bonds of matrimony in one way or another, it is not actually the marriage, in and of itself, upon which the tales focus. Rather, each author carefully yet quite effectively touches upon marriage, its meaning within the social backdrop, as well as the requirements necessary to maintain its existence; however, these stories delve much deeper into the aspect of marriage than what merely resides on the surface. It is through intense character examination that the reader is able to see beyond the marital façade to a more realistic place where the authors' protagonists inevitably dwell. The writer discusses the importance marriage plays in each one. No additional sources cited.
Filename: TLCmarig.doc

Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie's Quest for Self-Definition
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This 2 page paper considers the role of Janie in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, and considers her quest as it defines the action in the story. In particular, this paper outlines Janie's quest for self-definition and her symbolic journey, both of which shape her transformation and regeneration. No additional sources cited.
Filename: MHHurst2.wps


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