ENGL 2055 University of Memphis Relevance of Space in Ann Petry the Street Essay


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African American Literature
ENGL 2055-150
Spring 2020
Prompts for Essay II
For this second essay response, I ask you to choose one of the prompts below and answer it in at
least one typed, double-spaced page. You will be assessed on how completely you respond to all
parts of the prompt. I am not asking for evaluations: no “I like/dislike the story.” I want
thoughtful, critical responses. I will also gauge how accurately you credit and refer to the authors
and texts, and basic grammar, mechanical, and spelling accuracy. This means that you should
save time to proofread for capitalization, spelling, and citations.

You may use notes and an outline: however, remember that you have the remaining exam
time to complete your essay. Do not submit a prepared essay. You must use the exam
time to compose.

You may copy/paste your selected prompt into a Word document, and then write your
response. When you are finished, submit your response to the appropriate folder on
Prompt One:
Explain the relevance of space in The Street by Ann Petry or Richard Wright’s “Ethics of Living
Jim Crow.” How does physical space mimic the psychological impact of racism? How does
limited space remind each protagonist of their limited finances or freedom? Give some examples
from the text to support your response.
Prompt Two:
In Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use,” we meet a mother and her two daughters. In
Annie John, by Jamaica Kincaid, we meet a daughter whose relationship with her mother is out
of the ordinary. In Edwidge Dandicat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory, another mother-daughter
relationship is explored. What can we learn about the importance of mothers in these selections?
More than being a parent, a mother can mean a moral compass, a guidepost, a friend—even an
enemy. Choose at least two of these narratives to explain the relevance of motherhood to each
protagonist. Are there similarities that unite the narratives?
Prompt Three:
In Maya Angelou’s selection from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, we learn about a horrific
trauma that affected this little girl, Marguerite. Afterward, she became mute, never speaking a
word. It was her special relationship with Mrs. Flowers that helped her find her voice. Where
else have we seen a protagonist struggle to find her voice? Consider Janie Crawford and the way
she reveals her narrative, and why she chooses to share it only with one special person. In your
response, explain why this discovery of voice, to ‘share one’s truth’ is so vitally important.

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Relevance of Space

Ann Petry The Street

success of the protest

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