In This Section

Bookmark and Share

Short Essay Exercises

1.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Melvin B. Tolson was considered a Modernist poet. Discuss traditional conventions of literary modernism, and support or refute the view of Tolson's poetry as Modernist poetry.
2.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Discuss the impact of black vernacular traditions and music on Tolson's writing.
3.
fiogf49gjkf0d
How does Dorothy West represent black mother-daughter relationships in The Living Is Easy?
4.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Discuss the extent to slavery becomes an important metaphor in Himes's work. What is gained by this analogy?
5.
fiogf49gjkf0d
What is the role of profanity and slang in Himes's fiction?
6.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Trouble in Mind, by Alice Childress, features a play-within-a-play. What kind of impact does this theatrical tool have on the audience, and what does this form do to enhance the action and drama of the play? What kind of commentary does it raise about the theatre itself?
7.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Study Robert Hayden's diction. Pay close attention to words that have multiple meanings and words you are unfamiliar with. Speculate about Hayden's word choices and their poetic impact.
8.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hayden's writing style has been described as "intellectual" and "formal." On what tropes or rhetorical features in his poems do you think these judgments are based? What effect do these devices have on your appreciation of his poetry?
9.
fiogf49gjkf0d
After reading the "Prologue" to Invisible Man, listen to Louis Armstrong's "Black and Blue.". Discuss the narrator's choice of that recording with his dessert of vanilla ice cream and sloe grin and his oblique characterization of it as "poetry [made] out of being invisible."
10.
fiogf49gjkf0d
How does Ralph Ellison employ African American vernacular traditions in his work?
11.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Identify some of the rhetorical devices by which Gwendolyn Brooks highlights mundane events in her poetry. Isolate passages from her poems that illustrate this skill. What is the significance of the everyday in Brooks's work?
12.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Baldwin's writing is often characterized as "evangelical" and "sermonic." What elements of his writing create a tone that could be described as evangelical?
13.
fiogf49gjkf0d
What does Wright seem to mean by the "ethics of living Jim Crow"? Think about your current classroom, and ask yourself to what extent such ethics are now outmoded. What dynamics at your university indicate that they remain in place?
14.
fiogf49gjkf0d
In "Blueprint for Negro Writing" Wright claims that twentieth-century African American literature targets only white readers and not the "Negro masses." Do you agree? Why, or why not?
15.
fiogf49gjkf0d
To understand the narrative structure of "For My People," identify the devices that Margaret Walker uses to create the prose-poetry structure of these lyrics.
16.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Identify ways that Lorraine Hansberry contributes to the tradition of black writing about experiences during the Great Migration. Then identify ways that she expands that tradition.
17.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Develop an effective strategy for the study of Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, and share it with the class. Then, with other students, compile your strategies into one master strategy for studying the drama.

Submit to Gradebook:

First Name:
 
Last Name:
 
Your Email Address:
 
Your Professor's Email Address:
 
Section: