Merican Lit-Edgar Allen Poe,  The Fall of the House of Usher”

For this assignment, I ask you to write a two-part paper the first part of which is devoted to  significant, and the second part of which is devoted to  conscious artistry.

Specifically, I want you to select from our readings a work and an author whom you have enjoyed (use Edgar Allen Poes  The Fall of the House of Usher”) and to write a research essay which explains, in the first place, what is significant about the work. What makes it significant? For whom is it significant? How or why is it significant? The idea of significance suggests that the work and/or the artist has contributed something original to the world something that sets a precedent or that finds a new way to express an idea. For example, if you enjoyed Benjamin Franklin s Autobiography, you might first read what critics have said about it so that you can tell your readers what is significant about it in terms of American literature. What has the work contributed to our understanding of ourselves (of our culture or national character), for example? You d want to discuss its main qualities or characteristics in terms of autobiography as a specific genre (kind) of literature. Does it set a pattern for autobiography? Is it similar to or different from other autobiographies from similar times and places? Has it influenced later autobiographical writing?

This part of the essay corresponds to what Shannon calls a researched report (56).

Second, I d like you to focus on some specific attributes or qualities of the work (or of more than one work if you choose a poet) and to explain them, how they work, so that readers less well-versed in literature than you are can more fully appreciate the work. A central question for this part of the essay will be,  How does it work? or  How do its parts fit together? For example, most of you were able to recognize some features of the last part of Edwards s sermon  Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God which made the sermon especially meaningful to the congregation who first heard it. Edwards personalizes the last part of the sermon by shifting from an impersonal  they to a very personal  you ; he anticipates and refutes objections the audience will have as they hear the sermon; he paints a picture of how they will feel tomorrow, in Hell, knowing they have ignored the opportunity today. . .etc. This is close analysis, and it s the sort of thing I want you to do with the work you treat, so that your readers will really come to understand and appreciate the work. This part of the essay corresponds to what Shannon calls researched (or synthesized) argument (59).

These two parts may be separated, if you like, or they may run together no matter. What matters is that they both are represented clearly enough so that I can recognize them.

The essay will involve some research, especially in its first part, so I want you to be sure you select your sources carefully and credit them appropriately in the MLA documentation style, both in-text and at the end of the paper, with a Works Cited page.

One of the sources must be Dictionary of Literary Biography. I must have a hard copy of the source material and a rough draft of the final paper.