Nalysis of Philip Roths The Conersion of the Jews”

Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, double-spaced

Your task is to write an analysis of one of the Philip Roth texts we have read (or started reading) so far: a?The Conversion of the Jews,a? a?Defender of the Faith,a? or American Pastoral. I have provided prompts below to help you focus on a topic. If you want to write on a different topic, run it past me first for approval. This paper will be revised.

An analysis requires you to read closely and provide textual support for a claim you are making. In other words, when you argue a particular point, you need to be able to back it up with evidence from the text. In addition, an analysis takes us beyond the obvious. To argue, for instance, that Rothas texts are about the quandaries of Jewish identity in America is self-evident. You need to be able to tell us something new, or something that we wouldnat have noticed after a single reading. Remember that Iam available to help you come up with ideas and to read your paper.

You should include a thesis statement in your opening paragraph (itas typically the last sentence). A good thesis tells us exactly how you are reading and interpreting a text. For instance, a thesis might read: a?Despite the Swedeas lengthy self-examination, American Pastoral demonstrates that terrible events often have no discernible causes.a?

Your intro should be shorta no more than A? pagea then cut to the chase with your thesis. After that, select several points to develop as independent paragraphs. Donat forget a conclusion. Expect your paper to have something like 7-9 paragraphs, including intro and conclusion. A well-crafted paragraph typically has 7-8 sentences.

As you write, remember to re-read the text. Itas good to cite whenever you need to back up a claim you are making. For instance, if you are making the point in a?Defender of the Faitha? that Captain Barrett is unfamiliar with Jewish life and culture, you could cite this passage in which the Captain says over the phone: a?aSir-Marx, here, tells me that the Jews have a tendency to be pushy.aa? Then you could go on to explain how this quote reveals the Captainas ignorance.

You do not have to consult any secondary / literary criticism to write this paper, though you are welcome to do so. Primarily, though, I am interested in YOUR ability to analyze a text.



Prompts:

What, ultimately, does Ozzie try to accomplish in a?The Conversion of the Jewsa??

What role or roles do Rabbi Binder, Yakov Blotnik, and Ozzieas mother play in a?The Conversion of the Jewsa??

How do you understand the title of a?Defender of the Faitha?? Is there a defender in that text, and is there a real a?defensea??

What is the effecta or what are the effectsa of Grossbartas manipulation of Marx in a?Defender of the Faitha??

Is there a a?causea?a or are there causesa of the Swedeas a?disastera? in American Pastoral?

What is the Swedeas a?pastorala?? What does he want to accomplish? How is the idea of pastoral shown to be a fiction?

What role, if any, does the Swedeas ambivalence toward his identity as a Jew play in his a?disastera??