Reat Gatsby (FS Fitzgerald), Passing (N Larson), and poems of Langston Hughes

Your essay must be argumentative
and analytical: it must prove a clear and precise thesis, one which is not self-evident
or irrefutable but a claim worthy of argument. The number of poems you address
is up to you, but your selections should be well thought out. Assume that your reader is familiar with the texts that you discuss. Do not
summarize; you will be penalized if you do so. Analyze and compare.

A comparative essay must be thus on every point within the argument, clearly explicating similarities and differences between and among texts. Demonstrate knowledge of each text and the ability to make intelligent and instructive
connections between and among texts.

Provide specific textual evidence to support the claims you make. Substantiate your
analysis with reference to and explanation of relevant textual details. Make your
evidence pertinent by connecting it clearly to the part of your argument it is meant
to help prove. Free-floating evidence (e.g. quotations unconnected to your own
sentences or arguments) is irrelevant. Cliches and non-textual generalizations are
worse than irrelevant. Don t trust  common sense truisms; restrict yourself to the
terms of the texts you analyze. Their world is your data. It is your job to prove that
your judgments are grounded in the primary texts. Remember well that when
dealing with poetry, you should consider all the relevant ways in which poetic
language generates meaning (e.g. rhyme, rhythm, metre, allusion, tone, speaker,
lineation, stanza form, imagery, diction, symbol, metaphor, etc.). While your reader
is happy to discover what you think a poem means, none of that matters unless you
are able to demonstrate how it does so. The same holds true for fiction.”

Essay topic:
A roiling, frenzied, agitated, exciting, and confusing flux: the modernist city or the modernist psyche? Analyze the important connections between cityscape and psychological  inscape
in the poetry and fiction you choose. How specifically do cityscapes map and control new modes of perception, understanding, and judgment? In writing on this topic, you might well consider texts set outside the city for contrast.

Hughes poems:
 The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain (1926),  The Negro Speaks of Rivers (1921, 1926),  The Weary Blues (1925, 1926),  Cross (1925, 1926),  Bad Man (1927)