One characteristic that distinguishes 19th century American authors is their inclusion of characters and narrators who were often absent from the work of European writers, including wage laborers, prostitutes, slaves, soldiers, sailors, and so on. Choose two works by different author from the following list: Whitman and Melville. Question: What thematic, literary or poetic techniques do they employ to address the benefits and/or risks associated with the American ideal of e pluribus unum?

Essay

This assessment requires you to write two separate 750-word responses to the following questions:

Question 1
(1) One characteristic that distinguishes 19th century American authors is their inclusion of characters and narrators who were often absent from the work of European writers, including wage laborers, prostitutes, slaves, soldiers, sailors,  and so on. Choose two works by different author from the following list:
Whitman and Melville. Question: What thematic, literary or poetic techniques do they employ to address the benefits and/or risks associated with the American ideal of e pluribus unum?

Question 2
(2) Poe and Dickinson often wrote about the topic of death, which might lead you to conclude that they are utterly gloomy and pessimistic authors. Focusing on one story by Poe and one poem by Dickinson that we have read, answer the following Question: How do they address the subject of death in an affirmative, comic, mocking, or parodic manner?

For the first question please show from the following poems.

Whitman
“The Sleepers,”
This Compost,”
“Beat! Beat! Drums,”
“Village Strange I Kept on the Field One Night,”
“The Wound-Dresser”
“When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

Melville
“Bartleby”

For the second question please choose from one poem from Dickinson and one story from Poe.

Dickinson
“One Sister have I in our house”,
“Success is counted sweetest,”
“I like a look of agony,”
“There’s a Certain Slant of Light,”
“I felt a Funeral in my Brain,”
“I’m nobody! Who are you?”
“The soul selects her own society,”
“The soul’s superior instants,”
“Dare you see a soul at the white heat?”
“Much madness is divinest sense,”
“I heard a fly buzz—when I died,”
“One need not be a chamber to be haunted”
“Because I could not stop for death”
Poe
“The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,”
“Fall of the House of Usher”

Assessment Checklist
You should:
(1) Write two separate essays of 750 words each.

(2) Engage with relevant themes from the lectures and tutorial discussions.
(3) Cite    your sources by employing either Harvard, MLA, or Chicago documentation style.    Provide one bibliography for the entire assessment.
(4)    You are not required to conduct additional research, but you may do so if you feel it is necessary to develop and support your argument.
(5)    Organize the    analysis around a central argument or “thesis” and provide textual    evidence to support its claims.
(6)    Employ an appropriate writing style with minimal spelling, grammatical, or other    errors.    For assistance with grammar, style, and structure, pleases consults
http://learningcentre.usyd.edu.au/clearer_writing/ and http://writesite.elearn.usyd.edu.au/

Marking Criteria:

The teacher is looking for engagement with relevant ideas presented in the poems/stories. The development and support for the assessments argument. The referencing and citation style employed in the assessment should be very good.

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