Essay Question. Choose one of the following questions and a write a short essay (about 400 to 500 words) in response. Develop a thesis and support it with examples and quotes (with citations) from the reading. You don’t need to quote any outside sources or critics. Identify your essay with the letter of the question.
A. In his essay “Notes of a Native Son,” James Baldwin writes: “I had forgotten, in the rage of my growing up, how proud my father had been of me when I was little. Apparently, I had had a voice and my father liked to show me off before the members of the church.” Here, Baldwin offers a rare glimpse of a father who cared about his son. Why is this memory so unusual? What was Baldwin’s childhood like, for the most part? How does Baldwin discover a kinder side of his father, and how does Baldwin incorporate kindness into his later view of the emotion of hatred?
B. Anton Chekhov’s story “The Lady With the Dog” begins in Yalta. What sort of a place is Yalta, and how is it conducive to the beginning of Anna and Dmitri’s affair? Why do Anna and Dmitri leave Yalta (what are their separate reasons?) and how does the change of scene affect their relationship? Discuss their married lives, and how they begin to lead a “double life.” Do you think their relationship would have started if they had not been vacationing in Yalta?
C. The second half of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart covers on the arrival of the British missionaries in Nigeria.Many changes come about as a result of colonization. Discuss some changes that were detrimental to the Ibo culture. Were any changes advantageous to the culture? Give a few specific examples of changes, and explain why you see them as hurtful or helpful.
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