In some stories, characters come into conflict with the culture in which they live. Often, a character feels alienated in his/her community or society due to race, gender, class or ethnic background. Choose a text that shows this kind of conflict. How is the character alienated from community and how does she/he respond to it? What does that character’s alienation say about the surrounding society’s assumptions, morality and values? In what way(s) do literary elements reflect how that society defines race, gender, class and/or ethnicity? How does this create conflict for the character?
Literary Works (choose one from any of the lists below. If you choose to write about poetry, you may choose up to two poems from the Poems list):
“Sonny’s Blues” (Baldwin, 1957)
“What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” (Alexie, 2003)
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” (Marquez, 1955)
“A Hunger Artist” (Kafka, 1924) – 7.5 in Journey into Literature
“Theme for English B” (Hughes, 1951)
“What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl” (Smith, 1991) – 11. 1 in Journey into Literature
“Immigrants in Our Own Land” (Santiago Baca, 1977)
“To Live in the Borderlands Means You” (Anzaldúa, 1987)
“Child of the Americas” (Morales, 1986) – 11.1 in Journey into Literature
Macbeth (Shakespeare, 1606) – Appendix B in Journey into Literat
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