#1
So I have my English Final tomorrow and half of it is to write a 5 paragraph essay in-class and I need some help with it (any issues you see with my writing )

Here is the prop: "Think about the literature in therms of America's challenge to live up to the ideals, expectations, and promises which were established in the declaration of independence and the constitution."

(I need to support my thesis using examples from novels read in class which are The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye, The Crucible, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Things They Carried, and The Jungle)

My Thesis:
Through the 20th Century, Americans have struggled to achieve the ideals and promises established by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, such as the American Dream, Equality and Justice for All, and the Preservation of the Individual in a society of Majority.

Paragraph 1:
Throughout the course of the 20th Century, Americans have struggled achieving the American Dream. This is portrayed through various novels such as

+The Great Gatsby
- The main theme of the novel is to portray the decline of the pursuit of the American dream (life liberty and the pursuit of happiness) which is thwarted by material greediness (Plastic society of Daisy, Tom and Jordan and Gatsby)

+The Jungle
- Society doesn't let minorities and lower class people progress

+The Grapes of Wrath
-The Government fails to help families seeking the American Dream (The Joad's and other Okies)

Paragraph 2
In the 20th Century, Americans, especially minorities and women, heavily struggled for their Equality and Justice, which is established by the Constitution "All men are created equal" The lack of these, is portrayed in:

+To Kill A Mockingbird
- Tom Robinson's struggle against a racist jury, who is found guilty in spite of heavy evidence that says otherwise.

+The Crucible
- Unfair trials in which there was no strong evidence for persecuting and executing the people found guilty of witchcraft.

+The Grapes of Wrath
- Unfair treatment of the migrant workers (Okies) and corruption of the judicial system, which fails to bring justice vs the Californians.

Paragraph 3
Many Americans have faced trouble when trying to stand out as individuals in a society of the majority. This problem is addressed in the constitution with the Freedom of Speech, but it still is a problem for many people. This is shown in various novels like
+The Things They Carried:
-Tim O'Brien learning to be an individual in a war of statistics (by not shaking hands with dead people he setted up himself as an individual when compared to the rest of the platoon.

+To Kill a Mockingbird:
- Atticus being an individual for standing up for Tom, while the majority opposed it

+The Catcher in the Rye
-Holden trying to individualize himself in a mainstream society with many "phonies"


So, please comment on any major flaws you see

Thanks
#3
The Crucible was only about the Salem trials on the surface. In reality, it was about the McCarthy/House Un-American Activities Commission hearings that ruined the lives of many suspected Communists or Communist sympathizers.
#5
Quote by ccmu
The Crucible was only about the Salem trials on the surface. In reality, it was about the McCarthy/House Un-American Activities Commission hearings that ruined the lives of many suspected Communists or Communist sympathizers.

I know, but I need examples to show how literature portrays my thesis
#6
Also, instead of "society of the majority" you should use something like "a society that values conformity to the social norms of the power culture." The problem is rooted in an individual's desire to belong to groups, a desire that is placed in their consciousness by the social environment. It is not necessarily a "majority" thing, as a small group of people can use influence to lend themselves the appearance of being "in control"; of being the "in group."

This ties into the "freedom of speech" issue, as the Constitution only grants legal protection. Society itself imposes strict social codes on speech, codes that have the effect of alienating some while reinforcing the social standing of others.

And in response to your previous post, you should mention the HUAC thing at the same time, even though it wasn't directly mentioned in the book. The literature still supports it, and you should show your understanding of the literature by expanding its ideas to cover other topics. That's the kind of thing teachers love.
Last edited by ccmu at Jun 4, 2008,
#7
Quote by ccmu
Also, instead of "society of the majority" you should use something like "a society that values conformity to the social norms of the power culture." The problem is rooted in an individual's desire to belong to groups, a desire that is placed in their consciousness by the social environment. It is not necessarily a "majority" thing, as a small group of people can use influence to lend themselves the appearance of being "in control"; of being the "in group."

This ties into the "freedom of speech" issue, as the Constitution only grants legal protection. Society itself imposes strict social codes on speech, codes that have the effect of alienating some while reinforcing the social standing of others.

And in response to your previous post, you should mention the HUAC thing at the same time, even though it wasn't directly mentioned in the book. The literature still supports it, and you should show your understanding of the literature by expanding its ideas to cover other topics. That's the kind of thing teachers love.


Thanks man, at least there's someone on the Pit that can give helpful answers And about the HUAC thing, I dont need to include that is just the literature, although using actual history along with the novels and plays would have been so much easier.
#9
Did you write out a conclusion as well? Even though they're easy to do, always easier to write em out first and copy them down later.
#10
Quote by st.stephen
Did you write out a conclusion as well? Even though they're easy to do, always easier to write em out first and copy them down later.

True, I'm doing that right now, but I wanted to post the essay so I could get more feedback. Conclusion wasn't much of a worry compared to the Thesis. Although I still need an Attention getter, Im thinking a quote from one of the books or the constitution (we get a copy of the preamble during the test). ANy other suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!