Eng 125 – two and a half page draft assignment

For your assignment, you will write a TWO and a half page DRAFT(excluding the title and references page) of your Week Five Literary Analysis. The draft should contain a working thesis (which I wrote below), an introduction, at least three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Be sure to include some paraphrases and quotations of the reference material in your Week Two Annotated Bibliography. The FINAL PAPER will be a four- to five-page Literary Analysis (not due til next assignment).

  • Copy and paste the writing prompt (SEE BELOW) you chose to explore in Week One at the beginning of your draft (this will help your instructor see if you focused well on the prompt).

  • Restate your working thesis after the copy-and-paste prompt.

  • Focus on one or two primary text(s).

  • Include references from at least two secondary sources. More sources are not necessarily better. (BUT REMEMBER IN THE FINAL PAPER The primary source is the poems you chose write about AND two secondary sources that are additional to the text. Secondary sources are publications like textbooks, magazine articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, encyclopedias, etc.)

  • Apply your knowledge of literary elements and other concepts in your response to the prompt.

  • Avoid any use of the first person.

  • Do not summarize the plot.



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. 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?

THESIS:  There are conflicts within literary works all the time and I find it to be a very strong way to convey a story, using conflict. I have chosen two different literary stories to compare and contrast the conflict within each of them. The first is“What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl” (For Those of You Who Aren’t) by Patricia Smith (1991) and “Child of the Americas” by Aurora Levins Morales (1986). While both are stories about self reflection after self conflict, how each of the main characters identify and solve these conflicts are very different. I will show the differences and similarities of each.




Morales, A. L. (2005). “Child of Americas.” New Jersey: Oxford Publishers.
The author in the “Child of the Americas”, speaks of the struggles that foreigners have to undergo be it economically, culturally or socially as they try to fit into the American society. The Child of America intricately details the pride and joy of being you despite what the surroundings dictate. The poem depicts the various setting of the American culture and clearly brings out the difficulty experienced by foreign races in making it in America. In the child of Americas, the conflict is clearly seen in the phenomena of social diversity. The American society is endowed with multiple cultures all trying to force their cultures upon the rest. The dominant are keen to influence the less dominant to absorb or assimilate them. This is a major conflict in the poem as each race is not willing to compromise its culture thus tries its best to retain it.

Smith, P. (2003). What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl” (For Those of You Who Aren’t). Philadelphia: Oxford Publishers.
The author in What It’s Like To be a Black Girl (For Those of You Who Aren’t), narrates the struggles that black American and especially female Black Americans have to go through inwardly as well as outwardly. There is a persistent conflict as the black American woman endeavors and struggles to walk on in the journey of self-awareness. The young girl in the “What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl” (For Those of You Who Aren’t) is one making every effort to be comfortable with who she is despite the fact that she is struggling with the her inner self, races and identity while also fighting the fact that she wants to be something she is not.



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