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Reflections on 19th and 20th Century American Literature - Freshman Essays

Reflections on 19th and 20th Century American Literature


Your essay should be based on your thoughts alone.


Each essay should be about 750 words long, and should be written in MLA format (which means you must document any quotes from the text and include a works cited page). For your response, be sure to discuss at least three works of literature, unless otherwise stated. All essays should be typed and double spaced. Be sure to include specific examples from each text.

Prompts (Note: These questions should be used as a jumping off point, not necessarily as an outline, and the certainly should not limit your discussion of the general topic in any way.)

Prompt: Literature is a reflection of the world and times around us. How, then, do the works we have read this semester become a reflection of America? How do they represent the changing times and attitudes of the country and its citizens? Do these reflections of late 19th and 20th Century America bear any significance today? How? How do we use this literature to gain a better understanding of our past and who we have become as a country? Be sure to discuss literature from different periods, including at least one work from the 1950’s or later.