English

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Although literature is often distinguished from other types of writing such as journalism, history, or other nonfiction genres, literary texts can and do take up significant historical or real-life events as their subject; our Unit 1 readings, which concern 9/11, the Nigerian civil war, the Vietnam War, and the ongoing war in the Middle East illustrate this. For this first unit essay, explore the question of how literary works depict significant historical events. Think especially about the angle or focus from which the event is shown and how that angle or focus shaped aspects of the text such as message, choices in characters, theme, emphasis, etc. Consider what, if anything, readers might learn about history or real-life events from these literary texts, and how. What methods or strategies can literary texts use to convey information about these events? Build your claim by referring to and drawing on one or two of our Unit 1 readings as your main illustration and support. (Tip: Rather than trying to make an argument applicable to all literature [which is impossible] concentrate on making an argument relative to your chosen one or two texts.)

 

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