Write a research paper where you examine several published views on some narrow aspect of Cather’s work that interests you. You could compare the author’s treatment of one or more characters in My Ántonia with one or more characters from another work of fiction. Or you could research a theme like immigration, gender issues, the land, poverty, bravery, or women’s work etc. etc. etc. Obviously, you may want to read ahead. You will want to work out the basis of comparison, or your treatment of a theme in the book, but some possible questions are:
How do the characters contribute to our understanding of the ethical /social values of society? What purpose do they serve in the work? What ideas do they represent?
What compelling theme in the book speaks to broader issues in society today, or historically? How does the landscape in Cather shed meaning on the theme?
You must also find at least two scholarly journal articles that reflect or disagree with the ideas that you are highlighting in your paper. These could be from a bound journal article, a monograph, or an article from a critical anthology. You should paraphrase and quote from this research. You could start by looking at the Cather Archives at the University of Nebraska. Then I, or a reference librarian can help you find articles in the COD library databases.
A Benda illustration of Antonia knitting in a field
The purpose of this paper is to introduce you to literary research, expand your critical thinking skills, refine your ability to write about literature, and allow you to demonstrate expertise at incorporating quotations.
This paper should be about five to eight double-spaced pages. Please use 1″ margins and a 12-pt. regular font. Use the MLA or the APA method of formatting and incorporating quotes.
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