Research essay of the novel "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham
Hours Research Essay With one of the lenses in mind, write about either Virginia, Clarissa or Laura and an aspect of their struggle from the novel “The Hours by Michael Cunningham”. Be sure you have an argumentative thesis statement. You need to develop a specific, argument thesis statement and support your points with the text. For example : I might use the following as my thesis if I choose the lens of Gender: In the novel The Hours by Michael Cunningham, the pressure for Virginia Woolf to adhere to a tradition gender role leads to her untimely demise. Review the below mentioned five lenses from the “Lenses for Reading Literature” : Below is a list of lenses you might choose from when reading a text. I define each of these for the purposes Essay #3, but these lenses also relate to different schools of literary criticism. For a more detailed explanation of these schools, please see pages 1599 1.Ethnicity/Race/Culture : This lens allows us to look at issues/conflicts/questions that arise in a text that relate to the ethnicities, races, and cultures of the characters in the text. It is particularly important to consider these issues when characters in the text come from different ethnic/racial/cultural backgrounds and the text reveals how the characters’ diverse backgrounds might cause confusion, conflict, or meaningful interactions. It is also important when stereotypes or prejudice results because of these differences. An example of this is Rita Dove’s “Parsley,” where the Dominican General Trujillo decided to kill many Haitian workers because they did not speak Spanish “properly.” Another example could be “Two Kinds,” where the Chinese mother and her Chinese American daughter come into conflict. When these differences in culture represent one group who is oppressed and another group that is in power (or colonizes/controls this oppressed group), this lens can be called Post 2.Gender : This lens examines the conventional or traditional roles that men and women may play in a text and also how men and women might reject or protest or try to change these roles. An example of reading a text through a gender lens may be looking at the relationship between the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” and her husband, John, or to think about how the gender of the aunt in “No Name Woman” contributed to her punishment and suicide and asking whether a man who committed the same act would be treated differently. In literary criticism, this lens is often called Feminist Criticism Feminist critics “hope to uncover and challenge essentialist attitudes that hold it is normal for women to be kept in domestic, secondary, and subservient roles, and they affirm the value of a woman’s experiences and perspectives in understanding the world” (Schilb 1601). This lens can also be used to talk about sexuality and sexual orientation. This approach is called Gender Studies and Queer Theory and raises questions about how characters of different genders or sexualities are portrayed/described in a text. 3.History : This lens considers how the time period and place is described in a text and how a writer’s life may affect the way she writes about a particular time and place. Looking at a text through this lens means asking what a particular text says about a particular time and place. It also means thinking carefully about why a particular writer might depict a moment in history in a particular way and how a reader living in a particular time period or place might understand a text in a particular way. An example of this is Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron.” This was written in 1961, a time in which many people in America were thinking about issues surrounding communism and capitalism. If we read this text through a historical lens, we might think about what Vonnegut might be trying to say about communism, capitalism, and equality. We might also think about what would be different in the story if Vonnegut had written this is 2010 vs. 1961. To what extent are Vonnegut’s social concerns relevant today? This approach is often called New Historicism. 4. Psychology : This lens focuses on the internal struggles/issues/concerns of a character in a text. If we read a text through this lens, we may focus on the feelings of guilt, fear, or inner conflicts of a particular character, trying to understand what the character’s emotional state may be and what the character’s unconscious desires may be. An example of this is Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy.” Plath describes her speaker as suffering from something that Sigmund Freud calls the Electra complex, in which a daughter idolizes her father as a sort of God. Critics have also pointed out that the speaker has very ambiguous feelings about her father as she mourns his death, desires to be close to him, and also hates and fears him (269). This approach is similar to Psychoanalytic Criticism and the theories of Sigmund Freud (1601). 5. Social Class: This lens often overlaps with lenses that examine culture, race, ethnicity, and history. Overall, this lens looks at the differences between social classes of characters. It looks at a text to see if there are any important differences in the economic or social status among characters. For example, when using this lens, you might ask yourself, is there one character who has a lot more money that the other characters? A lot less money than other characters? What are the different types of jobs that different characters hold? An example of using this lens might be reading through Jamaica Kinkaid’s “Girl” and thinking about the types of work that the characters in this text do. Are these jobs associated with prestigious social status or wealth? Why or why not? Why is this important in understanding the text? With one of the lenses in mind, write about either Virginia, Clarissa or Laura and an aspect of their struggle. Be sure you have an argumentative thesis statement. You need to develop a specific, argument thesis statement and support your points with the text. For example I might use the following as my thesis if I choose the lens of Gender: In the novel The Hours by Michael Cunningham, the pressure for Virginia Woolf to adhere to a tradition gender role leads to her untimely demise. IN ADDITION: PLEASE INCLUDE 2 OUTSIDE RELIABLE AND ACADEMIC SOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUR POINT OF ARGUMENT. *AT LEAST ONE SOURCE NEEDS TO BE LITERARYCRITICISM. THE OTHER SOURCE CAN BE ABOUT THE BACKGROND/TIME PERIOD, ETC. BE SURE AND USE MLA FORMAT FOR IN -TEXT CITATIONS AND INCLUDE A WOKS CITED PAGE (MLA FORMAT). -Underline the title of the novel. -Use quotations/passages from the novel to prove your points. Be sure and list the page number in parenthesis after your quote. If you are quoting text that is more than three lines, use MLA block style. -Use present tense when describing story events. -All essays should be typed in a 12pt font and double spaced. - You need to include at least two outside sources/research. MAKE SURE AT LEAST ONE SOURCE IS LITERARY CRITICISM. YOUR SECOND SOURCE CAN BE GENERAL RESEARCH (FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU PAPER IS ABOUT LAURA AND MOTHERHOOD, YOU MAY FIND/USE A SOURCE ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE MOTHER IN THE 1950S). You need to include in-text citations and a Works Cited page. *Use quotation marks within the paper if info. is taken word-for-word. Use MLA format for all citations. - Include a very clear, 1-2 sentence thesis in your intro. - Your analysis should be based on close reading of the novel.