Close Reading on Identity: Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao foc

Close Reading on Identity: Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao focuses on the identity of Oscar Wao, a character who struggles to be Dominican enough, to be American enough, and to be masculine enough. Because of his ethnic, family, and personal backgrounds, Oscar attempts a hybrid identity for himself, one that allows him to bring different backgrounds and interests together in a unified person. Arguably, though, Oscar ends up with a fractured identity. From The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, choose a passage that you think stands out as the most important passage for the theme of identity and write an analysis in which you explain why this passage gives important insights into the whole novel’s treatment of the concept of identity. Begin by typing the passage (probably more than a sentence but shorter than half a page). Craft an argumentative thesis that maps out your critical reading of the passage and then move to analyzing what the passage itself says. Work to read it closely and interpret its imagery, language, and meaning. After you have developed a close analysis of the passage, you should expand to the whole novel, explaining and analyzing how your chosen passage is representative of the whole work. Analyze the passage as a synecdoche that helps you think about the plot, conflicts, and contexts of the novel. This prompt asks you to work on close reading skills, to cite and quote from the novel, and to interpret the meaning of the text. Make sure to start with an argumentative claim (your thesis) about your passage. Please note that you do not necessarily have to write about Oscar; you can choose another character to focus on, if you so choose. You might choose to focus on one or more of the following in your analysis:Oscar’s family background and the role of the curse on his familyrace, ethnicity, and national identitypressures to act a certain way (masculine or hypersexual, for instance)the role of love and sex on shaping identitythe effects of trauma on identityOscar’s interest in genre, science fiction, and fantasyinjuries and harm to the bodyphysical appearancenationalisms and the effects of imperial intervention and political regimes on identitylanguagediasporaCitation StyleCitations should be in MLA or Chicago style, and you should include a works cited page.SubmissionSubmission of responses will be via Canvas as a file upload (in Microsoft Word or PDF format). The responses are due at the beginning of class time on the due date, and you might find it useful to bring either a printed or digital copy (via tablet or computer) to class that day, as we will use your responses to frame our discussion.Grading CriteriaAs a category, the response papers will account for 40% of your course grade, and they should be viewed as formal writing that demonstrates your careful and close reading of the assigned texts, that offer thesis-driven arguments, that engage in analysis of textual evidence, and, in some cases, that synthesize readings and/or demonstrate engagement with outside sources.Grade Range AttributesA(90-100)Responses that receive grades in the A range represent excellent work. They will have a clear and argumentative theses, draw on textual evidence in the form of direction quotations and paraphrases, offer analysis and interpretation, and demonstrate original thinking that builds on class discussion but extend beyond it. In terms of structure (macro and micro), syntax, style, and citation, A papers will be assured, correct, and accurate. An A grade recognizes mastery of writing outcomes for the assignment.B(80-89)Responses that receive grades in the B range represent good work. They will have argumentative theses, though their insights might have less clear stakes than those in the A range. These papers will draw on textual evidence in the form of direct quotations and paraphrases and work to offer analysis and interpretation, though that interpretation may be less original or less fully developed than those in the A range. That said, they will offer insights and go beyond recapping what happens in the text and into analysis what what happens means. Responses that receive B grades will have structures that are cohesive in terms of paragraph development, sentence that are stylistically clear, and citations that are accurate. A B grade recognizes a strong performance in terms of writing and literary interpretation.C(70-79)Responses that receive grades in the C range represent satisfactory work for the assignment. While these responses will have thesis statements, draw on textual examples, cite information correctly, and achieve the minimum requirements in terms of page length, they do not achieve beyond a satisfactory level. Their theses may be more statements of fact than interpretive. C projects rely more on generalization and telling than interpretation and showing. Paragraphs may be underdeveloped but they do attempt to work with textual examples in the form of direction quotations. The writing is readable but may have stylistic lapses. Citations are included, but they may be inconsistent or inaccurate in style.D(65-69)D-level work represents an unsatisfactory pass. The response does enough to show an awareness of the assignment’s purpose and guidelines; however, it also has significant lapses in terms of multiple of the following: fails to achieve minimum page length, does not include a thesis statement/argument, generalizes but does not directly engage with the text in terms of direct quotations, does not develop paragraphs or break ideas into paragraphs, and/or has significant stylistic lapses.F(0-64)Responses that receive F grades represent unsatisfactory work that fails to meet the standards of the assignment. Work may be unsatisfactory for any number of reasons: fails to meet minimum page requirement, fails to cite sources, plagiarizes, does not follow directions, is not written in the required format, generalizes, provides inaccurate information, etc. Generally, grades in the F range demonstrate little attempt to fulfill the assignment.
Requirements: 3-4 double space pages

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