Theme of Otherness or Theme of of isolation/exclusion/confinement/imprisonment paper

Write a thesis-driven paper (3 full pages) in which you analyze a passage from Achebes Things Fall
Apart, Rankines Citizen, An American Lyric, or Coetzees Waiting for the Barbarians(The passages are in the document that I have attached). Using a key
term/idea/concept discussed this semester (e.g. colonialism, alienation, storytelling, otherness, race, empire, power, defamiliarization, patriarchy, etc.), analyze the passage and explain/show how that term or idea helps explain and shed light on the meanings and nuances of the text. The analysis should pay close attention to the use of style, plot, imagery, character, and overall symbolism in the respective passage.

Additional Requirement:

You should incorporate/use in your paper an idea from ONE article/essay assigned this
semester(which are listed below). This does not mean simply giving a random quotation from the article, but rather engaging with its ideas/argument on a more substantive level.
1. Jean-Francois Staszak, Other/Otherness
2. Plato, Allegory of the Cave
3. Chinua Achebe, An Image of Africa; Home and Exile


1. Your argument should be based on evidence drawn from the passage you have chosen.
That means you will need to find and analyze specific words/phrases/images that support the points
that you argue. Your paper should start from the close analysis of the passage and build an argument
about the representation/treatment of otherness in that particular work.
2. Analyze, dont summarize. Avoid describing the plot or summarizing what happens in a
book/passage. Assume your reader (which is me) knows the book and is only interested in your
interpretation, not on finding out the plot. In other words, you should engage with the meaning of
the selected passages/sequences and not simply describe or recount what happens.
3. The analysis should pay close attention to the use of style, plot, imagery, character, and
overall symbolism in the respective passage and show how these elements operate together to
convey a meaning, theme, or idea.
4. All quoted material appears in quotation marks with the proper author/work/page
information. All primary (novels) and secondary sources (essay, article) should be listed in the
works cited section at the end of the paper. Each quotation should be properly integrated into
your analysis (always explicate a quote and show its relevance for your analysis).
5. Follow MLA style formatting and essay submission guidelines as outlined in the syllabus
(12 Times New Roman, double-spaced). Make sure your paper has a title page containing your
name, course section, and a meaningful title.


The paper should make an argument or interpretation about the readings discussed this semester
starting from specific passages and sequences in those work that might not be apparent to every
reader. You might think of close reading as slow reading because that is the pace at which you will
have to read in order to take note of the kind of nuance that makes this sort of analysis worthwhile.
A fast reader might miss the surprising linguistic turn or vocabulary, the extended metaphor, the
strange analogy, the odd detail, the minor character, the organizational structure that allows the text
to operate subtly on its audience. As a slow reader, you will not only notice, but also question,
analyze, and then, most importantly, argue. You will argue for your own, original interpretation of
the text.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *