the power novel

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This project asks you to write a short essay that advances a thesis of your creation about Naomi Alderman’s novel The Power. In this essay, you will need to describe how Alderman designs her text to convey to us (her readers) a particular idea, theme, or concern, one that draws your attention or interest. You should pay attention to the details of the plot, the development of character, the use of dialogue, the point of view of the narrator(s), the structure (or organization) of the story or narrative, the author’s writing style, word choice (diction), the arrangement of words (syntax), and any other details that seem to you to be significant. The bulk of your analysis should be devoted to explaining how Alderman uses these elements to give us a specific perspective or sense of the theme you discuss: why she makes these particular choices, and not some others. Think in terms of what kind of perspective you think The Power gives us on your theme; how it directs our attention, feelings, or opinions as we read; and what it says about life, society, or culture generally. More broadly, what do we learn about being human by reading the book? In the end, your thesis will demonstrate how Alderman weaves together various aspects of the novel (those elements described above) to arrive at a specific understanding of a theme, issue, or concern that the novel takes up.

You should include specific details (paraphrase, summary, and direct quotation) from the novel as evidence for your claims. Use in-text citations when you do, and include a works cited page at the end of your essay. In-text citations and the works cited page should be in MLA format. Essays that lack proper in-text citations and/or a works cited page are not acceptable in college-level work. Such essays will be returned to you at my leisure and will be deducted one letter grade per class session thereafter until returned in acceptable form.

The essay should have a clear thesis stated in a short introductory paragraph (3-4 sentences), body paragraphs that clearly relate to and support that thesis, and a conclusion that does not simply repeat your thesis. Please use a standard font, 12-point script, and 1″ margins. Include your name, the course name, number, and section number somewhere at the top of the first page. Do not include a separate title page.

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