What Defines an American?

Serious literature of all kinds involves the expression of meaning, the articulation of ideas by the authors, who use different genres and styles to convey that meaning and those ideas in the national literature of all countries. You are to write a five to seven (minimum) essay that compares the ideas and/or values as expressed or reflected in two texts from American Literature, which we have read this semester. However, do NOT select poetry and do NOT use “I Have a Dream.” You will need a clear thesis, but under no circumstances should you assert that the ideas found in a text have “influenced” to any degree American culture. That would be a very hard and complicated point to have to support. Instead, you will offer a thesis that suggests that a specific idea and/or value is reflected in the texts. Ultimately, though, you may want to assert, as you see it, that these or other texts express ideas that are reflected in or are a reflection of American culture.

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