Prompt One: What is Morrison doing with race and racial stereotypes in the short story “Recitatif”? Do your first assumptions about which character is which race change throughout the story? What postmodern elements can you identify? (For background on postmodern literature, please see here and section on postmodernism here.)
Prompt Two: The cultural critic Theodor Adorno was famous for saying that there could be no poetry after Auschwitz, and indeed, many poets remained silent on the subject for many years. Plath has been widely criticized for her use of Holocaust imagery in “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy.” Why do you think she uses these images? What is the effect of the references to the Holocaust in these poems?
Prompt Three: More than thirty years after the first publication of “Going to Meet the Man,” American writers and film directors are often faulted for imagining the psychological life of someone of the other gender or from a different race or culture. How does Baldwin succeed or fail in his representation of Jesse, a white deputy sheriff in a small southern town? What messages are being conveyed about racial violence? If this text is too intense for you, you may write about the following option:
Consider the effect of Jhumpa Llahiri, an Indian-American writer, writing from the perspective of an American character in her short story “Sexy.” Does she create this character successfully? Discuss the contact zone between Indian or Indian-American characters and American characters in this story.
Be sure to respond to each prompt fully, post at least 100 words per prompt for a total of 300 words minimum, cite evidence in your response