Essay 1

ENG 2100
Dr. R. Rodriguez
Essay 1 due Sept. 26 in class (5 double-spaced pages)

Consider one of the topics listed below for your essay.

1) Write an essay where you explore how power and intimacy work in Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1611). You may want to consider scenes that feature discussions between characters about family, marriage, obedience, sex, race, and authority (if you choose more than one of these subjects, be sure to explain how the two are related. Don’t choose more than two).

2) Aside from the many adventures it describes, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) is also a confessional narrative about a man who obsessively scrutinizes everything he does (the novel is written in the form of a journal). Write an essay where you examine how this looking-within-oneself is, if at all, related to the idea of self-mastery–the assumption being that knowing oneself is a precondition for being in control of one’s life. What does being self-possessed have to do with any other forms of possession in the world of the novel?

These topics are just suggestions. You’re free to come up with your own topics, but if you do so, be sure to run them by me before you start writing.

The five things that I’m looking for in your essays: a debatable main idea, analysis of textual evidence, unified and coherent paragraphs, smooth and logical transitions between paragraphs, and a sense of an audience other than me. Of course, I’m not just looking for how well you execute these principles of composition in isolation; I’m particularly interested in seeing how well you integrate them into an original essay. Be sure to consult the relevant links on our course website under “resources.”

Don’t forget to title your essays as well as number and staple the pages. Your title should give readers a sense of what the essay is about.

If you have further questions, please come see me during office hours or make an appointment.