Students will write a formal literary essay (including a unique title, introductory paragraph with thesis statement, body paragraphs with quotations/evidence, conclusion, & Works Cited page in MLA style). A minimum of 2 research sources should be used in this essay.
Research Tip: Try doing an author, title or key word search in Google Scholar!
Length: 1350-1400 wds
Select ONE of the following essay topics:
- Discuss the theme of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic memory) in A Gesture Life or Maus. Explain why you think Hata or Vladek is suffering from PTSD?
- Explain how the past impacts the present in either novel.
- Who were the “comfort women” and how were they dehumanized by the soldiers (as depicted in A Gesture Life). Add research to support your discussion. Be sure to include evidence from the novel to support your answer.
- What does it mean to dehumanize someone? How were Jewish people dehumanized in WWII? Use evidence and examples from Spiegelman’s novel to support your discussion.
- Discuss the symbols and their meaning in A Gesture Life. Ex. A black flag, a failing business, a sick boy, a swimming pool, a beautiful house, an adopted child, etc.
- Discuss the animal allegory in Maus. Explain why Spiegelman used animals strategically in Maus to convey certain ideas about WWII.
- Discuss the qualities of a Japanese Imperial soldier and use evidence from A Gesture Life to support your discussion. (Research should be used to support your discussion)
- Why do you think Hata’s relationship with Sunny is so strained? Explain your answer.
- Why do you think Vladek’s relationship with Art is so strained? Explain your answer.