Essay Cove

Essay Cove

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. 
(Note: I am open to students developing their own essay topics, so do not feel limited by my suggestions above. BUT, please run your idea by me first before you start writing just in case). 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *