Any topic (writer’s choice)
Required sources & using quotes
The paper requires at least one quote with citation from Metaphoric Criticism by rhetorician Sonja Foss and/or from Metaphors to Live By by George Lakoff & Mark Johnson to inform your analysis of the major writer’s (Woolf, Walker, Anzalda, Orwell, and/or Baldwin) metaphoric choices.
You must also quote several times and in various places from the assigned major author essay(s) you’ve chosen to analyze. A good rule is to include at least one quote per body paragraph. Ensure you are balancing text and your own interpretative/ academic writer’s voice.
Citations & formatting
The paper requires in-text parenthetical citations as well as a final, separate Works Cited page. I will grade on the correct MLA formatting of your paper and citations. Give the paper a creative title and include a full heading (in body of the paper). Include paginationin the upper right corner your last name and page numbers in a header.
For the highest grade, properly format the paper to MLA style: last name and page number in header; heading with all required information (include word count in your heading); creative title; body of paper with one-inch margins, 12 point font, and double-spaced; in-text parenthetical citations and Works Cited. We will review this in class.
The goal of this paper is to make a critical argument about a metaphor that appears in a written document. Explain how a metaphor (Shakespeares sister, a mothers garden, a wild tongue, a hanging, a glass hitting a mirror, etc.) refers to an idea about familial, social, cultural, and/or political power dynamics. You can discuss how the metaphor is representational of a particular history and/or how it may signal a change in thinking, action, or belief.
For example, the mothers garden acts for Alice Walker as a metaphor for black womens courage and creativity. It offers an alternative history of womens ability and agency to create. Your interpretation of a metaphor and how a writer uses it to create an argument will constitute your thesis. There are many metaphors running through the assigned essays. Do not feel limited by my suggestions here.
Metaphor as an element of rhetoric
The metaphors you choose to analyze here may dovetail with those themes you spoke to in your rhetorical analysis. Be attentive to connections in the papers you are creating. If you find a theme that carries through your work, or your hit upon a particular subject of interest in your reading/writing, you may see a topic for a final research project.
Choose one, two, or three writers
If you want to write a focused analysis of one metaphor in any of these readings thats fine. Or, you may choose to focus on two similar or contrasting metaphors through the works of two authors. It is often easier to choose major metaphors in a piece of writing rather than smaller, minor ones. However, a small metaphor or a line of metaphoric language may relate to an major or overarching metaphor through a writer’s essay.
Ideas for exploration
You might decide to explore humanness as portrayed through the prisoner in Orwell’s “A Hanging,” or to look closely at Baldwins father-country rage symbolized in the breaking glass against the mirror. You could focus on what it means to create a history of womens writing through the stories of women who have struggled to make art, as Woolf and Walker have done. You might look at the conversation that Walker has with her literary foremother, Virginia Woolf. You could ask, how do rage and trauma look across Orwell and Baldwins essays? What does it mean to be Chicana or Latina (Chicano/Latino; Latinx) and find ways of expression through multiple languages that represent and express multiple identities and subcultures and senses of self (Anzalda)?
Discussions 3, 4, 5, and 6 should help us figure out major and minor metaphors, as well as metaphoric language, and how the writer uses them. Use your discussion posts as material in your paper.