Assignment Guidelines for a Paper on James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”
Read Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” and analyze how the two brothers take charge of their lives, if they do. Are they acted upon, or do they proactively take charge of their lives as they seek their identity? How do they identify themselves? Are they articulate about that identity? Is the narrator reliable? What spaces do the brothers occupy and how do they transcend or create agency for themselves and others in those spaces? How do you understand the ending of the story?
These questions are prompts for how you might discuss the characters, not an outline for your paper. Make sure that your paper has a thesis. It will help organize your ideas as you develop them. Usually a thesis is the answer to a question you want to pursue about the text.
You are welcome to incorporate ideas from Vargas’s “Blackness as Artistry and Affirmation: Leimert Park and the Idioms of Jazz,” and you must use one legitimate reference to support your argument. Do not write your paper to source material, but if an idea supports your analysis, use it. Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize at least one source, document it properly, using MLA (preferably) or APA.
Write 1,000-1,300 words (3-4 pages approximately), double spaced, Times Roman 12 font, with one-inch margins. Create a captivating and summative title, a thesis, an organized analysis of the story, and a complete bibliographic entry at the end of your paper if you need one. The paper is due on Moodle at noon on Friday, 9 September. It is worth 50% of the grade for the literature portion of this course.