1) Harriet Jacobs uses a small space – a “loophole” to look out at the world. What other texts concern notions of
sight, perspective, viewing, windows, openings, insights, and vision? What can she really “see” literally or
figuratively through the loophole? construct an argument concerning vision and insights. You may briefly
consider Jacobs but I really want you to examine other texts using this concept.
2) In “The Minister’s Black Veil “ our central figure dies accusing everyone of wearing a veil of sorts. What
might he mean? And how might a notion of false fronts, particularly one’s OWN false front, play out in other
works we have read.
3) Frederick Douglass wrote on one hand about his own development as a self, indeed as a hero. In his later
narrative he wrote more of his family and community and its interdependence. Construct an essay considering at
least three other texts (including or not including Douglass as one of the three) that similarly have tensions
between presenting the self-as-hero and the self-as-part-of-something more connected….
4) How might Jefferson or Franklin have read Lincoln’s works – be careful here not to make shallow
generalizations. Specifically look at the language these writers used themselves and analyze what it suggests
about how they might have understood “The Gettysburg Address.” Or perhaps consider how Fanny Fern, Frederick
Douglass or even Mark Twain might have understood this speech? Invoke at least three writers (aside from Lincoln)
for this analysis
5) Compare the rhetorical effects and speeches of some of the native American speechmakers we have read alongside
Lincoln or Douglass. You could also consider one of the speeches featured in one of our literary works. . .
6) Consider Fanny Fern, Bradstreet, Melville, Jacobs or Stowe (or other authors) in terms of domestic ideology of
the 19th century. How is gender and the “domestic” comparatively imagined and used in these texts? Please
consider at least three texts in detail.
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