ENG200.002 -- Introduction to Literary Analysis

Prof. Eileen Joy (Spring 2011)

CRITICAL ESSAY -- Close Reading/Interpretation: Thomas and Beulah*

Due: Friday, May 6th (by midnight via email: eileenajoy@gmail.com)

Figure 1. album cover for Amnon Wolman's adaptation of Rita Dove's book as a theatrical song cycle

Length: 3-4 pages, MLA-style citation

*this assignment was created by Prof. Catherine Seltzer, with a few modifications by Prof. Joy

I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on. ~Rita Dove

For this essay, you will choose one theme/symbol/idea/image/mood [tone]/poem [or 2 or 3 poems] that you found compelling as you read Rita Dove's cycle of poems Thomas and Beulah, and make that the subject of a short literary analysis. This paper must be well-conceived, tightly focused, and carefully argued. Here are a few tips to help you as you begin formulating your topic and writing:

Some possible paper topics [you may choose one of these or devise one of your own]:

For some tips on writing about poetry, go HERE.