piece portrays gender

Your assignment is to develop an argument about some aspect of gender in your chosen literary example. Your argument can be related to a wide variety of topics: traditional or looser (non-traditional) gender roles, masculinity and/or femininity, declared or hinted causes (i.e., nature or nurture) for gender differences, interesting plot lines, the power of media in shaping expectations, among others.

Please do not feel compelled to discuss all the ways that your piece portrays gender; rather, you should focus on one particular element that you see at work within the text (and you can mention the other parts in passing if they are relevant).

Your main task is to stake a claim about the way your chosen text presents an aspect of gender or the message it is sending, and to back that claim up with textual evidence. In other words, you will need to draw quotations from your chosen text to support your argument (but be sure to not overquote). Your thesis should establish not only a claim, but also indicate some effects or implications of that claim: the “so what”? Why does it matter that Fun Home illustrates non-traditional gender roles, or that “Bicycles, Muscles and Cigarettes” ties male worth to brutish behavior? Can Fun Home teach readers something about gender? Are we forced to rethink cultural beliefs of masculinity? Your essay should at least point toward some larger value for your claim.

To summarize, your essay should present:

an argument about a text we read this semester in regards to some aspect of gender representations
support in the form of quotations from your text. Use MLA format, with parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page. Secondary sources are allowed but not required. Do not overquote; AND
a clear and well-thought-out connection to the point you are making about this ​text.

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