Can “Passing” (whether in terms of race, gender, or class) be justified or is a person obligated to fully disclose his or her racial/gender/class identity?

Composition and Critical Thinking

 

Required text:

Alfano, Christine L. and Alyssa J. O’Brien.  Envision In Depth:  Reading, Writing, and Researching Arguments, 2nd Edition.  Boston:  Longman, 2011.

ISBN:  0205000614

Larsen, Nella. Passing. Ed. Carla Kaplan. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2007.

ISBN: 10:0393979164 or 13:978-0393979169

Requirements:

Length: 7 pages, Times New Roman, 12 point font, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins. You must use at least four sources, all from the assigned text, three articles of literary criticism and at least one review on Passing, found in the assigned Norton Critical Edition. Required reading:

  • “Your Argument”; “Analysis” (pp 121-22)
  • “Imitation of Life” (Movie)
  • “The Human Stain” (Movie)
  • “Integrating Quotation” (pp 126-27)
  • “Crossing Cultures” (pp 525-26)
  • “Borderlands” (pp 526-30)
  • “Shut Down Border” (pp 531-33)
  • “Documentation/Integration” (pp 128-30)
  • “Mex. Other Border” (pp 536-39)
  • “Tough. Sheriff” (pp 539-45)
  • “Immig. Racism” (pp 546-48)

Overview:

Passing takes on many different meanings in Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, Passing. It can be interpreted as the more obvious racial passing, the subtle passing that has to do with sexual desire, and even class passing, of which many literary critics have written. Take into consideration the assigned reviews, the two films that you saw, and the novel itself. Your task is also to incorporate four scholarly articles of your choice (three must be literary criticism and all scholarly sources must come from the assigned Norton Critical Edition) and to think carefully about your position on the following prompt:

Prompt:

Can “passing” (whether in terms of race, gender, or class) be justified or is a person obligated to fully disclose his or her racial/gender/class identity?

 

General Outline/Getting Started:

  1. When you think about these questions, what issues and readings immediately come to mind?
  2. How do you plan to “hook” the reader in your opening paragraph?
  3. Remember, your thesis statement is made up of your position and rationale. What is your tentative thesis?
  4. What points will you offer to the reader in support of your thesis?
  5. What is your counterargument? (remember to avoid the strawman fallacy.)
  6. How do you plan to dismantle the points contained in the counterargument?
  7. What supplementary readings in the Norton Critical Edition are you thinking about using?

 

 

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