English 300

Spring 2007

Adam Barrows


Formal Paper (Due April 19th on turnitin.com by 11:59pm)


All papers should be 6-10 pages, double-spaced, with 12 point times new roman font or equivalent.


For this assignment, you are asked to respond to one of the following four prompts.  This is, first and foremost, an essay of literary analysis, the key objective of which should be the interpretation of literature based on your analysis of textual evidence.  The paper should be thesis-driven, with all evidence organized around a clear, complex, and relevant central argument. 



  1. Discuss the ways in which two of the novelists in this course adapt their narrative techniques to the representation of mass revolutionary action.  Do these authors change, adapt, or experiment with, the standard conventions of the novel in order to make it a suitable form for the representation of revolution?  Are they successful in these adaptations?  You may wish to consider their use of protagonist, plot structure, diction, syntax, or narrative point of view. 



  1. Consider Fanon’s arguments on violence, party leadership, spontaneity, Manicheism, or national consciousness.  Do Fanon’s theories of revolution adequately account for the revolutionary situations dramatized in these novels?  Using at least two of the novels from this course, discuss the ways in which the novelists confirm or support Fanon’s theories, and the ways in which they challenge Fanon’s theories.



  1. Given that many revolutions start small and only gradually build mass support (Algeria is a prime example), how do the novelists depict the growth of revolution, both in terms of consciousness and also in terms of sheer numbers of revolutionaries?  How do revolutions grow, and how do the revolutionaries establish their credentials for moral legitimacy and mass representation along the way?  Use examples from at least two novels to support your claims.



  1. Situate at least two of the novelists from this course within the context of Cold War politics.  Do you see these writers as clearly aligned with communism in their attitudes towards capitalism as a system, or the 1st world as a geopolitical force?  Discuss the influence of communist critiques of imperialism (from Lenin, Mao, Nkrumah) on these writers.  Do you see a clear influence of the 2nd world on these “third world” writers?