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Assignment Questions

Tom Sawyer’s Publications

You must come to terms with a very important chapter from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. Chose one that will replay close reading and explicatory analysis. Go inward into small-scale workings and subtleities of the chapter in order to make larger points about the work as a whole. Use themes, narrative techniques, the psychology of children’s lit., the author’s use of language, etc. Your reader is a smart person who has not taken the class but read the book superficially years ago–they know “the story” but dont know how important it is. Read a chunk of prose as closely and attentively as you would a poem. Your essay MUST:
Describe what the chapter does/ contains, Analyze how it works with respect to plot, theme, characterization, imagery and dramatic effect, clarify how it’s significant, discusses how it engages us at the level of language, ideas and style, deftly make specific and worthwhile connections to other aspects of the book and to 5 of these other works (A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Adventures of Peter Pan, Stuart Little, Adventures of HArry Potter, Call of the Wild). Explore the ways in which the chapter illuminates your reading of all these. Walk your reader through the chapter, commenting and highlighting as you go and delve more deeply where indicated. Your essay should be structured in a way that the reader can follow your points and keep your analytical thread throughout the chapter. Avoid seeking ‘help’ in the critical/analytical sources. Do not realy on secondary sources or criticism for the essay. How do you interact with the text and the other texts mentioned? Promote a clear thesis, exhibit good organization and feature solid development–it has to hang together as a coherent and well-written essay.

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