|352: 338 American Literature of the 19th Century|
Paper 3, Due Wednesday, March 11, 2009 [338_sp09_p3.doc]
Stephen Crane can be remarkably economical and original as a stylist. Typically he omits the lengthy explanations of plot, situation, and character that take up much of the space in other writers. In doing this he can achieve great intensity.
Instead of the usual development or exposition in the first chapters of Maggie and The Red Badge of Courage, he uses highly suggestive descriptions or striking images or metaphors to get each story moving. In your opinion, which single passage of this kind in the first chapter of each book does the most to establish a tone or a mood that affects the deepest emotions and expectations of the reader? Discuss both the literary workings of the element you select and its the emotional impact. Optional additional question: Has Crane discovered that a novel can be a collection of strong images rather than a continuous story?
Please write an essay of 3-4 pages that discusses a selected passage from the first chapter of both works and is supported by short, selected quotes from the works as evidence. In your analysis, be sure to show the original quality of your reading, avoiding secondhand-looking ingredients, such as plot summaries, class echoes, or reading paraphrases.