Intertextual Analysis


In the course of our study of literature this term, we have focused on how literary writers produced writings that
are a response to a culture or society’s way of seeing the world. For this paper assignment, I want you to
extend our readings and discussions to our own contemporary social and global conflicts that we are witness to
in the world today.
To do this, you should become as familiar as you can with the scope of daily national and international news
events. As often as possible, preferably on a daily basis, peruse the headlines and news stories of The New
York Times at Identify news stories whose themes you can relate in some way to one or more of
the literary texts we’ve read in the course (T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”
Twain “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses”
Harris, “The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story” and “How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp for Mr. Fox”) . Think about ways
in which you might relate the literature we’ve read to some aspect of these news stories – what issues,
questions, and conflicts resonate in both the news issue and the literature you’ve read? Once you decide on a
news topic that interests you and one that parallels in some way the writings we’ve studied, learn more about
the issue by clicking the Times Topics tab located in the row of files on the top left of the New York Times online
screen on the first (main) page (just above the newspaper’s banner). On the Times Topics page, you’ll find a
searchable index of all the archived stories about that topic. Read as many articles and relevant links as you
are able to in order to gain a wide and deep knowledge about the topic. (Note: Eventually you will run out of
allowable articles and be asked to purchase a subscription. You are not expected to purchase anything to
complete the assignment. After you’ve fully utilized the Times Topics tool, you may research other news
sources if needed but any alternative news source you use should be approved through me.)
Write a 900-1200 word (3-4 page typed, double-spaced, 11 or 12-size font) discussion of how your reading of
two of the assigned literary texts helps us to better understand the complex nature of a significant news event.
Start by describing why the news event is significant and then develop a discussion about how the literary texts
you’ve chosen especially resonate with the contemporary topic. What is similar in both the texts and the
contemporary event? What are some notable differences in the texts and the contemporary event? How can
you help your reader better understand the contemporary event thru the lens of the texts? Be as creative with
your choice of texts and discussion as you wish, but you must ground your discussion by quoting and
paraphrasing directly from the literary texts as often as possible. Be sure to give your paper an attractive title
that reflects the main idea of your discussion. Proofread your paper carefully for correct English grammar and

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