The Lesson and Sonny’s Blues Writing Assignment
Instructions and expectations
1. First, before you jump headfirst into the assignment, make certain that you have thoroughly read the assigned readings. It would help if you were to answer the questions at the end of the readings before writing your essay. Please do not simply retell the story.
2. Please be certain that you have read the prompt and are addressing the correct information.
3. Please refrain from using first-person references in this assignment. Your essay is to not exceed 500 words, which includes the title of your paper and the body. If you exceed 500 words, you may be penalized.
4. I expect a well thought out effort on this essay. Please do not rush. Show me that you are a critical thinker.
Theme– A theme is a universal idea, lesson, or message explored throughout a work of literature. One key characteristic of literary themes is their universality, which is to say that themes are ideas that not only apply to the specific characters and events of a book or play but also express broader truths about the human experience that readers can apply to their own lives.
Choose one of the following and complete a 3 to 5 paragraph essay in MLA format.
- Identify and describe a prevalent theme in Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “The Lesson” that reflected the message of the author. What is it that you feel the author wanted you to see by making the characters so colorful? Are the themes presented universal or are they limited to a certain race of people?
- Identify and describe a prevalent theme in James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” that reflected the message of the author. How does Baldwin use the relationship of siblings to impact or reflect the theme you identify?