04 Aug Colson Whitehead’s book is a work of fiction in a genre called magical realism.
Write a three- to four- page essay that addresses the theme below. Remember to include an introduction, complete with a thesis statement, and a conclusion, which briefly restates your arguments and highlights the larger importance of your findings. Be sure to use a few quotes to substantiate your arguments. Always cite all direct quotes and paraphrases from the works of others. Include a Works Cited page. Your paper must be double-spaced, use 12-point type, Times New Roman font, and standard margins.
Tips on how to write and cite your paper can be found under the “Course Resources” tab.
Colson Whitehead’s book is a work of fiction in a genre called magical realism. This means that it is a based on real life and events, with elements of magic included in the story. Having read The Underground Railroad and having spent the last few weeks learning about American slavery from your textbook and in class, answer the following questions in a three- to four-page essay. Use only the book The Underground Railroad. The use of internet sources is not accepted.
Why do you think Whitehead chose to tell his story using magical realism?
Why do you think the author chose to portray a literal railroad? How did this aspect of magical realism impact your concept of how the real underground railroad worked?
Does The Underground Railroad change the way you look at the history of America, especially in the time of slavery and abolitionism? How so?
Finally, do you feel that reading historical fiction is a good way to learn about the past? Why or why not?
As you work on your paper, consider the following:
- While this is an opinion paper, it is based on your informed opinion, as shaped by the many sources – historical and fiction – that you have read this semester. Your ideas should always be substantiated by examples from The Underground Railroad and should convey both a thorough understanding of the book and evidence that you have thought about its themes.
- As you evaluate whether you think reading historical fiction is a good way (or not) to learn about the past, you should define what “good” means to you. Does it mean to give you fuller knowledge of an era, to be drawn to the protagonist’s side of events, to help you perform better in a history class?
- This essay is an exercise in critical thinking. This means your paper should:
a) identify the key problem or theme of the paper assignment
b) present and analyze information
c) form a value judgment based on your analysis
d) combine your ideas to form an overall assessment
e) assert a clear conclusion in answer to the paper-topic question
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