The Great Migration of Literature
The final project should be a combination of critical reflection, close reading, and research.
Expectations for Great Migration of Literature Research Paper:
- If you discuss literary texts, be specific and use brief quotes. When you introduce people, be sure to identify them. Context and commentary keep research from being a file of meaningless data.
- If you discuss historical periods, you are responsible for having an accurate time line and looking up unfamiliar references.
- When discussing/analyzing specific parts of Baldwin’s and Hansberry’s works use direct quotes (listing the page numbers) to emphasize the argument being made.
Specifics of Pieces of Literature to be Discussed in Great Migration of Literature Research Paper:
Discuss the Great Migration in literature, specifically in the novel “Go Tell It on the Mountain” by James Baldwin, the play “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry and Langston Hughes’ poem “Dream Deferred.” Thesis: Were the characters able to realize the American Dream in any shape or form. Discuss the role of history in literature, how it is used in “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and “A Raisin in the Sun.” Is its use effective, why or why not? Why did the authors feel the need to incorporate this part, or any other part, of history in their works? What was their intent or motivations?
Here you will discuss historical research as well as incorporating/referring to specific parts or ideas from Baldwin and Hansberry’s works and their personal lives: Discuss the great migration, the history, lives and condition of African American people in the south. Discuss why they wanted to leave the south; what were their lives like in the south? What events or conditions occurred that made African Americans go north? What did they know about the north? What did the north promise them? Did they believe the north to be the promise land? Once they arrived north what were their lives like? Were they able to realize their dreams, did they encounter obstacles, and were they successful in any way? Did the north turn out to be the promise land, why or why not and in what ways?
Dreams Deferred by Langston Hughes:
Hughes’ poem appears before the play, “A Raisin in the Sun”; discuss the significance of this poem. What dreams do the characters have? Are OR will these dreams be realized, why and why not? When discussing the characters from “A Raisin in the Sun” AND discuss the character’s dreams and motivations in “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”
Discuss their hopes for the future (the Younger family and the Grimes family), their hopes for their children (John Grimes, and Beneatha, Walter, and Travis Younger). Discuss the author’s idea of maintaining a connection between the north and the south through the children’s connections to their past, the past of their families, the past of all African American people in America (including the slaves and Africans). Why do the authors feel it important that the characters maintain a connection to their pasts, what is it that they fear will happen if there is not connection?