How does this create conflict for the character?


In some stories, characters come into conflict with the culture in which they live. Often, a character feels alienated in his/her community or society due to race, gender, class or ethnic background. Choose a text that shows this kind of conflict. How is the character alienated from community and how does she/he respond to it? What does that character’s alienation say about the surrounding society’s assumptions, morality and values? In what way(s) do literary elements reflect how that society defines race, gender, class and/or ethnicity? How does this create conflict for the character?


Literary Works (choose one from any of the lists below. If you choose to write about poetry, you may choose up to two poems from the Poems list):


“Sonny’s Blues” (Baldwin, 1957)

“What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” (Alexie, 2003)

“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” (Marquez, 1955)

“A Hunger Artist” (Kafka, 1924) – 7.5 in Journey into Literature

“Theme for English B” (Hughes, 1951)

“What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl” (Smith, 1991) – 11. 1 in Journey into Literature

“Immigrants in Our Own Land” (Santiago Baca, 1977)

“To Live in the Borderlands Means You” (Anzaldúa, 1987)

“Child of the Americas” (Morales, 1986) – 11.1 in Journey into Literature

Macbeth (Shakespeare, 1606) – Appendix B in Journey into Literature

Mistaken Identity (Cooper, 2008) 14.3 in Journey into Literature


  • Must be four to five double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style .
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must use one or two primary sources and two secondary scholarly sources in addition to the course text.
    • The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
  • Must document all sources in APA style
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style
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