For our fourth, and final, essay we are going to critique There, There by Tommy Orange. The purpose of this essay is to recognize the way that literary theory provides unique lenses through which we can view both literature, and real life situations. By practicing the application of post-colonial theory to a piece of writing, you’ll be able to critically read literature, do academic research around post-colonialism, indigenous people, and literature, while beginning to make empathetic, understanding connections that may be unfamiliar to you.
Write a post-colonial critique of the novel, There, There. Your critique must fully utilize the lens of post-colonialism. In this case, Orange is clearly demonstrating the impact of colonialism on indigenous peoples’ populations. He’s also presenting a way of seeing indigenous people that resists cliches, stereotypes, and tokenism. In addition it’s often argued that we are not living in a post-colonial country, we are living in an occupied country, which is certainly a thesis you could argue in your own essay. Whatever direction you focus, your essay should be showing how these concepts of occupation and post-colonialism are working in the novel.
Some Critical Thinking questions:
How does the initial history of European colonialism of the Americas impact the contemporary characters in the novel?
How does the novel demonstrate a struggle for individual and collective cultural identity?
Where do you see themes of alienation and unhomeliness in the novel?
How does the novel demonstrate double consciousness? Hybridity?
Can we see the struggle between a need for continuity with a precolonial past and a self-definition of the political future?
**These are simply questions to help you start generating your own ideas. Your essay does not need to
address each of these. We’ll continue to work on brainstorming and outlining in class.
Three outside sources to support your interpretations. The short story itself does not count as one of these sources, however, it must be on the Works Cited page. Remember, CliffNotes or SparkNotes or whatever online “study guide” you find does not count as scholarly research.
A properly formatted Works Cited page is present, and all formatting will follow MLA guidelines.
Essays should be 12-point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, with 1” margins.
Papers should be numbered in the upper right-hand corner with your last name, per MLA standards.
Above and Beyond
Well-researched, supporting documents that are all academic in nature and directly related to the study of literature or literary analysis.
Demonstration of mastery of more than one of the primary ideas of post-colonialism as a literary critique. Those elements are integrated into the essay logically with smooth transition and logical relation to each other.
Demonstration of a clear understanding of Tommy Orange’s purpose, including an interpretatiawzon of the ending of the novel.