ASSIGNMENT: Using at least three of the artistic works we read and discussed in class this semester, write an analytical essay comparing and contrasting how Japanese authors have treated a common, central theme (or themes) in their novels and/or short stories. Clearly identify the shared theme(s) you will be examining in the title of your essay. Assume full reader knowledge of the novels/short stories you write about—it is not, in other words, necessary for you to provide synopses, essential context or background information. Support your main points with references to and direct quotations from the texts, and it is fine to let such textual references “speak for themselves.” In your analysis, incorporate discussion of the relevance of the authors’ literary treatments of the theme/themes you chose to examine to our contemporary lives and times. Double-space your essay, use Times New Roman 12-point font, and insert page numbers. Do not refer to or incorporate any unassigned secondary sources without prior consultation with, and the expressed permission of the instructor. When quoting or referring to assigned primary and secondary sources use parenthetical citations including the author’s last name and page number of the work to which you are referring, i.e., (Stahl 14), (Tyson 58), (Murakami 26). There is no need to include a bibliography because I am already familiar with all of the assigned primary and second sources. While it is fine to read the novels/short stories you choose to analyze in Japanese, Chinese, etc. you must quote from the assigned English translations. While there is no set length limit, take-home final essays usually average about 8-10 double-spaced pages in length.
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