English 250: Introduction to English Studies
Preface to English 250
In English 250: Introduction to English Studies, the final essay assignment asked to compare and contrast two texts from the entire semester, apply a critical theory to each of the two texts, and arrive to a shared conclusion between the two texts. I examine Lucille Clifton’s poem “[i am accused]” and Augusto Monterroso’s short-story “The Eclipse,” and inspect both writers’ methods in redefining their respective histories. Specifically, in Lucille Clifton’s poem “[i am accused],” I examine the way both race and gender influence Clifton’s poem, arriving to the poet’s motive, underlying her need to redefine history for black women in the United States. In Augusto Monterroso’s “The Eclipse,” I apply a postcolonial lens to understand Monterroso’s motive for redefining the historical interaction between the indigenous people of Guatemala and the Spanish missionaries of the early 1500s. My purpose for analyzing both of these writers, and making the claim that their purpose is to reclaim history from the oppressor’s textbooks, is to highlight the responsibility writers have in accessing and sharing their fictional and factual interpretation of the past. When looking at my essay, I find that my main weakness is the lack of primary sources, which would have given a stronger historical background of each of the writers, and could have explained the necessity for their literary work. My strengths appear in the interpretation of the text, and from the help of secondary sources. As a result of the final essay assignment, I learned how to critically examine a text through more than one literary lens, while learning about a subject that still directly affects a large demographic of people.