Choose a novel or play that focuses on a political or social issue. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the author uses literary elements to explore this issue and explain how the issue contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.
Go back to where you started,” James Baldwin wrote, “or as far back as you can, examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it. Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself: but know whence you came.” Baldwin was the son of a preacher and the grandson of a slave, and his voice continues to resonate 50 years after the publication of his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953). The story was molded by Baldwin’s painful relationship with his stepfather, David, a disciplinarian preacher from New Orleans who repeatedly told his stepson that he was ugly, marked by the devil.