Play Analysis

Purpose: This assignment will enable you to discover a playwright’s use of elements such as character, dialogue, setting, plot, and time period. You will conduct a close reading of August Wilson’s Fences and discuss the playwright’s use of these devices in his or her structuring and composition of the script. Applying a close reading and composing a literary analysis will prepare you for the many texts that you will read, summarize, and discuss in the workplace.

Task:

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Write an essay analyzing August Wilson’s Fences that discusses why and how dialogue, plot, setting (time/place), and/or specific characters are used to depict one or two of the themes from Unit 1 in a particular way. For the play itself, some important contexts to consider are:

The time period in which the play was written
The playwright’s biography and his/her other writing
Contemporaneous works of theater (plays written or produced by other artists at roughly the same time)
The language of the play
The Setting
The Plot
The Characters
Your essay should incorporate details and quotes from the play (using parenthetical documentation with the playwright’s name), and you should use your own words to elaborate on the meanings of the details and quotes you use as evidence. Review your feedback from the Unit 4 Discussion on Analyzing a Drama, as well as the posts and feedback of your classmates. Follow these steps:

You will closely read/view Fences considering its themes, characters, organization, dialogue, and other literary elements.
Read and reread the play by paying attention to the varied features. Your awareness of these literary elements and how these elements build the story’s meaning will grow.
See the Sample Play Analysis: Andre’s Mother as an example of how to approach your analysis.
Following your close reading of Fences, you will compose a literary analysis of the play. See the Starting Your Drama Analysis Essay for guidelines on how to proceed.
Be sure to maintain an appropriate academic tone (no slang, second-person [“you,” “we”], contractions, etc.)
Please refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab for MLA formatting and style guide.
Leave time to submit your draft to Free Tutoring/Smarthinking for review. Your Smarthinking tutor can help with thesis and content development, organization, grammar, and mechanics. Utilize this free service to write the best draft possible on this major assignment.
Don’t forget that you can submit your draft to Smarthinking multiple times during the revision process.
Submit your final paper in Turnitin, OR in the assignment dropbox, according to your instructor’s preference. Should you use Turnitin, make sure to take a screenshot of the confirmation screen once you upload your paper.
When writing your essay, the goal is to demonstrate what spin the play has on a particular theme. Be specific about the ways the theme is used and how the play’s use of time period, character, dialogue, and setting develop a deeper meaning to the theme. Provide details, including cited direct quotes from the play. Don’t forget that you must comment on the quotes you use to explain why they are significant.

Criteria on Which You Will be Graded:

The specificity and development of your thesis
Your supporting claims, logic, and organization
The quality of your writing, to include paragraph development and organization: topic sentences, conclusions, transitions, etc. See Starting Your Drama Analysis Essay
Your engagement with the text (how you explain your examples, your choice of supporting quotations)
Format: You are required to use MLA style for all writing assignments. Proper MLA citation and a correctly formatted Works Cited page (12-point font, Times New Roman, double spacing, Last name and page number on each page, etc.). Please refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab for MLA formatting and style guide.
Academic Honesty (all sources must be cited)
Length Requirement: 750-1000 words

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