This paper requires you to have read and reference The Odyssey, Beowulf, and Dante’s Inferno, and the Underground Railroad, and the modern work that is the subject of this essay is Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing. Quotes from these works, especially where the crawdads sing, are pretty integral to weave into the text. thank you so so much in advance!!!!!
This paper is a research paper that requires you to find a modern work and defend its identity as an epic quest. In some ways, our final class text, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, is a model for this. It is not an epic quest in the same way as some of our other texts like The Odyssey—there is no invocation to the muse, it does not begin in medias res, there are no epic similes—but in many other ways it does function as an epic quest and can be defended as such. You will make this argument by using the texts we have read in class to argue for similarities that mark the modern text you choose as an epic quest. You should rely most heavily on the modern text you are defending and the epic quests we have read in class as you make this argument, but there is also a research component to this assignment. In addition to the primary texts, you should use at least two secondary sources that are scholarly in nature.
As you write your essay, keep in mind the importance of a strong, argumentative thesis. Remember: your thesis must do more than simply state a fact. It must make an arguable assertion about the text. A second key to successfully completing this assignment is staying grounded in the text—analyze the text closely and let it support your argument. In your discussion, you will need to briefly summarize the important points as you cannot assume that your audience (me) is familiar with the text, but it is important to keep this aspect of your essay to a minimum—plot summary is not analysis; it can be present only as necessary to serve the analysis.