Sample Essay Outlines
The following paper topics are designed to test your understanding of the novel as a whole and to analyze important themes and literary devices. Following each topic is a sample outline to get you started.
When Mr. Shimerda dies, Antonia is left, through no choice of her own, without a father. She and her family are left poor and grieving in a strange new land. However, the rest of Antonia’s life after his suicide becomes shaped by the choices that she makes. Explain how these choices cause change at various points of her life.
I. Thesis Statement: After her father’s death, all of the changes that occur in Antonia’s life come from her own choices.
II. Chooses to work like a man in the fields
A. Develops knowledge of farming
B. Foregoes her education with Jim
C. Appreciates life on the land
III. Chooses to work for Harlings
A. Becomes part of a warm and friendly family
B. Learns to cook and sew
C. Learns the mannerisms of town life
D. Makes wages for spending
IV. Chooses to work for the Cutters
A. Leaves happy family life of the Harlings
B. Makes more money and does less work
C. Becomes irresponsible with her free time
D. Becomes victim to Wick Cutter’s advances
V. Chooses to marry Larry Donovan
A. Doesn’t listen to others’ opinions of him
B. Leaves Black Hawk...
(The entire section is 1230 words.)
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