Sample Essay Outlines
The following paper topics should test your understanding of the novel as a whole and allow you to analyze important themes and literary devices. Following each question is a sample outline to get you started.
The birthmark on Sula’s face presents a different image to different people. The meaning of the mark seems to change also because of Sula’s actions at the time and because of the events surrounding her. Note each description of the birthmark over Sula’s eye. Through whose eye is the reader viewing each of these symbols? What are the circumstances, actions, and reasons surrounding Sula at the time which bring about this image on Sula’s face?
I. Thesis Statement: At various times, the mark on Sula’s face was a long-stemmed rose (according to the narrator when describing Nel and Sula as children), a symbol of Hannah’s ashes (according to residents of the Bottom when Sula comes home after ten years), a rose grown darker (according to Nel when Sula comes home after ten years), a copperhead (according to Jude before Sula speaks upon her return after ten years), a rattler (according to Jude after Sula speaks upon her return after ten years), a black rose (according to Nel upon seeing Sula on her death bed), and a tadpole (according to Shadrack when he remembers Sula’s visit to his home so long ago and when he sees her on the table after death).
II. Described as a...
(The entire section is 1805 words.)
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