Posted: September 16th, 2017

Capital Punishment by Sherman Alexie: how the text discusses freedom and confinement as it pertains to justice and punishment

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Essay Prompt
Select ONE of the creative readings from the unit and explore how the texts discuss freedom and confinement as it pertains to justice and punishment. When writing your essay, consider some of these questions: How does each text depict freedom and confinement? Who is “free”? Who is “confined”? Is there an illusion of freedom and/or confinement in the text? What does this illusion say about the time period, the characters’ relationships, and the overall theme of the reading?

Note – The two poems in this unit both discuss punishment for crimes that the poets feel are ultimately unjustified. Be sure to explore the logic of why these characters are punished, how, and why the poets feel such sympathy for these “victims”.

Your essay should be 4-5 pages. Be sure to meet the minimum page length requirements or else your paper will be penalized 3 points off the final paper grade.

Source Requirement
In your paper, you must reference ONE of the works we’ve discussed in this unit and you can use background sources from the internet or academic databases to provide some context; HOWEVER, any outside research should be used very sparingly and mainly to help you contextualize the time period or the specific group of people you’re discussing and NOT to analyze the poem or short story.

Since you will be using sources in this paper, you must include a full Works Cited page. The Works Cited page does not count towards your 4-5 page requirement. Use appropriate MLA format as detailed in your handbook. In addition, you will need to introduction the work you will be discuss, as well as the author, as some point in the paper. Also, any quotations taken from the work must be properly cited in MLA format. You need to be sure to get this right.

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