Assignment: In the Gallery

For this assignment, you’ll explain to me how Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and/or Emily Dickinson would respond to Hiram Powers’ antebellum statue, “The Greek Slave.”

Here are some steps to achieve a finished essay:

First, review the list of details and significant aspects of “The Greek Slave” that you’ve already observed.

Second, go back to the texts by Whitman, Emerson, Douglass, and Dickinson and to our discussion of them.  Review the important themes, motifs, and moments that emerged in our class discussions.  Ask yourself: how are these themes, motifs, examples, etc. present in the statue?  which are the strongest or the most significant?

Next, select two (2) of the writers from our list – – probably the ones with the strongest or potentially richest response to the statue.  Using what you know about these two writers (based on our class discussion etc.), explain their response to the statue.  What would they “see” when they view the statue? What central things would they notice?  What meaning(s) would they attach to Powers’ sculpture? How would they relate the statue to their own ideas and insights?

Remember, the goal of this assignment, ultimately, is to show me what you know about Whitman or Emerson or Douglass or Dickinson.

As with our earlier essay assignment: maximum length is two double-spaced, typed pages; quote from the texts (poems, essay, narrative) to illustrate and support your argument; at the third spelling, typographical, grammatical, or punctuation error, I will be forced to stop reading your essay and evaluate only what I’ve read.

Due date: Thursday, November 10.

Questions?  Ask me.


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