“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker and the play “Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

  1. Compare and contrast “Coy Mistress” to “The Flea.” In both poems, the speaker is trying to convince the woman to make love. How is the tone different in both poems? Which one is more argumentative, which sounds more like begging? How do they use argument as poetry? Discuss the poems’ tone, word choice, length and reasoning.
  2. In what ways can “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” be considered a modernist work? Describe Eliot’s concept of the “objective correlative.” Apply this concept to the poem, and describe how it fits into the modernist philosophy of writing.
  3. Discuss gender differences in the play Trifles. What methods does Glaspell use to highlight gender stereotypes? Consider the analysis terms covered on pages 1118-22. In your thesis, attempt to state Glaspell’s main purpose in her representation of gender differences. (What is she trying to show her readers?)
  4. Compare family dissension in Glass Menagerie and “Everyday Use.” What concept of family do the works represent? What good and bad effects do the families create? How realistic is the family dissension? Pay particular attention to comparing Dee/Tom, Mama/Amanda, and Maggie/Laura.
  5. Discuss the concept of dreams in Glass Menagerie. What is the effect of social class on the family’s dreams? What is the effect of dreams unfulfilled? Apply concepts from Hughes’ poem, “Harlem.” Pay special attention to Tom.
  6. Discuss the characters and familial relationships in Glass Menagerie. How does the time period affect these relationships? How do these things affect the outcomes of the play (especially in regards to the son’s life)? Consider the idea of an “absent father.”

Sample Solution