Beloved: Paul D's Journey to Manhood

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Instructions for Essay 1: Beloved: Paul D’s Journey to Manhood
(This essay is due on Tuesday, 4 February 2014. It is worth 100 points toward your final grade. Your essay should be a minimum of 3 full pages. Try to keep your paper under 6 pages. Your paper should be double-spaced, 10-12 point type in a readable font, and one-inch margins. If you use sources other than the novel, a Works Cited page, not included in the paper?s page count, in MLA format is required.)
Deborah Ayer Sitter claims in her essay, ?The Making of a Man: Dialogic Meaning in Beloved?, that very little has been written about ?manhood and heterosexual love? in the critical commentary on Beloved (17). Meanwhile, in her essay, ?Models of Memory and Romance: The Dual Endings of Toni Morrison’s Beloved?, Mary Paniccia Carden argues that Beloved has two parallel plots and two distinctly different endings. The first plot is the consequences of slavery and the deconstruction of identity. The second is a romance plot that Carden and other critics argue is equally important because it is through the heterosexual relationship of Sethe and Paul D that Morrison tackles the notion of a self-determined reconstructed identity in the absence of a ?gender-system? in ?spaces of domesticity? (404-405).
In what ways does Paul D?s idea of himself as a man change over the course of the novel and how does this influence his relationship with Sethe? Do you believe Paul D?s return to Sethe marks the emergence of a ?new man? in a domestic heterosexual relationship in which power is distributed equally? Or has Paul D assumed at the end of the novel the more traditional position of ?dominant patriarch? in his relationship with Sethe? Include in your essay examples of the events and people that help shape Paul D?s sense of self. Be sure to cite any outside sources.
Tips and Details
You can work in groups, but you must write your own paper. Working in groups is a good way to discover deeper meanings in the text.
Researching on the web and in scholarly journals can help you understand the text more deeply, as well, and can help you reinforce your ideas.
Think of this paper as one in which you are going to make an argument (make a claim) and then defend it. Use the text and outside sources as evidence to support your thesis. It will strengthen your paper.
Make sure you cite your sources (in-text and Works Cited).
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