English Composition 2. First paper. Due week of Feb 25.


Social relations in Diaz and Faulkner (and Frost): How people act and what they do to each other; how they “fit” in and react to the social world, historical events. Individual consciousness of social relations, economic class, historical events.


First paper. 5 pages. Discuss 3 to 4 of the topics below. Create a thesis or main point about them.   Use examples from the text. Research author and locations and historical events using open web, Wikipedia, and look for Cuny electronic library sources. You can read student websites but must acknowledge source of ideas. “Many students see x as y.”  Use citations and works cited page. Due week of Feb 25.


Texts: Diaz, Junot. Discuss both readings. “How to Date a Brown girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)” 1995. p. 100. Fiction. Short Story.

“Homecoming with Turtle,” 2004 . Nonfiction. Memoir.


Faulkner, William. “ A Rose For Emily.” 1930. Fiction. Short story. p.451.

“Barn Burning.” 1939. Fiction. Short story. p.1267


Frost—optional “Mending Wall,” 1914. Poem. “Design,” p.823. Poem. 1936.


Compare and contrast social relations in Diaz vs Faulkner on three or four topics.


  1. Location, details of place. What characters say about, how they describe their home area. How do they feel about “home.” Diaz: the neighborhood he describes walking around, New Jersey, NYC metro area. Dominican Republic on his trip “home.” The interaction with people. Faulkner: the American south. Miss Emily’s house, neighborhood, town. countryside. The townspeople’s perspective of Emily.
  2. Historical change in story, presence of past on present, future to characters. Diaz: immigration. U.S. invasion of and dictatorship of D.R. Faulkner: Civil War, modernization in post war reconstruction period; fall of old South families; decay. Migration in Faulkner.
  3. Race relations. Would you say Faulkner’s world is a racist society? Diaz’ world? The use of words “negro,” “white,” “nig-er” in Faulkner. Use text in book. The use of color words in Diaz. In Frost. Social relations embedded in color vs. descriptive function of color words.
  4. Socio-economic class. Rich / poor / middle class. Ownership of land, property. Taxes in “Rose for Emily.” Poor whites in “Barn Burning.” Poor vs middle class social ambitions in Diaz.
  5. Search for love, desire. Youth. Male – female perspective in Diaz and Faulkner. The town’s view of Emily’s marriage. Property ownership. Migration in Faulkner.
  6. Fighting, violence, crime, punishment, law enforcement. Property ownership Taxes.
  7. Main or secondary character’s actions, change, experience.


Concepts to discuss:

Ethos = beliefs. Place.

Ethnicity = “just us”

Ethical statement= rational statement on right vs wrong, applies to everyone. Universal.