Anowa functions in many ways like a Greek tragedy

This assignment will have you do a close-reading of one of the texts we have discussed in class so far. You will be asked to engage with the text in such a way that you demonstrate your knowledge of the chosen text, as well as your ability to make connections with other pieces of literature and culture. Remember, every piece of writing is an argument. You will need a cohesive thesis for your essay, which you will support through evidence taken directly from the text.


Topics (choose one):

  1. Anowa functions in many ways like a Greek tragedy (the use of a chorus, a heroine with a tragic flaw). Can you compare the parent-child relationship in Anowa to that of Sophocles’s Electra? Do the two heroines share a tragic flaw?
  2. Compare the three pieces that comprise “The Slate of Life” (“Grandmother’s Letters,” “Aunty,” and “The Subordinate”). How do these present a different view of gender roles in postcolonial Indian culture? What do these different views tell you about the collective gender struggle?
  3. Anowa is based upon a common myth that the author grew up hearing. Can you compare its theme to another fairytale or myth? What is the common thread in the stories that keep them circulating in the oral tradition?


Putting It Together: There is not a single, “correct” way to organize your document. The key is to ensure that each element of your essay “flows” by relating to—and supporting—your focus. Your essay should be 4-6 pages (Times New Roman, 12-pt font, double-spaced) and written in standard, edited English (work in drafts and get help if needed at the Academic Success Center). Don’t forget a unique and attention-grabbing title!


Please follow proper format for MLA, including a heading, page numbers, and citations with a Works Cited page. Be careful using quotations from the text. Make sure you quote directly, use quotation marks, and cite your sources. Plagiarism is a serious offense, and one that I do not take lightly. Your work should be your own, and you should give credit when and where appropriate.


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