A Lesson Before Dying and Fences Comparison/Contrast Essay Ernest Gaines’ novel A Lesson Before Dying and August Wilson’s play Fences both explore the conflicts, tensions, and struggles of the African-American community before and after the Civil Rights movement. Each text focuses on a prominent African-American male who must navigate the stereotypes he faces from the outside white world as well as expectations from his own family and community. Your ultimate goal is to compose an essay of 3-5 pages using MLA format in which you analyze one point of comparison or contrast between the novel and the play. That specific point is completely up to you and should demonstrate a depth of thought and level of sophisticated analysis characteristic of Advanced Placement students. To help you out, you may consider any of the following topics, though you should not be limited by them: The role of the women in each text The way in which each text frames the idea of manhood, specifically what it means to be an AfricanAmerican male The significance of specific “words,” and how these words are used as tools for humiliation The role of the tragic hero—and how each main character fits with the classical model of the tragic hero The role of faith and the significance of biblical allusions The theme of obligation and commitment The role of the white man and his influence on the African-American community in the text The significance of the setting—A Lesson Before Dying is set primarily in the jail and in the church/school house whereas Fences happens almost exclusively in Troy Maxson’s front yard. You will complete this assignment in several parts. To begin, you and your group will meet once a week for three weeks to brainstorm various points of comparison and contrast between the novel and the play. As we read through the play Fences in class and you read through the novel A Lesson Before Dying at home, these brainstorming/discussion sessions with your group members will be a chance to digest the content of each text, as well as to thoroughly analyze and dissect points of comparison. Your group may find that you always gravitate toward a certain few issues, and that is fine; the purpose is to maintain an ongoing conversation about the ways in which the two texts compare. Your group will record its ideas on a Padlet page that you can add to throughout the week as you are reading on your own. Once we have finished each text, you will draft a precise thesis statement that clearly states a point of comparison or contrast between each of the two texts. You will post that thesis statement to my blog, where your classmates and I will provide you with feedback on your thesis statement. Finally, you will use Google Docs to create and then access a rich, rough draft of your essay in class on the school laptops on the designated Writing Workshop date, which is tentatively scheduled for November 20. During this time, you will share your document with your classmates who will then use our focused writing workshop to comment on and edit your paper for specific purposes. The final draft will be due one week later and will count as a major test grade.