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Prof. Centrone - Spring 2024

Selecting your topic

The Literature Research Paper:

Select one or more of the works of literature read, discussed, and written about this semester and create a thesis that focuses on how that work(s) connects to or portrays a broader social/cultural/political issue.

The paper will use the literary work(s) as a primary source of evidence but will also include research from various areas of scholarship, literary criticism, media articles, and other related sources to support the paper’s thesis/claim about how the literary work(s) suggest this broader social/cultural/political issue.

Please remember to include your thesis statement!

Your thesis statement is the main point and central idea of an essay or research paper. It's typically a single sentence that sums up the purpose and main argument of your writing. It is the most important part of an academic paper. A thesis statement defines the paper's goals, direction, and scope. It is supported by evidence.


Gwendolyn Brooks, "The Bean Eaters" (Book Note)

"The Bean Eaters" by Gwendolyn Brooks touches upon various social, political, and cultural themes

  • Poverty and Economic Hardship: The poem depicts the challenges faced by an elderly couple in poverty, emphasizing the grim effects of financial strain. "Dinner is a casual affair" 
  • Racial Inequality and Discrimination: centers on a Black American couple, subtly touching on racial inequality and discrimination. "old yellow pair"
  • Resilience and Endurance: Despite their difficult circumstances, the couple depicted in the poem demonstrates resilience and endurance. They continue to share meals and memories.

Potential Thesis:

Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem "The Bean Eaters" offers a vivid depiction of the struggles and challenges of marginalized communities, particularly elderly Black Americans, shedding light on broader social issues of poverty and racial inequality.  

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