English 102 Final Research Essay
Your final assignment will be a culmination of various elements of rhetoric, research, composition, literature, and critical thinking on the topic of A Diamond as Big as the Ritz.
Your 4-5 page essay (genre of your choice – analysis, compare-contrast, literary criticism, historical/intellectual/cultural context, persuasive/argumentative, etc.) based on your thesis question which must have a research element (a minimum of 3 trustworthy, academic sources cited responsibly – remember the plagiarism consequences! – in text and on a MLA works cited page). Final draft due on Tuesday, 5/29 through Turnitin. This part of the project will be graded based on a composition rubric (writing conventions, depth of argument, support and development, and familiarity with primary work, among other areas).
Topics to choose from
1. Analyze the various symbols and allusions to draw a conclusion about the novella’s theme and meaning. Is it a cautionary tale? If so, what is it warning its readers of? Is it satire, critiquing something? If so, what? Is it, rather, a fantasy, allowing a reader to get lost in hyperboles and dreams? Choose a few symbols and allusions to research and use your findings to make a claim about the novella’s theme.
a. Allusion to Greek mythology
b. Allusion to Biblical stories
c. Allusions to American politics of 1920s
d. Allusions to American cultural norms and society of the 1920s
2. In learning about the Washington family, in section IV specifically, the reader hears the names of some real historical figures: George Washington, Lord Baltimore, and General Forrest. Research these figures and use your findings to illustrate a deeper meaning behind the characters of the novella.
3. Being familiar with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life and his other works like The Great Gatsby or The Beautiful and the Damned (a couple of my favorites) probably influenced your reading of this novella. Research Fitzgerald and/or his other works and use your findings to draw conclusions about The Diamond as Big as the Ritz.
Allusions and Symbolism in a Diamond as Big as the Ritz
The Diamond as Big as the Ritz is described as being full of mythological and religious allusions which touch everything from the bible and the ancient Greek Gods which were both implicit and explicit. The story of Fitzgerald argues that in countries like America religion has been greatly replacing with wealth. This means that America worships money and not God. Through different stylistics and the tonal choices, Fitzgerald gives the story a timelessness element which reads a myth by itself. This basically means that problems that are satirized in the story are timelessness. Fitzgerald was in criticism against wealth and also allusion against Midas the king. Fitzgerald continued to satirizing the destructive desires in reaching the higher grounds and also in referencing the mythical figures…