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Rags to Riches: A Success Story
After reading the selections from the education chapter in Rereading America, we reached the conclusion that education, though open to all, varies widely in its quality and intellectual opportunities, and this has significant consequences for each and every student; the myth of education empowering us was, to a large extent, dispelled. With the issue of class/money/success, our conclusion has been more ambiguous; we still like to believe that hard work and sacrifice do result in success (in some way, shape or form), but we must temper that belief in the American Dream with a realization that there are sizable obstacles standing in the way of achieving it.
For this assignment, write a story that encapsulates your idea of success and what obstacles you may encounter along the way. In the course of your narrative, you should engage directly with at least two of the texts we discussed in class; by this I mean that you should somehow incorporate into the story the ideas we highlighted in class. For example: Do you (or the main character) believe that we can all be like Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick, relying on our virtues of hard work and perseverance to bring us success, or do you reject this (either wholly or partially)? Do you agree with Bambara’s Sylvia that nothing will stand in the way of getting what you want? Do you see people around you who perpetuate the Hobbled Black Myth which Hamblin wants to destroy? How do you feel about it?
The story can be autobiographical (you take the role of the main character and/or narrator) or fictional (no basis of actual people, events, etc.). It should have a beginning, middle, and end. Pay special attention to the narrative essays we’ve looked at so far—Rose, Rodriguez, Bambara, Alger, Ehrenreich; these should give you an idea of how to approach the assignment the details brought up in class. Although no direct quote are necessary, you should cite when including an idea from the text....