essay in which you agree or disagree with the claims that (1) Babbitt has a “sound heart” which is “underground” and (2) that his “sound heart” overcomes a “deformed conscience,” whether it be his own or that of his bourgeois, middle-class
Mark Twain called The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn “a book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat.”
In her book, The Republic of the Imagination, Azar Nafisi sees Babbitt as one of “Huck’s progenies (children).” That is, she claims—thirty-seven years after Huck’s inner conflict— that in Babbitt a “sound heart” again collides with a “deformed conscience.” But, in Sinclair Lewis’s book, does the “deformed conscience” suffer defeat?
Nafisi claims “The interplay between the underground life of Babbitt’s heart and his surface existence, between his surface silences and his loud proclamations, is what rescues Babbitt from being an oversimplified exposé” (199). That may be, but certainly, as many of you pointed out in Essays 3 and 4, Babbitt is hypocritical, immoral, and unconscious to his own motives. As you have said, he unthinkingly takes many of his values from the conformist, ‘deformed consciences’ of his peers.
Write a two and one-half page essay in which you agree or disagree with the claims that (1) Babbitt has a “sound heart” which is “underground” and (2) that his “sound heart” overcomes a “deformed conscience,” whether it be his own or that of his bourgeois, middle-class culture. Use reasons, examples from the book, and at least two other sources to support your position. You may certainly use Nafisi as one source; however, I will not accept the so-called “readers guide sites” like sparknotes.com and schmoop.com. Find some credible critics.
Since you are going to use other sources to support your claims, you must use in-text citations and provide a Works Cited page. As with all formal essays for the English Department at UCSD, follow the MLA conventions for formatting and write clear, grammatically correct sentences. I urge you to take the time to review the “Writing Guidelines” and “In-text Citations and Works Cited pages” documents under the “Writing Guidelines” tab on Blackboard.
I will be evaluating these essays on:
• The logic of your reasoning and argument
• The clarity and precision of your thesis statements and topic sentences (avoiding passive voice, pronouns, and quotations in these sentences)
• Your paragraph unity, and paragraph coherence (transitions, repeating key words, and pointing words)
• Your use of the quotation sandwich model for your quotations
• Your grammar and spelling
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