We will discuss “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and the first story in The Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales (“The Goophered Grapevine”) in class. You then must choose one of the other thirteen stories in The Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales. Building off our class discussion on April 3 and 5, write a 900- to 1100-word essay in which you analyze the “conjure tale” you have selected. In particular, think about Richard Brodhead’s discussion of Charles Chesnutt’s status as a writer of color in his Introduction to our edition. In what specific ways does Chesnutt’s point of view as a black writer influence his use of the conventions of the ghost story? In other words, how does Chesnutt make his “conjure tale” say something about race relations? Successful essays will contain a thesis statement that clearly argues what Chesnutt is saying about race relations in the story you have selected and will provide at least three or four concrete examples of how his use of a supernatural story helps him say that.
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