DIRECTIONS: Read the Prompt below and respond the following Question/Task based on your reading of "Zoot Suit" and the provided resources. (100 points) PROMPT: Valdez’s play, "Zoot Suit," is a literary work that provides a glimpse into Chicano culture and the life of the zoot suiter in the 1940s. The play follows the life of the 38th Street gang leader, Henry Reyna, and his crew of batos as they experience issues that deal with racism at the county (local police department), state (criminal justice system/courts), and national (Society/Media) level. Overall, this text provides commentary about the American Dream and its pathways to achieving it. QUESTION/TASK: Based on your reading of the play, "Zoot Suit," write an argument essay describing a potential theme about the “American Dream” that Valdez likely wanted to communicate to his audience. Express whether or not this theme still applies to present day America. Provide evidence from the text and make connections to current/real events to justify your claims.
EXEMPLAR ESSAY RESPONSE: The play, Zoot Suit, by Luis Valdez, portrays a young Chicano named Henry Reyna who serves as the leader of the local neighborhood zoot suit gang known as the 38th Street Gang. Despite Henry’s role as the leader, he desires to move on from the life of a zoot suiter and join the Navy in order to have the opportunity for a better life. Despite Henry’s ambition to change his life, his past confrontations with the Los Angeles police department and the racist mindset of American society hinder his ability to have access to any means of working towards the American Dream. Ultimately, Valdez presents the theme that the discrimination stemming from the racist mindsets of White American society prevent Chicanos and other people of color from having access to the American Dream. Throughout the plot of Zoot Suit, the audience is exposed to the difficulties of living as a Chicano growing up in 1940s Los Angeles. Struggling to find a sense of belonging, the Chicano youth took on the look of the zoot suit – an outfit consisting of wide-legged baggy pants, a large suit jacket, a long pocket watch chain, and a flat brim hat to top it off. Disapproving of the Chicano zoot suit style, white America deemed the outfit distasteful and saw it as a sign of rebellion, especially those in the military who relied on the rationing of materials for their own clothes. As a result of white America’s disapproval, Henry is subjected to several instances of discrimination based on his outfit and ethnicity. One instance of discrimination experienced by our protagonist is when Henry revealed how he was unfairly arrested for being accused of stealing a car, despite this car being owned by his father. Within the same scene, Henry is interrogated and threatened by the police. They intimidate Henry by suggesting that they hold him until after his reporting time to the Navy and is subsequently beaten into unconsciousness all while police were also raiding his parent’s home claiming to be looking for him. Although Henry is a citizen, his rights were infringed at multiple times. The ease with which police were willing to abuse a citizen of Chicano descent demonstrates how difficult it can be for even citizens of color with the best intentions to achieve the American Dream due to discrimination.
DIRECTIONS: Based on your reading of Shakespeare's Sonnet 130, choose the best answer choice of the question below. Provide a rationale that incorporates textual evidence to defend your answer selection. “Sonnet 130” by William Shakespeare My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head; I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some pérfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound. I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare. 1) How does the speaker use imagery to reveal his feelings for the subject? A. The speaker uses items to show the love he has for the subject. B. The speaker compares the items to his subject’s appearance. C. The speaker discusses the items to ridicule the subject. D. The speaker describes the items to reveal the best qualities of his subject.
CORRECT ANSWER - B) The speaker compares the items to his subject's appearance. This answer choice best fits the speaker's use of imagery because it centers on how the speaker utilizes items/ideas such as "snow, "wires," "roses," and "perfumes," to compare the appearance of the mistress based on similarities and differences.
DIRECTIONS: Based on your reading/viewing of the material related to "Daedalus and Icarus," choose the best answer choice. Explain why you selected your answer in a complete sentence. 1.) Which theme from the myth of "Daedalus and Icarus" did William Carlos Williams most likely draw from when writing the poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" (Poem 1)? A.) The journey of life has many unseen twists and turns. B.) Flight is one of the most important innovations to humankind. C.) Sons often have to disobey their fathers to become recognized individuals. D.) Tragedy in human life can happen suddenly and often goes unnoticed.
CORRECT ANSWER - D.) Tragedy in human life can happen suddenly and often goes unnoticed. This answer choice best reflects the theme William Carlos Williams most likely drew from when writing the poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" because it highlights the concept that Icarus died suddenly and tragically during a typical spring day in which no one even recognized his suffering and eventual death.