Both Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera and Exit West by Mohsi
Both Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera and Exit West by Mohsi
Both Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera and Exit West by Mohsin Hamid offer fictional portrayals of the two global crises at the center of contemporary human displacement: Central American and Mexican migration to the United States; and the ongoing impacts of the Syrian Civil War. Your critical paper is a response to this research question: how does contemporary literature represent the global crisis of human displacement for undocumented people? What, from your analysis of these novels, makes the displacement of the undocumented different from past patterns and representations? Though both conflicts command political, policy, and journalistic attention, the books we have read bring experiences and insights to us that you would not get from those sources. The outline for this critical paper will give you the chance to compare how each novel creates and treats these experiences. Follow the series of questions in Collaboration VI to assemble your thoughts. Each question gives you the chance to delve into the unique style and language of the novel, and experience displacement as the undocumented characters do. To write a successful paper, work through the text and the characters experience. Both novels are deliberately trying to break our reliance upon storylines from immigrant literature, or stories of deliverance (like Equiano's) or even epic stories of journeys home, like The Odyssey. For your final draft, use this outline: A. Introductory paragraph: state the topic and the research question; the books you are studying; your answer to the question: what makes these depictions of contemporary displacement unique? B. Analysis: Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera 1. Depiction of danger and chaos--what crisis is the novel trying to depict? 2. Characters' means of escape and their destination--how does the novel depict this borderland or migrant camp? 3. This is a novel about undocumented migrants. What do the characters' find when they leave their country for good? Deliverance? Resolution? C. Analysis: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid 1. Depiction of danger and chaos--what crisis is the novel trying to depict? 2. Characters' means of escape and destination--how does the novel depict this borderland or migrant camp? 3. This is a novel about undocumented migrants. What do the characters' find when they leave their country for good? Deliverance? Resolution? D. Argument Compare the two novels' depiction of displacement and the experience of being undocumented. What, in your opinion, explained this experience to you?

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