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Philip Roth’s American Pastoral has been criticized from at least three points of view:
(1) It has been called sexist in its portrayal of women characters.
(2) It has been called racist in its depiction of the 1967 Newark riots and aftermath.
(3) It has been called a trivialization of the 1960s protest movement against the Vietnam War.
Write an analytical essay that considers in detail one of these accusations against Roth and his book.
You can find American Pastoral guilty, partially guilty, or innocent of the accusation you choose. If
you consider the accusation inaccurate or unfair, you should at least indicate that you understand why
someone might make the accusation before you then go on to dispute it.
With #2 and #3 above, you will probably want to do some research to see what you can learn about the
Newark riots or the protest movement of the 60s. You should document with citations any use that you
make of outside sources. But you are not being asked to write a research paper. Your argument is
about the novel, and your main evidence for that argument should be textual evidence in the novel itself.
Here is an extra piece of advice I keep forgetting to give you. Do not title your essay “Paper 3.” Use
an actual title, one that suggests your topic and approach.