For this 1200 word essay, you should select one of two topics – identity or community – and explore its significance within three literary works from different genres. One of your selected works must be the novel (Brave New World). The other two works you select must be from different genres (see Note below). Possible combinations include: drama+short story+novel, drama+folk/fairy tale+novel, or short story+folk/fairy tale+novel.

Your goal is to show how authors across genres have dealt with the complex issues of identity or community. These vital elements of the human experience have provided ample material for artists through the ages.

Note: You may use a work you have already written about, but you must generate new material for this paper.

Think about the short stories, folk and fairy tales, dramas, and the novel we have read this semester and write an analysis of the role that identity or community plays within the stories. Please keep in mind that identity and community are very broad terms and, as such, are too vague for an essay of 1,000 words. You will need to narrow your focus to some particular aspect or problem related to your broader topic. Below are some questions to help you narrow your focus. You can use these questions during the pre-writing phase of the writing process as you work on your paper

Keep in mind the characters, settings, and events of the stories as you consider the items below. How does identity (or community) play a role in the conflict, the plot, or the characters’ interactions with one another?

This assignment has two separate phases, both of which are completed for a grade. During the first phase, you compose a rough draft for your paper and submit it to the Peer Review Workshop discussion topic, where you will give and receive feedback from your peers. During the second phase, you revise your draft and submit it for a grade in the appropriate assignments folder.

The rough draft should be a true attempt at the essay. Therefore, the instructions for the essay are presented first on this page. After you have read and understood these instructions, read the instructions for the Peer Review process, which are presented on the page following this one.

Pre-writing Questions About Identity:

  • What shapes one’s identity? (think of environment, family, faith, peers, culture, education, occupation, interests, generation, etc.)
  • What is identity?
  • What is the greatest influencer of identity?
  • How “fixed” is identity? How “fluid” is identity? In what ways can one’s identity change or evolve over time? Does it change or evolve?
  • How important is it to understand one’s identity?
  • How detrimental can it be to not understand one’s identity?
  • What social pressures influence/affect identity?
  • How does social media affect or influence identity?

Pre-writing Questions about Community

  • What makes a healthy community? What factors make a community unhealthy?
  • How many communities does a person typically belong to? (think of work, school, social, familial, virtual, etc.)
  • How important is it to belong to a community? (focus on a particular type of community)
  • How detrimental can it be to not be a part of a community?
  • What influences does a community have on a person?
  • To what extent are we products of our community/communities?


You will use at least three primary sources from the literature we have read, which means you will absolutely have to use direct quotations from the text to support your body paragraphs. This paper requires two (2) secondary sources; to locate secondary sources, please use the literary databases accessible through Columbia State’s library databases. (This link opens in a new browser window.) Study guide websites  (Sparknotes, ClassicNotes, Shmoop, et al.) CANNOT be used as sources. Document all sources accordingly. Attach a works cited page that includes primary sources and any secondary sources you used.


Use standard MLA formatting (12 pt, Times New Roman/Calibri, double spaced with one inch margins). Write in complete sentences and construct well-structured paragraphs complete with transitional words and phrases.  Lengthwise, you should end up with a 1000 word essay plus a works cited page.

Follow MLA guidelines for in-text citations and Works Cited entries.

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