How and why do sociocultural differences complicate interpersonal relationships?

Hybrid-Online World Literature




This essay will require you to put two texts into conversation with one another: Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place and a second course text from the below list. In considering the two texts, you will make an evidence-based argument about how the texts approach sociocultural differences and the interpersonal difficulties such differences may create. You must put equal emphasis on both texts, although Kincaid will be your jumping off point.


Essay Topic


In A Small Place, Jamaica Kincaid depicts several instances in which sociocultural differences lead to misunderstandings, misjudgments, miscommunication, and other interpersonal complications—between the tourist and the Antiguan native, for example; between black Antiguans and white Europeans during the colonial era; and between Kincaid, a British-educated narrator, and younger-generation Antiguans. Furthermore, Kincaid suggests some of the complex historical, cultural, and social reasons that such interpersonal difficulties may have arisen, while also depicting some of the emotional and social consequences of such interpersonal difficulties.


Likewise, in other texts we’ve read in ENG 203, sociocultural differences such as race, class, caste, culture, and age also complicate interactions and relationships. At the same time, these complications also lead to various difficulties and consequences.


The key question you need to answer in your essay is this: In A Small Place and your second text, how and why do sociocultural differences complicate interpersonal relationships?


In answering this question, be sure to

  • consider and analyze both texts equally, and
  • analyze both why sociocultural differences complicate relationships and how those differences produce complications and consequences.



Possible second texts

  • Ama Ata Aidoo, Anowa
  • Meena Alexander, “Grandmother’s Letters”
  • Saraswathi Amma, “The Subordinate”
  • Jose Rizal, Noli Me Tangere


Successful essays will choose a second text that speaks to Kincaid’s A Small Place in a meaningful way. This may entail choosing a second text that leads to interpersonal complications similar to those that appear in A Small Place; it might mean choosing a second text that addresses a similar sociocultural difference to A Small Place (e.g. age or culture); it might mean choosing a text that is in some ways compellingly similar to A Small Place and in some ways compellingly different from it. The important point is to choose a second text that will allow you to articulate a meaningful thesis about how and why sociocultural differences complicate interpersonal relationships.


To best understand how to place two texts into conversation in an essay, fully watch and carefully review Dr. Stanback’s writing workshop on October 16.


Required Essay Components


1) Thesis Statement: Make sure you have a clear thesis statement that makes an argument about how and why sociocultural differences complicate relationships in A Small Place and your second text.


2) Textual Evidence: Make sure to support your argument with evidence from both Kincaid’s text and your chosen second text. Evidence will include quotes and detailed descriptions of passages and ideas in your texts, and you should aim for a roughly equal amount of evidence from both Kincaid and your second text.


3) Analysis: Make sure to close read your evidence, and tie your analysis back to your thesis statement.



Essay Structure


Introductory Paragraph

Your introductory paragraph must introduce your key ideas, Kincaid’s text, and your second text. It must end with a clear thesis statement, which offers a specific argument about the two texts, and not just a plot summary.


Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph must begin with a clear topic sentence that sums up the point you will make in that paragraph. Each paragraph must include textual evidence that supports your thesis and close reading of that textual evidence that also supports your thesis. You may organize your body paragraphs around ideas that appear in both Kincaid’s text and your chosen second text; instead, you may organize your body paragraphs by text (one or two on Kincaid, and one or two on your second text).



Your conclusion must link the various parts of your argument into one cohesive whole. Reassert and restate your argument in new words. Conclude by introducing a new but related idea—for example, how your argument relates to other texts, your own experiences, or other things you’ve witnessed or heard about—or other things you’ve learned about in your classes at USM.



Additional Essay Requirements


  • Academic Honesty Statement: Essay must include the academic honesty statement at the top of the first page
  • Length: Essay must be a minimum of 1,500 words in length, not including the heading, the title, the works cited page, and the academic honesty statement; essay must not exceed 1,750 words
  • Paper Format: Essay must have an interesting and original title; must include a works cited page; and must be typed, double-spaced, written in 12-point Times or Times New Roman font, and formatted according to standard MLA style
  • File Name: Must conform to the following file name format: essay2lastnamefirstname.
    For example, if your name is John Doe, your file name would be: essay2doejohn

Essays are due by noon CST on Thursday, November 8, 2018. Late essays will be accepted for three days after the due date. A penalty of 7.5 points will be applied to all essays submitted after noon on Thursday, November 8, 2018. No essays will be accepted after noon on Sunday, November 11, 2017.

A penalty of 7.5 points will be applied to all essays that do not meet the minimum length requirement (1,500 words).

Essays that fail to address the correct topic will receive a zero.

Good luck!



find the cost of your paper