In this creative writing assignment, you must travel back in time and imagine what life was like for an individual in the past. This process helps develop an understanding of the impact of time and space on personal perspective. It also provides practice composing narratives in order to describe (1) how peoples, cultures and institutions change over time, and (2) how personal identities related to culture, gender, race or religion affect historical perspective.
• Select one of the identities listed below for your first person narrative. You can be any gender or race that would be appropriate for the character, but this is a fictional narrative, so no actual historical figures!
o A resident of Germany during the Great Depression
o A freedom fighter in Cuba or Algeria
o A resident of Nanking during the Japanese occupation during World War II
o A person who followed Mahatma Gandhi during the Salt March
o A Tutsi during the Rwandan Genocide in 1994
o A member of the Chinese intelligentsia during the Cultural Revolution
• Research what everyday life was like for your character during the period covered in this module. While you research, keep in mind that references such as historic dates, actual places and events add credibility and interest to your writing.
• Compose a fictional, first person narrative either in Journal format or a two page, double-spaced paper as outlined below.
• Be as accurate as possible. For example, your character will not be able to use cell phones or a computer. What modes of transportation were readily available in their location? In what types of social activities did people from their gender, race, and/or class engage?
• Include a bibliography of at least three sources you used in your research. You should, by this point, be using the “best” resources available. Be careful of unreliable sources. Properly format your bibliography in Chicago Style.
• Submit your completed assignment to the folder by the scheduled due date.
Journal Format: Compose at least 10 journal entries that describe the things that you (the character) did that day in the course of that day or period of life. The narrative is not a biography of your character; it is a description of significant events or periods in day-to-day life. Use descriptions that bring your audience to the moment, such as the sounds or smells your character might experience in the moment. Each entry should be at least one paragraph long.
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