Essay Topic 1
Hughes and Hurston use a Southern dialect in the dialogue of the play in order to bring authenticity to the characters. Some of their contemporaries opposed this use of dialect, complaining that the characters are made to seem uneducated and simple. Even today, academics debate the use of dialect in this and other literary works. Defend or attack the authors' use of dialect in the play. Does dialect make the characters realistic, or is it demeaning to African-Americans from the South? Provide examples from the text to support your answer.
Essay Topic 2
Hughes and Hurston wrote "Mule Bone" as a homage to the use of humor in overcoming adversity. Oppressed cultures often rely on humor as a means of survival, and among Southern post-slavery African-Americans, humor and sarcasm were a means of attacking others and of expressing affection. Describe how this concept emerges in "Mule Bone...
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