Political Science 42

DUE DATE: Two weeks before Final Exam.


GRADING: This is both an optional and a mandatory assignment.  As an optional assignment, those interested may use this as their term paper assignment.  However, if any student misses the midterm, then the essay becomes a MANDATORY assignment.  Only one comparative essay can be written for credit.  However, the Comparative Essay may NOT replace the Final Exam.  The Comparative Essay is worth 100 points.



1. Examine each work thoroughly.  Compare and contrast the following  themes:

            a. What are the most important political ideas or themes presented in each book? 

b. Identify & discuss, if any,  the political perspectives of the main characters at   the onset of the story?

c.  Identify & discuss any incidents that challenge or provoke the perspectives of the characters?

            d. How do these incidents influence the outcome of the story?

e. What new insights did you, as reader & student,  gain from reading these works?

2.  Form & length: ALL essays must be typewritten and double-spaced, and at least 6  pages in length (250 words   per page).  Please edit your essay for grammatical and spelling errors.  Such errors are distracting and makes the essay more difficult to read.  Style manuals are available at the bookstore and are helpful in writing essays.


3.  Remember to use a title page that includes your name (first and last), date and course information.   Please staple your papers in the upper left hand corner and do not use report covers.  All essays become the property of the Instructor.


4.  You may choose any PAIR of works listed.  Fiction and non-fiction books are included on the list.  The general topic is also noted.    Most of the books are available in paperback form and are available at most bookstores, libraries and on the Internet.  No substitutions are allowed.



Book Titles:


  1. Like Water For Chocolate, Laura Esquivel and Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Jorge Amado


  1. Isla Negra, Pablo Neruda and Residence on Earth, Pablo Neruda


  1. Ines of My Soul, Isabel Allende, and The Answer/La Respuesta, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  2. Las Casas, Gustavo Gutierrez and Pedgogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire


  1. Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesta “Che” Guevara and I, Rigoberto Menchu, Rigoberto Menchu


  1. Cuba Confidential, Ann Louise Bardeck and The Country Under My Skin, Gioconda Belli


  1. Bananas, Beaches, & Bases, Cynthia Enloe, and Banana Diplomacy by Roy Gutman


  1. Overthrow, Stephen Kinzer and Banana Diplomacy by Roy Gutman


  1. Cry of the People and People of God, both by Penny Lernoux


  1. Through Her Eyes and Bible of the Oppressed, both by Elsa Tamez


  1. In the Time of Butterflies, Julia Alvarez and The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende


  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


  1. Love in the Time of Cholera and The General in His Labyrinth, both by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


  1. The Guerrilla Wars of Central America, Saul Landau and Shining Path, Simon Strong