English 101

More instructions for Comparative Outline and Essay


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Open the outline for your essay. (Your should have written and submitted it on Blackboard.)

  1. Use your outline as a map to write your five-paragraph essay. Note, that the outline has your thesis and the topic sentence and citations for each body paragraph.
  2. Here’s a review of the key elements you need in each paragraph:
  • Intro paragraph:
    • Your intro paragraph should have a summary of the main story you will be analyzing.
    • Your intro paragraph should end with your thesis.
  • Body Paragraphs:
    • Topic sentence:The topic sentence is the first sentence in your paragraph. It should connect back to your thesis. You can use the topic sentence you wrote for the paragraph in your essay outline.
    • Citations:Each of your body paragraphs should have at least two citations pulled from a primary text (the story we read in class) or a secondary text (the online articles you found for your annotated bib). The primary text and secondary text are sources. You need to have at least 2 sources for your paper, but you can use the sources as much or as little as you like.
    • Analysis:You should analyze each citation to explain how the citation supports the argument you are making.
    • Restate Topic Sentence:You should end each body paragraph by restating your topic sentence. This will remind the reader about the main idea of the paragraph.




Influence of Role Models among Main Characters

In this essay, a comparison of “Dead Men’s Path” and “The Finger” is conducted. The Finger revolves around Dread Lanfe, whose armed robbery went wrong after chopping off a finger in the quest for a golden ring, which killed him. The Dead Men’s Path revolves around a Nigerian headmaster, Michael Obi, found at a crisis of culture and modernity. In both “Dead Men’s Path” and “The Finger,” the main characters have role models they admire in their life and emulate professionally, whereby as they pursue those ‘foreign’ standards, they get in trouble.

In “Dead Men’s Path,” Michael Obi is obsessed with modern standards, associated with white culture, and seeks to modernize all school practices and replace traditional beliefs. These citations support this idea, “In their two years of married life she had become completely infected by his passion for “modern methods” and his denigration of “these old and superannuated people.” (Achebe 10). This citation provides Obi’s background on his obsession with modernizing all aspects he finds in life, may it be in school, at home, or even with his wife. If his wife has become infected, it means it is a disease and obsession to replace traditional beliefs with modern standards. Secondly, “That day, the white Supervisor came to inspect the school and wrote a nasty report on the state of the premises.” (Achebe 12). This citation shows the source of the changed perception in Obi, which is the influence of white culture. Hence, modernization is associated with white culture, which Obi emulates, while traditionalism with the unprogressive school and village, he seeks to replace.

In “The Finger,” Dread Lanfe looks up to the military soldiers as his role models in life and profession. Hence, he covers the ‘thug’ life with political activism before being accepted in the police force. These two citations support this argument, “He liked to talk like the military, copy the way they acted and put on their look of mean dogs.” (Victor 43). Talking and copying the military people, even acting mean, shows Lanfe’s desire and admiration of the military. Military soldiers act as his role model, where he integrates their practices in his life and stealing profession. Moreover, “He was a former Tonton Macoute turned political activist, like Dread Lanfe.” (Victor 42). This citation provides Lanfe’s background, as a Tonton Macoute are like personal bodyguards or police officers of dictators in Haiti. Lanfe seeks a life in the military for that reason; he behaves, acts, and talks like them and integrates their practices while stealing from a wealthy dictator, as he waits in the future to be enrolled as an inspector in the police force.

The main characters from “Dead Men’s Path” and “The Finger,” get into trouble while trying to meet the set foreign standards acquired from their role models. “Obi woke up next morning among the ruins of his work” (Achebe 12). This citation shows that as Obi tried to replace traditional beliefs with modern standards, he placed himself in a crisis with villagers. The hedges placed to cover the village path had been ruined, school building destroyed, and flowers crushed. Thus, he received an unfavorable report from the white supervisor. Similarly, in Lanfe’s case, “He dropped the gun in an attempt to snatch the finger from his chest” (Victor 48). This citation connects Lanfe’s stealing and his downfall. His journey of stealing and ‘mean’ acting is seen when Lanfe cuts off the dictator’s finger to get the golden ring, which is the beginning of trouble. The finger comes to life, begins fighting Lanfe, and eventually kills him.

The main characters in both stories emulate certain people in their lives; Lanfe emulates military people, where he engages the military practices in his life as an armed robber. Obi emulates the White culture seen in his obsession with modernity and replacing traditional cultures.



Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. “Dead Men’s Path.” Achebe, Chinua. Girls at War and Other Stories. file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/Dead_Mens_Path(1).pdf, 1972. 10-13.

Victor, Gary. The Finger. 2010. https://genius.com/Gary-victor-the-finger-annotated. 12 August 2020.




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