Choose one of the following questions and write a 5-page essay in response. Your goal is to
develop an argumentative thesis statement and support it by analyzing and discussing evidence
drawn from a range of texts. Your paper must reference at least 1 peer reviewed sources on the
text or topic relevant to the text.
Your Research Paper should be double-spaced, 12-point font, with one-inch margins, and must
follow MLA style and citation guidelines.
1) Skim is a bildungsroman – a novel focused around the education and development of a
single character. As readers, what would we say is significant in Kimberly Keiko
Cameron’s development? What does she learn over the course of the graphic novel?
Using Skim and a scholarly article, compose an original argument specifying how reading
Skim as a bildungsroman is important for our understanding of her character.
2) David Chariandy’s Brother features a number of characters that struggle to understand,
and come to terms with, traumatic events in their lives. Using textual and scholarly
evidence, compose an original argument about the connections between trauma, memory,
and community. Some questions you may consider: how can a community be the
simultaneous site of pain and pleasure? In what ways do our memories live on through
others? Finally, can our relationship to others be a form of learning?
3) Both lead characters in Brother and Skim rely on, and experience, the nature around them.
Kimberly Keiko Cameron isolates herself in the snow-covered Toronto night, while
Michael and Francis escape to the green wilderness of the Rouge Valley. What do these
natural environments symbolize in these texts and why are they significant to our
understanding of the plots or the characters?
Both books you would be able to find online: Skim by Mariko Tamaki
Brother by David Chariandy