For Paper 2, you are again tasked with conducting a close visual analysis of a painting and a close textual analysis of a primary source. The text is Thomas Cole’s “Essay on American Scenery” (linked under readings in this module), and the painting is Thomas Cole’s The Oxbow (1836). This image can also be found on page 957 of your textbook.


As you write your paper, address the following issues:

What aspects of Cole’s textual argument can be seen in the painting? Locate his main points, and demonstrate how they can be read in the image as well.

How is this a particularly “American” landscape, and how is Cole defining the American landscape in comparison to Europe? What is his role as an artist?

Your paper should be two pages, double-spaced with 12pt font and one-inch margins. To receive complete credit (3 points), you need to: 1) have a clear thesis and structure to your paper with proper grammar; 2) cite and analyze key snippets of Cole’s text using parenthetical citations; and 3) support your argument with visual evidence through a close reading of the painting.

Papers are submitted as Word documents via TurnItIn. If you use another program, you need to save the file as “.doc” or “.docx” You are reminded that there is a zero tolerance plagiarism policy in the class. You may only cite Cole (not the textbook, and not the internet), and you should paraphrase his points (with citations) and only sparingly quote the text directly. The use of long quotes to buy space will result in a lower grade. The point of this assignment is to conduct your own analysis of a text and visual reading of an image.