Thank you in advance for the help! I had a accident and find it difficult to complete the assignment. I have cut and paste the instructions for the assignment. I hope this copy of instructions helps!
The name of the book the four short stories are from is: Fiction 100 (An Anthology of Short Fiction) Author: James H. Pickering
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Choose either one of the topics (a or b) in Unit 2
a) Choose three stories from this unit and call upon them to support this idea: in families, great love and devotion often coexists with great conflict and pain.
b) The characters in all four stories in this unit are, in part, influenced by “where they come from,” not just in the sense of geographical location (although this is important) but in the sense of family and culture. Choose three of the stories and write about this theme. How does “where they come from” influence who they are and what they do?
Unit 2 Short Stories:
Alice Walker, "To Hell With Dying"
Sherman Alexie, "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"
James Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues"
Louise Erdrich, "The Red Convertible"
Here is a copy of the instructions:
Each essay should be 4 (four full pages) -7 pages long and follow the directions below. Please note that this is a general guide that I distribute to all of my classes. Please study the entire sheet. All the examples should prove instructive, but please study carefully those that apply to writing about more than one work (in bold).
1. Topic, Organization, and Formatting:
The “A” paper will show creative as well as logical thinking, a thorough handling of the material, and excellent execution in areas of organization and mechanics.
Your essay should include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
In the top left corner, type on separate lines: your name; this class, including the section number (ex. English 300.C1); the date. Double-space below the date line and center the title of your essay. Use 12-point Times New Roman and double space the essay throughout. Do not add lines between paragraphs.
Note on the process: the best papers will go through a series of drafts (I recommend at least three) before they reach final form.
An introduction should give a brief opening, raise an issue, and state a thesis. The thesis will answer the topic question and is interpretive rather than factual in nature. (I will put these theses in bold for illustrative purposes only).
Some student examples:
A. Henry James’ classic, The Turn of the Screw, is a haunting tale of a governess who cares for two children, Miles and Flora, in a house, Bly, that seems to be controlled by supernatural forces. As the story progresses, the governess becomes desperate to keep the ghosts away from her charges. Yet, the reader wonders, is Bly really haunted? Or could these supernatural forces be a figment of the governess’ imagination? When the evidence is carefully considered, the reader must form the conclusion that the governess is the creator of the supernatural, and that the house is in fact not haunted at all.
B. Storybooks and popular novels about the Civil War South, including Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, often show kind masters, happy slave families, and content slaves working in pleasant conditions. In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison shatters this idealized view through a realistic look at slavery and its effects on the enslaved. By giving the reader insight into the lives of Paul D., Sethe, Halle, and Baby Suggs, Morrison shows that a life of slavery, even under a humane master such as Mr. Garner, can lead to nothing but broken, miserable lives for the enslaved.
C. Relationships between men and women always require effort from both parties in order to survive. Traditionally, women tend to play a more subservient role while men tend to hold more power. This is true in both Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and Pam Houston’s “How to Talk to a Hunter.” In both stories, the woman’s tendency to assume false truths about herself and her relationship with a man leads to a state of emotional entrapment from which neither woman can escape.
The body of the paper should give support for the thesis. Each body paragraph should present one well-developed idea that is stated clearly and concisely in the topic sentence. Each paragraph should include discussion of its own particular topic; the discussion should be thoughtful, clear, and well-supported with evidence from the text. The sentences within the paragraphs should be arranged in logical order and use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas. Think of the paragraph as a jigsaw puzzle and the sentences as pieces; the paragraph should be so tightly constructed that a reader could correctly reassemble the sentences if they were jumbled.
4. Evidence can be in two forms:
A. direct reference to the text:
Before her baby girl of two months is taken from her, Celie sews the name Olivia as well as little stars and flowers on her diapers. These are given to Corrine, who adopts the child and gives her the name of Pauline; however, Corrine tells Celie in a chance encounter that they call the child Olivia (24). OR
Shug, whose singing career has allowed her to achieve economic independence from men, shows Celie how to turn her traditionally domestic skill, sewing, into an industry.
B. direct quote:
Celie convinces Albert that sewing is not unmanly: in fact, she points out that his male ancestors in Africa take pride in sewing. As Celie expresses it, “they not so backward as mens here” (238).
5. Body paragraphs, some student examples: (topic sentences underlined, transitional expressions in bold).
A. A superior discussion of a main point (“A” quality):
Perhaps the strongest character in the novel, and at the same time the most manipulative of the men, is the Big Nurse, or Miss Ratched. Although Miss Ratched does not hold the superior title of doctor, she obviously has complete control of both the male patients and the ward as a whole. The novel’s narrator, Chief Bromden, reports this to the reader in the beginning when he states, “the Big Nurse tends to get real put out if something keeps her outfit from running like a smooth, accurate, precision-made machine” (26). Later, the savior-like McMurphy helps the patients identify the true character of their caretaker Miss Ratched when he remarks, “she’s a bitch and a buzzard, and a ball-cutter, and don’t kid me, you know what I’m talking about” (58). Indeed, McMurphy’s words help to underscore the point that Miss Ratched is depriving the men of their manhood, and by doing so only adding to their mental incapacity. By forcing the men to live by her rules and expectations, the Big Nurse has not only taken away their individuality, but she has made them lose the little shred of confidence they may have possessed at one time.
In order to maintain such control, the nurse molds her patients into robot-like creatures. The men no longer think their own thoughts, or even display their natural reactions, such as laughing in a comical situation. The Big Nurse has so much control over the men that she can force them to admit wrongdoings they never committed. During the first group meeting, for example, Miss Ratched delivers the following challenge: “Am I to take it that there’s not a man among you that has committed some act that he has never admitted?” (48). After hearing her insinuating question, the patients yell out false statements in order to satisfy the powerful nurse. Throughout the novel, the men often betray one another to avoid getting into trouble or to simply appease her. In fact, the Big Nurse has the men so warped that they even believe she is an “angel of mercy” (59).
The case of Mrs. Bibbit, Billy’s mother, furnishes a second powerful example of a female whose castrating ways lead to a man’s mental instability; Mrs. Bibbit clearly contributes to her son’s stuttering problem as well as the low self-esteem that causes it.
B. Another discussion of a similar point (needs development, reorganization, revision-- “D” quality):
The first female character I want to discuss is Mrs. Ratchet, known as Big Nurse. The men on the ward called her Big Nurse because she has the most authority. Big Nurse was not only an authority figure, she is an object of the men’s dissatisfaction with their own lives. They were not happy with their existence on the ward, so they place blame on Big Nurse, when in actuality she is trying to keep things in order. The one thing that stands in her way of becoming a productive leader is her manipulative ways.
It’s her authority that keeps the men away from her. They can’t handle a woman in charge. Mrs. Ratchet is also a very manipulative person. One example of this is when Billy Bibbit gets caught with Candy. Big Nurse controls the situation. “What worries me Billy is how your poor mother is going to take this” (301). Big Nurse knew that Billy’s mother would be horrified that her son was sleeping with a whore. And Mrs. Ratchet’s reference to this puts Billy over the edge. He commits suicide.
Next is Billy’s mother.
C. A superior discussion of two works (“A” quality):
It’s clear in both stories that lack of communication in the relationship leads the women characters to assume false truths. The narrator of “How to Talk to a Hunter” plays mind games with her lover instead of telling him how she feels. This allows the man to think–or at least pretend to think–that he is getting away with the lies and subterfuge. For example, when the narrator sees the messages pile up on the hunter’s answering machine, she suspects that the caller is another woman; her hunch is confirmed when she hears Janie Coyote leave a romantic message for the hunter. Even though the narrator dreads the thought that her lover is sleeping with another woman, she refuses to directly communicate this to him, opting instead for mind games that allow their relationship to exist under false pretenses. The narrator knows that the words of her friends, such as “so what did you think? That a man who sleeps under a dead moose is capable of commitment?” (670) are true, but the hunter’s allure keeps her coming back to him.
In the case of “The Story of an Hour,” it’s clear that Mrs. Mallard has spent her married adopting–or at least pretending to adopt–false truths. She has accepted her current situation even though her remark in the story that “she loved him–sometimes” (232) implies that she really wasn’t “head over heels” and was not honest with either him or herself. The quick transformation that Mrs. Mallard undergoes in the course of an hour allows the reader to see how she sheds the false truths of her marriage to become “free! Body and soul free!” (232). The death of Brently Mallard, in other words, allows her to get to a point of self-realization that is never experienced by Pam Houston’s narrator.
6. Conclusion: the conclusion should revisit the main ideas of your essay and add final thoughts about the significance of your analysis. How does your essay contribute to an understanding of the work and/or its time period and/or the human condition and/or the world?
7. MLA Documentation:
Put the page number in parenthesis after the quote or direct reference. Punctuate as follows: As Celie puts it, “they not so backward as mens here” (238). (The period goes after the last parenthesis.) If your paper discusses more than one source, put author and page in the parenthesis: (Walker 238).
Since we are all working from the same textbook, you do not need a Works Cited page.
8. Other (see the student examples above).
A. Use third-person rather than first-person point of view (“the reader” rather than “I”)
B. Use present tense verbs to describe the ongoing action in the work.
Help the reader understand quoted material by providing context clues from the work. Some possibilities: at what point in the work this instance occurs (Chapter 1, the first diary entry
, Act II Scene 3, the beginning of the novel), what is happening in the scene, who is speaking, etc. See the superior example above: “in the beginning” and “during the first group meeting.”
Smoothly incorporate quotations into your sentences; do not “dump” a quotation into the text on its own. See example of a dumped quotation in the example that needs revision above: “What worries me Billy . . .”
Use only the portion of the quotation that you need to make your point. Look for the language that gets to the heart of your idea.
Once you have integrated the quote, revise your sentence to make sure that it is grammatical and makes sense.
D. Spell-check and proofread your papers carefully.
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