Essay Instructions: When writing the analytical essay, please “analyze” the pieces and parts of a literary work by comparison/contrast from a selection of two stories listed below.
You will have 700 words in which you will look at themes, writing styles, and effectiveness of the authors’ use of literary devices. So, you need to “analyze” the themes first. In your analysis, you will look at themes that are alike in two of the stories listed:
• A Rose for Emily – William Faulkner
• The Lottery – Shirley Jackson
• The Rocking Horse Winner – D.H. Lawrence
• The Jilting of Granny Weatherall-Katherine Ann Porter
• Two Kinds – Author Amy Tan
The theme is the message that is conveyed beyond the words on the page. For example, a theme in “The House on Mango Street” might be that being poor is embarrassing. Look at how the author actually tells of the situation in which she was embarrassed to admit that she lived in a dilapidated house. Then, look at her tone as she speaks of her parents and their dreams. Think about other parts of the story in which you were embarrassed for her or pitied her. All of this is showing the theme of the author.
There can be more than one theme in a story, and most often, there are several. You should not have a hard time finding them, but when you do, explain the theme and show how you know about it. Do not just write it down and expect the reader to get it.
When you locate the same themes in two stories, show the different methods the authors used to get their mutual theme across to the reader. What devices did each author use? How effective were those devices? For example, in “Two Kinds,” there was a theme of embarrassment. We know this because of the piano scene in which the girl plays awfully. She was embarrassed; her parents were embarrassed; and the other people were embarrassed for her. These same two themes differ in that one was intentionally done to provoke her mother into letting her live a normal life. The other one was put on the little girl because she was poor.
Then, move on through the writing styles, i.e. the way the authors used words, figures of speech, characterization, dramatic irony, etc., and their effectiveness in the telling of the stories. You might see that two authors are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of themes and uses of literary devices. Then, you will write about those differences as well.
Do not leave any words unused. Talk about how the writers you chose are alike and how they are different. You will include the themes and the literary devices in that comparison/contrast. Pull out short quotes to illustrate what you are talking about. Be sure to cite the sources for those quotes.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Compare 2 of the stories below and find a common element in the subject or the theme; then show how the stories differ in their treatment of that element. It doesn't matter which 2 stories you chose. 500 - 700 words. Thanks.
RIP VAN WINKLE
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN
FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
LADY WITH THE PET DOG
THE JILTING OF GRANNY WEATHERALL
A ROSE FOR EMILY
HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS
A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS
Excerpt From Essay:
Total Pages: 2 Words: 681 References: 3 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: short fiction, poetry, and drama. However, although the methods of delivery are different, the universal themes some works share are very similar. Themes such as: love (of self, family, others); societal issues (women?s rights, equal rights); alienation; despair; triumph over adversity; feelings about war; loss and grief are just some of the common threads which bind the three genres together.
trace one common theme across the three literary genres focusing on a specific work from each. Also, you should describe at least one literary device which was used to present the theme in each work. Literary devices include: metaphors, similes, alliteration, personification, foreshadowing, flashbacks, etc. You DO NOT have to use the same device for each work.
SHORT STORIES: "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall", "A Rose for Emily", "The Things They Carried" , "Dead Men's Path", "The Story of an Hour", or "Harrison Bergeron" (pick one)
POETRY: "My Papa's Waltz", "The Ruined Maid", "The Unknown Citizen", Brooks: "We Real Cool", "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", "The Tyger", "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", or "Names of Horses". (pick one)
DRAMA: Oedipus the King, or Death of a Salesman. (pick one)
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Write a documented, argumentative research essay based on at least two primary sources
(poems or stories by ONE author) and at least two secondary sources (articles or chapters about the author?s life, about the historical period, or literary criticism of the author?s stories or poems).
You have 3 options for this essay?
1. research and write about how the author?s life (and/or the historical/cultural period in which the author lived) impacted his or her literary works. You must use examples/evidence/quotations, etc. from the primary sources (literary works) as well as from the secondary sources (articles about the author or articles about the poems or stories).
2. research and write about how a theme is revealed in one author?s or poet?s work. You must use examples/evidence/quotations, etc. from the primary sources (literary works) as well as from the secondary sources (articles about the author or articles about the poems or stories). How does the author or poet use this theme to say something important?
3. research and write about how a poet or author uses a literary element to create effective, moving poems or stories. You must use examples/evidence/quotations, etc. from the primary sources (literary works) as well as from the secondary sources (articles about the author or articles about the poems or stories). How does this literary element help the author create effective literature?
Examples of themes: nature, animals, gender, family, religion, social class, death, war, friendship or social groups, male/female relationships, romance, identity or self-discovery, music, history, etc.
Examples of literary elements: symbols, irony, poetic devices, imagery, setting, epiphanies, etc.
Keep in mind that you will not be writing about the whole of an author?s work, but only two or three poems or stories.
Due date for ROUGH DRAFT for peer editing?
Due date for revised (final) draft with copies of all sources attached or web site addresses provided?
Here are the general research questions you will be investigating?
1. How have the life experiences of this author affected or influenced his or her writing of specific poems or stories?
How has the historical period in which the author lived influenced or affected his or her writing of specific poems or stories?
How is the theme of ________ or the literary element __________ revealed or illustrated in the poems or stories?
Documented means you should use quotations or paraphrases and in-text citations (at least one from each of 4 sources for a total of at least 4 citations from 4 different sources).
You will quote from or paraphrase primary sources (poems or stories). You will also quote from or paraphrase secondary sources (articles about the author?s life or articles about the author?s work) to support YOUR ideas, your points, and your thesis.
At least one primary source must be from the textbook. The second primary source may be from the textbook or another book. The two secondary sources may be from the textbook or from the PVCC online databases. Do not use Wikipedia. Use academic, scholarly online databases or books.
You must write about poems or stories only and at least one poem or story must be from the textbook. NO NOVELS or NOVELLAS. Please do not choose Shakespeare or any of the medieval poets.
CHOOSE AN AUTHOR WHOSE WORK OR LIFE REALLY INTERESTS YOU. Who do you want to know more about? Which stories or poems strike you as most interesting or provocative? Which author?s stories or poems do you want to read more of? Choose an author and/or a poem or a story that fascinates you or about which you want to know more.
This is not a report. You must have a thesis statement or thesis sentence that states your argument about the author and his/her work. You may use evidence from the author?s poems or stories AND evidence from the articles to support your thesis.
The task in this essay is to research a question you have about an author and his or her work. Ask yourself questions about your topic to arrive at a thesis.
EXAMPLES OF QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT ASK YOURSELF:
How did Tim O?Brien?s experiences in the Vietnam War contribute to his writing of the story ?The Things We Carried?? How did Yusef Komunyakaa?s experiences in Vietnam affect his poetry?
How did the life experiences of Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost affect the content and the style of their poetry?
Did Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker and other African-American writers experience racial discrimination in their personal lives? In their professional careers? If so, how did this affect their work or careers? Were they nourished or supported by the African-American community?
How is the theme of ____________ revealed in two poems by Sylvia Plath?
How does Flannery O?Connor use symbols in _________ and ___________ (titles of 2 stories)?
Here are some options:
OPTION A (all sources in our textbook)--research and write about 2 poems or stories by one author in our textbook + at least 2 articles about the poet or author in our textbook
(2 primary sources + 2 secondary sources=4 sources)
A. 2 poems by Langston Hughes + 2 articles about Langston Hughes
B. 2 short stories by Flannery O?Connor + 2 articles about O?Connor
Authors with 2 primary works & 2 secondary works in our textbook
Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O?Connor, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes
Authors with two or more poems or stories in the textbook (no secondary sources in our book):
Elizabeth Bishop, Nikki Giovanni, Sharon Olds, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Mary Oliver
Billy Collins, Gary Soto, William Stafford, Seamus Heaney
Theodore Roethke, Dylan Thomas. Robert Hayden, Walt Whitman
Kate Chopin??The Story of an Hour? and ?The Storm?
Katherine Ann Porter??Magic? and ?The Jilting of Granny Weatherall?
OPTION B?(1 primary source in textbook + 1 not in textbook) + 2 secondary sources
You may also choose one story or poem by one author in the text book and a second poem or story by the same author which you find in another book?2 primary sources (one in our text book and one not in our text book) + at least 2 secondary sources about the author?s life or historical context. For example, if you are truly interested in the work of Amy Tan or any other author in our text book you may use her story ?Rules of the Game? plus another story by Tan which is not in our text book plus 2 secondary sources about her life or work.
Some fiction writers with one story in textbook:
Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Bobbie Ann Mason, Amy Tan, Charlotte Perkins Gilman
John Updike, John Steinbeck, Hemingway,Tim O?Brien
For each source, you must include AT LEAST one quotation or paraphrase. The best essays will probably include more. If you need to summarize the whole article, do so briefly in one or two sentences.
For Eng 112 on campus class--All sources not in the textbook must be COPIED/XEROXED IN FULL with the quotations and paraphrased ideas or parts HIGHLIGHTED in yellow marker. These copied sources must be turned in with the final draft. You must provide copies of web site sources that include the web site address or URL. Projects that do not contain copies of sources will lose points.
For English 112 online?attach a page with a list of URLs and/or instructions for accessing your sources. The Works Cited List should not contain web site addresses (URLs).
Final draft must include a separate page for Works Cited. We will use the MLA style of documentation as described in
1. A Writer?s Reference by Diana Hacker (first white tabbed section)
2. PVCC Jessup Library web site on MLA Documentation
For more information on succeeding and excelling in this assignment see also:
1. Literature (our textbook)?pgs. 1521-1532
2. PVCC Jessup Library Tutorials (online on library web site home page)
As you are researching, writing, and rewriting REREAD THIS SHEET.
TO BEGIN YOUR RESEARCH: After you?ve chosen your author and primary sources (the poems and/or stories) begin your research by going to the library or going online.
PVCC library on-line databases:
Go to the library home page (on PVCC home page under Quick Links at the top) and scroll down to the link for Literature Resource Center. Click on this and you will get the Advanced Search box. Change ?keyword? to ?person by or about.? Type your author?s name into the box to the right. Check the box labeled ?to peer-reviewed publications.? Then click the Search button. This will give you hundreds of articles about your author! Be sure to search under all the tabs at the top of each search result?Literature Criticism, Biographies, etc. Explore the links on the left menu, too.
You can access the PVCC databases off campus by using your Blackboard user name & password.
You might also want to ask the PVCC librarians about using the following books:
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Contemporary Authors, Literary Criticism, Twayne?s Authors.
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