English Short Story Criticism

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PAPER ONE – SHORT STORY CRITICISM (DUE DATES ON THE CALENDAR) Length: Approximately 800-1200 words or three to five typed pages. Goals/Audience: Please write on one of the following essay choices. Be careful not to turn in an essay that is merely plot summary. If you choose to discuss theme, try to present it clearly before you find evidence to support it. If you choose to discuss point-of-view, please be sure to be specific (i.e. don’t just say third). If you choose to discuss the main character, please remember to base your discussion on the various ways in which a reader learns about a character. Please also remember to provide a quick summary before you begin your analysis. This essay will stand as a further diagnostic to see what rules of grammar, style, or punctuation the class needs to review. Remember, don’t worry about these editing details on a first draft, but do think about them as you revise. The draft you turn in should not be a first effort. Be sure to use MLA formatting. You may use secondary sources, but be sure to quote and cite correctly and to use an appropriate number. Remember to refer to the Papers Handout for additional information. 1. Read William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” found at http://libguides.valenciacollege.edu/c.php?g=359005&p=2423548. Discuss point-of-view and how this rather unusual narrator provides a biased and incomplete view of the titular character. 2. Read Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby.” discuss conflict, theme, OR character (including point-of-view) in that text. You may, of course, use other elements of the story to back up your arguments. The story in linked on the Valencia Reader page, but you must be logged in to Atlas to view it: http://libguides.valenciacollege.edu/c.php?g=359005&p=2423548. 3. Read Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use.” How do the two sisters represent different views concerning celebrating one’s past. Which one really understands her family’s history? You can address their mother, who is the narrator, but the essay should focus on the sisters as much as possible. Be sure to define culture in your essay. The story is here: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/quilt/walker.html (The title is missing “Everyday,” but this is the correct story.).

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