Topic: Analysis of a Short Story
- Format: You are required to use MLA style for all writing assignments. These assignments include the Summary Writing Assignment, the Focused Annotated Bibliography and the Final Researched Essay. Your instructor may also require MLA style for other essay assignments, including the midterm and final exams, and for discussion posts. Therefore, it is important that you understand how to use MLA style correctly. Please refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab for MLA formatting and style guide
- Length Requirement: 750-1000 words
- All sources must be cited
Write an essay that discusses why and how specific symbols are used to depict one or two of the themes from Unit 2 in a particular way. Your essay should incorporate details and quotes from the story (using parenthetical documentation with the author's name), and you should use your own words to elaborate on the meanings of the details and quotes you use as evidence. The themes to choose from are:
- Love (Romantic, Platonic, or Filial)
- The American Dream/Nightmare
- The Quest for Identity/Coming of Age
THE STORY THAT YOU ARE READING IS ATTACHED BELOW!
When writing your essay, the goal is to demonstrate what spin the story has on a particular theme. Be specific about the ways the theme is used and how the story's use of symbols develops a deeper meaning to the theme. Provide details, including cited direct quotes from the story, but don't forget that you must comment on the quotes you use to explain why they are significant.
As an example, one student might focus on how in Chopin’s “The Storm,” the passion between Calixta and Alcee is represented by the symbol of the rain storm and makes a social commentary on the theme of love. Love is a very general term, so this student should note that s/he is focusing on forbidden, or adulterous, romantic love in particular and comment on how that refines the broader theme. One appropriate thesis statement for this particular topic would be something similar to the following:
"Although Calixta loves Bobinot, she willingly has a passionate affair with Alcee in order to demonstrate that passion, represented by the storm, is ultimately a symbol of her own female independence."
Then, you would contrast Calixta’s relationship with Bobinot with her relationship with Alcee in order to show that Calixta could simultaneously function as an efficient housewife and passionate lover to her husband if society at the time would allow such a woman to exist.
[Note: This thesis is provided as an example. Do not use it verbatim for your own paper; use your own excellent ideas!]
Formatting and Style
Be sure to maintain an appropriate academic tone (no slang, second-person ["you," "we"], contractions, etc.)
Your essay should be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins, and numbered pages. Include your name, my name, the title of the class, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. Center your title (you do not need to underline or italicize it) and place it above the body of the essay. Do not include a title page.