Short Story Analysis

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Short Story Analysis
In this essay, your purpose is to fully explain an element (theme, characterization or symbolism) in a short story of your choice. I will provide you with examples of each element from stories by Hemingway, Updike and Vonnegut ; you may write about any of these authors except the ones that we have discussed in class. However, you may choose to investigate an author of your own choice. Below I have listed some contemporary authors and story collections you may want to check out: Jhumpa Lahiri

Flannery O'Connor
Raymond Carver
William Faulkner
David Sedaris
Tobias Wolff
Ernest Hemingway
John Updike
Kurt Vonnegut
Carolyn Ferrell
E. Annie Proulx
T. Coraghessan Boyle
Melissa Bank
John Edgar Wideman
Jim Ray Daniels
Kevin Canty
Nathan Englander
Amy Tan
Z.Z. Packer
Thom Jones
Sarah Vowell

“The Best of Non Required Reading” Series
All-Story Magazine
*If you choose an author not listed above, please clear your choice with me before you begin drafting. ___________________________________________________________________ Below are definitions of the three elements that you can focus on for your analysis. Characterization - the creation of the image of imaginary persons in drama, narrative poetry, the novel, and the short story. Characterization generates plot and is revealed by actions, speech, thoughts, physical appearance, and the other characters’ thoughts or words about him. Theme-The idea or point of a story formulated as a generalization. In American literature, several themes are evident which reflect and define our society. The dominant ones might be innocence/experience, life/death, appearance/reality, free will/fate, madness/sanity, love/hate, society/individual, known/unknown. Themes may have a single, instead of a dual nature as well. The theme of a story may be a mid-life crisis, or imagination, or the duality of humankind (contradictions). Symbolism- A person, place or object which has a meaning in itself but suggests other meanings as well. Things, characters and actions can be symbols. Anything that suggests a meaning beyond the obvious. Some symbols are conventional, generally meaning the same thing to all readers. i.e: white= purity, fire=passion/intensity, Spring=rebirth Short Story Analysis Requirements

You will complete 2 short story analyses for this unit; you will choose 2 of the 3 elements (theme, characterization or symbolism) to focus on. You may do the 3rd element for extra credit. In this essay, write as if your audience is not familiar with the story; therefore, you may have to do some summary of the story and provide some background so that you discussion would be understandable to your audience.

Here is what you will need for this essay:
1. A great title that alerts your reader to the content of the discussion.

2. A full introduction in which you present the title of your story, the author’s full name, and your thesis about the story.

3. A multi-paragraph body in which you explain the major element you are focusing on (theme, characterization or symbolism).

4. Strong transitions that move the reader smoothly through the discussion.

5. A wealth of evidence from the story in the form of plot summary and quotation that SHOWS what you are saying is true.

6. Parenthetical references to show where your quotations come from.

7. A Works Cited page showing where you found your story.

8. A suggested total length of not less than 500 words (excluding Works Cited, title, etc.)

9. An authoritative tone that displays a thorough understanding of the story in question and the particular element being analyzed.

10. A conclusion that provides a sense of closure and leaves us with a strong thought or observation about the story or its theme

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