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Write an essay of 1000-1200 words in which you compare/contrast a specific literary element (you may use one of: plot, character, setting, point of view (POV), symbolism and figurative language) in two of the stories we have read in this unit. I have provided some possible topics below, along with ways in which you might direct an essay. These are only suggestions to help get you started. Do not use theme as your chosen element, because theme is made up of all of the other elements.
This essay may include outside research to back up your assertions (no more than 1 outside source, used sparingly and cited properly), but avoid using resources that analyze the stories themselves. You may wish to access an academic article that discusses the importance of your chosen element, and then apply that argument to your specific stories. This essay should follow standard MLA essay formatting, with a developed introduction, thesis and map to your essay, body paragraphs that fully explore the connections you make, and a conclusion that demonstrates to the reader what you have learned.
You will need to provide specific examples (textual evidence) from the stories you choose and explicitly explain how those examples support your argument. This assignment asks you to contextualize your understanding of both the stories and the ways they operate in relation to the usage of a common element. In this assignment, I am looking for your ability to find your own compare and contrast connections to one element as it relates to two stories that we have read for the unit (stories I have directly assigned you).
Possible avenues to pursue for the essay *(these are just examples, you can pick something not listed here as long as it is one element of fiction).
Compare and contrast 2 stories which employ first person (can also do it with 3rd person) narrators.
Possible questions to consider: How do the authors create reliable/unreliable narrators effectively? How do they structure their narration? What stylistic choices do they make to create these narrators? Why are they necessary to comprehend the story?
Compare and contrast the portrayal of setting (time and location).
Possible questions to consider: How does the choice of setting affect how we interpret the stories? How does each author use spatial and/or temporal setting? Why are these settings necessary to comprehend the story?
Compare and contrast the use of accents and dialect as it relates to the element of symbolism and figurative language in two of the stories we have read? How do these authors use certain words or phrases in their writing? What does this use suggest about the characters and their stories? How does it affect how we interpret the text?
Compare and contrast the depictions of class through the usage of symbolism and figurative language in two stories. What is similar and what is different about their approaches? How does this affect how we perceive these stories?
The stories I would like to be compared and contrasted are (“Sonny Blues” by James Baldwin, and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flanner O’Connor)
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