Story Explanation

– Analyze any selection from your textbook in a paper of at least 1,000 words.

– Plagiarism will result in an F.
– Students must follow MLA guidelines for headings, citations, Works Cited, etc.
See the REQUIRED READING in this module in Canvas for detailed information.

Choose ONE topic:

  1. Analyze or compare/contrast characters. Identify the protagonist and the antagonist. Why does the character do what he or she does? How does the character interact with others? Why? For this topic, you may need to choose characters from different short stories, poems, plays, etc.

EX: Comparing and contrasting the brothers in “Sonny’s Blues” ORthe The Misfit and Arnold Friend OR Connie and the grandmother

  1. Identify and explain the symbolism in a selection or similar symbols in different short stories, poems, etc. Why are the symbols important? Are they universal?
  1. Which type of work is the selection (dramatic monologue, initiation story, prose poetry, etc.)? What are the elements of the form, and does the selection work best in this format?
  1. Discuss the point of view. Why does the author write in first person, third person, using an omniscient narrator, using an unreliable narrator, etc.? How would the story change if the events were told from another point of view? How does the author control the mood with this point of view?
  1. Is the selection ironic? How so? Explain the function of irony. Identify which type of irony is used. Why does the author use irony in this selection? How would the selection change without the use of irony?
  1. Explain the purpose of the setting. Why does this selection take place when and where it does? How would the story change if moved to another setting? Explore the historical and/or geographical and/or cultural significance of the setting.
  1. What is the theme (the universal truth learned from the selection)? Explain. Where else have you seen this theme (other literary works, films, television, comics, video games, etc.)?
  1. You may choose to focus on a theoretical interpretation of a selection. See chapter 48 in your book. This is a great idea if you are stuck!

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