The purpose of this paper is to analyze a character in order to understand one of the larger
themes or messages in a short story.
These are your steps:
1.Select ONE character from one of the short stories we’ve read so far and do an analysis of the character. Think about the choices, desires, descriptions, traits, and backgrounds of the character.
-Analyze the character for his/her meaning in the story, what “truths” about the world or society that she/he reveals to us, or how she/he relates to the larger theme of the story.
Explain the symbolism or meaning of the character.
2. While you are analyzing the character, use our literary terms from the first week of class. Is this character a protagonist or an antagonist? Is the setting important to understanding the character? Is there any foreshadowing that accompanies the character?
3.The most important step is to answer this question: so what? By creating THIS character in THIS way, what point/theme/message is the author trying to get across?
Do not simply write that Montresor is evil or that Desiree is sad, but what function do their characters play in trying to figure out what the story MEANS?
*Example: Perhaps Montressor’s character shows us that
wanting revenge could strip away one’s humanity. Perhaps Desiree’s fate demonstrates the tragedy of racism and sexism in 19th Century America.
Your paper must have these elements:
A clear introduction and conclusion that are separate paragraphs from the body.
Clear analysis of the character.
Explain how the character is described or what is significant about him/her
that leads you to the larger significance of the character. Don’t use too much plot
summary, but explain briefly what the character goes through, how they are described, what choices they make, or anything that you might think is relevant to your analysis, including the literary terms we’ve been discussing.
A thesis statement that states something about the characters meaning and how that relates to the
“so what?” aspect of the story. We will look at samples in class.
Specific evidence to back up your point. This means that you will use some quotes in your paper from the story, and use examples to back up your point. Do NOT talk generally about the story.
Example: instead of saying “Aylmer was selfish,” find a quote in the story that shows his selfishness, quote it, and explain its significance (how it shows he is selfish).
Structure and development. I suggest that your paper should have
three body paragraphs, and they should be organized and developed.
This would make a 5-paragraph essay. (A 4 or 6 paragraph essay could also be acceptable for this assignment, but no more or less).
Proofreading: fix errors that you already know about it and make sure that the paper is formatted correctly and looks good, in MLA format .
Reflecting lessons learned in class. In class, we will go over thesis statements, paragraphs, development, formatting, grammar, etc. Your paper should show that you paid attention to these lessons. In other words: take notes!
Your paper should be minimum 1000 words long. It will be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman size 12, NOT bolded or enlarged. Your header should follow the MLA format as described in the syllabus, D2L and on Purdue OWL. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_sample_paper.html
NO RESEARCH will be done for this paper. The only source will be the story you select. You will still need a Work Cited page for this one source. I will go over to write citations in class.
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