A‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍ssignment # 1 Essay # 1: Analyzing How a Story Works I. Rat

A‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍ssignment # 1 Essay # 1: Analyzing How a Story Works I. Rationale: So far, we’ve experienced, enjoyed, and studied a variety of short stories. Literary criticism begins with a feeling or aesthetic sensation, and then we work to understand why and how a story is good, enjoyable, or meaningful. We might ask ourselves such questions as Do I like this story? Does it resonate with me? What makes it good? What do I learn from it? To explore any of these questions precisely, we must return to the story and analyze the text itself as a deliberate creation by a literary artist. II. Assignment: Here’s what I want you to do: Select ONE of the short stories on the semester list. Then select one of the list of common formal elements and trace how that element works in the chosen story to contribute to that story’s meaning as a whole. Make an argument for the author’s use of that element, analyzing each instance where the element plays a role in shaping the story and its meaning. Be sure to provide textual evidence in your analysis. In effect, you are addressing these questions: What does the story mean? How does it mean what it means? What literary element or device helps the story to make meaning? What is the textual evidence of the story’s meaning-making? III. How to Get Started: The best (easiest) way to complete this assignment is to re-read the selected story several times, each time noting with a pencil or highlighter (or equivalent electronic tools if you are working with an electronic copy of the story) an instance in the story employing the literary device. Then, free-write for a twenty-minute block on how that device works specifically each time it is used. Complete three such free-write sessions, for a total of an hour’s worth of writing. Next, annotate your free-write, highlighting those ideas in your free-write that seem to you especially worthwhile. Transfer important ideas from your free-write into a list, then integrate the textual evidence from the story with your ideas. Conduct a brainstorm to include additional ideas that might have not shown up in the free-writing steps. Organize the ideas into a sensible outline, making sure at this stage that you know what it is you wish to argue in your analysis. Write the outline into paragraphs and an essay discussion. IV. Assignment Parameters: MLA format, especially for textual evidence integration from source material about 3-1/2 to 4 full pages of text, about 1300 to 1500 words (but no fixed upper limit) Times New Roman font (for reading) in 12-point size double-spaced throughout 1” margins all around ‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍ V. Schedule: I encourage you to post your work through the Dropbox in the related link as soon as you feel it represents your best output, given the temporal limitations and other factors and worldly responsibilities. The last date to post this and any assignment is Friday, 10 December 2021 by 11:59 PM. VI. Please note: This assignment requires no research of any kind, just your own thoughtful ideas, but if you do conduct either formal or informal research, then be sure to include citations in MLA style throughout your discussion and a Works Consulted page attached as the last page. The Works Consulted page does not relate to the word count of your essay. VII. Additional Resources: You might find the below list of elements and devices helpful. It is incomplete. of course. You might want to bookmark these websites: For details of MLA style and sample essays written by students: Modern Language Association Website For a review of literary devices with exercises: Literary Devices The Formal Elements and Literary Devices of Story Narrative point of view omniscient limited omniscient first person singular (common) first-person plural (rare) second person (rare) third-person singular (common) third-person plural (rare) reliable unreliable intrusive non-intrusive Character protagonist antagonist hero anti-hero Conflict human versus self human versus human human versus nature Setting time indeterminate present: current or immediate past: recent or historical or distant future: near or distant place: interior/exterior; near/far; familiar or unfamiliar Plot Exposition Climax Resolution Denouement Verb Tense present past (common) future (rare) conditional subjunctive Flashback Foreshadowing Recall Monologue Dialogue Stream-of-consciousness (modern) Style Lexicon Diction Theme Tone dramatic comic serious ironic tense suspenseful Satire Parody Comedy Tragedy Imagery (the five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, touch) Metaphor (what makes literature possible) Simile Symbol Motif Personification Hyperbole (exaggeration) Allusion Allegory Myth Fable Epic Fairytale Mystery Biography Autobiography Hagiography History Sentence Variety (4 levels) simple: one independent clause compound: two or more independent clauses complex: one independent clause plus one or more dependent clauses compound-complex: two or more independent clauses joined with one or more dependent clauses Sentence Mood (4 expectations) declarative imperative interrogative exclam‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍atory Genre

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