Essay Question Options: Please choose one of the following essay prompts: Option
Essay Question Options: Please choose one of the following essay prompts:
Option 1: Characters do what they do because of their various motivations and desires. Often, their desires conflict with their ethical or moral responsibilities. For example, a personal belief, a love, a thirst for vengeance, a resolve to rectify a wrong, or some other ambition may cause a character to conflict with a moral obligation. Choose one of the stories in which a character’s motivations/desire conflict with his/her ethical responsibilities. Focus on the moral dilemma the character experiences and analyze how he/she wrestles with this dilemma beyond what is obvious in the plot. What literary elements draw out this conflict?
Option 2: Most often, literary works have both internal conflict (individual v. self) and external conflict (individual v. individual, society, nature, or technology). Additionally, one can often find that a character’s internal conflict is linked to an external one. Choose one of the stories in which both an internal and external conflict are evident to you. How does the external conflict illuminate the internal one? What meaningful parallels or incongruencies do you observe when comparing the two, and what is the significance within the context of the story?
Option 3: In some stories, characters come into conflict with the culture in which they live. Often, a character feels alienated in his/her community or society due to race, gender, class or ethnic background. Choose one of the stories that shows this kind of conflict. How is the character alienated from community and how does she/he respond to it? What does that character’s alienation say about the surrounding society’s assumptions, morality and values? In what way(s) do literary elements reflect how that society defines race, gender, class and/or ethnicity? How does this create conflict for the character?
Option 4: Symbolism is a powerful tool in literature that can be used to highlight a central theme in the story. Choose a text that utilizes symbolism to convey its message. Select at least four symbols that you see at work in the story, analyze the meaning of the symbol, its impact, and how it contribute to a central theme in the story.
Your essay should meet all of the following requirements:
Formulate a clear and focused thesis that reveals the fictional elements you are analyzing and the central theme that these elements help reveal. Create an outline with headings and subheadings to organize your ideas before you begin composing the paper. Your essay should be 4-6 pages typed, double-spaced with one inch margins. Please use 12 point font size and “Times New Roman” or “Arial” font. You are required to have at least 4 in text citations using the short story as your primary source. Use quotations from the short story as evidence to support your ideas and explain the relevance of those quotations to the argument you are making in your thesis. No outside sources for this essay, this is not a research essay. Use third person writing and formal language (no first or second person: No “I”, “we”, “us”, “our”, “you,” etc.), no contractions, no slang, etc.) and high level of insight into the short story in order to express ideas smoothly, clearly, and fluently. (Bring a dictionary or thesaurus if you need it). Use appropriate punctuation, capitalization, spelling, grammar, and paragraphing. Follow the MLA format (MLA heading, double-space, blue or black ink, etc.); format and cite your quotations correctly in the MLA style. Include an MLA Works Cited page to document the short story (your primary source).