Write about only one of the following stories.

Each of the following stories explores multiple themes. Themes, as you will recall from the lecture, are the ideas a writer explores in a story. Focus on one main theme, and show how this theme is explored or expressed in the story.

Since each story has more than one theme, you may have to leave out other important ideas. That’s okay: this is a short paper, and your focus needs to be sharp.

If you aren’t clear on what a theme is, reread Lecture 5, and feel free to ask me if you have any questions.


  • Be sure to state your thesis explicitly in the first paragraph of your paper.
  • Find some basic biographical information on the author’s life and career,and briefly summarize it in your essay. This should be no more than one paragraph, and is typically placed in the second paragraph, although you are free to use it anyplace in the paper where it is most effective.
  • Find one article in a database (or a chapter in a book) which discusses the same story you are writing about. Summarize the ideas in this article, and explain how it agrees or disagrees with your own interpretation of the story. You must use at least one quote from the article to support a point you are making.
  • Be sure to use direct quotes from the story to support your ideas. There is no required number of quotes you need to use; but for each point you make, find a specific example or direct quote to support it. Essays which don’t include direct quotes from the story cannot receive a grade higher than C.
  • You will be using the story, along with two outside sources: one biographical, one analytical. Be sure to include all three of these in your Works Cited list and use correct citation format.
  • Use correct MLA format and citation techniques in your essay and be sure to include a correctly formatted Works Cited list. Required length: 3-5 pages, or 750-1250 words.)