The Assignment: Pick a passage from any of our first 10 stories that you feel is emblematic of that story (of its form and/or its themes), and then develop a structured close reading of three significant elements of that passage. This paper should be 2-3 pages (5 paragraphs) in length.
The Scene: The passage that you choose can vary in length from a few paragraphs to a few pages; if it’s on the shorter side, you’ll just want to make sure that you can identify at least three elements that you’d be able to analyze at some length, while if it’s longer, the key will be that it’s unified enough to make for a coherent paper. Once you’ve identified a possible passage or two, it makes sense to identify clearly why you’ve chosen them—that is, what about them makes them emblematic of the story’s form and/or themes as you see them. That preliminary identification will likely evolve into your overall main idea for the paper, when all is said and done. And identifying it up front will make it that much easier for you then to identify specific elements from the passage that you can analyze at length in your paper’s paragraphs.
The Essay: As with all of our papers, the final product here should take the form of a structured essay—an intro with an overarching main idea (something about what the passage emblematizes, in all likelihood), evidence paragraphs (3 of them in this case) with quotes/details and analysis, and a conclusion. Given the length of the paper, it’s probably best to identify initially at least four or five distinct elements from within the passage that you’d be able to analyze in separate paragraphs; that should give you sufficient starting points to begin planning the paper’s three evidence paragraphs.
Materials for essay should be from these short stories: Boys go to Jupiter, Hills like White Elephants, and must include Sympathy, Characterization, Setting.