Language

The paper itself examines a story and its use of symbolism, irony, imagery, or allusions to other sources (literary, pop culture, historical). Examine the story for ways it uses literary language to communicate to communicate its theme or meaning. You are looking for a pattern among the language elements so that all can be shown to relate to the idea you examine.

 

Choose one of the following short stories for the Paper: Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” Cheever’s “The Swimmer,” O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” or Carver’s “Cathedral.” From the book “The story and its writer”.

 

You must also use two outside scholarly sources, taken from the Library’s collection of databases Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, or one of the databases listed under “Literature and Literary Criticism.” You may also use the articles in the “Sourcebook” part of The Story and Its Writer. (You may use only scholarly aasources. You may not use Wikipedia, Smoot, enotes, or other online “cheat sheets” for research sources.)

 

 

Directions: 1. Read the section on “Style” in Appendix 2 of the textbook for discussion on the elements of language. Also read the section on “Writing a Research Paper”  in the Appendices for discussion on formulating a thesis, analysis, and M.L.A.-style documentation (In-text parenthetical citations, Works Cited page).

 

  1. The paper itself examines a story and its use of symbolism, irony, imagery, or allusions to other sources (literary, pop culture, historical). Examine the story for ways it uses literary language to communicate to communicate its theme or meaning. You are looking for a pattern among the language elements so that all can be shown to relate to the idea you examine.

 

  1. After annotating the story for its symbols, figures of speech, irony, allusions, ask yourself:

To what overall purpose does this story use symbolism (or irony, or imagery, or allusions)? Use the research article to point you towards ideas you may not have thought of, or to give your analysis more depth or validity.

 

  1. You are performing close readings of these stories, so you are to use the story itself as the primary text, and interpretive articles to back your observations of the text itself. Overall, you are looking for a pattern of symbolism (that points towards the subject of death, for instance) or allusion (that point to the question of what makes a good person) or situational irony (to show the delusional thinking of an alcoholic character).

 

  1. Consequently, the thesis of your paper will answer that question: What does this story mean and how does it use patterns of symbolism, irony, imagery, or allusion to communicate this? What language devices does the writer use so that its ideas are heightened or enriched?

 

 
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