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Los Angeles Pierce College Symbolism in American Literature Essay

Los Angeles Pierce College Symbolism in American Literature Essay

Question Description

Select one or two of the short stories read:

  • Faulkner “A Rose for Emily”
  • Jackson “The Lottery”
  • Erdich “The Red Convertible”
  • Joyce “Araby”
  • Poe “The Cask of the Amontillado”
  • Hawthorne “Young Goodman Brown”
  • Chopin, “A Story of an Hour”

Now select one of the essay topics below and write a well-developed essay that responds to and argues your position on the topic. Follow MLA format; create clear essay structure; clearly state your thesis; interweave and integrate quotes from the stories to support your opinions well. No outside sources are required for this assignment, although you may consult critical interpretations of your short story. If you do so, you must cite all sources and include the article(s) on your Works Cited page. Your essay should be 4-5 pages in length. MAKE SURE THE CITATIONS USED ARE FROM THE SHORT STORIES AND INTEGRATED INTO THE ESSAY.

  • Main characters often learn a “lesson” or make an important personal discovery during the course of the story. If there is a lesson to be learned from a story, what would it be and who learns it? Give at least three examples from the one or two of the stories to prove your argument.
  • Discuss a story through its historical context (in what ways does the story represent that time period). Give at least three examples to prove your point. Also, does the story have a different effect in today’s time and perspective?
  • Often in stories, authors will use an object or an event to symbolize something greater than itself. (For instance, in the fairy tale, Cinderella, the glass slipper could be seen as a symbol of the fragility of life or love, it could represent all that is magic in the story, or it could represent femininity itself). Identify a “symbol” in any two stories read. Compare what the symbol represents and its importance. Be sure to give at least two or three specific examples from each story to prove your argument.
  • Compare a theme of one of stories with either a political / social event or popular movie. Describe the event or movie so that someone who is not familiar with it could understand your argument. Give at least three specific examples from BOTH the text and the event or movie to show how they relate to each other in your opinion. Address the significance of the theme and why it matters to a twenty-first century reader.

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