From the List of stories on our course reading schedule, choose one and analyze

From the List of stories on our course reading schedule, choose one and analyze it in terms of theme and the author’s use of the elements of fiction in order to convey that theme. Possible literary elements you will explore are: plot (end orientation, foreshadowing, elements of plot), irony, setting, symbolism, characterization (methods of characterization, round/flat, static/dynamic, tragic flaw), or point of view (first/third, major/minor, omniscient/limited omniscient/objective, reliable/unreliable). You may include secondary sources of literary criticism to help you with your essay. This essay should also be about 3 pages in length. You can choose to write about one of the following two stories:
* “The Swimmer” by John Cheever
* “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
Do not summarize the story and then give your opinion of it. Support a thesis: shared theme & the use of the elements of lit. to convey it.
Do not use the first person pronoun “I” anywhere in your paper.
Although you are exploring the elements, don’t use the words “element” or “theme” in your analysis. In place of these words, use the actual theme and element.
Ex: Poe further underscores the narrator’s [denial of reality]1 with [the image of an eye (“I”)]2 with a film over it.
Take great care with verb tense; write about both the action in the literature and the act of writing in the present tense. (Ex: Maupassant portrays; Desireé commits suicide)
Suggested Format:
Intro: Brief introduction to story; make sure you include the author, title, and date (Dates go directly after the title of a work in parentheses: “The Lottery” (1948).)
Thesis re: Identified theme and the use of the elements of fiction to convey it
Ex: Chopin shows the ego as being destructive through the use of symbolism.
Body: Main points that support your claim; give each its own ¶, topic sentence, support from the story, quotes from your literary criticism, and explication/analysis on your part. You may choose to address each main point in one ¶ or to split each main point into two ¶s (by story). Your main points will be focused around the elements you select.
Conclusion: Final statement which makes purpose and relevance of analysis clear to reader and leaves the reader thinking.

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