Choice One Topic


Analyze your chosen story or play to detail how one aspect of the story—symbolism, characterization, or irony—fits into the story.  Show how this part of the story complements the theme of the work.  You may also need to comment on how your subject fits into its own time and place or all times and places.

The paper should be at least four pages (besides the works cited), with internal citations. These will obviously correspond to a works cited sheet that follows.  It will include citations from articles by critics found in the Literature Resource Center or Literary Reference Center available on the El Centro College Library website.  The way you cite the critics, set up the quotes, and follow the pattern for a proper works cited will be a major part of your grade.

The major part of the paper will be your own writing about the story, zeroing in on your topic (symbols, characters, or irony).  You will use quotes from the work.  This involves several careful readings of the chosen work.  But you will also need to look at the critical articles on the website, find appropriate details in at least two of them, forward those articles to your own email, cite them in your paper, and make works cited entries for them to follow your paper.

Topics for the Paper (Pick only one.)

Symbolism in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Characterization in Trifles by Susan Glaspell

Irony in “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin

Irony in “The Storm” by Kate Chopin

An outline follows on the next page.

Play or Short Story Criticism

I. Introduction

A. Rhetorical Device (Anecdote, Scenario, Provoking Question,

Metaphor, Analogy, or Other Literary Device) to Segue into

the Thesis

B. Thesis Statement Linking Theme to Symbols or Characterization

or Irony

II. Background on the Play or Story to Establish the Perceived Theme

(III-V)  Paragraphs on Instances of Symbols, Characterization, or Irony

VI. Support or Opposition to Current Reading from Critics

VII. Conclusion on the Relevance of Symbols, Characterization, or Irony 

to the Theme and Resonance of the Work

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