Instruction can be found in the file below:
First File: Instruction; make sure to read them carefully to see what is required.
Second File: An example of a student's e*say. Use it as a resource.
Third File: The story you must use to complete assignment.
Short Story Analysis Essay Lecture Notes and Crieria
In this assignment you will select one of the two short stories indicated in the course calendar and provide an analysis of that short story.
When you develop your theme (meaning) remember to connect it to one of three things:
· Human Nature
Do not give me a “one word” theme such as, “The theme of The Jilting of granny Weatherall is bitterness.” Immediately, I will ask, “so what?” What about bitterness relates to human nature, society, or culture? Do not develop a “summary theme” such as, “ Young Goodman Brown is about a guy who loses his faith in God.” Once you have developed a theme, decide what three elements of fiction the author uses to advance that theme. These elements can be found in Lit.(see the reading I assigned for week three), and here are the main elements I would like you to use:
· Plot & Structure
· Point of View
· Language & Style
· Irony & Symbol
Your paper will be written in the five paragraph essay format (refer to the “Five Paragraph Essay” under session one in the timeline. Every specific support must include a direct quote from the short story. This will be your illustration or the I in PIE.
The first paragraph should include all of the following and I do not mind if you use this example in your explication:
In the short story insert short story title here (italicize or place within quotation marks – not both) author’s full name uses element of fiction (point A), element of fiction (point B), and element of fiction (point C) to advance the theme of insert your theme here.
Refer to the sample student paper I have posted on Moodle!
Although you do not need a works cited page, you do need to cite the pages(s) of the short story you use. Here are a few pointers on MLA and poetry citations:
· Remember to always introduce your quote. Example: Hawthorne writes, “
· One to four lines of your typed text is an in-sentence quote and is written / cited as follows Hawthorne writes, “Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife” (553). [Notice how the introduction is in present tense. The entire paper should be written that way]
· Five or more lines use a block quote and revert to normal punctuation:
Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife. Anf faith, as his wife was aptly names, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap, while she called to Goodman Brown. (553)
(If you use a block quote, format with a hanging indent two tab spaces from the left margin, remember to double space).
The explanation portion of your specific supports or the E in PIE is where most students have the most difficulty. You make a point, give an illustration from the poem in the form of a direct quote, then offer an explanation, which often turns out to be nothing more than a summary of the quote. Just as you linked your theme to human nature, society, or culture, you should link your explanation the same way. Be sure the explanation is connected to your theme! Refer to the sample paper for an example of this in session four of timeline. Good luck writing!
· To write a college level short story analysis essay in MLA format.
· To develop a concise theme connected to human nature, culture, or society.
· To identify major elements of fiction used to support your theme.
· To articulate specific supports, with direct quotes from the short story, that back the major points and theme of the paper.
· Is the paper clearly written and well organized?
· Is there a clearly developed theme?
· Are specific supports presented in the ‘PIE’ format with direct quotes from the short story used as illustrations?
· Proper MLA format and citation of pages in the short story.
· Evidence of proofreading/ editing.
· Minimum of two full pages… no more than three pages in length.
· Choice One: Porter’s Jilting of Granny Weatherall (PDF on Moodle).
· Choice Two: Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown p 611 in Lit.
· No works cited page required as you are only using quotes from the short story.
· Do not use quotes or references from outside sources, this is not a research paper.
· Refer to course calendar.
Student Name Here
ENG 102 MW
December 3, 2014
In any relationship, whether it be a marriage or even just a work partnership,
communication is vital. In the short story Shiloh, Bobbie Ann Mason uses imagery,
symbolism, and characters to show just how the failure to communicate can result in the
destruction of even the strongest relationships.
Imagery is one of the elements Mason uses to illustrate how an absence of
communication can be damaging to a relationship. Leroy has spent most of his marriage
on the road yet when he comes home for good he does not recognize his hometown or his
marriage, and is not sure what to do to reconcile himself to either. Mason shows this
when writing, “He cruises the new subdivisions, feeling like a criminal rehearsing for a
robbery. Norma Jean is probably right about a log house being inappropriate here in the
new subdivisions. All the houses look grand and complicated. They depress him” (71). In
a suddenly changing relationship a person can be caught off guard and confused, not
knowing what if anything they can do to get used to those changes. When Leroy and
Norma Jean visit Shiloh, after years of being pushed to go by Norma Jean’s mother, their
marriage finally disintegrates. Mason writes, “The cemetery, a green slope doted with
white markers, looks like a subdivision site. Leroy is trying to comprehend that his
marriage is breaking up, but for some reason he is wondering about white slabs in a
graveyard” (76). Divorce is often thought of as the death of a marriage, the end of an
entire way of life in some ways.
Like imagery, Mason also uses symbolism to show how a lack of communication
can change relationships without the people in them noticing. The organ that Leroy buys
Norma Jean is an example of how much she changes just in the short time he is at home
going from playing all kinds of music on it to not playing it at all. Mason illustrates this
when she writes, “She doesn’t play the organ anymore, though her second paper was
called ‘Why Music Is Important To Me’ ” (73). Sometimes it is smaller changes that
indicate a larger issue in a relationship that people do not pay attention to. Throughout the
story Leroy keeps insisting he wants to build Norma Jean a log cabin even after she tells
him she does not want it, which highlights the fact that he does not really know his wife
anymore and is not listening to what how she is changing. Mason writes:
“I’m going to build you this house,” says Leroy. “I want to make you a
“I don’t want to live in any log cabin.”
“It’s not a cabin, It’s a house.”
“I don’t care. It looks like a cabin.”
“You and me together could lift those logs. It’s just like lifting weights.”
Norma Jean doesn’t answer. Under her breath, she is counting. (71)
People tend to cling to their ideas of how their spouse should be and miss cues that could
let them know that they are changing, and that the relationship is not as idyllic as it
Mason uses the characters of Leroy and Norma Jean to highlight how people in a
relationship can miss or ignore all sorts of hints of discontent from the other. Leroy is a
simple man who does not know what to say to his wife, nor how to say it. Mason
illustrates this when she states, “Now Leroy has the sudden impulse to tell Norma Jean
about himself, as if he had just met her. They have known each other so long they have
forgotten a lot about each other. They could become reacquainted. But when the oven
timer goes off and she runs to the kitchen, he forgets why he wants to do this” (72).
Sometimes the lack of communication is not because a person does not know what is
wrong but that they do not know how to bring up their awareness of a problem, so they
simply leave it alone. Norma Jean is Leroy’s opposite, wanting for him to get a job again
so that he is not dependent on her for all of his emotional needs. Even so, she does not
tell him how unhappy she is until the very end, when Mason writes:
“Everything was fine till Mama caught me smoking,” says Norma Jean,
standing up. “That set something off.”
“What are you talking about?”
“She won’t leave me alone- you won’t leave me alone.” Norma Jean
seems to be crying, but she is looking away from him. “I feel eighteen
again. I can’t face that all over again.” She starts walking away. “No, it
wasn’t fine. I don’t know what I’m saying. Forget it.” (76)
It is fairly common for the unhappy party in a relationship to keep all their issues and
anger bottled up until they cannot contain it anymore and they let it all out at once,
usually quite explosively.
People in relationships, especially those that span years, tend to forget to keep
open lines of communication with each other. In Shiloh, Bobbie Ann Mason shows how
that can ruin those relationships with her use of imagery, symbolism, and characters.
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