Short Story Assignment

Help me study for my English class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

At the beginning of the semester, we did a close viewing of an excerpt from the film, Leap of Faith. We watched it a few times to notice many of the details that revealed insights about the words, behaviors, and attitudes of the characters in the film. We talked about how the blurry introduction reflects the theme of the story and how it prepares us to meet the difficult-to-perceive protagonist, who takes big risks and is a master of deception. We noticed how the language on the buses—Miracles and Wonders, Show Bus—revealed character. We discussed the foreshadowing of the dialogue on the mini TV set, “You always think you hold all of the cards” and how it relates to Jonas, the main character, who carries a card around with him that he won from a famous gambler and how Jonas brags, “I always win.”

We also did a close reading of a couple short stories—The Hand and The Paring Knife. In class, we talked about the contributions that literary qualities such as setting, imagery, irony, and symbolism contribute to the story.

Since then, we’ve read and talked about additional stories that show the difference between ordinary writing and literature.

The next stage in your development of appreciating the qualities of literature is to do a close reading and write up what you notice.

  • Choose one of the stories I’ve emailed you (they are also in the Content section of D2L).
  • Do a close reading of the story, reading it several times and noting the various literary techniques the author uses to make the story more interesting. We have read/talked about several so far, including these:
  • Choose at least three of those, using them to make an argument about the story you choose.
  • Write it up (there’s an example paper in the Content section of D2L).

plot character setting theme tone irony style point of view symbolism imagery

The technical stuff:

  • MS Word Document
  • MLA format with typed, double-spaced, 12-point Times Roman font
  • One-inch margins
  • 3-4 pages (no cover sheet; the Works Cited page doesn’t count towards the total)
  • To get credit for it, you need to submit a copy of it to the D2L Dropbox before the class period when it’s due
  • Late work is not accepted

See your syllabus for additional tips on how to write a good paper.

Due Date: May 24rd.


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