Essay 2: Thematic Analysis and Character
Write a 4-5 page paper in which you discuss the primary dilemma of the protagonist and how it relates to a dominant theme of the story. For this prompt, you may use one of the stories we are discussing for the current unit. This essay must be acomprehensive, thesis-driven academic argument which focus on the act of interpretation through the provision of evidence and detailed explanation.
The essay must follow MLA format to the letter. You should assume that your audience is not necessarily familiar with the work you have chosen to discuss; thus, you will need to provide pertinent information where appropriate (e.g. the author’s full name, appropriate summary, sufficient interpretation, and the like). You will be graded on how well your essay accomplishes the above criteria; this is in addition to your ability to construct a collegiate-level essay, including the use of appropriate grammatical conventions. Theme can be defined as a generally recurring subject or idea conspicuously evident in a literary work. However, please note that not all subjects in a work can be considered themes, only the central subject or subjects of a piece of fiction (or poetry or drama, for that matter). To locate the theme, read and re-read the short story you have chosen carefully. Ask yourself key questions regarding the meaning(s) of the story: What ideas are present in this story? What is the author trying to communicate to me? What word or words describes the central conflict/situation/dilemma in which the protagonist finds him/herself? How do the secondary characters contribute to this conflict? What comment(s) is the author making with respect to the bigger picture, even life in general? What aspects of the human condition does the author confront and comment upon?
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