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May 24, 2023
You are writing a literary analysis essay. Your paper will explore how one author from Modernism uses literary elements and devices to communicate the theme of social justice OR agency (free will) vs. structure.

 

This is a standard five-paragraph essay. You will choose one story to write about. You may choose how you format the essay:

Option 1 – Choose one literary element/device and give 6 examples (2 per paragraph) of how it reveals the theme of social justice or agency vs. structure.
Option 2 – Choose 3 literary elements/devices and give examples of how each one reveals the theme of social justice or agency vs. structure throughout the story.
Your essay will be argumentative, claiming that your chosen story and author best utilize your chosen literary elements as a means for revealing the theme of social justice or agency vs. structure. In essence, you are arguing that your interpretation of the story is valid. You must take the reader through your thought process in arriving at your conclusion and provide textual evidence to support your claim.

>>You must have at least TWO pieces of textual evidence for each body paragraph.

Literary Elements and Devices Used to Reveal Theme
Plot structure
in medias res, foreshadowing, flashback, where the story begins, resolution (or lack thereof)
Chosen point of view
First-person, third-person omniscient, third-person limited
-What effect does it have? Why did the author choose this pov in particular? Why not a different one?
Elements of setting
Look for descriptions, especially of the place: weather, lighting, vegetation (or lack thereof), temperature, terrain, etc.
Other themes
Are there smaller lessons learned that reveal the main theme?
Complex sub-conflicts
Look beyond the obvious main conflict. What smaller, complex conflicts are being used to build a deeper understanding? Consider character motivation
Irony
dramatic, situational, verbal
characterization/characters
round, flat, static, dynamic, direct, indirect; examine the role each character plays; how does the author use other elements to develop the character
dialogue

symbolism

Language use
Sound devices, figurative language
Style
Syntax, sentence length, punctuation use, vocabulary, diction

Literature Options:

Lesson
Title
Author
Book
Page
2
“In Another Country”
Hemingway
American Short Stories
249
3
“The Chrysanthemums”
Steinbeck
American Short Stories
313
5
“The Black Ball”
Ellison
American Short Stories
343
6
“Why, You Reckon?”
Hughes
A Multicultural Reader
252
9
“Babylon, Revisited”
Fitzgerald
American Short Stories
271
10
“He”
Porter
American Short Stories
257

>>Click the appropriate option to be taken to the outline.<< 1 Literary element (6 examples) 3 literary elements (2 examples each) One Literary Element Story: Literary element: Topic Sentence Evidence 1 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Evidence 2 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Topic Sentence Evidence 3 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Evidence 4 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Topic Sentence Evidence 5 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Evidence 6 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Three Literary Elements Story: Literary element 1: Literary element 2: Literary element 3: Topic Sentence (literary element 1) Evidence 1 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Evidence 2 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Topic Sentence (literary element 2) Evidence 1 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Evidence 2 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Topic Sentence (literary element 3) Evidence 1 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme Evidence 2 Explanation: how is this a literary element Explanation: how does this reveal the theme

 
 
 

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