Interpretive Essay #1:
Due June 25, 2016
Please write a 2-3 page interpretive essay based on one of the following topics. Papers should be typed and double-spaced with 1 inch margins and size 12 font.
The questions I have provided should be a starting point for your essay, but you may branch out into other areas, depending on where your interpretation takes you. Always support your answers with evidence from the text(s). Use direct quotes where you feel they will support your argument. Do not forget to have a separate introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion to your essay. Your introduction should introduce the story or stories you plan to interpret, and express a thesis statement (a central idea of your argument) about the story/stories. If you are writing about two stories, your thesis should show some connection you are finding between the two of them.
This essay is meant to be your own interpretation of this story or stories based on the questions I ask below. Do not look up summaries of the story or stories online. If you use ideas or words from online sources without citing them, this is plagiarism and will result in an F on the assignment. I would much rather read what you think!
In Flannery Oâ€™Connorâ€™s, â€œA Good Man is Hard to Find,â€ we find characters who exhibit traits of the southern â€œladyâ€ and â€œgentleman.â€ How do the grandmother and the Misfit exhibit these traits? What is Oâ€™Connor saying about the significance of these traits in relation to a personâ€™s moral character? How do these characters measure up to Oâ€™Connorâ€™s expectations of a personâ€™s morality? If you wish, you may compare the idea of what makes a â€œladyâ€ in â€œA Good Man is Hard to Findâ€ to Faulknerâ€™s â€œlady,â€ Emily Grierson, in â€œA Rose for Emily.â€ Think about the class issues that are involved in the label of â€œladyâ€ as used by these southern authors.
Discuss the status of women in Charlotte Perkins Gilmanâ€™s â€œThe Yellow Wallpaper,â€ Kate Chopinâ€™s â€œStory of an Hour,â€ OR Jamaica Kinkaidâ€™s â€œGirl.â€ What options did women have in the story you chose? What were their lives like? What did it take for women to survive and carve out a piece of freedom in a patriarchal society at the time or in the place where the story you chose was written? How does the author critique womenâ€™s position in her world?
Write an essay about how the setting (both the physical setting and the social/time period) is crucial to the meaning of one of the following stories: Gilmanâ€™s â€œThe Yellow Wallpaperâ€ OR John Updikeâ€™s â€œA&P.â€ This may require some basic research into the time/place the story was written. If you do borrow information, please cite your sources.