How do Authors of Short Stories Create an Experience of Meaning?
Task: Flannery O’Connor says that a story is “experienced meaning.” Writers create this experience through tone, plot, point of view, characterization, and setting. Choose one of the stories we have read for class and use one or more of these elements to analyze how the author creates the experience of the meaning you see in his or her story. Here are some samples of questions you can create to help you focus your essay, but you are not limited to them: How does Nathaniel Hawthorne create an experience of meaning through his use of characterization in “Young Goodman Brown”? You do not need to do any additional research. It may be helpful to learn about the historical context of stories, but please don’t just regurgitate “the answers” you think you found on the internet. Use the elements of fiction to think about the story and form your own interpretation.Use quotations from the stories to support your claims. Rather than oversimplifying the theme of the story, for example, to one that demonstrates good vs. evil, seek out its complexity.
The more deeply you explore the meaning of a story as you reread and freewrite, the more interesting your essay will become. Essay Requirements: ~At least 4 full pages in MLA format, double-spaced, 1” margins, and 12 pt. font in print and uploaded on Canvas ~An introduction that ends in a thesis that makes a claim about how an author uses one or more of the elements of fiction to create an experience of meaning in the story (the theme) ~At least four PIE paragraphs: Point/claim– Your opinion about the way the author uses an element of fiction in the story Information that supports the point– Quotations from the story in every body paragraph that are properly introduced, analyzed, and cited page numbers (when possible) using MLA format Explanation– Analysis of how his or her use of the element of fiction affects readers and helps us to experience the meaning of the theme ~A conclusion that emphasizes the significance of the story and what you have said about it ~Careful Proofreading and attention to sentence variety Steps: Reread and annotate the story. See pages 32-36 in Literature: The Human Experience (on reserve in the library). Write or add to a reading response for it including your analysis of the elements of fiction that you see in the story, questions, and your notes from the secondary reading and/or class discussions.
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