Task: Literary interpretation and analysis: develop a specific interpretive observation about one or more of the short stories we’ve read– “The Axolotl” by Julio Cortazar, “Feathers” by Raymond Carver, “Cat in the Rain” by Ernest Hemingway, or “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield. You can select one of the following lenses to analyze one (or more) of these stories. (If you pick more than one story, make sure each story connects directly to your thesis and analysis). Select one of the analytical lenses below to develop your THESIS:
1) Character transformation: What is the ONE significant way that the protagonist/s transforms or changes in the story/ies: how and why does he/she transform or change? Focus on how he/she appears in the beginning, what the significant turning point(s) were that caused him/her to transform and evidence of his/her final transformation. 2) Theme: Pick ONE significant theme in the story/ies, and then analyze the message the author/s conveys through that theme: what is he/she trying to show or teach us about this theme?
In doing so, explore how it is represented throughout the story/ies (beginning, middle, and end) by closely analyzing key passages that illustrate the theme and the message that the author/s convey/s.3) Conflict: Focus on ONE significant conflict, and analyze it: what is the motivation or cause of the conflict (consider underlying factors, not just the obvious), how does this conflict play out in the story/ies and why it is so significant?
How does it affect the character(s) and how it is resolved or not resolved?
Remember to make an observation about the significance of this conflict in your thesis, topic sentences and conclusion.
4) Literary genre: Pick a literary genre (magical realism, modernist stream of consciousness, supermarket realism, or surrealism) and analyze one or more of the stories and how the story/ies conform or don’t conform to the genre you have chosen. It will be helpful to incorporate a “so what” into your thesis, like why it’s significant that the story/ies demonstrate this genre, so your essay feels more argumentative rather than informative. Grading Criteria: 1. Your thesis should offer an insightful and interpretative claim, not just a simple statement of fact. For example, “Miss Brill is lonely and isolated” is NOT an effective thesis because it offers no interpretive analysis. Instead, as yourself the how? why?
(close analysis) questions that push you to look below the surface of the text and come