Paper 2 Assignment: Theme
The second paper should focus on one or two themes that are prevalent in the stories we have covered. As with the last paper, you may choose any of the texts in the syllabus, but you will need to refine your thesis to make sure it highlights and explains a particular theme in one or more of the texts. You will probably want to use some of the literary elements (plot, setting, character, etc.) to demonstrate how these themes develop in the texts. Some of the texts we have covered may employ the same or similar themes. If this is the case, you might find it useful to compare and contrast how these themes work in different literary texts. Although identifying a theme is often subjective, you must be able to support your ideas with clear examples from the text. For example, if you believe “Young Goodman Brown” is a story about the loss of innocence, you will need to highlight examples from the text where that innocence exists or is lost.
The paper should use Font size 12 or 13, and the paragraphs need to be double-spaced. Information directly taken from the text, either verbatim or paraphrased, should be properly attributed to the author. The required length is 3-4 pages. The due date is March 12 at 11:59am.
Sample Paper Topics
The death of major or minor characters is common in many of the stories we have explored. Are there any connections in how death is treated in two or more of the texts? If so, how? How are the deaths handled? Similarities? Differences?
Some readers argue that revenge drives the action in the “Cask of Amontillado” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Young Goodman Brown”? Do you agree? If so, what are the motivations at play? If not, what else might be driving the action?
Using one of the texts we’ve discussed, explore how the plot may contribute to one or more of the central themes you have identified. Does the action create a mood or atmosphere that reflects the main theme? For example, some readers and critics argue that the mundane and matter-of-fact plotline and pacing in “The Lottery” describes the idea that seemingly moral and good human beings can commit evil without remorse.
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