Literary Research Paper
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze an aspect of your chosen short story (or stories) using at least one of the following types of literary criticism: biographical historical gender Marxist or psychological. (See handout on types of literary criticism for definitions.) The story (or stories) must be in Backpack Literature. For this analysis you will 1) assert a definite opinion about the chosen aspect of the story that is rooted in one of the above types of literary criticism and 2) defend this opinion by supplying pertinent evidence from the story AND evidence from at least 2 valid sources. Do not use I in this more formal literary analysis paper.
Biographical The older characters in A Clean Well-Lighted Place represent Hemingways personal attitudes and fears
Historical Exaggerated view of equality in Harrison Bergeron as commentary about Communism
Gender a feminist approach to Kate Chopins works
Psychological How Virginia Woolfs creative process and experiences shaped her writing style
Marxist An examination of how characters are affected by social class in A & P (Sammy is poor and the story hints the girls are not)
Options: You will have 3 options for approaching this paper:
1. Choose 1 story to analyze from the list below:
John Updike A & P
Edgar Allan Poe The Tell-Tale Heart
Virginia Woolf A Haunted House
Kate Chopin The Storm
Hemingway Clean Well-Lighted Place
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Harrison Bergeron
Charlotte Perkins Gilman The Yellow Wallpaper
2.Compare/contrast two stories by different authors that share a theme
3.Discuss more than 1 story by the same author (perhaps take a biographical approach in the essay)
Length: This paper should be at least three double-spaced typed pages. It should
contain an introduction paragraph ending in a thesis statement body
paragraphs that contain evidence from the story to defend the thesis
and a conclusion paragraph.
Format: This paper should be in MLA Format. There will be a Works Cited page with the story(s) and all other sources used. This does not count toward the 3-page word count.
Resources: At least 2 of your outside sources must come from scholarly databases.