Essay: 750 words count, double-spaced and MLA format. The short story “Bloodchild” will be attached.
Instruction for Paper 1: What is the significance of the literary element (plot, setting, characterization/character, diction, theme) you have chosen as the focus for your paper? You will develop a paper that answers this question and demonstrates the following outcomes for writing and literature:
*Hints: Remember that your reader has read the story and is familiar with it; extensive summary is not useful. Rather, explain and analyze how “meaning” is derived from the story by the author’s implementation of a literary element. Note that the paper is to be about the story, not the author, so repeated references to the author are unnecessary and ill advised.
*Special Hint about Plot: Be aware that a paper analyzing a piece of literature is NOT a plot summary. Summary, if you must have it, should provide only details necessary to identify parts of the story required to develop the paper, no longer than three to four sentences.
Select one from the literary elements listed below:
Plot – the arrangement of ideas and/or incidents that make up a story
Character – representation of a person, place, or thing performing traditionally human activities or functions in a work of fiction
Look for connections, links, and clues between and among characters. Ask yourself what the function and significance of each character is. Make this determination based upon the character’s history, what the reader is told (and not told), and what other characters say about themselves and others.
Setting – the place or location of the action. The setting provides the historical and cultural context for characters. It often can symbolize the emotional state of characters. Example – In Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, the crumbling old mansion reflects the decaying state of both the family and the narrator’s mind. We also see this type of emphasis on setting in Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. A feature such as weather may determine setting, for example, in Kate Chopin’s “The Storm.”
Diction – word choice that both conveys and emphasizes the significance of theme or other literary element of a story through distinctions in sound, look, rhythm, syllable, letters, and definition. For example, in the story “Of Mice and Men,” Lenny’s language conveys his intellectual impairment.
Theme – the central topic or idea explored in a text. All works of literature contain some sort of theme. Themes are generally universal in nature and relate to the condition of being human. Thus, the theme in a work of literature crosses boundaries and makes a story meaningful to people of any culture or age. While readers may not understand all the references and language in a book from a different time period or culture, the theme of the [work] is what makes it comprehensible. Usually the theme of a work of literature can be stated in one word, such as “love” or “solitude.” A work of literature can, and often does, have more than one theme. The theme is generally not stated explicitly in the text, but instead is expressed through the characters’ actions, words, and thoughts and can be stated in one word.
“Bloodchild” by Octavia E. Butler, in African American Literature Beyond Race: An Alternative Reader Part IV, page 235-246 and page 252. http://ezproxy.umgc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umgc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1020868&site=eds-live&scope=site&profile=edsebook
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