Reading and Writing about Literature AND Understanding Fiction, English homework help

 Carefully read the following sections and fiction titles from Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing, Central Texas College 1302 edition:

Chapter 1: Reading and Writing about Literature

Chapter 4: Understanding Fiction

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “Origins of Modern Fiction”, “Defining the Short Story”, “The Boundaries of Fiction”
  • Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants”

Chapter 5: Fiction Sampler: The Short-Short Story

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “Fiction Sampler: The Short-Short Story”
  • Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”

Chapter 7: Plot

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “Conflict”, “Stages of Plot”, “Order and Sequence”
  • Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”
  • William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”

Chapter 8: Character

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “Round and Flat Characters”, “Dynamic and Static Characters”,”Motivation”
  • John Updike, “A&P”

Chapter 9: Setting

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “Setting”, “Historical Setting”, “Geographical Setting”, “Physical Setting”
  • Sherman Alexie, “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”
  • Tillie Olsen, “I Stand Here Ironing”

Chapter 10: Point of View

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “First-Person Narrators”, “Third-Person Narrators”, “Selecting an Appropriate Point of View”
  • Richard Wright, “Big Black Good Man”
  • William Faulkner, “Barn Burning”
  • Edgar Allan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado”

Chapter 11: Style, Tone, and Language

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “Style and Tone”, “The Uses of Language”, “Formal and Informal Diction”, “Imagery”, “Figures of Speech”
  • Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
  • Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried”

Chapter 12: Symbol, Allegory, and Myth

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “Symbol”, “Allegory”, “Myth”
  • Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery”
  • Alice Walker, “Everyday Use”

Chapter 13: Theme

  • Kirzner & Mandell
    • “Interpreting Themes”, “Identifying Themes”
  • Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path”

Chapter 14: Fiction for Further Reading

  • T. Coraghessan Boyle, “Greasy Lake”
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Amy Tan, “Two Kinds”

2. Read “The Kugelmass Episode” online at http://www.woodyallen.art.pl/eng/kugelmass_episode.php .  Read the following background information regarding the story by Woody Allen, as well.

Emma Bovary is the main character in a French novel by Gustave Flaubert,Madame Bovary.  Young Emma is desperate to get away from country life, fall in love, and live a life extraordinaire—just like the women in the romance novels she voraciously reads.  When Emma meets Charles, a country doctor, she sees her ticket to a better life.  Unfortunately, Emma does not understand that Charles is a medecin (country doctor) and not an Officier de Sante, Officer of Health, literally translated—a true doctor who is able to operate and dispense medicine.  Neither does Emma get a clue about Charles’ character from his last name, which has its roots in the word bovine (of or relating to cows!).  In short, Emma is dissatisfied and looks outside of her marriage.  After several unfulfilling affairs, Emma finds her soulmate in Rudolphe, a man with money and charm.  The two have a lengthy affair that ends when Emma declares her love for him and her determination to leave Charles and their small daughter.  Rudolphe spurns Emma, causing her to fall into depression and take her life by swallowing arsenic. 

Other characters are mentioned in this story, some of whom you may already know.  Sister Carrie is the title character in a novel by Theodore Dreiser; she falls into prostitution to support herself and dies.  Hester Prynne, ofScarlet Letterfame, commits adultery with a priest.  Ophelia deeply loves Shakespeare’sHamletand drowns herself when Hamlet denies her love.  Temple Drake, a character in Faulkner’sSanctuary, is raped and eventually confined to an institution.  Finally, Saul Bellow is an author, not a character; his leading ladies are usually mistresses.

Knowing this about Emma and Kugelmass’ choices for an affair will help you to fully understand the story. 

(Write Essay)   750-1000 words

short story essay


 An outline must be turned in with all essays. You can use the Purdue OWL website for assistance in the MLA formatting, or if you have a copy of The St. Martin’s Handbook, refer to the MLA Style Chapter 32.

sample essays in MLA format provided in Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing– Chapter 2, can offer a visual reference; information on documenting sources is provided in Chapter 3 of the same text.