-MLA Format, -Include Works Cited
Answer these questions in essay format based on the readings.
Use quotes/evidence and cite
1) What is the subject of the story, and what does the story reveal about that subject?
2) How are human beings portrayed in the short story? Do they come across as fundamentally flawed and selfish? Do they come across as heroic? Does the story present a mix?
3) How does the author portray different characters? Are they typified? Are they round? Do they embody any highly negative qualities? Do they have any redeeming qualities? If some characters are portrayed as “good,” what good things do they do? If they are flawed, how are they flawed, and to what extent?
4) How does the author portray the society in which the characters live? Is it a life-enhancing or a life-destroying society? Are the characters we care about in conflict with their society? Do they wish to escape their society? Are they trapped by it? Do they want to change it, and if so, why?
5) What control over their lives do the characters have? What controls and governs their choices? To what extent are they “free” to choose, and to what extent are their choices controlled by social forces, by the forces of their own passions, or by fate? To what extent are they to blame for their actions?
6) Who serves as the moral center of the work? Is there one? Do you think there is always a need for one in every work of fiction? If you feel there is one in the novel/story you are presently reading, what does the author do to convince you of this? What values does the moral center embody? What effect does the moral center have on the other characters?
7) What conflicts are in the story? What kind of conflicts are these? Are they material, emotional, moral, spiritual? Are these conflicts clear-cut or ambiguous? Is someone clearly right and someone clearly wrong? Why or why not? Does right win in the end? If it doesn’t, why not?
USE LYSK guide to answer questions:
“The Least You Should Know About Any Work of Fiction”
1. Identify the protagonist in 3-5 sentences, describe his/her life situation and basic personality, and then state his/her problem and/or primary motivation. What is the central idea, need, or problem that drives the protagonist? How does the protagonist change by the end of the story? What have they learned?
2. Identify the antagonist in 3-5 sentences, describe his/her/its basic situation and qualities,and then state his/her/its main motivation. What is the central idea, need, or problem that drives the antagonist? Finally, explain how this drive interacts with the protagonist’s motivation, thus establishing the central conflict of the work.
3. In no more than 3-5 sentences, summarize the plot. Include enough of the deeper level to show all that’s at stake for the protagonist and to suggest how he/she does or doesn’t change by the end of the work.
4. Describe the conflict in a half page or so. What is at stake? What are people fighting over?What is the problem? Remember that there is always a problem in literature. The human condition—the subject of all literature—is about problems.
5. Identify the one scene or line or chapter or stanza that is the climax of the story, poem,etc. What are the moments of crisis, or scenes, that lead up to the climax? Describe each scene/chapter in a couple of words, then briefly chart the “rising” structure of the work.
6. Write 3-5 sentences which describe the importance of setting (place) in the work you are analyzing.
7. Write 3-5 sentences on the connotation of important images, metaphors or symbols in the work. How does this connotation enrich your understanding of the work as a whole?
8. Write 3-5 sentences on important historical or cultural information that might enrich your understanding of the work. Connect the historical or cultural information to the development of the story.
9. Write one page about the themes. What world or life view is the author expressing?How do you know? What is his/her message?