ENG 102 Topic 1

Topic 1
English 102
Keith O'Neill
Spring 2020

Essay #1 - Short Story Analysis

Instructions: Read the following topics carefully and choose one. Write a 3-5 page, typed, double-spaced essay that includes an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs with supporting quotations, and a conclusion. Format your paper according to the MLA standards outlined in class, and include a Work Cited page with your essay.


1. Discuss the setting in one of the stories we have read as an indicator of that story’s theme. Show, for example, how setting mirrors conflicts within or around a character or characters, or explain how setting limits or constrains the character(s).No matter what you focus on, remember that your goal is to use a specific focus to uncover a general theme in the story.

2. Explore and analyze one of the major characters we’ve encountered so far. Explain the major factors in the makeup of his or her identity, and describe the major conflicts (if any) he or she faces. Does the character change or develop by the end of the story? If so, how? If not, why not?

3. Focus on point of view in one of the stories we’ve read, and explain how perspective plays an important role in the overall story. Remember to identify the point of view (first or third, omniscient or limited, objective or subjective) and then connect it to the tale’s broader theme.

4. Write an essay that distinguishes between story and plot. Discuss how at least one of the stories we have read uses plot as a structural element to impart its theme. For example, how does the plot’s organization help create a sense of tension (or mystery, or confusion) in the story?

This essay is due at the start of class on Thursday, February 6.