Story Analysis Essay

Write a well-developed essay analyzing any of the following stories. The essay must cover one of the assigned stories only:

“The Storm” by Kate Chopin

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin

“Happy Endings” by Margaret Atwood

“A & P,” by John Updike

“Brownies,” by ZZ Packer

“This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” by Sherman Alexie

“Battle Royal,” by Ralph Ellison

“A Pair of Tickets,” by Amy Tan

“The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry

“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” by Gabriel García Márquez

“Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker

Write an analysis of the story using 3-4 essential elements to discuss how those elements contribute to the message or theme of the story.

Avoid plot summary. You are choosing one story and analyzing it using 3-4 of the elements listed below. Plot is NOT one of those elements and neither is theme. Your plot summary, if you must have one, should be no longer than one short paragraph (5-6 sentences).

Essential Elements

Some elements that you might consider in your essay are symbol, style, tone, character development, setting, irony, allusion, imagistic language, etc.

Additional Guidelines:

  • -Do NOT use any outside sources (just the story).
  • -4 pages minimum  (not including works cited page; you will need a works cited page, but the only entry will be the story from your textbook)
  • -MLA format (see the example on how to document work from an anthology) 

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