English 102 Essay on Short Fiction
1. Choose one of the short stories assigned in this class.
2. Choose ONE character in the story to write about. You’ll probably choose to write about a round character, but if a minor character plays a significant role in the story, you might choose that one.
3. Remember the five ways characters are revealed in short stories (what they say and do, what other characters say about them, the author’s description, and the author’s opinion). HOWEVER, your essay should not be structured around those ways of learning about the character. Instead, use those things to do ONE of the following:
a. Focus on 3-4 character traits—these are usually expressed as adjectives. For example, a character can be proud, humble, stubborn/determined, easygoing, hardworking, lazy, friendly, aloof, loving, uncaring, etc.
b. Focus on one way in which a character changes—in this type of essay, you will focus on proving that a character has a certain trait or traits in the beginning of the story but then changes to the opposite trait.
c. Focus on conflicts faced by a particular character--remember the three types of conflicts—those are what you will discuss in this essay. (This is actually an essay about plot, since plot is about conflict.)
d. Examine the role of a particular flat character in this story. For example, how is that character used to bring out qualities of the main character and/or reveal the plot?
4. Send your instructor an e-mail via D2L that indicates which character you choose and the 3-4 main points you are making about that character.
5. This is NOT a research paper. Your only source should be the story itself and your own original thoughts based on what you have learned in class so far.
6. Document information taken from the short story by giving the appropriate paragraph. For example: “No one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box”...