Students will write an essay comparing two of the six stories covered in class. The focus of the essay should utilize one of the five topics below: 1. Contrast the different levels of hypocrisy of Goodman Brown in “Young Goodman Brown” and Sammy in “A&P” 2. Illustrate the different effects of unreliable narrators in “Cask of Amontillado” and “The Yellow Wall-Paper” 3. Explain the varying dangers of impulsive thoughts and actions in “Story of an Hour” and “A&P” 4. Analyze the presence and purpose of religious references in “Young Goodman Brown” and “Araby” 5. Identify the characters’ goals (both explicit and implied) and argue their successes and/or failures in “Cask of Amontillado” and “Araby” Requirements: 1. Essay must be double-spaced, at least 1000 words, and have an effective and unique title; essays may exceed 1000 words to a max of 1250, but fewer than 1000 words will result in a penalty 2. Essay must establish a clear argumentative thesis using one of the topics above 3. Essay must include ample direct textual references to relevant passages from both stories 4. Essay must be submitted as an attached Word Document (DOCX) or a PDF file; it may not be typed or pasted into the “Submission” box 5. Essay must begin with the following header in the upper left corner:
Your Full name Date of submission Total Word Count of the Essay Your Unique Essay Title (not merely a generic topic) The Number of the Topic selected from the list above in parentheses
Keep in mind… Argumentative essays are only effective if the argument being made actually needs to be made. In other words, it is unacceptable to argue something that no reasonable person would disagree with (like proposing that Tuesday follows Monday). While it may be a fair statement, one could not promote the thesis that “Mrs. Mallard and the woman in the ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ both experienced unpleasant moments in their marriages.” That statement would be inarguable because no intelligent reader would deny that it was true. Likewise, to claim that “Sammy and the kid in ‘Araby’ both seemed to have difficulty making sense of their feelings about girls” would also be obvious and would not qualify as a thesis (as it would be considered a reasonable conclusion that any reader would draw about the characters).