How the story reveals something about the time in which it was written/published

Assignment Description:

Three times this semester you will write a response to the literature we’ve been examining.  A literary response paper seeks to offer specific responses to a literary work. This response may center around many things :

  • How the story reveals something about the time in which it was written/published
  • How the story connects to ideas about gender as a social or biological construction
  • How the story portrays a theme (Biblical themes, how we learn to understand the world, how technology may save us, how technology will undo us, how the world will end) (These are over-simplified, but hopefully you are starting to understand.)
  • How the story reveals a universal and timeless characteristic about people
  • How the story offers a social or political commentary on [insert specific topic]
  • How does the main character change by the end of the story? Is it for better or worse?
  • How the author develops a particular character or idea throughout the story
  • How symbols and literary devices are used within the story
  • What the story says about [insert topic (some common ones are race relations, gender relations, people’s fears of technology, people’s memories, people’s fears of the government, etc.]

Feel free to answer one or more of the questions found at the end of the readings. As a class we will also come up with questions that will enrich our reading and these can be used to write the response papers as well, but please don’t just write papers summarizing class discussion. These papers are an opportunity for you to get personally involved in the texts and should reflect your ability as a writer and scholar.

Assignment Requirements:

 4 pages double spaced.  12 point font Times New Roman.

 MLA citation

 Drafts of papers will be given to Writing Fellows prior to submission (in class on 1/30, 2/22, 3/13 with finals due one week later)

 Plan on meeting with Writing Fellows once per paper for full credit

 Incorporate fellow’s suggestions for good literary criticism

Alternate Assignment for Response Paper 3 only:

Feel free to get creative with the third paper:

 Rewrite one story in the style of another (for example, rewrite “A&P” in the style of “Cask of Amontillado”)

 Write your own fantasy, sci-fi, or magical realism story (3 pages) and explain in another page how the work we’ve read this semester has influenced your story.

 Rewrite one of the works we have read so far from a different point of view.

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